This is basically what it was coming to all along. It’s been said of J.J. Abrams that the television series Lost was inspired in part by the aesthetic and approach of the video game Myst, and in the “gaming” spirit, plotlines have been developed by consulting with the masses who watch the show regularly. Now, the Sci-Fi Channel makes the relationship explicit with the announcement of a new science-fiction television series-cum-Internet video game that allows fans to shape the story arc. They hope to launch the series by 2010, The LA Times reports. The network is teaming up with the California-based gaming company Trion World Network to create a World of Warcraft-esque massive multiplayer online role-playing game, aka MMORPG (yes, that’s an official term) “set 80 to 100 years in the future on an Earth that looks very different from today.”
“A television show that is on once a week isn’t enough. The fans today want the experience to go beyond that,” Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, told the Times. “For example, we can tell them that there will be an alien invasion at a certain place in the game, at a certain time, and to be there with all their friends and be ready. The outcome depends on them. And then that battle will be part of the universe in the show.”
Unfortunately, for all the intense gamers out there, those are pretty much the only details Sci Fi Channel execs are giving away at the moment, though more are expected to be unveiled in July at the Comic Con International convention in San Diego.
If World of Warcraft’s popularity is any indication (it has 10 million subscribers and pulled in $1 billion last year), Sci Fi Channel’s gaming show has the potential to be quite a success. “This is the Holy Grail for us, without a doubt,” Howe said.
The quest begins!