Posted on December 28, 2007, Shawn Sines Writer's Strike Impacts Video Games
As the Hollywood Writer’s Strike drags on, the video game industry is hoping to cash in on viewers’ entertainment deficit.
“If you’re a fan of network programming, maybe seeing another repeat of ‘Pushing Daisies’ or ‘Cold Case’ will inspire you to finish that level of ‘Ratchet and Clank Future’ instead,” suggests Joseph Olin, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games: “My hope is that people who are used to watching new programming on TV discover gaming as an entertainment alternative,” says Connors. “Obviously, it will have to be a pretty prolonged strike for that to happen, but I think it’s a definite possibility.”
The video game industry has been unaffected by the Writers Guild of America strike as it relies almost exclusively on non-union writing talent. The few writers that are represented by the WGA fall out of jurisdiction of the strike.
“There’s a much better relationship between game developers and publishers than there appears to be in terms of all the polemics between the writers, producers and studios,” says Olin.
Video games are going mainstream and becoming a more accepted form of entertainment. Sales of consoles, peripherals and games for November reached $2.63 billion, which is up 52% from last year. It seems the writers’ walk out and the ever higher cost of movie going will only spur our pleasure seeking society to embrace video games as an alternative form of entertainment.
Personally I’ve found much more time to catch up on my gaming and I’m enjoying it.
I believe that writing for video games is some of the most challenging work out there, especially for RPGs where the story line can branch out. Game writing is about possibilities and branching stories, you aren’t just writing one story, you’re writing scenarios and multiple plots based on the player’s choice and your ability to keep a tale coherent in spite or as a compliment of the player is a very hard skill to develop for a traditional writer.