Television network Syfy is boldly going where no man has gone before: Social gaming. Wait, what? No, that’s where pretty much all men, women, children and small animals have gone before, but that shouldn’t distract you from this announcement.
The games themselves will be based firmly around Syfy‘s favourite genres – sci-fi (syfy?), fantasy, paranormal, action/adventure and the inevitable superheroes. While some titles will be based on channel programming, expect to see others drawn from original content.
It’s not the first time the company has dipped its toe into the murky waters of the games industry, Syfy Ventures has already been involved with both RIFT publisher Trion Worlds and the prequel telemovie, Red Faction: Origins.
You can expect these new releases to hit Facebook sometime later this year, with an initial launch restricted to the United States. This is just the start, though – there are already plans to expand into other territories and other social networks.
Dave How, Syfy president, explains:
“This bold business expansion into games publishing secures a key foundation for the powerful Syfy brand in the burgeoning social games space. By providing our fans on social networks and other platforms with a distinctive, premium gaming experience, we are creating a perfect complement to our existing Syfy Games portfolio.”
Syfy will work with indie developers to create the games, with the publisher owning exclusive rights to all markets. There’s the possibility that this project might expand to other game platforms, or indeed Syfy‘s other platforms, which include TV, motion pictures and digital media.
…and really, why not? The universe is expanding and changing. The worldwide market for social media games is anticipated to hit $6.1 billion in 2011, and nearly double that by 2014, so getting in now sounds like a perfectly reasonable decision.
They should brace themselves though – there’s going to be an awful lot of nerdy backlash asking why that money wasn’t spent on another season of [surl=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303461/]Firefly[/surl].