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THQ and Random House Put Transmedia on their Homefront

posted Sunday Apr 10, 2011 by Jon Wurm

THQ and Random House Put Transmedia on their <i>Homefront</i>

Those of you who still read bound pages of paper with words on them, otherwise known as books, should be familiar with Random House who is known for their content creation and publishing of fiction, nonfiction and children's books. About a year ago they started expanding their horizons by entering into the video game industry with Homefront. The game has enjoyed some success and had average reviews, which considering it was their first video game ever, they do deserve some credit.

The content is what made Homefront a deep and immersing experience despite some lacking and sometimes funny gameplay mechanics courtesy of Kaos Studios, a division of THQ. The story is adapted from the novel which has lead them to expand their partnership with THQ to translate their written content across many different media types.

To find out if this transmedia adventure goes both ways, hit the break.

The goal of this collaboration is to create original content that is distributed across print media and digital media such as books, e-books, console games, mobile games, online games and even movies. THQ views this as an opportunity to explore transmedia in hopes of cashing in on more than just video games according to Lenny Brown, the director of business development.

The Holy Grail here would be for Random House to produce a book that sells well, with us ultimately investing $35 million in a triple-A console game backed by a $12 million marketing campaign that draws a commitment from Hollywood for a movie or television event.

Both companies anticipate at least an 18 month product cycle for novels and mobile games but console games will require 2 to 3 years along with $35 million in R&D and $12 million in marketing. It seems like they plan on releasing products in roughly that order to help then even out revenues and costs during the product cycle.

It's not like this is the first time companies have tried this and we all know great stories with terribly adapted video games and video game-based movies, so why does this matter? Well, in the past, I had never really seen a partnership that was as well defined as this one. The undertaking is huge but they seemed to have figured out how to define and divide the scope into something that might be manageable. This addresses the problem of getting so many creative and business types on the same page to remain cohesive. Also, in the past, content has never really been generated with the specific purpose of becoming more than just a novel, game or movie. Aside from the one it was intended to be the others were an afterthought but this partnership has the potential to change that disastrous business model.

What do you think? Tell me if I got it right or if I'm losing it in the comment section below.

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