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长篇分析:多位公司高管谈好莱坞与游戏的4.0时代

发布时间:2019-12-02 09:16:49 Tags:,,

长篇分析:多位公司高管谈好莱坞与游戏的4.0时代

原作者:Dean Takahashi 译者:Willow Wu

九月下旬,NBC环球关闭运营了三年的游戏发行部门。他们决定重拾以往战略,将IP授权给外部游戏开发商和发行公司。这么做当然可以延续他们在游戏领域的成功,但这是一种低风险、低回报的策略。

类似事件在好莱坞巨头圈子里已经不是第一次了。迪士尼在几年前就放弃了手游发行业务,转向授权模式。随着迪士尼收购福克斯,FoxNext Games也归入他们旗下。而最近迪士尼也打算卖掉这个游戏部门了。

游戏是千禧一代最喜欢的娱乐形式,这也是为什么游戏业务已经飙升到1800亿美元的原因。那么,要如何解释好莱坞行业的这个趋势呢?我之前在DeanBeat专栏中讨论了部分相关话题。我也主持了在加州阿纳海姆举办的GameDaily Connect活动,那里离迪士尼乐园只有一箭之遥。我们的话题涵盖了一些共同的问题。好莱坞高管们现在所做的一些商业决策我们猜得八九不离十。

参与讨论的嘉宾有FoxNext Games市场营销高级副总Steve Fowler、Skydance国际互动营销副总Guy Costantini、Seriously商务拓展高级副总Matt McMahon以及亚马逊游戏服务业务拓展负责人Barry Dorf。

以下是整理编辑过后的访谈内容。

Steve Fowler: 我是FoxNext Games市场营销副总。这事有点复杂。福克斯以前是个不一样的企业,现在我们归到迪士尼旗下了。但我们仍是第一方游戏工作室(开发母公司的IP),旗下还有四个开发工作室。

《漫威:神威战队》是我们的第一款手游产品,目前仍在运营,市场反馈相当好。我们还有一款游戏Storyscape正在加拿大和新西兰公测。它有点像是Telltale式的游戏体验,通过选项创造属于自己的冒险,但是结合了一些福克斯IP和原创IP。第三款游戏将会在两周后进入技术公测。它是根据James Cameron执导的《阿凡达》而改编的游戏。最后一个游戏将会在明年公开,是一款以《异形》宇宙为背景的硬核在线射击游戏。

Shadow gun Legends(from pocketgamer.biz)

Shadow gun Legends(from pocketgamer.biz)

Barry Dorf: 我是亚马逊游戏业务拓展部门的负责人。

Guy Costantini: 我在Skydance工作,《碟中谍》《终结者》都是Skydance制作的,新的《终结者》电影11月就要上映了。我们还有一个开发VR游戏的工作室。目前正在开发的VR游戏是由《行尸走肉》改编的产品,我们命名为《行尸走肉:圣人和罪人》。未来我们会和大家分享更多信息。

我们是讲故事的人,我们通过游戏、电视和其它娱乐形式来讲述故事,希望能让我们的玩家感到高兴。

Matt McMahon: 我是Seriously商务拓展高级副总,也是Playtika大家庭的一员,Playtika是Seriously的全资子公司。这对我们来说是一个重要的时刻——不同平台开始出现相互交织的迹象。这一切努力就是为了将我们的品牌、我们的世界、我们的角色扩展到电视、动画和各类消费产品中。我负责管理与实现业务增长相关的众多事宜。

在来到Seriously之前,我为20世纪福克斯工作了11年,管理第三方授权业务。福克斯在那时还不是让内部公司开发IP。我们的任务是寻找优秀的开发者,将IP授权给他们,为人们创造有趣的游戏体验,并将其作为我们电影和电视节目的延伸。

GamesBeat: 我觉得当下的行业环境,我们可以称之为“好莱坞与游戏的4.0时代”。为了让大家有个共同的认知,能说说你们所认为的1.0或者2.0时代是哪个阶段吗?在座的各位累计也有几十年的经验了,你们眼中的旧时代是什么样子的?

Fowler: 我第一次跟IP授权游戏打交道是在22、23年前,我还在Interplay工作。我是《星际迷航》游戏的品牌经理。我觉得在那时候,那些公司并没有正真地——我不太确定他们是否真的有意识到我们在开发他们的IP。授权方给了我们很多自由去实验一切。我们之前做了很多超酷的策略游戏,这或许就是我记忆中的1.0时代吧。我们有包括《魔戒》在内的一大堆IP游戏。

在这之后可能就是2.0时代,好莱坞开始关注我们了。我发现那时已经转向了另外一种趋势:好莱坞把我们所做的看作是帮助推销他们产品的一种方式。如果有电影计划上映,他们会把这个IP授权给游戏开发公司,然后在上映日配套发行。他们把游戏看作是提升票房的一种辅助手段,结果是游戏质量不断下降。游戏工作室一定要指定日期前做完游戏,或不得不在游戏中加入对玩法不一定有好处的机制和角色。好莱坞与游戏的关系在那几年陷入了低谷。

回到现在,至少从我在FoxNext的经历来看,与漫威和Lightstorm的合作收获了完全不同的成果。我们先是创造优秀的游戏,然后才借助热门IP系列的知名度。合作伙伴也了解这一点。目前,漫威与我们的合作时间最长,从《漫威:神威战队》开始已经一年半了,他们是非常棒的合作伙伴。

他们应该是IP游戏圈内最郑重其事的团队之一,专门组建了一支拥有游戏从业背景的团队。就比如漫威游戏负责人Jay Ong之前在暴雪工作过,他们完全能理解我们的想法。如果我们成功了,他们也会成功。这真的跟之前的时代完全不一样。大多数成功的授权公司和游戏工作室都明白游戏不是辅助性质的产业,它是一个前沿产业。

Dorf: 之前在EA的时候,我们开发了《哈利·波特》游戏。1.0时代在我看来就是不单单只做一个做游戏,而是跟随每一部新电影或者书,试图发展可以持续10~15年的系列产品。这是一份内容极为庞大的合同,合作商也是业界巨头。

在DeNA的时候,我们跟漫威或者《星球大战》IP的持有方交谈,基本上就是“你有一个机制运作良好的游戏,我们有IP,结合起来它就是增加票房的利器。”如果你没有吸引人的玩法、没有亮眼的KPI数据,他们根本不会找你谈话,不管你的公司规模有多大。他们没有时间来冒险。

现在的商店里充斥着各式各样的游戏,产生了很多噪音。1.0或者2.0时代完全不是这样的。如果你有《哈利·波特》IP,那只有你们能开发衍生游戏,就这么简单。甚至当年我在EA做《魔戒》游戏时,没有任何游戏要在这几个月发行。现在授权方的合作对象不只你一个,你在应用商店只有四周的黄金推广期,你是这段时间内唯一一个新漫威游戏。四周一到,就得换别的游戏了。你不能错过日期,你的时间就那么多,除非你开发不是重量级IP,而是更像小众游戏,那样你就有更多时间了。

Costantini: 对于1.0时代我没什么可讲的。我想我那时正在享受贵公司的游戏成果。(笑)

Fowler: 你是在暗示我年纪大了吗?

Costantini: 我想我只是表达一下感谢?但之前我在Kabam参与过移动游戏的开发。我们有《漫威:超级争霸战》,有一个《星球大战》游戏,还有一个《魔戒》游戏。它们的成功程度各不相同,商业方面和口碑方面都是。这就是上一个时代。手游行业花了一些时间才真正理解——起先,他们遇到了一座金矿场。他们以为未来就如同印钞票一样财源滚滚来,盈利就是首要任务。

现在他们终于有了真正好玩的游戏。跟那些传统游戏竞争,当你可以把游戏装进口袋时,这种不同的体验会让你在游戏过程中获得另一种快乐。就比如《漫威:超级争霸战》,还有Supercell做的那些更出众东西。我并不需要把《巫师》装在手机里,我也没有时间在手机上玩《巫师》。但是当我有时间玩手机的时候,我想玩一些特别的东西,一些好玩的东西,而不是那些一心想掏空我钱包的游戏。

明白这一点的公司肯定能够与玩家建立起可持续发展的关系。有些公司(尤其是在这个阶段的)逐渐懂得了这个道理。我们看到了革新的苗头。我们看到跨平台游戏的良好发展,什么能获得人们的青睐,什么不能,答案从来都不是一成不变的。从我们的角度来看,Skydance的目标是讲更好的故事、做更好的游戏。我认为这就是实现长期成功的共同要素。如果你能做到这一点,并了解人们把钱花在哪里,全方位的成功指日可待。

你有多少时间?如果你多少有些经验,你可以用一个强大的在线运营计划把人们拉回来。成功的方法有很多。但正如Dorf所说的,周围的噪声太多了。你需要一个扎实有效的战略。

McMahon: 我是在2.0时代进入游戏行业的。我认为之前有一段时间是你可以尝试很多疯狂游戏。我记得我们跟一家罗马尼亚小工作室合作开发了一款《铁血战士》游戏。它本身是个很棒的小游戏,但你说的大多问题他们都没有解决。

各类实时服务系列产品,游戏应该是最好发展的那一类,我们一直在努力实现这一点,但困难重重,这个游戏几乎拖垮了工作室。你每天玩某个游戏,这其中有强迫循环,还有回路循环。一切都构建好了,所以你能每天都回到游戏中来(尤其是手游)。像《冰河世纪》这样三年出一部的系列电影,等到第15部的时候你还会回来吗?我想答案应该是否定的。

