Halo creator sets out on X Quest

MMOGs based on reality TV series to hit PS3, Xbox 360; gamers will have impact on show's outcome, chance to appear on TV.


Gamers with skills will soon have a shot at their own 15 minutes of reality-TV fame. Spectrum MediaWorks, a group designed to develop entertainment franchises that operate across various forms of media, is planning to produce X Quest, a massively multiplayer game that will be simultaneously developed with the reality TV show of the same name, according to the The Hollywood Reporter.

"Entertainment convergence is something that has been talked about for a long time, but the multiple media distribution pipes are now in place to create properties that can work on multiple levels," said Alex Seropian, cofounder of Spectrum MediaWorks. Seropian was also the founder of Bungie Studios, the developer that created the Halo franchise, and currently heads Wideload Games, the studio behind Stubbs the Zombie.

X Quest the game will be released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and like other massively multiplayer online games, it will create a community of players who interact with each other online. However, unlike other MMOGs, its influence will expand beyond gaming consoles. The overall X Quest property, which includes the Fox reality TV show X Quest, will work across formats, meaning that the game will influence the show, and vice versa.

Both the game and the show will be set in the near future, but instead of relying on fantasy elements for future technology, its world will be based on technology currently being developed in the real world. The show, which is the brainchild of director Ron Howard, will see two teams of seven jump into a "space simulator" and take on a series of challenges over a monthlong period.

The game will exist in the same world, and users playing on their PS3s or Xbox 360s will be able to interact with stars from the show. Seropian hopes to bring the best X Quest gamers on board to star in the subsequent seasons of X Quest.

The world of X Quest will also be accessible through the Internet and mobile phones. The show and game are scheduled to launch in the first half of next year. No publisher or developer has been announced for the game.

Spectrum features more familiar faces than just Seropian. The company also has former Warner Bros. vice president Jim Banister, Oddworld Inhabitants founder Lorne Lanning, and Nvidia general manager Drew Henry on board.

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