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New Data Explores Transmedia IP In Video Games

Newzoo report highlights how transmedia IP performs against native games

Transmedia IP has been a growing expansion in multiple platforms recently, including games, film, TV shows, books and comics. It’s an approach that aims to engage and provide players with a more comprehensive and interconnected experience.

Data firm Newzoo has released a new study exploring the trends, success factors as well as market insights for transmedia IP in video games. The report highlights how transmedia IP performs against native game IP, comparing free-to-play and pay-to-play transmedia IP titles.

Newzoo’s insights also provides key benefits of transmedia IP in video games such as how it enables developers to extend the lifespan and relevance of a game by reaching a broader audience beyond the gaming community.

And by leveraging different media channels, developers can attract new players who although may not be avid gamers, would be quite interested in the storyline and characters that come with it.

Consumer perceptions and demand

A key takeaway from the article is that since 2016, approximately 10% of all console releases have been transmedia IP. However, the ratio of transmedia IP releases has witnessed an increase, which was slightly influenced by the reduced frequency of console releases during the pandemic.

The article also shows that titles originating from transmedia IP generally exhibit higher average engagement numbers compared to those based on native video game IP. Regardless, it is worth noting that the influence of a few prominent IPs significantly impacts these numbers.

“In the case of pay-to-play MAU, transmedia IP didn’t decline as much as video game IPs from April 2020 and has been flat since 2021. On the other hand, TIP free-to-play models have seen a significant increase versus video game IP’s decrease since 2020,” wrote Newzoo.

Enhancing player engagement

In addition, Newzoo also looks at how transmedia IP games typically gravitate towards four primary genres: Adventure, Fighting, Role Playing, and Shooter. The article suggests that developers and publishers can see this as a valuable opportunity to differentiate their transmedia IP games within the market.

The article also emphasises the importance of careful planning and execution in transmedia IP projects. Developers need to maintain consistency across different media platforms, ensuring that the core elements of the game, such as characters, themes and settings remain intact.

Looking at the franchises that have brought the most players to transmedia IP games, Newzoo finds that most top franchises consist of one-off releases with high lifetime player counts, like Conan the Barbarian or The Blair Witch Project.

Challenges and considerations

However, within a single franchise, performance across multiple games varies. The Witcher, for instance, ranks in the top three franchises by player count, but its average is primarily driven by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with some contribution from GWENT: The Witcher Card Game.

The data firm believes that transmedia IP titles are still worth making. “There is still a sizable audience for transmedia IP, but much of this is highly contingent on several factors. Despite how many titles have already made it into the global market, we see there is still plenty of room for additional TIP, especially as console game releases ramp up toward pre-pandemic levels,” Newzoo wrote.

This data presents transmedia IP as a strategic approach for video game developers to extend the reach and commercial potential of their games. By expanding the game’s universe into other media platforms, developers can engage a wider audience, create additional revenue streams, and enrich the game’s storytelling.

However, developers must also be aware that executing transmedia projects requires careful planning, coordination and collaboration to maintain consistency and achieve the desired outcome.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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