Console games, popular. Flash (browser) games, popular. Combining the two, winning combination.
Flash games have made the leap to consoles several times, from full on ports like Alien Hominid, to Xbox live arcade titles, to Wii browser games. But one idea from Rockstar (creators of GTA), sees gamers laundering money and unlocking stuff for their Nintendo DS copy of GTA: Chinatown Wars.
Another sign of convergence perhaps, where data and services related to a product are made available remotely, or even in the Cloud. Ultimately for Rockstar it means more player time in the GTA universe when their customers are not able to be on their consoles, or perhaps simply a change of scenery.
I’m pretty sure there are other games that have done similar crossovers, but not to this extent. The crossover need not be from virtual to virtual as trading card-based video games have shown. But Flash is becoming such a good tool for creating connected games it’d be easy to say we’ll see more of this sort of partnership in future, perhaps the balance will also tilt in the other direction as the concept of a games console runs its course or evolves* and the power of these “web technologies” really blur the lines.
Link to the article at Develop Mag.
(*I always think back to video game arcades when I think about the future of gaming consoles. In Japan I hear they still have cutting edge games in arcades. In England this has not been true since the release of the Playstation. The games you find in the majority of arcades for £1 a play are Sega Rally 2, House of the Dead, fruit machines and other golden oldies.
There are a few arcades here and there with new versions of Time Crisis and such, but the majority of games have the telltale green magnetic interference and fuzz on their bulky old screens that accompanies age. The arcade was killed by the balance between fun, cost, quality and complexity. Arcade games may have had marginally superior fun and quality, but the cost can make you settle for something else and the complexity of modern games made you weary to waste money just to learn how to play – “attract mode” FAIL. The future of gaming consoles will be killed by an equally ruthless brute-force approach in the guise of convergence and the web.)