你有能力通过一种巧妙的方式来做在线运营、跟社区沟通、跟用户建立直接联系。至少我还在福克斯的时候,也就是五六年前,这是我们想努力通过的认知桥梁。所有的游戏公司都曾试图让电视/电影公司认识到这一点。“别勉强,你们做的是IP授权生意。授权费为公司收入的贡献了很大一部分,但你们的机会还是在影视圈,这些就足以让你们获得很高的收入,不用再费心去做运营之类的事了。”我们之前经常会遇到这种观点。

现在好莱坞的巨头公司意识到这些游戏的盈利能力不可小觑,而且手游真的可以成为你每天的第一个接触的东西。人们每天在这个最私人化的设备上平均要花45分钟、1个小时玩游戏。如果手游的这种趋势一直延续下去,那么它就是一个很好的品牌拓展渠道,也就是我们所说的franchise management(通过系列虚拟人物或形象版权的管理开发衍生消费品,能够在较长的一段时间内跨多个领域和地区创造价值的业务,并通过不同形式表达一种特质或者品牌信息,从而吸引目标观众并产生共鸣,游戏邦注)。

感觉就像游戏不得不把好莱坞拉向那个方向。直接面向消费者不是好莱坞传统商业模式的重点。显然,这已经发生了很大的变化。他们之前没有重点关注线上运营,这一点改变了。数字化也是franchise management的渠道之一。

GamesBeat: 我记得大概是在1990年代,有一个好莱坞的觉醒过程。他们注意到,也许你可以从一部电影中赚到1亿美元,但利润只有1000万美元,然而你可以从一款游戏中赚到1亿美元,而利润是9000万美元。那时候游戏预算相比现在少很多,游戏产业的收入总是落后于电影票房收入。它曾是一个规模相对较小的市场。但现在游戏市场已经发展得非常庞大了,达到1800亿美元左右。

现在又有了另一种感觉。如果你看到亚马逊拿到了《魔戒》的授权,你就会理所当然地认为亚马逊之后会宣布推出一个游戏系列。这种计划不再会让人感到惊喜。

你们也谈到了现在游戏的质量。“还原(authenticity)”这个词在现代似乎更为重要了。以前EA做《哈利·波特》游戏的时候,要让游戏看起来和电影一样好,这真的很有难度。但是现在所说的还原好像有了不同的意思。你们能不能解释一下?

Costantini: 你必须成为作品的粉丝。如果你只是想套个名字,或者想把以往的设计套路搬出来用,人们都能看穿。你得组织团队,协力创造一个真正的娱乐产品,不管是游戏还是电影。你需要一个骨灰级粉丝,并且能给身边的每个人“传教”。不然别人会觉得你没有什么说服力,你也创造不出什么特别的东西。

在游戏改编电影领域,这个问题还没有得到很好的解决。我们已经看到IP改编电影的成功可以在后续的游戏上得以延续,比如漫威系列。但是反过来就没有那么好办了。要究其原因,从历史上看,要想在电视或电影领域取得成功,这份工作必须是你生活中非常重要的一部分,让你没有办法分心关注其它事。所以这些影视行业人员通常都不是什么游戏的死忠粉,没有花那么多时间玩游戏、体验游戏、思考如何制作游戏,这些都是非常复杂的。游戏也是需要全心全意去投入的。

我们要迎来这样一个时代了:娱乐领域的创造者们已经在各种IP产品的陪伴下成长起来了。他们在iPad上玩游戏,然后跟同学朋友玩游戏、看电影、制作他们的原创迷你剧。正因为有这种丰富的跨领域娱乐体验,我们现在看到越多越人懂得如何讲述一个能够引起共鸣的故事。我认为对于那些有游戏陪伴长大并希望看到游戏IP能够呈现在其它屏幕上的人来说,未来是非常光明的,其它领域也是如此。

Fowler: 我们现在利用手游赚钱的方式是举办活动,限时的活动。要把活动运转起来,你需要的内容量是天文数字。我是《星球大战》的铁粉,尽管如此,书本和漫画我并没有看得很多。在这背后有太多的知识和架空历史,游戏可用的内容不计其数。

你说还原度,我觉得当你在游戏内部而不是游戏外部拓展这个宇宙时,事情就会开始变得有趣起来。如果你真的能让用户相信你是在原作的基础上加以扩展,而不是仅仅在游戏中创造一个新漫威角色——如果你在游戏中创造一个超级英雄,之后甚至登上了大荧幕,这就很有意思了。那可能会成为5.0时代。我们的想法就是这样,不同类型娱乐产品之间的屏障一定会被打破。

Netflix CEO说他们的竞争对手并不是那些流媒体同行,而是《堡垒之夜》。现在大家比的是谁吸引的用户更多。你不能停留在自己行业的圈子里了。

McMahon: 问你们一个问题,这凭我之前在Fox的经验无法得出个确切答案。我们想从IP的核心部分入手,但结果更多是从声音、语调、文本或对话这些次要元素下手。这不是真正的续写,也不是故事延伸。只有在一两个例子中——Lightstorm是其中之一—他们才真正尝试着去思考如何组织一个续写团队,创造真正的平行宇宙故事。

当你们和剧情团队打交道的时候,这种情况会经常发生吗,不管是 Lightstorm还是Skydance的IP?作为一个粉丝,我很想看看这些宇宙会怎么拓展。但我总觉得我们做得有点仓促,总是会有些吃力,有些事情觉得还能做得更好。

Fowler: 是的,我们有这样的例子。总的主旨就是在IP授权方和我们开发团队之间建立相互尊重的合作关系。我们的开发团队中充斥着疯狂、干劲满满的极客粉丝,他们在某些情况下可能比我们的授权方更了解IP——至少是跟我们接触过的这群人相比。

Jason Bender是我们漫威项目的创意总监。我们每两周、三周就会见上一次,跟他们一起出去玩,来一场极客派对。每一次都是Bender赢。他什么都知道,“噢不,纳摩是在《神奇四侠》32话登场,这就是为什么这个东西是在左手。实际上他是左撇子,你们不知道吗?”他会做类似这样的事。

你的观点是,在游戏中创造角色最终会以另一种方式呈现——我们在漫威宇宙就做了这样的事,《漫威:神威战队》就是活生生的例子。我们在游戏中创造了一个角色,神盾局医疗兵,属于Nick Fury的团队。我们跟漫威谈了这个设计想法,他们觉得很不错。现在他是游戏的常规角色之一了。我们的粉丝经常去漫威的社交平台请求他们在《复仇者联盟》系列电影中加入神盾局医疗兵。这种现象已经开始显现了。

你刚提到Lightstorm。他们绝对是很有兴趣的。两周以前我跟Jon Landau见了次面,他想要说服我们开发他们的IP游戏。但他正在全方位准备漫画书和图画小说。Landau想要我们的游戏在下一部电影上映之前发行,用户能在游戏中看到角色和个性,然后在漫画系列中了解故事背景,之后再决定要不要拍后续电影。

一切都在进行中。无论这是不是最热门的发展趋势——我认为还不是。但他们绝对是有兴趣的。

GamesBeat: “编剧室(writers’ room)”这个概念一直很吸引我。Skybound《行尸走肉》的创造者们是不是也有一个编剧室?它是公司的宝藏挖掘地,是电视剧编剧水准的体现,是他们所有成果的孕育之处。你可以看到价值都是那些能讲好故事的人创造出来的。

但是在游戏行业,情况好像不是这样,还是说现在也有往这方面发展的趋势?像Remedy Entertainment和最近“复活”的Telltale,这样的公司应该也有编剧室。你们是否觉得这对游戏来说是越发重要?

Dorf: Hasbro授权DeNA开发《变形金刚》手游。我们拥有所有《变形金刚》手游的独家开发权,其中包括《变形金刚》的所有不同版本。DeNA版本的编剧室,我们的任务是思考基于这个IP,我们能创作什么样的内容、做出什么样的游戏。得去了解《变形金刚》铁杆粉丝喜欢什么——1986年的变形金刚是这个版本的、这种配色的,所以游戏中的角色也应该是这样的。你可以跟用户多交流交流,游戏玩家是一群非常有激情的人。

但我不清楚其他人的情况——我之前的公司都没有这样的编剧室。

Costantini: 我认为很大程度上还是由产品、游戏本身决定的。对某些游戏来说,创建编剧室是非常有帮助的。Telltale就是个好例子。我们跟Skybound的人谈过这件事,因为剧情是《行尸走肉》游戏的主要元素,能不能有个好故事十分关键。但如果你的游戏是一款动作游戏,像《战争机器 5》这样的,你的策略应该是找Sarah Conner。她扮演的角色应该是你见过的最强悍的老兵,所以微软公司把她放在游戏中是绝佳的选择。类似地,我们正在努力让Arnold Schwarzenegger出演《真人快打》,毫无疑问他就应该出现在这样的游戏中。

这是合不合适的问题,要看IP本身。你不必追求这个趋势,这对你来说一定是要有意义的。如果你糟蹋了人们的美好回忆,你一定会被骂得体无完肤。小小的改变也可能会产生巨大的影响,你得警惕些。

McMahon: 我们正在认真思考构建一个编剧工作室,找一些类似执行制片人的领导者来负责一切工作方向。部分原因是我们真的在努力打造一个品牌和一个基于角色发展的剧情世界。甚至是在益智游戏中,如果游戏有足够的深度,观众也能感受、理解。如果你在游戏中加入了RPG机制,这就是帮助替你提升盈利能力的工具。你能通过它发展出更多内容、组织更多在线运营活动。但最终,重点还是回到我们如何建立这个世界,并开始讲述更多的故事。

