Google’s Niantic labs’ success with ‘Ingress’, an immersive virtual reality game has now propelled Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to develop a T.V. show inspired by the game. This may be viewed by observers as Google’s attempts to veer into content development for populating television networks and further extending its reach; yet it must be stated at this point that one sparrow does not make an autumn.
Google may have felt the need to develop a T.V. show based on Ingress, only in order to prolong the user-association with its game, possibly with an eye on maintaining brand longevity. Google’s business philosophy rests on providing services that can be lapped up by users for free. Viewed from that context, it becomes a costly proposition for Google to focus on cost-intensive media content development as a business growth strategy and in all likeliness, Google has no such ambitions. This is something that can also be corroborated by the fact that Google has not gone out of its way to pitch this T.V. show to any major cable networks or channels.
So what could have influenced Google’s decisions to come out with a T.V. show on a game? The reasons could be aplenty. To begin with, Ingress has already reached a significant mass of fans and followers with around 5 million current downloads. The game, which was developed at Niantic Labs, was adjudged as one of the best android apps of 2013 by the tech magazine – ‘Gizmag’.
The game’s social aspect also made it quite popular among users who now routinely organize meet-ups across cities to play the game together. In the game, the users are supposed to travel to real world locations and landmarks and then ‘capture’ them using smartphone based commands and codes. Although, initially released in 2013 for the Android platform, the game debuted for the iPhone only last year. Besides all the above, the T.V. show can also help the game reach a wider audience and simultaneously become a platform for advertising Google’s VR capabilities.
The T.V. show will be developed in collaboration with the producers of the ‘Mummy’ series of movies, viz., ‘Scott Daniel Co. Also, the T.V. show’s script may be developed by Flint Dile, one of the creative minds behind Ingress. Interestingly, this kind of a development is not a one off event anymore as the lines between games and television media are already on their way to being fused with each other. Xbox, in the past, had developed a mini T.V. series for its Halo franchise. Also, the Universal Cable Productions’ Defiance too brings together an intermingling of both the ‘game world’ as well as the ‘television world’.