THQ and Random House have announced a rather unique partnership, the result of which will most likely be a new game and a big pile of books to go along with it. The two companies are establishing a team to create a new IP that will be published across multiple mediums. Their hope is to “immerse fans more fully in the fiction regardless of media,” according to a press release.
While the approach is new, the development of a transmedia IP isn’t. If THQ and Random House hope to see success, they’ll be competing with game properties like Halo and Dead Space–not to mention the dozens of other series that crowd the market with cheap novelizations. However, the direction also has the potential to draw lifetime fans.
Dead Space, for example, also began as a transmedia project. Before the game even released, a comic book and animated movie laid the foundation. Now the series has branched into comic books, a novel, game spin-offs, and a successful sequel. Halo has seen similar success, with the fiction between the games, books, and comics all feeding back into each other and keeping fans busy.
The tightly knit nature of the THQ and Random House deal will hopefully eliminate some of the issues that plague transmedia IP–namely, contradictions in the fiction and the arguments over what is considered canon.
Previously, Random House had published books in the Gears of War and Mass Effect series. They’ve also published a metric ton of Star Wars novels, including ones based on The Force Unleashed and The Old Republic. The company should fit right in with whatever THQ has planned.