Microsoft has announced no less than 12 original TV shows or features for Xbox Live, all of which “will offer interactive capabilities, as well as unique interactive features customized on a per-show basis, making it a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience you won’t find anywhere else.”
Created or overseen by the recently founded Xbox Entertainment Studios, the pickings include the previously announced Halo TV series, plus a Halo “digital feature” executive produced by Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner. There’s also a reality TV show about up-and-coming football players, a couple of shows based on famous tabletop games, and a 2015-bound Channel 4 series about machines that look like humans. It’s a bit of a spread.
In the words of Jordan Levin, executive vice president of Xbox Entertainment Studios, “creating original TV content is a logical next step in our evolution”. This echoes comments to OXM from various bigwigs on the subject last year. According to Microsoft Soho’s Rob Stevens, for example, “game developers are realising there is a big appetite for more immersive interactive content, which we have decades of invaluable experience in making with games – creating this type of content for TV gives us the ability to reach a hugely diverse array of new audiences.”
The first shows are due to screen on Xbox Live this year – Microsoft has apparently looked at hundreds more concepts, more details on those will be announced at a later date.