这些年我们跟很多编剧合作过,我们做了一些动画短片,然后他们将想法反馈给游戏世界。我们的工作室非常擅长围绕这些已有结构创造一个世界,然后讲述一个故事。我们想在年底之前建立编剧室,不仅能够覆盖电视剧、沿着这个方向上扩展我们的品牌,还能成为其它游戏的内容输送管道。

对益智游戏来说这或许有点奇怪,但我们的计划是超这个目标大举迈进,我们想让人们觉得还会有更多内容,一些情感上更合理的东西。

GamesBeat: 关于授权的复杂性,你们有什么有趣的例子可以分享吗?你们能为开发者们说说几个注意点,他们可能会遇到什么情况,或者要留心哪些事情吗?尤其是在如今,授权协议已经跟过去大不相同。

Costantini: 要看你是合作的是哪种IP,你不一定要找那些世界顶级的IP。去争取之前从未合作过的重量级IP,如果你排不进候选公司的前五,你得到的关注是非常有限的。结局可能是空手而回,压力非常大。或许你的实力确实不错,你有一个游戏,原型设计很有吸引力,你只是希望整合IP能帮助你获得更多用户。

另一种情况,也许你想要利用这个IP创作些非常特别的东西,因为你是它的忠实粉丝。你寻找对的这个IP团队规模较小但是能更紧密地合作。他们没怎么授权过产品,所以他们可以和你交谈,确定你的基本需要。由此你可以创作出更炫酷的游戏体验。这要耗费时间和资源,但与此同时,你获得了灵活性。

好好考虑你想要的是什么样的IP,原因是什么。这些问题是早期就需要考虑的,当你选择一个IP,跟某人合作的时候,这就像是你进入了一段关系中。你得花时间去维护,分手是需要代价的。谨慎选择自己的合作伙伴。

Dorf: 你也得了解他们的动机。IP授权公司的动机并非都是相同的。有些人不仅仅是为了盈利。有些人想提升品牌知名度。有些人是为了推广新节目或者新电影。钱当然是动机之一,但是你也得全面了解对方的动机。你们必须保持同步。

McMahon: 对IP的热情是最重要的。你看进来面谈的人,他们连IP的基本内容都不熟悉,根本不是IP的粉丝,选择这样的人就别指望成功了。好莱坞的这些公司,他们对IP倾注了很多爱与热情。Franchise management、实现跨渠道经营比看上去的要难得多。你必须看到他们眼中的热情,确定对方是对的人。

Fowler: 协商缩短审批时间。给IP持有方五天的时间。要么立即批准,要么五天之内给个答案。确保协商过程往好的方向发展。

GamesBeat: 关于Barry所说的了解IP授权方,我们有几个非常好的例子。拿《饥饿游戏》来说吧,我不知道是不是所有人都知道这个IP,它的所有权是属于Lionsgate。现在已经有了衍生的桌游,但是我们还没看到哪个开发商试图利用这个史上最成功的大逃杀IP之一来做一个battle royale游戏。

作者写这些书的目的是揭露一个建立在暴力之上的社会的疯狂。这是一个反暴力的故事,作者绝对不允许这个IP跟暴力游戏扯上关系。《魔戒》和《霍比特人》著作权所属公司Tolkien Enterprises、Tolkien estate,他们的授权动机就很复杂。了解哪些IP能够授权哪些不能,这也是挺有意思的。

我个人很想看《黑暗塔》开发成游戏,为什么没人把它做成穿越时空的剧情游戏?为什么没人做《盗梦空间》游戏?不是所有有趣的东西都有申请渠道。

Costantini: 我的梦想就是开发《黑暗塔》游戏。我知道实现这个愿望是很困难的,要跨越很多障碍。你刚说到要了解IP的所有方和利益相关者。有时你就是得等对的人坐上决策者的位置,期盼那些不懂游戏的人早日离开。最终是会发生的。

GamesBeat: 所以说,这其实是一个循环。

Costantini: 没错。事情总是在变化的,你得掌握这其中的规律。包括其它跟Skydance规模类似的工作室,我们都在密切关注可供选择的IP,甚至是几十年后的。我们关注着那些能够写出喜闻乐见的好故事但还没跟娱乐行业接轨的创作者,我们研究IP,尝试评估改编成游戏的可行性。改编成电视剧呢?动画?电影?

如果你的工作是获取IP并创造令人难忘的游戏体验,那么探索、发现就是你的任务之一。外面还有很多尚未受到热切关注的瑰宝。

GamesBeat: 还有一些成功的IP交易确实让大家意外,也很有趣。就比如说《侏罗纪世界》主题公园游戏,非常明智的选择,没有必要再做一个射击游戏了,来做主题公园游戏。

Costantini: 你看那些未来发行的产品,再想想流媒体服务的重要地位,游戏用户可能会增加到几十亿。这也意味着你过你开发了一个小众游戏,也还是能够获得可观的收益,维持可持续发展。这要取决于你想做什么、你的团队规模、你追求的东西,你可以为《侏罗纪世界》创造一个主题公园游戏,或者其它从5年或10年前的角度来看,人们会说花这么大力气申请到这个IP,做成这种游戏实在是太不值了的类型。

如今,你有这种对话机会。你可以找弹性更大的公司合作。他们会说“我们打算做VR游戏, VR市场力所不及的东西我们不会要求。”随着这些行业迈向成熟,我们可以感受到大家能够更好地相互理解了。

GamesBeat: 我觉得Jeff Bezos应该是《魔戒》的铁杆粉丝吧。他估计要等好长时间才能得到Tolkien estate的回应了。

Dorf: 我们拿到了电视剧改编权,但是我们没有同时拿到游戏改编权。

GamesBeat: 上世纪七十年代,Saul Zaentz公司获得了J.R.R.Tolkien作品的电影改编权,后来我们就看到了Peter Jackson执导的系列电影,这个IP当时可能会授权给其它公司,包括游戏开发商EA。但在同一时间段,Tolkien去世了,由他的儿子Christopher接管遗产。 他对游戏不怎么了解,对电影也不怎么了解。他整理出版了数本Tolkien宇宙的拓展书籍,比如《精灵宝钻》 ,如果你要授权的话得去找Christopher和Tolkien estate申请。

与此同时,Tolkien Enterprises(Saul Zaentz的子公司,现名为Middle-earth Enterprises)对全世界开放授权了。他们有《魔戒》的版权,《魔戒》有个附录,里面有对第一和第二纪元的描述——《精灵宝钻》里的故事——你可以把它作为申请授权的理由。

我认为亚马逊的授权仅限于第二纪元,应该是Saul Zaentz Tolkien Enterprises给的授权,Warner应该也有一部分。完整的第一纪元记载,也就是精灵宝钻争夺战,必须去找Christopher Tolkien的后代要授权,这是另一部分相关的IP。这其中的复杂性已经超乎想象了,这些交易要花上数年甚至是数十年的时间。

Dorf: 随着时间的推移,事情也会变得轻松。我记得《哈利·波特》游戏的第一次迭代,J.K.Rowling对细节真的非常严格,哈利魔杖周围的星星只能有这么多,尺寸不能超过这么大。她反馈的细节补充和注意事项实在是太多了,我们都觉得不可能看完。

到第七部的时候,笔记就没那么多了。我们的压力也没那么大了。我相信部分原因是我们积累了更多经验,但同时,她也意识到“嗯,我不想花27个小时去研究一个电子游戏的截图。”有些事情会随着时间的推移变得容易些。但是你得为那些深度讨论做好功课。

Costantini: 你讲的这些其实是授权方-被授权方关系中很重要的一部分。你要讲故事,你必须知道以往哪些东西是大家喜欢的,哪些是不喜欢的。漫画书是一个很好的例子,好莱坞特别喜爱和这个行业合作是因为他们非常积极,愿意灵活地处理他们的故事。漫威之所以能这么成功,是因为他们在放弃绝对控制权的同时也能起到引导作用。华纳之所以能够拥有诺兰的电影、发行不少优秀的游戏,是因为他们能够让创作者自主发挥,相信这些人能够做出特别的东西。

如果你不这样做,如果你觉得这样做不舒服,你就无法创造伟大的东西。这也是我们一贯奉行的理念。我们让创作者加入进来的唯一原因是让这些人发挥自己的创意,让我们看到眼前一亮的东西,否则我们不会浪费你的时间。最好的游戏、最好的电影、最好的故事都是这么来的。

Fowler: 我同意漫画的那部分观点。IP授权方的参与会带来不同影响。显然,当你开始偏离或肆意改编别人的IP时,你得想起我们前面所谈到的还原度。

我们正在开发开发一款《异形》游戏。这是一个很有趣的IP,因为即使电影也是很混乱的。第一部《异形》是生存恐怖电影,《异形:隔离》可以说是搭配效果极好的一部衍生游戏。但电影的第二部是由James Cameron执导的,变成了Michael Bay式的大片,异形大军、海军陆战队、高科技枪械之类的东西。《普罗米修斯》则是更硬核风格的科幻电影,它能引发思考。《异形》宇宙就有三种不同类型的电影。

当我们还在福克斯的时候,福克斯就是IP持有方。那我们要找谁谈话?结果我们发现有个人,Steve Zerlin,他写了一份900多页关于异形世界和异形种类的资料,囊括所有的电影和小说。所有的东西基本上都在他脑子里,然后他一股脑写出了这么一大叠东西。我们跟他说“嘿,我们想要以Cameron电影为背景做一个射击游戏,就是很多海军啊爆炸啊,这样会很有趣,”他说,“让我们参考一下这本书。大约200年的历史,真是疯狂。”

