Cinematic and gaming universes will continue to collide in 2024 | Deloitte prediction

Cinematic and interactive game universes will continue to collide in 2024 as game companies and film studios redefine storytelling.

This prediction, coming from consulting firm Deloitte, is one of the main themes of our GamesBeat at The Game Awards event on December 7.

The fusion of video games and film and TV franchises is paving the way for immersive narratives and expanded intellectual properties (IPs), Deloitte said.

The consulting firm said the landscape of storytelling is undergoing a monumental shift, driven by changing demographics, innovative technologies, and a quest for robust IP. The convergence of film, TV, and video games is reshaping entertainment, blurring the boundaries between cinematic and game world universes.


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Big hits in 2023

Transmedia IP has synergies with gaming.

This year marked a turning point as major film and TV franchises originated from video games, and vice versa. The Super Mario Bros. Movie generated $1.36 billion at the global box office and Nintendo said it boosted sales of Mario games. More than 169 million people saw the film, Nintendo said. And The Last of Us, an adaptation of Sony and Naughty Dog’s hit game series, was a hit on Max (formerly HBO). Five Nights at Freddy’s (which involved Hollywood agent Russell Binder, a speaker at our upcoming event) also generated more than $283 million at the global box office.

The rising popularity of video games has led Hollywood to seek new IPs for expansion and monetization, while game companies are exploring collaborations with TV and film to leverage their intellectual properties and offset soaring development costs.

The adaptation of games into films and TV series is not new, but the scale and financial success of these adaptations have seen a significant upsurge in recent years. Younger generations, particularly engaged with gaming, drive substantial revenues for leading game franchises, captivating Hollywood’s attention for potential new IPs.

Yet Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, said in recent analyst calls that he thinks the video game business is much easier and better and more profitable than films — despite the challenges of running hit-driven video game businesses. So he isn’t sold on the idea that everything will succeed. But his company has also licensed BioShock and Borderlands to be made into films.

The post-pandemic resurgence of theater attendance has set the stage for an influx of TV shows and movies based on video games, promising an era where the share of theatrical box office revenues from video game IPs is projected to double by 2025. Streaming platforms are anticipated to embrace shows centered around gaming themes, further propelling the trend.

Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie in HBO's The Last of Us.
Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie in HBO’s The Last of Us.

The symbiotic relationship between cinematic universes and game worlds is intensifying, with seamless integration of actors, storylines, and promotions across these mediums. Successful crossovers not only generate direct revenues but elevate the overall value of the franchise, creating a virtuous cycle where game IPs drive box office revenues and vice versa.

Central to these triumphs are impassioned fan communities that bolster the endurance of these narratives. Fans contribute to the durability of franchises by actively engaging across various media, from TV and film to gaming and social platforms, fostering an ecosystem that spans generations.

The ascent of video games in entertainment mirrors generational shifts in media consumption. Millennials and Gen Z, seeking multifaceted engagement, allocate significant entertainment hours to social media and gaming. Gaming narratives, often immersive and extensive, create devoted fan bases invested in interactive storytelling.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

However, success hinges on respecting the core essence that makes a franchise compelling, catering to both loyal fans and newer audiences. Studios must tread carefully to maintain the franchise’s integrity while exploring new storytelling avenues across games, TV, and film.

While games offer IPs for TV and film adaptations, these adaptations tap into fervent fanbases, enabling greater engagement and monetization. Yet, studios must stay true to the franchise’s uniqueness while navigating the challenges of transitioning between mediums, Deloitte said.

As technology evolves, virtual production tools emerge as a unifying force, enabling seamless IP development across games and visual media. Studios stand to benefit from strategic collaborations and optimized production methods to curate diverse experiences within a story universe.

Ultimately, the enduring value of a franchise lies in the authenticity of its narratives and the passionate communities it engenders. Studios must preserve the essence that makes their stories unique while embracing flexibility to cater to evolving audience preferences across media.

In this transformative age of entertainment, where cinematic and interactive universes converge, studios face the challenge of preserving the essence of their narratives while adapting to new mediums. The key lies in honoring core values while harnessing the potential of cross-media storytelling to captivate audiences across generations.

More predictions

Deloitte's got a lot of predictions for 2024.
Deloitte’s got a lot of predictions for 2024.

Deloitte also had these predictions.

Streaming Services Evolve for Profitability: Streamers are expected to diversify their subscription models significantly. Deloitte predicts that the top five providers will offer a bewildering 17 SVOD tiers by 2024, more than double the current number.

Boom in Theatrical Box Office Revenues from Video Game Intellectual Property (IP): Revenue will double by 2025, in line with gains over the past decade. Deloitte predicts that most major video streamers will include shows based on games by 2025.

Rise of User-Generated Content in Gaming: Platforms focusing on user-generated content (UGC) in gaming are projected to pay out almost $1.5 billion to content developers in 2024. This burgeoning creator economy within gaming could reshape the industry.

Sustainable Chip Manufacturing: Despite a predicted rise in the overall consumption of energy, water, and process gases due to increased manufacturing, Deloitte anticipates a year-over-year decline in average water and energy intensity among leading chipmakers.

AI Chip Market Growth: There is increased demand for AI-enabling chips, which could account for half of all semiconductor sales by 2027. The demand for these chips is driven by their critical role in secure and innovative supply chains.

Direct-to-Device Market Expansion: The integration of satellite and terrestrial mobile networks is opening new avenues. With over 220 million smartphones capable of connecting to satellite services expected to be sold in 2024, featuring approximately $2 billion worth of specialized chips, this development is poised to revolutionize global connectivity and IoT applications.

Revolutionizing Connectivity with D2D and Satellite Integration: The telecommunications industry is set to surge in Device-to-Device (D2D) and satellite capabilities. Deloitte predicts over 220 million satellite-enabled smartphones will be sold in 2024, incorporating around $2 billion in specialized chips.

The Growing Role of Smartphones in Authentication: Smartphones are no longer just communication devices; they are evolving to become a central tool for secure authentication. The use of smartphones in verifying identity for various applications, including payments and physical access, is set to expand dramatically.

Reassessing Connectivity Needs: Deloitte predicts a plateau in bandwidth demands for most online applications, despite the traditional trend of constantly increasing internet speeds. In 2024, over 90% of the most used online applications on fixed broadband networks in developed markets will have the same vendor-recommended bit rate as in 2023.

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