My idea based on game character agencies that I wrote got published in March 2010 issue of "Edge" magazine. "Edge" were kind enough to mock up this image to illustrate the content of my letter.
Dear Edge Magazine,
After reading both Brick Bardo’s article, ‘Something about Japan, in issue 211 along with the rather critical response letter by Phil Asquith that followed in issue 212, I felt compelled to write a response as I find it to be a very interesting topic for games.
I agree entirely with Brick Bardo; with the right developer and publisher, we could see a variety of forms in which our well loved game characters are expressed within vastly different genres and game worlds. If we look at Smash Bros Brawl; where even though the concept may have been inspired from the appeal of pitting game characters from other worlds into one fight, you cannot argue the sheer joy of watching Solid Snake throw a poke'ball at Sonic whilst wearing a rabbit headband.
But this has got me thinking further. What if, and please bear with me, we have in the game industry; what would essentially be an agency company that creates or otherwise owns an archive of game characters, who then nurtures them to fame through roles in games commisioned by the games developers and/or publishers? Before you call me crazy, please think of the advantages here. It would have the potential of creating a digital network community of approachable game characters or actors that are at the disposal of their paying developers and publishers or clients, who in turn, could put the ready made fame of this game character to good use by creating a new and interesting role for he, she or it to play. With the prior knowledge of an already famous game character, it would help to combat the daunting effects that players often suffer when playing a brand new game concept for the first time. Would the new Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory films earn as much recognition and hype before release, without a certain Captain Jack Sparrow quality?
Perhaps this system wouldn't become fully established over night due to rights and ownerships over existing game characters today, but rather be a gradual process as new characters build on their fame through roles in various games over multiple platforms. Until then, in Brick Bardo's words; '...we'll just have to wait - but afterwards we can tell everyone we saw it coming.'