McMahon: 有些公司很厉害,比如Games Workshop已经出版了几百本书。合作资源可以说是应有尽有。另一边是那些刚刚尝到成功滋味的人,比如《瑞克和莫蒂》IP。他们还没出过类似的读物。但是你们能帮助他们实现,一起学习整理它的宇宙知识。

GamesBeat: 这个循环的另一部分是大公司的所作所为。通过游戏决策,迪士尼自己触发了许多循环。看看华纳兄弟,华纳是游戏&好莱坞的聚宝盆,华纳兄弟和华纳兄弟互动娱乐旗下有十几家工作室。但美国电话电报公司(AT&T,2018年收购华纳媒体/时代华纳集团)可能会想“变卖这项业务是个值得考虑的选择,可以用它来抵掉一些债务。”这种可能性的存在的确也很有意思。

迪士尼也是,他们跟华纳兄弟的策略完全相反,把IP游戏都外包出去。之前迪士尼宣布关闭游戏部门,他们的人才很多都到环球去了,就比如迪士尼前手游部门负责人Chris Heatherly。FoxNext现在隶属于迪士尼这样一个规模更大、把游戏外包的巨头娱乐公司,我相信他们的未来也存在一些有趣的可能性。

McMahon: 你看影视圈的这些趋势,他们观察游戏业务和IP授权业务,意识到现在创造一款游戏需要更多东西。比如数据科学、平台技术、用户获取以及绩效营销——这跟你平常为电影做的品牌营销不一样。游戏运营远非轻松,我明白他们为什么要这么谨慎。

主机平台明显就不一样,但我还是呆在移动领域。有一些技能不一定是跟你所在的媒体业务的核心部分、电影业务的核心部分或电视业务的核心部分永远挂钩的,它们也在变化,但是现在也有点不一样了。我能明白为什么影视行业的人会有点忘望而却步。

Costantini: 如果一家大公司出售他们的游戏业务是因为他们没有看到其中的价值,那么从长远来看这可能是一件好事,即使短期内不得不面对很多痛苦。我这么说是因为这些做游戏的人得在乎游戏。你可以随便问一个做过游戏的人,不在乎游戏的人是不可能做出好游戏的。

一个涉猎领域广泛、垂直市场众多的公司,那里的人并不在乎游戏,除非他们是间接投资者,他们中的一些人——有一些5000亿美元市值的公司只会购买10%或8%的股份,然后让他们自主经营。但我认为你可以在种关系中获得游戏的创作自由。

GamesBeat: 我们看到这些影视公司都准备了对应策略,如果迪士尼的风格是只喜欢批准一小部分电影,砍掉很多作品,那么Netflix和亚马逊等其他公司就会去挖墙脚、接手IP,把它们发展成系列产品。

观众: IP持有方的核心问题似乎还是很难从影视市场获得对IP游戏的支持。合同中很少会有相关的条款,而且这方面的结果总是很让人失望。开发者和发行商能够做些什么来帮助IP持有团队在影视市场中赢得关注,让影视营销成为游戏发行过程的其中一环吗?

Dorf: 这非常难。我之前跟Prime部门的人谈过。就是我刚才说过的,你需要明白他们的动机。他们不会被你的游戏所束缚,游戏并不是处于主导地位,没人会把大部分精力放在游戏上。唯一的方法是确保你的营销人员尽可能跟这些人保持紧密联系,这样就能真正了解对方正在做的事情。

我们之前为了宣传Prime Video电视剧《了不起的麦瑟尔夫人》在洛杉矶街道推出了30美分/加仑的加油促销活动,把物价降到20世纪50年代的水平,结果整个街道拥挤不堪——如果用类似的方法让人们排队玩游戏,这将会是一个绝佳的营销活动。这个电视剧还没有衍生游戏,如果你有什么想法,欢迎来找我。但这件事没那么容易,得从长计议。

在DeNA,我们开发了《星球大战》《变形金刚》等IP游戏,我们和《变形金刚》电影团队关系很好,合作很顺利。但我认为这是以往IP游戏合作经历中唯一一次顺利的了。即使是EA的《哈利·波特》项目,也遇到了不少麻烦。除了脚踏实地,我没有什么建议。让你的营销人员住在洛杉矶,和项目相关人员保持紧密联系。市场营销是一定要做的,但你要到那里去跟人家面对面交流。

McMahon: 这确实很难。之前还在福克斯的时候,我们当然有谈过相关的话题。现在说起来又感觉有点过时了,但我无法想象市场在四五年内发生了如此大的变化。促使我转向手游的部分原因是它非常公式化。大家花了很长时间探索、理解这个数字化世界,并进行革新。

从某种程度上说,你的目的就是向人们展示这些游戏的价值。你能做什么?即使只有一小撮核心用户,你也是可以直接把产品推介给他们的。我想说的另一件事是,虽然影视元素是它的主导部分,但接下来这个IP会走向国际市场。现在大型电影制作公司几乎都有franchise management团队。之后还会有第二、第三个机会。游戏怎么才能拥有超长的寿命,然后在不同阶段收集人们的反馈?

第一个营销机会,我总是争取不到支持,但我一直坚持是因为我知道这它是有价值的。但是把目标放远一点,考虑到其它机会,这样你就能获得更多弹性,有更多自由呼吸的空间。

Fowler: 我们《漫威:神威战队》的营销人员的确住在洛杉矶。但这还是要取决于你手头上是什么样的游戏。如果你像我们一样将游戏作为一种服务来运营,那么你始终是在为下一次内容发行而工作。跟IP授权方建立良好的关系也能够让你尽早了解他们正在开发的产品,帮你做出明智的决策。

或许我没有《复仇者联盟4》的IP,但我的游戏囊括了其中所有的角色。我可以确保活动运营日程跟电影宣传保持同步。我正在更新关键角色立绘,把的复仇者调到前面来。我知道会有一个故事是关于X、Y或Z的。我将策划一个盛大的游戏活动,呈现出同样的故事。

另外,要详细告知IP持有方——“我们打算做这些!”——这或许会让他们获得新的灵感。他们可以在社交网络上围绕这个角色做宣传——可能不是美国队长这样的核心角色。如果你要以TA开展游戏活动,漫威那边就能在Facebook和Twitter上提到你,增加曝光度。他们的关注粉丝比我们多好几百万,所以告知他们是很重要的。

不一定总是“我需要你们在电视预告片结尾宣传下我们的游戏。”你不需要考虑这个。你可以思考一些更基础的事,从滴水成河的小事入手。

Costantini: 很多公司都有自己的影迷团队。他们是一个很好的切入点。另外,在影视市场营销团队中寻找玩家,现在有越来越多了。那些热爱游戏的人可以成为你的支持者。你得建立起这种联系。

McMahon: 当我开发电视剧IP游戏时,总是会跟编剧团队有更多互动,也有更多的推广机会。就福克斯来说,电影跟电视节目比起来还是更倾向于艺术。当我们开始与漫威和Lightstorm团队合作的时候,他们的思维要超前得多。但是在一般的电影里,有时候会很难实现。当你意识到你能做什么的时候,计划已经敲定完毕了。而电视节目,你有更多灵活性和更多的资源。

观众: 好莱坞产业和游戏产业一直以来对代表性不足群体相当不友好……你们和你们的合作伙伴对争取这些市场有什么计划吗?

Fowler: 我不知道这么说这算不算回答你的问题,但是我们大概八个月前才跟漫威合作策划了骄傲周活动。我们提议说想做以这个活动为主题设计线上活动,然后他们有个角色拉丁裔女同性恋角色America Chavez,她是一个鲜为人知的的漫画人物,最早出现在2011年,2017年推出以她为主角的系列漫画。我们很喜欢这个角色,于是就提出制作角色立绘,策划一个闪电战活动,然后询问漫威那边能提供什么样的帮助。

我们一起去了苹果公司,把它推介给编辑人员。如果你现在打开App Store,你看到的不再是游戏列表了。而是一堆编辑故事。他们很喜欢这个想法,在新角色加入游戏时为我们写了推荐文。漫威也在骄傲周宣传了这个游戏。从KPI的角度来看,它是最成功的——苹果推荐拉动安装量增长效果最好的一次。合作成果非常喜人。

Dorf: 这跟好莱坞和游戏没有关系。亚马逊每天向员工——也就是80万人左右——发送一封关于多元化和包容性的电子邮件,包括文章、视频、书籍建议等相关链接。我们有一个奖励徽章或者类似东西的内部系统,所以你参与得越多,互动越多,你得到的奖励就越多。这是一个真正能引人向上的举措。

Costantini: 如果你认真观察我们发行的电影、游戏,我们突出刻画的那些角色,我想我们顺应这方向的发展趋势还是挺明显的,并不是只有我们。这本该发生在几十年前,但好在我们现在开始看到越来越多的转变。

观众: 作为一个使用IP角色进行广告创作的人,我所面临的最大挑战是审批时长问题。职棒大联盟花了三个月,好莱坞总是要让人等很久。这其中的限制因素是什么?授权方对广告这块到底是怎么处理的?有了数据和透明度,我们还能够做些什么来配合你们加快审核流程?

