With people spending less time watching TV
and more time playing video games
, TV networks are making increasingly unique attempts to get their audiences back. The latest example comes from the Sci-Fi Channel, which is integrating an upcoming TV series with a concurrent MMORPG that will affect and be affected by the on-air action.
"For example, we can tell [players] 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," Sci-Fi Channel President Dave Howe told the L.A. Times
. "The outcome depends on them. And then that battle will be part of the universe in the show." Footage from in-game battles will be used in the show and the players choices themselves will guide which characters, settings and storylines are highlighted on the program.
The game was originally planned to be an outgrowth of the channel's popular Battlestar Galactica remake
, but the developers at Trion World Network
decided it would be better to start fresh with new characters and environments. Both the show and the series will be set 80 to 100 years in the future and launched not that much sooner in the summer of 2010. More information is slated to be revealed at Comic-Con in July.