Former THQ frontman Danny Bilson announces ambitious new game-and-film idea

That's defiance for you.

THQ's former frontman, the lively and entrepreneurial Danny Bilson, has announced an ambitious new project at the GameHorizon conference in Newcastle today.

It's a game-and-film tie-in a bit like Syfy and Trion's Defiance. Bilson didn't announce a name but he does have a partner - his old friend Lloyd Levin who produced the Hellboy, Watchmen and Tomb Raider films - and he's "very close" to announcing a distribution partner.

As for what it is, it's best heard from Danny Bilson himself.

"So Lloyd and I got together and we said let's make micro-budget film series for streaming, because the hardware now enables us to play the game and watch the film on the same device. And let's launch let's say three episodes a year - these are two-hour episodes - and in-between, thank you Telltale Games, we will do a narrative of three or four chapters, but we're going to go one step up, we're going to add a bunch of different features and a little bit more interactivity.

"And let's take the fan from the film through three chapters of the game right into the next film. We've got the writers of the film writing the game narrative. We've got the actor's likeness, voice, and the players - fans - can participate in the narrative, up to a point, and then rejoin the film narrative and it's all delivered on the same devices: the PC, the pads or any digital device.

"This is where we're going. They're all science fiction fantasy horror stuff that makes good gaming, and we are very close to announcing our distribution partners, and this is where I'm going next."

"... the movie game, which thank god is dead because it was a pretty rotten aspect of our art form."

Danny Bilson

It's combining, as Bilson said, "what I've been doing my whole career". Danny Bilson has a history in film and TV, mainly as a writer, but also as a producer and director. He wrote, produced and directed telly series The Flash (1990) and The Sentinel (1996).

He wrote the movie The Rocketeer (1991), on which he worked with Lloyd Levin, plus telly series Viper (1994, 1996). He even wrote video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.

And of course he's spent a long time as a bigwig in video game land, first at EA, then THQ.

"No one has ever been able to literally move the story from linear to interactive-ish-linear and back to linear," he added. "And the reason is, because I did a lot of this in my job when I was doing Potter and some Bond and Batman, there's a huge wall between the film guys and the game guys and 'you can't have that, you can't have that and you can't tell that part of the story and the game guys can't do that', and you wound up with the movie game, which thank god is dead because it was a pretty rotten aspect of our art form.

"But we're talking about building both pieces under the same roof with the same producers and having an unbelievable verisimilitude, and hopefully, if one of these hits, fantastic, because the price of entry is nothing like the kind of dice I was rolling on my last job - it's really nothing compared to that."

Bilson was hired by THQ in 2008 to turn things around, having previously spent eight years as a suit at EA. His departure from THQ was announced on 29th May 2012, the publisher's official collapse coming later, its assets sold at auction earlier this year.

THQ's sad demise, his rollercoaster ride at EA, his time as a movie writer and even his years growing up and at college - Danny Bilson delved into these and more during his speech at GameHorizion today. The video recording is embedded below and I highly recommend watching it.

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