38 Studios isn't a gaming company, it is a powder keg of media moguls.
After reading Joystiq's interview with 38 Studios CEO Brett Close from the Austin Developer's Conference, it becomes evident that gaming is only one cog in the big machine being set in motion to capture all of our hearts and minds. Most people know about Curt Schilling's involvement with 38 Studios (he is the founder). I used to watch Curt pitch when I lived in Phoenix, but I was always a Randy Johnson fan since we went to high school in the same town. Anyway, Randy has nothing to do with video games and Curt does so now I'm a huge fan of Curt's (especially since his appearances on The Instance podcast). Enough about Curt though, let's hear how Brett is going to break 38 Studios through the front gate of the whole gaming industry through a full media assault:
"If I'm one of the 150 different countries, somebody in one of these countries who's read one of Bob Salvatore's novels, and I see this product come out; this game, this online product; and see the toys and see the trading card games, and see the cellular apps and see the video on demand media as well as the novel prequels, all that, I'm going to want to roll over and get involved in the online presence, and be able to live that story. To be able to get involved with my friends and actually watch that story unfold, interact as that story unfolds."
In addition to masterminding the media equivalent to carpet bombing, Brett discusses their latest partnership with Vivox for the voice integration of their products:
"38 Studios is all about very strong partnerships. Smart, strategic partnerships that allow us to deliver the absolute best for the customer, but also allow us to free our hands up to focus on building what we do best, which is building the game. Creating IP and building the game. We are licensing engine technologies like the Unreal engine and Big World, and in a similar way VoIP is nothing that you want to take lightly.
There's a big operation there. I'm an ex software engineer, I know how it works. You can go write some basic VoIP but there's so much more than just the protocol and transferring those packets. Vivox is the best of breed in the market for both the feature set, the technology, the business model and the operational model of us being able to offload the bandwidth and server demand to their servers. They offer incredible security solutions. Voice fonts allow one of the biggest and most exciting pieces to come together."
The team at 38 Studios has assembled an all-star cast of employees, and it appears they are doing the same with their technology partners. The rest of the interview and a few pieces of concept art can be found at Joystiq.
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