Sometimes at E3, we can get lost in the hype of the giant games, but there are literally infinite games being presented this week in Los Angeles. Literally INFINITE. So what do you say we turn our attention to a mid-tier game that debuted in the middle of one of the lesser conferences and gave the audience a good chuckle… but is also the game that could change the entertainment industry forever. Well, who knows if South Park: The Fractured But Whole will actually have that kind of effect, but if any game were going to change the entertainment industry forever, wouldn’t you want it to be one with a butt name?
Speaking to EW, South Park creator Trey Parker talked about how video games may be the future of the franchise, even after the show is cancelled. He said that games “might be where things are going.” His co-creator, Matt Stone, followed that up by saying “I think in 20 years, 10 years, people will be playing more. That convergence of entertainment, whether it’s VR or a more immersive thing. The more you get in it, the more you watch Pew Die Pie, and people watch Pew Die Pie play, and you watch E-sports. You watch young people, and the way they engage with something — sh*t, maybe that is the future of South Park.”
Could South Park ditch TV altogether and come out only in video game form? The idea makes me think of radio, where a clearly inferior medium is abandoned almost overnight in place of a better one. I mean, since you can play Telltale’s The Walking Dead and make your own choices, why would you ever read The Walking Dead ? And since you can be Spider-Man as he beats up bank robbers in Insomniac’s next game, why would you watch Spider-Man beat up bank robbers in a movie?
Of course, the answer is that we’re all idiots. We shouldn’t make our own dialogue choices, or fight scenes, or BFG 9000s, because don’t know what makes a good story, or fight scene, or hell beast-killing gun. Professionals do. Maybe South Park is a good franchise to go all-in on the new wave of interactivity, since it’s so loose and self-aware. But the moment an important, dramatic series becomes solely video games, good storytelling as we know it will be over.
Follow Mikey on Twitter @mikeymccollor.