Fowler: 漫威可能比较独特,审核部门就有15个人。他们有自己的软件,我们使用的是他们专门开发的审核软件。他们的审批速度就比较快。

这事可能会遇到很多困难,取决于你的授权合作伙伴。

我给你讲一个有点好笑的例子。在我们的游戏Storyscape中,有一些泰坦尼克号的剧情。玩家体验的不是Rose与Jack的故事,而是处于同一艘船上的一个女乘客的故事,结果呢,船沉了。不管你怎么选择都无法避免这个悲剧。总而言之,这个游戏涉及到多个IP:《泰坦尼克号》《X档案》,也有原创的东西。

我们还有一个故事,Life 2.0。剧情是关于生活在旧金山的一群三十而立之人,肉体、情感关系纠葛之类的。我们把这些故事的关键信息都整合到预告中了,想把这个时间段、信息量充足的视频在各大应用商店中展示。我们去找Jon Landau,想获得《泰坦尼克号》故事的授权,然而他对Life 2.0有些不满。“我无法提供支持,因为低俗场景太多了。”可是……这个故事跟他没有关系啊。这种情况你要怎么办?你不能破坏合作关系,必须相互尊重。

我们为授权所做的这些是为了确保至少有审核机会,加快流程不是重要事项之一。但不管怎样,主宰权是属于他们的。即使合同说这是自动批准的,如果我有Rose或Jack的照片,而创作者本人不同意,即使这个期限过去了,我可能也不会发行游戏。不然合作关系就很难维持下去了。你需要了解授权合作伙伴,了解对他们来说什么是重要的,他们想要如何参与,等等。

Costantini: 如果你感觉不好,就感谢上帝他们没有让你做一个赛车游戏吧。

Fowler: 我之前在微软做一个大项目《哥谭赛车计划》。这些炫酷跑车的制造商都不想看到他们的车被刮伤。所以他们把这一条款写进了所有的合同中。只要车子漂漂亮亮完好无损,你想在游戏中怎么用法拉利或者兰博基尼都没关系。你可以让这些车驶进泥泞的道路,但最后还是一辆崭新闪亮的豪车。

Dorf: 早年的《麦登橄榄球》系列,救护车在驶入球场的过程中会碾压其他球员。球员工会之前并不知道这个情况。但后来我们就解决了这个问题,救护车开过来球员会自动闪开。

GamesBeat: 昨天FoxNext总裁Aaron Loeb发表了一篇非常好的演讲。他强调了一点:开发人员应该被激发出创造性。他提到恐惧并不是激励开发人员发挥最大效益的有效方法。有些好莱坞和游戏的东西确实让人很有压迫感,但如果做得好,也能变成出色的创意作品。希望每个人都记得,你可以通过好莱坞+游戏呈现出一些精彩的东西。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

NBC Universal decided to shut down its game publishing division after almost three years. The company will go back to a strategy of licensing games to external game developers and publishers. It could still prosper with games, but it’s a lower risk, lower reward strategy.

And it’s not the first time a major Hollywood studio has done this. Disney shut its mobile game publishing business a few years ago and switched to licensing. It recently acquired FoxNext Games with the acquisition of Fox, and now Disney is selling that game division off as well.

Yet games are the favorite form of entertainment for the millennial generation, which is why games have soared to a $180 billion business. What explains this swing in Hollywood? I addressed some of this in my DeanBeat column on Friday. But I also moderated a panel at GameDaily Connect in Anaheim, California, just a stone’s throw from Disneyland. Our topic covered some of the same ground and almost predicted some of the business decisions that Hollywood executives are making now.

The panelists included Steve Fowler, senior vice president of marketing, FoxNext Games; Guy Costantini, vice president of global interactive marketing at Skydance; Matt McMahon, senior vice president of business development at Seriously; and Barry Dorf, business development for Amazon Game Services at Amazon.

We had a lively discussion, though perhaps I was most free to express my opinions about games and Hollywood. So I did, as you can see in the edited transcript of our interview.

Steve Fowler: I’m the senior vice president of marketing and publishing for FoxNext Games. It’s a little complicated. Fox used to be a different company. Now we’re under Disney. But we’re the first party group. We have four development studios.

One game is live and pretty successful, called Marvel Strike Force. That was our first game on mobile. We have another game in beta right now in Canada and New Zealand called Storyscape. It’s a choose your own adventure, Telltale Games kind of experience, but with some Fox IP and some original IP. The third game will go into technical beta in two weeks. It’s a strategy game based on the Avatar license from James Cameron. The last game we’re working on, which we’ll see sometime next year, is a hardcore online shooter in the Aliens universe.

Barry Dorf: I’m head of business development for Amazon Game Tech.

Guy Costantini: I work for Skydance. We make movies like Terminator, which you can see in November, and Mission Impossible. We also have a game studio making a bunch of VR games. We’re working on a VR game in the Walking Dead universe called Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. We’ll have more information on that coming in the future.

A lot of what we do — we’re storytellers. We tell stories across games, TV, and other kinds of entertainment, hopefully to the delight of our players.

Matt McMahon: I’m senior vice president for business development at Seriously. We’re wholly owned at Seriously for the moment. We’re now in the Playtika family. This is a moment for us — the platform relationship is a bit of a hybrid. It’s everything we do to extend our brand, our world, our characters into television and animation and consumer products. I oversee a number of things we’re doing to try to grow the business.

To a bit more of the point of this panel, I was at 20th Century Fox for 11 years prior to Seriously, running the third-party licensing business at Fox. Fox at the time was not a first party. We were out there licensing and trying to place our IP with great developers to make interesting experiences for people to enjoy as extensions of our films and TV shows.

GamesBeat: I feel like we might be in Hollywood and games 4.0, something like that. To level-set everyone, what do you think of the 1.0 or 2.0 era? We have decades of experience on this panel. How would you describe what it used to be like?

Fowler: My first experience with licensed games was with Interplay, 22 or 23 years ago. I was a brand manager on the Star Trek games for them. I’d say at that point, it was kind of hands-off. The studios didn’t really — I’m not sure they even knew we were working on their license. That gave us a lot of freedom to experiment. We did some really cool strategy games back then. Maybe that was 1.0 that I remember. We had a Lord of the Rings game, a bunch of licensed games.

Later on, if you want to call it 2.0, Hollywood did start paying attention to us. I felt that it shifted to the point where Hollywood looked at what we did as a way to sell more of what they were pushing. If they had a movie in theaters, they needed to license out the rights to a game that came out day and date with the film. They looked at it as an extension to sell more tickets. That ended up driving down quality. Game development studios were forced to adhere to specific deadlines or put features and character in their games that weren’t necessarily great for gameplay. That was the down years of Hollywood and games.

Fast forward to now, at least from my perspective at FoxNext, with the Marvel licenses and the Lightstorm partnerships we have, it’s completely different. We make great games first, and then we leverage the popularity and awareness of beloved franchises. The partners understand that. Marvel, who we’re deeply engaged with — we have the deepest relationship with them so far, a year and a half in on Strike Force — is a great partner.

They’re probably one of the most serious groups for our category, with a fully dedicated team of people that come from the games world. Jay Ong used to be at Blizzard. They completely get it. The partnership we have with them is such that — they succeed if we succeed. It’s truly changed from what it was to where it is now. Most of the successful licensors and game studios understand that it’s not a support business. Games is a frontline business.

Dorf: When I was at EA we got the Harry Potter license. 1.0 for me was, you weren’t just making a game. You were trying to create franchises that would last for 10-15 years to go along with each new movie and book. It was a much bigger deal, much bigger partnerships. You were kind of getting in bed forever when you signed on with something back in the days of the consoles.

When I was at DeNA, you’d talk to Marvel or Star Wars, these license-holders, it was all about — you have a game with a mechanic that works, and then we’ll add the IP to it and it can be an accelerator. If the functionality wasn’t there, the gameplay wasn’t there, the KPIs weren’t there, they didn’t want to talk to you, no matter how big you were. There was no time for risks.

There’s so much noise now in all the stores with all the games. That wasn’t true with 1.0 or 2.0. If you had the Harry Potter license you owned the Harry Potter license and that was it. Even when we did Lord of the Rings at EA, there was no other game that was going to come out within months. Now they’re putting windows in the app stores — you have a four-week window where you’re going to be the only new Marvel game coming out. That’s it. When four weeks is up, there’s another game. You can’t miss your date, because that’s all the time you have, unless you’re working on a smaller license, more of a niche game, where you have more of a window.

Costantini: I can’t comment on 1.0. I think I was enjoying the fruits of your labor at the time. [laughs]

Fowler: You trying to say I’m old?

Costantini: I think I’m just thanking you? But I’ve had experience working on mobile games at Kabam. We had Marvel Contest of Champions. We did a Star Wars game and a Lord of the Rings game. They all had different degrees of success, commercial and critical. That was the last generation. The mobile game space took a while to understand — at first, they ran into a gold mine. They thought they could just print money. They didn’t realize that they were strip-mining.

Now we’re finally getting to a point where you have mobile games that are really full-on fun games. You’re competing with the traditional games, because when it’s in your pocket, different things make you happy while you’re playing it. You have execution like Contest of Champions and the stuff that Supercell is doing that’s just better. I don’t need to have the Witcher on my phone. I don’t have time to play Witcher on my phone. But when I have time to play on my phone, I want to play something specific, something good, something that doesn’t just reach into my pocket and try to empty my bank account.

The companies that understand that will reap the success of building long-term relationships with their players. Some companies, especially those on this stage, are getting that. We’re starting to see that evolution. We’re seeing multiplatform games that play great on all platforms. There are no hard and fast rules about what works and what won’t. From our perspective, what we’re going after is telling great stories and making great games. That’s consistently been the common denominator of what causes long-term success. If you can do that and be aware of where people consume their experience, you’re looking at success across the board.

