If you’ve missed them, there is an excellent series of posts up over at Law of the Game on recent changes to the machinima policies from Microsoft (publisher of Halo, Perfect Dark, Shadowrun, etc.) and Blizzard (publisher of World of Warcraft). In sum, both companies, though particularly Blizzard, have clarified how and when they will license images and sounds from their games to users who want to use the game engines to make movies. Law of the Game’s coverage is informative, and the analysis is insightful. Well worth your click.
Though World of Warcraft is the only one of these games that VB regularly covers, free-form virtual worlds are about to penetrate the traditional game market (one is rumored to launch for the PlayStation 3 on October 11). And with HBO paying “a six-figure sum” for a movie shot in Second Life, machinima in virtual worlds is quickly becoming big business. The policies companies like Microsoft and Blizzard set now for games are likely to have a big impact on future policies in virtual worlds as well.
New to all of this, and wondering what machinima is? Watch the first episode of the popular Halo machinima Red vs. Blue (screenshot above). It is only about two and a half minutes long, and it is incredibly funny. Fair warning — there’s some cursing, in case you’re at work.
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