As you might have already heard, Blacklight has been announced by Zombie Studios…yes, the same studios that were supposedly working on Rogue Warrior, Bethesda’s behind-the-lines third person action thriller that would have taken players behind the curtain of North Korea on a mission gone wrong. Now, Bethesda’s pretty much said that it’s still in production, but it’s safe to assume that new hands have it.
Now Zombie has come up with the mysterious Blacklight, an action game taking place “25 years” in the future concerning covert military action…stuff…whatever it might be. From the concept art on the teaser site for the game, it looks like it’s going to be ultra violent with plenty of bullets. Movie site Firstshowing.net has more of the gritty details concerning the film (by Fox Atomic) and comic series that will assault media channels with the IP.
It sounds like a good strategy…gather mindshare across three media-focused venues in order to excite the market to prepare it for something new. It sure beats simply having a game appear on the shelf and leave it to the reviews to decide for you whether it should be worth the trouble of playing when you have no real idea if it has anything interesting to say outside of the box. With a comic and a movie to get people excited about this, it has a lot of potential behind it to do just that.
Then again, the comic could suck and the movie might blow chunks…not to mention what might happen if the game fails to meet whatever expectations they hope to saturate the audience with especially when Gears of War III is just waiting in the wings to come out when its ready. This also isn’t the first time that a game has tried to reach as many people across different mediums, although hitting theaters as a film at the same time is something that’s considerably a step above most other efforts. The film is being written by newcomer Jason Dean Hall, the same guy behind the film, Spread. Whether he can translate his talent for writing sexual comedy into the kind of gritty world that Blacklight demands remains to be seen.
The cynical gamer in me thinks that this is spreading a lot of resources thin across too many fronts, but it might be the beginning of how best to market a new IP in the increasingly competitive world of entertainment starting right out from the gate instead of waiting to have each medium approach the IP. We’ll have to wait and see if this strategy pans out. If anything, gamers, comic mavens, and movie lovers have something else to look forward to.