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What’s Slitherine’s Secret?

September 16th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Slitherine

In the last two weeks, British strategy studio Slitherine has signed partnerships with the Military History channel and BBC. This is after a high profile partnership with The History Channel in the development/repackaging of Legion Arena/Great Battles of Rome and their new title Great Battles of the Middle Ages.

Maybe it’s because there is more historical strategy development in Europe and Britain, but you hardly ever see American companies making these sorts of connections. Mad Minute Games published their Civil War games with The History Channel label, but Slitherine had access to History Channel videos for their Roman game. Creative Assembly and the BBC built a game show around Rome: Total War and then let History use the game engine for their own ancient history show.

Why hasn’t Firaxis or the late lamented Ensemble tried to leverage their talents into other promotional forms? Not that Civilization works on TV, but they don’t have to make another Civilization. Battlefront’s Combat Mission: Shock Force wasn’t great, but it’s a better game than Slitherine’s most recent efforts and would work in one of those Shootout/Dogfight type shows.

It’s not like other game publishers/developers don’t get it – at least if your tied to a big publisher. Madden is everywhere, and not just at the moment of release. The success of Guitar Hero and Rock Band opens up all kinds of possibilities for music marketing. With so much bleeding from one media form to another (music is premiered on TV shows, promotional TV specials for blockbuster films, etc.)

So why not see The Sims 3 on a lifestyle channel? Or


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas Kiley

    I like the idea of the Sims being like a crazy big brother, where anything can go, but I guess it might get a bit boring. I tried to think of an interesting Spore show, but failed.

    Obviously, fierce competitive MP games such as Halo or Gears of War would work well as like an alternative sports channel type thing, but I think you have blogged about that before…

  • Dave

    One thing RE: watching FPS as a sport. . . I don’t automatically think it’s a bad idea. Yes, it’s always more fun to play these games than to watch them, but we all know there’s fun to be had in sitting next to a friend on a couch and watching them play (as long as you don’t want to play yourself ;-). I can sit with a book and watch my GF play Civilization Revolution and still enjoy myself.

    The trouble with competitive gaming, however, is that when I’ve seen it on television they always end up showing you two– or more– screens. Rather than stick with one player to cheer on, you are distracted by multiple screens, which are frankly impossible to follow. Perhaps a third, “God’s Eye” view would be possible for some games– after all, when we watch football, we don’t watch it from two viewpoints, the quarterback and the middle linebacker; we watch the entire area of play.

    I’m willing to bet my house that television competitive gaming won’t catch on until they solve that viewing problem.