Fox announces the creation of FoxNext, a new division of the media company that will create video games, including virtual reality and augmented reality projects.
Between its movies and its television shows, it’s fair to say that Fox has a huge impact on the world of entertainment. From the looks of it, the giant media company is about to stake a claim to yet another medium. Fox has now announced the creation of FoxNext, a division that will develop video games, as well as virtual reality and augmented reality content.
As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, FoxNext has been formed out of the Fox Innovation Lab, which was responsible for the VR experience based on 2015’s Oscar-nominated movie The Martian. The new division will be headed by president Salil Mehta, who was previously the president of content management for Twentieth Century Fox Film. FoxNext will apparently aim to support the rest of Fox, suggesting that there will be tie-in projects to various releases across multiple media.
“Extending our storytelling to new platforms in new ways is a constant focus for us as we look to build more touch points with consumers every day,” said Stacey Snider, chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film. “Building on the momentum we’ve already seen in this area via the Fox Innovation Lab, FoxNext represents a natural next step in defining our long-term vision in this arena.”
Up first for FoxNext will be the tie-in virtual reality titles for Alien: Covenant and Planet of the Apes, with Ridley Scott serving as executive producer on the former. Meanwhile, focus will also be placed on other successful gaming projects for Fox franchises, such as the sometimes-criticized freemium title The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Alien: Isolation. Apparently, the division will also focus on the development of the 20th Century Fox theme park which is being created in Malaysia.
It’s worth mentioning that this is not the first time that Fox has entered into the world of video games. In the 1990s and 2000s, Fox Interactive creative games primarily tied to Fox franchises, such as The Simpsons: Hit and Run and titles including Die Hard Trilogy and Alien Trilogy. Fox Interactive was then folded into Vivendi Universal Games, although it eventually closed in 2006.
Just what FoxNext will mean for the video game world going forward is yet to be seen, but more tie-in virtual reality games should almost certainly be expected. If enough time is given to these experiences before release, then it could lead to a number of great titles for the likes of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. However, a lack of care could lead to more VR titles that simply coast on novelty, as warned by Oculus CTO John Carmack, so FoxNext will need to ensure that its creations add more to the market place than just spectacle.