Do you have a small window, a long window? If you have a little bit of an experience, you can grab people back with a strong live ops plan. There are lots of ways to succeed. But like you mentioned, there’s a lot of noise. You need a solid strategy. What are you going to do to come through.

McMahon: I came in at the 2.0 phase. I think there was a window where you could experiment with a lot of crazy games. I remember the Predator game we made with a tiny studio in Romania. It was a great little game in itself, but it didn’t address a lot of the issues that you brought up.

One of the things we were struggling with — and games have almost dragged the studios along and forced them to deal with it — is this idea of putting forth — that games are your best live service franchise element. You take a game on a daily basis. Mobile games in particular do that. There’s a compulsion loop. There’s a return loop. It’s all built in so you’re coming back very regularly. You’re not coming back in three years when Ice Age 15 comes out.

You have this ability to do live ops in an intelligent way, to communicate with your community in an intelligent way, to be directly connected with your audience in an intelligent way. At least when I was still at Fox, which was five or six years ago now, this was a cognitive bridge that we were trying to cross. All the game companies were trying to get the studios to cross that bridge. Time and time again we ran into this idea of, “Don’t sweat it. You guys are in the licensing business. It’s a great contribution to the overall company, but it’s in the TV window. It’s in the special edition DVD window. Don’t try and do too much.”

I think that’s come around now where not only are the big studios in Hollywood realizing how lucrative these games can be, but they really can be your first touch point on a daily basis. People are in the games playing 45 minutes a day, an hour a day, on their most personal, intimate devices. If that’s happening all the time, that’s a great franchise management tool and channel.

It feels like games have had to pull Hollywood toward that. They were in a legacy business model that was not focused on direct to consumer. Obviously that’s changed in a big way. They weren’t focused on live ops. That’s changed. They weren’t focused on the way digital can be a franchise management tool.

GamesBeat: I remember in the 1990s or so, there was a process of Hollywood companies awakening to games. They used to take note that maybe you’d make $100 million with a movie and only $10 million profit, but you could make $100 million with a game and $90 million was profit. Those were the days when game budgets were a lot smaller. Game industry revenues were always chasing box office revenues. It was a lesser market. But now games are much bigger, $180 billion or so.

This awakening that’s here now feel much different. If you saw Amazon go and grab the license for Lord of the Rings, it was a logical assumption that you would say, later on at least, the announcement of a game series from Amazon as well. That’s not as much of a surprise anymore.

You guys were talking about the quality of games now as well. This word “authenticity” seems to matter a lot more. It was hard, in the Harry Potter days for EA, to make a game that looked as good as the movies. But now it feels like authenticity is something different. Do you have a way of describing what authenticity is now?

Costantini: You have to be a fan of what you’re creating. People will see right through you if you’re trying to just put a name on something, or you’re trying to do what was done in the past. You have to put the team together to create an entertainment property. It’s true on the game side as well as the entertainment side. You need someone who’s a believer, and who makes everyone around them a believer. Otherwise you’re not going to have any credibility. You’re not going to create something special.

We haven’t seen that problem solved very well on the “movies made from game IP” side. We’ve seen tremendous success from movies based on IP that have also been leveraged in games, like Marvel. But it’s been way harder to crack it the other way. The reason for that is, historically to be successful in TV or film, it has to be an all-consuming part of your life, where there’s room for nothing else. It’s very common for people in that arena to not have that background, to not have spent that kind of time playing games, experiencing games, and thinking about making games, which is tremendously more involved. On the games side, that’s all-consuming as well.

We’re starting to get to the point where the makers of entertainment have grown up on properties across the media spectrum. They were playing games on their iPad, then playing games with their friends in college, watching movies with their friends in college, making their own little TV shows. Now we’re starting to see people really get how you tell a story that resonates because of the experiences they’ve had. I think the future is very bright for people who’ve grown up in games and want to see game properties being reflected on other screens, and vice versa.

Fowler: The way we’re monetizing mobile games today is we’re running events, limited-time events. The amount of content you need to make those events work is astronomical. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. As much as I’m a big fan, though, I didn’t read a lot of the books and comic books. There’s so much lore and history behind that, there’s content to work into games forever.

You talk about authenticity, there’s enough content there — it starts to get interesting when you’re building on the lore inside the game instead of outside the game. That’s where it gets interesting. If you can really convince your audience that you’re continuing the lore inside a game, as opposed to just creating a Marvel character inside the game — if you create a superhero inside the game that then lives in the movies, that’s where things start to get really interesting. That could be the 5.0 of gaming and what we’re talking about. The mediums have to cross over.

You think about what Netflix is talking about, where their biggest competitor is Fortnite. We’re all competing for the eyeballs. We have to take it to the next level.

McMahon: A question for you guys. This is a bit outside my dated experience at Fox. We would try and get involved with core production, but it ended up being more for voice or tone or text or conversations. It wasn’t really true continuity or true extensions of story. We had writers on Tapped Out getting the humor right, the Family Guy writers. But only in one or two instances — Lightstorm did one of them — were they really trying to think cohesively about building a continuity team, where the world would live in multiple places and truly be conceived that way.

Is that happening more as you deal with a story team, whether it’s Lightstorm or Skydance IP? As a fan, I would love to see that develop. It always felt like we were slapping it on a bit. It was always a bit of a struggle, and something I felt we could do better at.

Fowler: Yeah, we have a few examples. The general theme is a mutual respect partnership with the licensors and our dev teams. We stack our dev teams with crazy, relentless geek fans that may know, in some circumstances, more about the IP than our license-holders do. At least the people we interface with.

For Marvel we have a creative director, Jason Bender. We meet every two or three weeks with our team and go out with the Marvel team, and they’ll just geek-fest out. Bender will win every single time. He’ll know, “Oh, no, Namor appeared in Fantastic Four #32, and that’s why his staff is in his left hand. He’s actually a leftie. You didn’t know?” He’ll do those sorts of things.

To your point, making characters in the game that eventually make it the other way — we’re doing that with Marvel characters, and Marvel Contest of Champions has done this as well. We have a character in the game that we pitched to Marvel that lives in the world of SHIELD, Nick Fury’s team. It’s the SHIELD medic. We pitched the idea to Marvel, they thought it was great, and it’s now part of the canon. Our fans are consistently going to Marvel’s social channels petitioning them to get SHIELD medic cameos in the Avengers movies. Those things are starting to happen.

You mentioned Lightstorm. Lightstorm is absolutely interested in this. I met with Jon Landau two weeks ago, and he’s pushing us toward his lore. But he’s working all the angles to get comic books and graphic novels in place. What Landau wants to happen is our game will come out before the next film, and we’re going to see characters and personalities in our game that will then have story explanation in the comic book series, and then may or may not make it into the next movies.

That’s certainly all going on. Whether it’s as frontline — I don’t think so yet. But they’re definitely interested.

GamesBeat: The concept of a writers’ room is always interesting to me. I think the Skybound folks have a writers’ room for Walking Dead. That’s the treasure of the property, the quality of the writers for the TV series and everything else they’re doing. You can see that the value is created by the people who can tell these stories.

In games, does it feel like that’s also the case, or becoming the case? I can think of game companies that have their writers’ rooms, like Remedy Entertainment or the recently-revived Telltale. Does it feel like this is becoming more elevated in importance around games?

Dorf: At DeNA we had the Transformers license for mobile. We had exclusive rights for all the Transformers games, and it included all the different iterations of Transformers. Our version of the writers’ room was, what games and content can we build off this world? It was always with the Transformers geeks like you were talking about — in 1986 this came out in this version that was this color, so we need to have that. You could even have those conversations with the audience, because the users of the games were so passionate, the more you’d include them in those sorts of discussions.

But I don’t know anything — no company I ever worked for that had a weekly room that was dedicated for those writers that I know of.

Costantini: I think it’s very product-dependent and game-dependent. For some games, having a writers’ room is very helpful. Telltale is a great example. We sit down with the Skybound folks and talk about it because our Walking Dead game has a big story element and we know that’s going to be an important part of it. But if your game is an action game, a Gears of War 5, the right fit there was to get Sarah Conner. She’s going to be the most badass leading lady that you’ll see for a while, so it made perfect sense for Microsoft to put her in Gears of War. In a similar capacity, we’re working on putting Arnold Schwarzenegger in Mortal Kombat, because of course Arnold should be in Mortal Kombat.

It’s a fit that’s determined by what the property is. You don’t have to force the deepest integration. But the integration has to make sense. People will judge you harshly if you take their cherished memories and bastardize them. That’s the common denominator to keep in mind. You can make very tiny executions that are incredibly effective, but you need to keep that in mind.
McMahon: We’re taking a really hard look at a writers’ room right now, and showrunner-type folks to lead that. Partially because we’re looking at — we’re really about trying to build a brand and a world with character-based stories. Even in a puzzle game, if there’s a lot of depth behind it, the audience really gets that and sees that. When you add the RPG mechanics to a game, that’s a helpful monetization mechanic. It helps to create content for future live events. But ultimately it’s about how we build up that world and start to tell more stories.

We’ve worked with a number of writers consistently over time. We’ve done some animated shorts. They’ve then fed ideas back to the game world. Our studio has been wonderful at creating a world around these structures, and then telling a story around that. Our goal by the end of this year is to have a writers’ room in place that can not only attack a TV series and extend our brand in that direction, but really be a content pipeline for the rest of the games.

