Random House Wants To Write Video Game Stories

Illustration for article titled Random House Wants To Write Video Game Stories

The Random House Publishing Group is taking its storytelling expertise "one step further", forming a group dedicated to crafting original story content for video games and collaborating with developers on existing IP. like Stardock's Elemental: War of Magic.


Random House is no stranger to video game fiction. The company's Del Rey imprint publishes video game novels regularly, as well as works of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and horror. All of these are genres that game developers look to when creating new worlds. What Random House's new IP Creation and Development Group does is cut out the middleman. Rather than gaining inspiration from Random House releases, Random House will create worlds specifically for video game development, while assisting developers in fleshing out their existing stories as well.

"After more than eighty years, Random House is now taking our storytelling expertise one step further," said Gina Centrello, President and Publisher of The Random House Publishing Group. "We are providing a valuable service to other media companies in a competitive entertainment market, where success increasingly depends on the quality of your story."

While several original video game intellectual properties are currently in development, the group's first project involves working with Stardock's creative team on the story and world for upcoming fantasy strategy title Elemental: War of Magic. Random House will also be publishing Elemental: Destiny's Embers, a novel written by game creator and executive producer Brad Wardell, in August of this year.

"A good story doesn't necessarily have to begin and end with a game; it can and should encompass as many creative mediums as possible in order to provide fans with the most complete rendering of a fictional place or time," said Wardell. "With Elemental having an incredibly rich back story to tell, partnering with Random House allows us to create the most immersive universe possible for our fans."

Video game developers outsource technical work on their games all the time. Why not outsource the fiction as well? It should be quite interesting to see what comes of this new group, and which developers will look to Random House for help developing new worlds in the future.


Fernando Jorge

double posting but on different subjects.

So, game writing. Is it the same as in movie writing? A movie is essentially a story that we tell, but the same doesn't apply with a game.

I mean, how do most games ideas start out, with a good story or with some interesting concept? Talking about concept I don't mean only gameplay mechanics, but a more broad concept.

Like for an instance, someone pitches this for a game idea: "how about a game that is really brutal, that'll let the player do the most gruesome things in an open world fighting the army!". Somehow this sounds almost like a valid game idea, but I don't see the same happening for a movie.

The point I'm trying to make is that I think games perhaps start out with a really broad idea and everything else has to fit in it. For an instance, just some days ago we saw this article about how Kratos could've been an elf or a blind man carrying a baby. They wanted to develop a game, they probably had an idea of what the game was going to feel like, but didn't even have a main character worked out.

I guess the guys at random house will get a job with a description like "some dude with telekinetic power in some creepy alternate dimension, now work a plot around that".

Or maybe I'm completely off here.