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A Novel Idea...

One thing I've noticed as I’m sure many of you have noticed as well is the latest trend in books being published about a particular video game title. While this certainly isn't a new concept it does seem to be one that is becoming increasing popular.

I think the first book/video game pair that I recall reading and playing was Rainbow Six. Believe it or not, that was published way back in 1998. Yes, it really was that long ago.

Now, as I peruse my library of video games and books, I see that a lot of the fiction I read is video game inspired. In no particular order and without straining my neck too much let me name just a few games that have inspired at least one book release (but in most cases, each of these games has had several books released):

•    Splinter Cell
•    Ghost Recon
•    Halo
•    Gears of War
•    Star Wars: Republic Commando
•    World of Warcraft

There is a Metal Gear Solid graphic novel out there that looks fairly decent. I think I'll be okay if I don't read the Tomb Raider series. If the Star Craft books do as well as the video game did, I'm sure the author will be very happy (and wealthy). The same will probably be true for the Resident Evil books as well. I can’t wait to pick up the Assassin’s Creed book.

Now, I'm no marketing expert or salesman...and I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. But when I think about how many fans of a particular game rush to buy every expansion pack, downloadable content or sequel it seems like a percentage of those folks might also be interested in a book or two or twelve that occurs in the same universe. For example, Halo Wars (which is what, the third or fourth Halo game) was recently released and has already sold over 1 million copies. I'd venture to say it wasn't because it was a really good RTS game...but because it was Halo. Halo 3 has made over $300 million in sales. The original Halo (PC version, of course) is my favorite game of all time and I buy everything Halo...without question...including all of the books. I doubt that I'm alone.

Writing a book based on a video game seems like it would take many of the burdens off of the author's shoulders, doesn't it? I mean the framework is already there, right? Characters, locations, etc. All the author has to do is come up with a good story. I know, I know...that can be very difficult. But, for example, using the Halo universe again...as an author, I already have an armory of weapons with capabilities to select from; a cast of aliens to populate my world; a garage full of vehicles (both alien and human); a history book full of legendary characters and battles.

Halo: Reach is coming and the sales are going to be record breaking. I'm sure there will be more novels trailing the release of the game as sure as I am that I will be there buying them.

I guess one video game that I think would make an awesome book is Half Life. Sure, there are books that share a similar storyline that are already out there, but imagine reading about Gordon Freeman and his exploits. Perhaps if the folks from Valve are reading this (Mr. Newell...are you in the house?) and would like an aspiring writer to pen Half Life: The Novel...please feel free to contact my personal assistant and get on my calendar. I'm sure I could squeeze you in...somewhere.

When was the last time the wind said "hostiles" to you?

(Note: Reposted from a blog I published elsewhere…)

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