James Waugh – The Three Es: The Value of Transmedia Fiction For Franchise Development
New York Times bestselling writer and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria senior story developer James Waugh recently posted an exclusive article titled “The Three Es: The Value of Transmedia Fiction For Franchise Development” for the Transmedia Coalition website where he explains how fleshing out a story and transcending it beyond the original media into other media can give depth to characters and stories. Make fans engage into discussions.
James starts sharing his experience as a kid with The Transformers brand. He had no clue who Optimus Prime and Megatron were. They were mere plastic toys that friends at school played with during break time. How his passion for the characters grew later when the TV animated series aired, and the depth of those characters, their personalities, their feelings and needs were fleshed out in the Marvel Transfromers comics.
I was a bit older than 10 years when all this happened in the mid-80s (1984-1987), and this article brought fond memories. I feel portrayed.
His experience as a child, and later as a teen with The Transformers brand is the primer that made James Waugh a Lead Writer (Franchise Development) for Blizzard Entertainment.
James talks about Deathwing since Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal up to the moment the story developers agreed to bring Deathwing as the main villain of the Cataclysm expansion.
According to James Waugh, the three powerful aspects of the value of transmedia fiction for franchise development are:
- Enriching the IP
- Engage the Fans
- The Evangelizers
Read James Waugh’s article.
Among many works, James Waugh wrote or co-wrote the following transmedia projects:
- World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen
- Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls
- Leader Short Stories: Lord of the Pack (Lord Genn Greymane).
- Diablo: Wrath
- World of Warcraft: Ashbringer
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void & Unannounced MMO
Currently, James Waugh is working on the story for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void as Lead Writer, Blizzard All-Stars, Lead story developer on the upcoming Warcraft feature film, and writer for the Unannounced MMO (It’s kinda interesting it’s not referenced as the Next-Gen MMO, don’t you think? hint-hint).
About the StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void part — Dustin Browder revealed the following during a Reddit AMA:
1. In a year from now, how far are you into the developement of Legacy of The Void, and what else will you be working on?
Dustin: We have started on Legacy story, scripts and missions.
2. How many people are working in the starcraft departement of Blizzard?
Dustin: 80+ developers, hundreds of QA + Cinematics + other support personel. Look at the credits for Wings. All of those people made significant contributions to that game.
3. While Starcraft 2 was well received in most of the world, the transition from Broodwar to Starcraft 2 in Korea was very rough. If you could go back in time to 2010, what would do different in regards to KeSPA and the korean market?
Dustin: We were very happy for KeSPA to support SC2. I was not part of any discussions with them and I don’t know the details, sorry.
4. Tell us a funny/embarasing story that happened durring the developement of Heart of The Swarm!
Dustin: I get to play David Kim quite a bit when he runs out of real players to play against or when we are not yet in Beta. I barely beat him in a game one day and went over to his desk to celebrate my victory only to find out he had been reading email during the decisive battle.
Seems Blizzard Entertainment might have their card deck full of announcements for BlizzCon (November 8-9).