Video Games to Sell... Books?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on March 24, 2005

As video and PC gaming’s popularity skyrocketed in the past few years, our favorite TV shows (“The Simpsons”), movies (“Catwoman”) and comic books (“Batman”) were turned into games. Now, we are on the brink of a new era, it seems: Games publisher Atari just released a game based on a book THAT HASN’T EVEN HIT THE BOOKSTORES YET. That’s right.

The novel, called "Act of War," was written by Dale Brown, a former U.S. Air Force captain who'd previously penned action-packed best-sellers like "Fight of the Old Dog" and "Air Battle Force." The book, coming out in June, is full of video-gaming's mainstays like futuristic weapons, terrorists and battle scenes.

So is Atari's "Act of War: Direct Action" game, which launched on March 15. In the game, military veterans and young techies are recruited into a special high-tech task force, tracking terrorists and uncovering international conspiracies.

This dual release is, I think, a testament to the video-gaming industry's growing power. Already, video games like "Lara Croft" had made it onto the big screen. Young men increasingly play video games instead of watching TV.

I believe that this industry could, eventually, become as powerful as Hollywood, which has long ordered original stories for movies. Just imagine playing a character and then reading all about his or her adventures!

Considering that everyone's gaming experience is different, perhaps various players would write different books.

That would be a boon for writers, readers and gamers alike.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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