Seeing how Watchmen is arguably the most popular graphic novel of our time, it is no surprise that it will soon be receiving a movie adaptation. Furthermore, seeing as how just about every comic book-based movie is receiving a videogame adaptation these days, it is even less surprising that Watchmen is getting its own videogame. But how do you produce a quality videogame in time to coincide with a movie release date that is only a year away? Deadline Games and Warner Bros. Interactive believe the answer is episodic content.
Currently there are only two episodes planned, one to be released when the movie comes to theaters, and the other when it comes out on DVD. In an interview with Variety, Samantha Ryan, Warner Bros. Interactive’s senior vice president of development and production, said about the possibility of episodes after the first two, “If it works, it could be a new delivery mechanism that we explore further.” Though the game will not be a retail product, Watchmen will not be inferior to games that come on discs except in terms of length. “We really feel like we’re setting a new bar for what it means to be a downloadable game. It’s not an Xbox Live Arcade title where we’re recreating Tetris or a simple fighter. The graphics look as good as any traditional PS3 or 360 game sitting on the shelf at retail,” Ryan went on to say.
Though there have been several games to achieve success with the episodic content distribution model, namely Half-Life and Sam & Max, it will be interesting to see how well Warner Bros. markets this movie/game combination. Watchmen will be available for download on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, coinciding with the film’s release in March of 2009.