New games and TV shows are changing the dynamic of entertainment.
Transmedia storytelling – telling a story across multiple digital platforms – has exploded in popularity as emerging devices allow people to consume media on two or more screens at the same time. A variety of media companies are syncing video games, apps, ebooks, social media, tablets, and smartphones with popular film and TV series to allow users to interact with their favorite stories and characters on multiple platforms.
Syfy Channel's science fiction series Defiance is one franchise that embraces transmedia storytelling. Defiance, the TV show, and Defiance, the massively multiplayer online role playing game, debuted as stand-alone forms of entertainment. Yet, events on the TV show influence game plots, and vice versa, advancing the stories across programs simultaneously. For example, characters leave the virtual game environment only to appear in the TV series, and characters on the show reference in-game avatars who complete missions and positively impact their environments. Syfy producers and game developers plan to eventually drive major plot twists across both mediums.
The History Channel also leverages transmedia with Battle Castle, an action documentary TV series and interactive website that explores castle construction in the Middle Ages. Viewers explore the famous castles and experience historic sieges featured in the TV series via games, motion comics, unaired videos and social media content. As battles unfold on TV, interactive games create a unique entry point into the historically-accurate medieval world.