If you're working in the AAA console business, your studio needs to do more than make a good game. With big budget titles becoming more competitive by the day, publishers are often looking to create franchises that exist just not as games, but as sweeping transmedia properties. Many of today's top franchises have expanded into comic books, animated shorts, and other forms of media, and one series that's particularly excelled in the transmedia space is Microsoft's Halo. The series' numerous novels, comics, and live action videos have helped it become one of the biggest franchises of the last two generations, and at last month's GDC Online, two of the men behind Halo 4 outlined the powerful influence of these transmedia products. 343 Industries' Armando Troisi and Kevin Grace noted that Halo's supplementary products over the past several years have dramatically boosted player engagement with the franchise, as they give consumers additional channels through which they can explore the series' universe and characters. "We've got a universe with lots of different stories in it, but not every story is suited to a AAA console release," Grace said. By creating a lineup of products that tell different, yet interweaving stories, 343 Industries hopes to give die-hard fans even more reason to engage with the Halo fiction. "Really, it's about letting our fans enjoy our universe as much as they want and in as many forms as they want," Grace said. When users can consume Halo content even when they're away from their Xbox, 343 Industries believes they'll be far more likely to stick with the series for years to come. To learn more about how 343 Industries has managed Halo's transmedia lineup, check out Troisi and Grace's full presentation in the above GDC Vault video.
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Video: Managing Halo's transmedia empire
Many of today's AAA titles are striving to become transmedia hits, and at GDC Online, 343 Industries explained how the Halo franchise leveraged its comics, animated shorts, and more to sustain its long-term success.