Make a new Star Wars? Good luck.

Glob­al Pres­i­dent of 2K Christoph Hart­mann has told MCV that Bioshock has the poten­tial to emu­late the Star Wars series.

Yeah, so, good luck. I don’t want to get into all the ways in which Star Wars cre­ates like­able char­ac­ters, a fan­ta­sy galaxy, and an opti­mistic his­to­ry for itself that Bioshock, with sur­vivor hor­ror as its bedrock, can nev­er have. But what we can observe is the real­i­ty of enter­tain­ment today.

Not even the recent Lord of the Rings films have been or will be inca­pable of build­ing a fran­chise that will come to close to Star Wars. And while I do put Star Wars on a pedestal, my judg­ment isn’t about qual­i­ty of Star Wars vs LOTR or Bioshock. It’s about the real­i­ties of today vs the late 70s and ear­ly 80s. Today means hav­ing a new block­buster movie and AAA video game every oth­er week. It’s about hav­ing the inter­net, three gam­ing con­soles, iphones, etc. We swim in so many enter­tain­ment options that I don’t think we will ever again have a mass cul­ture event in film or con­sole video games. Noth­ing as sweep­ing and per­sis­tant as Star Wars became after the orig­i­nal tril­o­gy.

(As an aside, we will have new big cul­tur­al influ­ences in enter­tain­ment and in games, but it will prob­a­bly come in a new medi­um. World of War­craft is the clos­est we’ve seen in a decade.)

One Comment

  • […] There are two real and sen­si­ble rea­sons not to make a BioShock MMO. First, it would be dumb to inte­grate per­sis­tent mul­ti­play­er into this fran­chise. I would expect to suc­ceed about as well as, well, putting instanced mul­ti­play­er into the IP (hi, Bioshock 2!) And more impor­tant­ly, the les­son of MMOs today could be that only the largest and most finan­cial­ly suc­cess­ful fran­chis­es will be made into MMOs. Big fran­chis­es have been turned into suc­cess­ful MMOs. Lit­tle ones, not so much. Bioshock is not a suc­cess­ful, big fran­chise. My per­son­al like of the game and its out­stand­ing rat­ings aside, Bioshock has nev­er sold like a big fran­chise. And I’m pret­ty sure we can agree two years lat­er that it is not as big as Star Wars. […]

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