It sounds strange for a puzzle game, but we’re going to attack that in a big way. We want people to feel like there’s more there, something a little more emotionally legitimate, if you will.

GamesBeat: What are some interesting examples of complexity in licenses? The kinds of deals that happen, the variety of deals you see. Can you offer some tips on this front for developers as far as what they may run into or should be aware of? Especially when these licenses that are happening today are far different from the ones that have happened in the past.

Costantini: It’s about what licenses you’re going after. You don’t need the top of the world sometimes. You’ll go and get the biggest license ever and you’ll realize that if you’re not in the top five licensees, you’re not going to get that much attention. You’re going to get a whole bunch of nothing. That can be very constraining. Or maybe you’re okay, because you got a game where the model of the game works and you just want that integration to help with user acquisition.

On the other hand, maybe you want to do something really special with a license because you’re in love with it. You go after a license that’s in that area where the licensor has a smaller team that can work more extensively with you. They haven’t over-licensed their product, so they can have a conversation with you and figure out the basics. You’re going to be able to make a much cooler experience. It’ll come at a cost in time and resources, but at the same time, you’ll have that flexibility.

Think about what licenses you’re going after and why. Those are questions to ask yourself early in the process, before you’re — when you pick a license and work with someone, it’s kind of like a relationship. You’re going to be involved with it for a while. There’s going to be a cost to breaking it. There are going to be delays and things of that nature. Think carefully about who you go out and pick.

Dorf: You have to understand their motivation, too. Not every licensor’s motivation is the same. Not everyone is just bringing in revenue. Some of it brand awareness. Some of it is pitching a new show or a new movie. Money is always going to be a factor, but you truly have to understand the IP’s motivation as well. You have to be in sync. If you say, “Yeah, we’ll promote this TV show, but we’re trying to make this game here,” if that’s their main goal, you guys aren’t in sync and it’s not going to be a good relationship for either of you.

McMahon: The passion for the IP is paramount. You see people come in and not have a base knowledge, not be a really big fan of the IP they’re pitching. That’s just a non-starter straightaway. The studios in Hollywood — there’s so much love and passion that goes into that IP. Franchise management and the ability to nurture that across channels is a lot harder than it looks. The ability to trust somebody else — you have to see the passion in their eyes and have the knowledge that it’s going to work.

Fowler: Negotiate approval times as low as possible. Give your IP holder five days. If it’s not approved in five days, it’s instantly approved, whatever. [laughs] Make sure you negotiate turnaround.

GamesBeat: To build on Barry’s comment around knowing the IP licensor, there are some very good examples. With the Hunger Games, I don’t know if everyone knows this, but Lionsgate owns the Hunger Games rights. We’ve seen card games related to the Hunger Games, but we’ve never seen a game that exploits the fact that this was one of the most successful battle royale concepts ever created.

The reason is that the author’s intent in writing the books was to expose the craziness of a society built around violence. It was very anti-violence, the story. The author won’t approve games that have anything to do with violence. It locks away that property from anybody ever getting it. The Tolkien estate, Tolkien Enterprises, has another complex set of motivations from the licensors. It’s very interesting to look at what can be licensed and what can’t be.

I’d love to see, for example, a Stephen King Dark Tower video game. Why haven’t we seen that transformed into a time travel story? Why haven’t we seen Inception created as a game? There are some interesting things that are inaccessible sometimes.

Costantini: It’s my personal dream to eventually make a Dark Tower game. I happen to know that there are a lot of obstacles in the way of that. You mentioned having knowledge of IP owners and stakeholders. Sometimes you just have to wait for the person who doesn’t understand games to not be the decision-maker. That will eventually happen.

GamesBeat: That gets to the notion that there’s a cycle here.

Costantini: Exactly. Things change. The dynamic moves forward. You have to stay on top of it. A lot of what studios like Skydance do, we keep an eye on the properties that are available, even decades down the line. We try to go after authors that have a great story that a lot of people love, but that hasn’t found its way into entertainment. We look at it and try to decide, could it work in a game? Could it work on TV? Could it work in animation? Could it work in film?

Part of your business — if you’re in the business of acquiring IP and creating great experiences, you have to be scouting out what’s out there. There’s a lot out there that’s not being chased.

GamesBeat: There are also interesting examples of the surprises you see in terms of deals that get done. The Jurassic World theme park game, for example, made a whole lot of sense. Let’s not do another shooter. Let’s do a theme park game.

Costantini: When you look at what’s coming out and thinking about the prominence of the streaming services, the gaming population is potentially growing into the billions. That means that if you have a niche game, a niche genre, a niche type of model, that niche may still be commercially sustainable. Depending on what you’re trying to do, depending on the size of your team, depending on what you’re chasing, you can create a theme park game for Jurassic World, or something similar that traditionally, from the standpoint of five or 10 years ago, they’d say that the license costs too much to justify a game of this type.

Nowadays you can have that conversation. You can get studios that are more flexible. They’ll say, “Well, we’re making a VR game, so we won’t charge what the VR market can’t command.” We’re seeing a lot more understanding there as these industries mature together.

GamesBeat: I believe that Jeff Bezos is a very big Lord of the Rings fan. He had to wait a very long time for the Tolkien estate to come around.

Dorf: When we got the TV show, we did not get the rights to a game right away.

GamesBeat: The history is that J.R.R. Tolkien licensed directly himself to the Saul Zaentz company in the 1970s for movie rights. That’s how we eventually got to the Peter Jackson films, which then could be licensed to other folks, including game-makers like Electronic Arts. But in the meantime Tolkien died, and his son Christopher took over. He was not a games guy. He was not a movie guy either. He published things like The Silmarillion, which created a beautiful expansion of the Tolkien universe, but you would have to go to Christopher and the Tolkien estate to license that.

Meanwhile, Tolkien Enterprises, which is what Saul Zaentz became, would license their parts out to whoever wanted from there. Since they had the rights to the Lord of the Rings, and the Lord of the Rings has an appendix that has a bit of description of the First Age and Second Age — the stories in the Silmarillion — you could use that as a justification for the license.

I think you guys are limited to the Second Age for the Amazon license. I believe that comes from the Saul Zaentz Tolkien Enterprises rights, and some of Warner’s too. But the full description of the First Age, the Silmarillion, somebody is going to have to get that license from Christopher Tolkien’s children and grandchildren, which is another set of licensees associated with it. The complexity of this thing is incredible, and these deals happen over a period of years or decades.

Dorf: Things also can relax over time. I remember the very first iteration of the Harry Potter game, we had pictures in there. J.K. Rowling was actually limiting the number of stars around Harry’s wand, going into detail about — there can only be this number of stars, and they can’t be bigger than this size. The amount of detail and notes she was giving back, it took us forever to go through those notes.

By the seventh game there weren’t as many notes. Things got a little relaxed. I’m sure part of it is that we learned more, but also, she realized, “Well, I don’t want to spend 27 hours going through one screenshot of a video game.” Some things can get easier over time. But you do have to be prepared for those in-depth discussions.

Costantini: You’re expressing something important about the licensor-licensee relationship, though. You have to tell stories, and you have to be informed about the history of what works and what doesn’t. Comic books are this great example of an industry that was able to be leveraged by Hollywood because they were so willing and so flexible with their stories. Marvel was able to be as successful as they are because they were able to guide while also ceding control. The reason Warner had the Nolan movies and was able to do so well with some of its games was because they were able to give creative control to their creators and trust that they would be able to make something special.

If you don’t do that, if you’re not comfortable enough doing that, you’re not going to create something great. That’s something we believe in. When we bring a creator on board, our approach is very much one of — the only reason we’re bringing you on board is because we’re going to give you creative freedom. Otherwise we’re not going to waste your time. That’s how you make the best games, the best movies, and the best stories.

Fowler: I agree with that on the comic book side. There are pros and cons for how much involvement a license-holder has. Obviously the authenticity you brought up earlier is something you need to keep in mind when you start deviating from, or taking liberties with, someone else’s IP.

We’re working on an Aliens game. That’s an interesting IP, because even from the films, it’s pretty mixed up. There was the original, which was a survival horror type of movie. Alien: Isolation is an example of a game that fit that movie well. But then James Cameron came for the second film, Aliens, and that was a big explosions, Michael Bay type of blockbuster, lots of aliens and Marines and guns and that type of thing. Then Prometheus is more hardcore sci-fi. It made you think. You have three different genres to play with in the Aliens universe.

We, when we were Fox, were the license-holder there. Who do I go talk to? It turns out there’s a guy at Fox. His name is Steve Zerlin. He’s written a 900-page lore document on the whole world of Alien and Aliens, all of the movies and all of the fiction. It’s basically all in his head, and he barfed it out into a document. When we go say, “Hey, we want to make a game in Cameron’s world with lots of Marines and explosions, because that’s fun in a shooter,” he says, “Let’s consult the book. There’s about 200 years open. Go nuts.”

McMahon: Some companies do it great. You talk to somebody like Games Workshop. They have hundreds of books that have been written. They’re experts at saying, “What do you want to do? We have a slice for you.” On the other end of the spectrum are people who are just starting to experience success, like Rick and Morty. They won’t have it codified yet. But you can be a part of helping them do it. You can learn together.

GamesBeat: The other part of the cycle is what the big companies do. Disney triggers a lot of cycles itself through the decisions it makes about games. If you’re AT&T right now and looking at Warner Bros., Warner is a treasure of games and Hollywood, with a dozen different studios owned internally by Warner Bros. and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. If you’re AT&T you might look at that and say, “That’s an asset we could sell. We could pay down some debt.” That’s an interesting possibility.

