Not so long ago, I tackled the world of Defiance right here, and generally, found myself happy to do so. This unusual, console-based MMO was surprisingly entertaining, and the connection to the TV series certainly didn't hurt. But now, there's a whole new level of life to the Defiance game and television connection that should prove surprisingly fun, not to mention provide some smart new ideas for other game producers.
Basically, what's happening here is that, as sometimes happens in MMORPGs, the game is introducing a new plot about a plague gone wildly out of control. Described as "hemorrhagic" in nature, it looks like something like the standard zombie plague gone plenty wrong, with loads more in the way of boils and the like. Naturally, this plague means a lot of unpleasant possibilities, especially for the town of Defiance, so it's up to you to find a cure and get it in play before it's too late.
Now, this by itself might be fun enough--it's certainly making me think about another Defiance weekend--but this actually goes a little farther. The reports suggest that one of two versions of an upcoming show episode of Defiance will be aired. One episode will come up if the players succeed, but if the players fail, the other episode will air and the series will move accordingly from there.
This should immediately spawn a variety of ideas for game publishers, especially considering how many locations are looking for streaming video content. Imagine what other MMOs could do if they had a video tie-in. Characters would take on a whole new life as the players not only play with them, but also watch their exploits, and impact those exploits remotely.
One of the greatest measures in marketing, especially in recent days, is the concept of user engagement. With so many different tools coming available for ducking advertising
, from the remote control to the time-delayed DVR
to even Dish Network
's own Hopper technology, people no longer have to watch advertising they don't want to watch. So the question is, how to get people interested in the advertising?
Granted, we're not talking about advertising here so much as we are talking about a game series with a television tie-in, but user engagement is no less important here. This is a way for both the game and the series to hold users' interest by getting and keeping them involved.
The question, of course, is will this work. There's only one way to find out, of course, and that's to play the game, watch the series, and see how the numbers work out at the end of the day. This idea has a lot of potential to do some very big things in the field, but whether or not they'll strike the necessary chord with the players, now, only time will tell on that one.