Disney, as well, has gone in the opposite direction of Warner Bros., licensing out games. When it cut its games division the last time, that’s how Universal got a lot of its talent, with Chris Heatherly running the games group at Universal. There are interesting possibilities for FoxNext, making games internally within a larger Disney that’s decided to license out games.

McMahon: Looking at trends at the studios, as they look at the games business and first party, there’s a lot more that goes into making a game now. There’s data science. There’s the technology platform side. There’s user acquisition and performance marketing, which is separate from your typical brand marketing that goes into a movie. It’s a tough business to run. I get why they’re taking a hard look at it.

Console is obviously different. I’m still on the mobile side. But it’s a very — there are skill sets that are not necessarily naturally akin to what you do in the core part of the media business, the core part of the film business, or the core part of the TV business. Those are changing too, but right now they’re a bit different too. I can see why it’s a little scary for them.

Costantini: If you zoom out long enough, if a large company sells their games business because they just don’t see the value in it, it’s probably going to be a good thing in the long run, even if there’s a lot of pain in the short term. It’s a good thing because people making games need to care about games. You can ask anyone that’s worked in games. You’re not going to make a great game if you don’t care about it.

Having a corporation that’s so wide and has so many verticals that they don’t care about games, unless they’re hands off, and there are some of them — there are some $500 billion market cap companies that will just buy 10 percent or eight percent and then they let them run. But I think you can get in a relationship where you’re allowed the creative freedom for games to work.

GamesBeat: There are these counter-strategies that develop. If Disney is the sort that only likes to approve a small number of films, and they cut a lot of them, then there are others like Netflix and Amazon that are out shopping for talent and stories to turn into franchises.

Audience: A core problem with license-holders still seems to be getting support for a game from theatrical marketing. You can rarely get that into the contract, and it’s always the part that ends up most disappointing. Is there anything developers and publishers can be doing to support the team within licensors to build their case for theatrical marketing to get involved and become part of the process of launching a game?

Dorf: It’s really hard. I was talking to the people at Prime. It goes back to what I said earlier, which is that you have to understand their motivation. They’re not motivated or tied to your game. There’s nobody dedicated to that. The only way to do it is to make sure your marketing people are as close to those people as possible, so they can literally come up on the stuff they’re doing.

If Marvelous Mrs. Maisel shuts down a street in Los Angeles and knocks gas down to 1950s prices or something — if there was a game, to have the people in line playing the game would have been a perfect play. There’s no game yet. If anybody’s interested, let me know. But it is very tough.

At DeNA, when were doing Star Wars and Transformers and that kind of stuff, we were pretty tight with the movie for Transformers. That relationship worked well. But I think that’s the only time it’s ever worked well in my history with games. Even at EA with the Harry Potter license and the movies, it never really worked. I don’t have a lot of advice except boots on the ground. Have your marketing people live in Los Angeles next to the people who are doing that and be persistent. You’re going to have to do the marketing, but go over here and have the conversation.

McMahon: It is really hard. We obviously had conversations about this back in the day when I was at Fox. This is a bit dated again, but I can’t imagine the market has changed that much in four or five years. Part of what drove me to the mobile side of games is it was just very formulaic. It was taking a long time to get everyone’s heads around digital and change it up.

It is a bit about demonstrating value to them. What can you do? Even if it’s a small core audience, you have the ability to push to them directly. The other thing I would say, though — theatrical is the lead bit of it, but then there’s going to be the international piece. There are franchise groups now at most of the studios. There’s going to be a second window, and a third window. How are you going to get to places where the game can have super longevity, and then talk to people later when they’re a little more amenable to it?

That first window of marketing, I was always banging my head against the wall internally trying to get advocates for it, because I knew this was valuable. But aiming a little bit further out for other windows, then you start to get more flexibility. There’s more air for you to breathe.

Fowler: For Marvel Strike Force, my marketing guys do live in Los Angeles. But it depends on what kind of game you have. If you’re running a game as a service like we are, putting on a show every day, you’re always working on what the next content release is. Having a really good partnership with your licensor will give you early information what they have in their pipeline too. You can make informed decisions.

Maybe I don’t have the license to Avengers Endgame, but I have all those characters in my game. I can make sure my live ops calendar is synched for when Endgame promotion starts to go live. I’m re-creating my key art and having Avengers characters on the front end. I know there’s a story that does X, Y, or Z. I’m going to make a legendary event in our game that features that same kind of story.

Also, briefing your licensors — “Hey, we’re going to do these things!” — that might spark their ideas. They could do a social promotion around this character that’s maybe not Captain America, but some smaller character. If you feature him in an event, then they’ll give you Facebook and Twitter mentions. They have millions more followers than we do, so that’s super important.

It doesn’t always have to just be, “We need you to promote our game on the end slates of your TV trailer ads.” You don’t have to think about that. You can think much lower down, all the grass roots efforts that go behind whatever you’re doing.

Costantini: A lot of the studios have fandom teams. They’re a great entry point for it. Also, find the gamers on the theatrical marketing team, because there are starting to be a lot of them. If you find someone who’s passionate about games, they can be your advocate. You have to build that link.

McMahon: When I worked with TV properties, there was always so much more interaction with the writers’ work and the production, and so much more territory for promotion. Compared to working on the TV side of Fox, film is still seen as just art. When we started working with the Marvel and Lightstorm folks, they were much more forward-thinking. But on a regular movie, it’s sometimes quite tough. It’s already been planned by the time you get any sense of what you can do. With TV there’s a lot more flexibility and a lot more assets you can use.

Audience: Both Hollywood and games as industries have been pretty punishing to underrepresented communities. What are you and your partners doing to reach out to those markets?

Fowler: I don’t know if this exactly answers your question, but we worked with Marvel around Pride week about eight months ago. We said, “Hey, we’d like to do something around this,” and they have a character — because they have a character around everything — named America Chavez. She was a pretty obscure comic character, a recent comic character. We loved her, and we said, “We want to build her and put her in the game. We’ll have a blitz event around her. What can you do for us?”

Jointly we went together to Apple and we pitched it to their editorial staff. If you open up the App Store now you don’t see game lists anymore. You see a bunch of editorial stories. They loved the idea, and featured an editorial piece for us when we put the character in the game. Marvel also promoted it during Pride week. It ended up being the most successful, from a KPI perspective — it drove the most installs we’ve ever seen from an editorial piece on Apple. It was a really successful collaboration.

Dorf: Nothing to do with Hollywood and games, but Amazon sends out an email every day to its employees on diversity and inclusion, including links to articles, videos, book suggestions, everything else. There’s an internal system for badges and stuff, so the more you participate and interact with that, the more you get. It’s been truly uplifting for the company. 800,000 employees get this every day.

Costantini: If you look at the films we’re putting out, the games we’re putting out, the characters we’re highlighting, I think we’ll see a strong shift in that direction. We’re not the only ones. It should have happened decades ago, but we’re starting to see more and more of a shift.

Audience: One of the biggest challenges I face as an ad creative using IP-based characters, how long does it take to get this approved? Major League Baseball takes three months. Hollywood can take a very long time. What’s the restriction? What’s the play here for advertising people? With all this data and transparency in our networks, what can we do to work with you guys on this?

Fowler: Marvel might be unique, because they have 15 people where that’s their job. They have software developed. They have their own proprietary approval software we use. They’re really good at it.

It can be challenging. It depends on the licensing partner.

I’ll give you a little funny case study here. In our game Storyscape, we have Titanic stories. You don’t actually play Rose and Jack. You play a woman who’s on the same ship. But guess what, it sinks. No matter what choice you make, it always ends up going down. Anyway, the game has multiple IP. It has Titanic in there. It has X-Files in there. It has original stuff.

We have this very racy story called Life 2.0. It’s thirtysomethings in San Francisco who all sleep with each other and blah blah blah. We put together this trailer, a compilation trailer that we wanted to have as the sizzle trailer on the app stores. We brought it to Landau to get approval for Titanic, and all he commented on was the Life 2.0 stuff. “I can’t approve this because there’s too many risque scenes.” Uh, you don’t own that license. But what do you do in that case? You have to still maintain a partnership and mutual respect.

Building it all into the licensing rights to make sure you get approval rights and quick turnaround in there still doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, they have power. Even if the agreement says this is automatically approved, if I have a picture of Rose or Jack and the artist themselves doesn’t approve it, even if the time window goes by, I probably won’t ship it anyway. The partnership’s going to erode. You need to feel out your licensing partner and get a sense of what matters to them, how involved they want to be, and so on.

Costantini: If you’re ever feeling bad, just thank God you’re not doing a racing game.

Fowler: No damage. I was at Microsoft, and that was the big deal with Project Gotham Racing. All the car manufacturers making these exotic cars, none of them wanted to see their cars get scratched. That was what they wrote into all the contracts. You can have the license to Ferrari or Lamborghini so long as there’s never, ever any body damage. You can drive through mud and it comes out perfectly shiny.

Dorf: You had the early versions of Madden where the ambulance came out on the field to pick up players, and it ran over players as it went. The NFLPA didn’t know this was going in the game. We shipped that, and it was not in the game next year. [laughs]

GamesBeat: There was a very good talk yesterday by Aaron Loeb from FoxNext. One thing he highlighted was that developers should be inspired to be creative. He mentioned that your fear is not useful as a way to motivate developers to do their best work. Some of this Hollywood and games stuff is very scary, but when it works out right, it gets very creative. Hopefully everyone remembers that you can do wonderful things with Hollywood and games.

(source:venture beat


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