The ongoing Hollywood writers' strike has much greater implications to the world of entertainment than a disappointingly rushed ending to Heroes season 2 and Ellen being forced to play Guitar Hero III to entertain her audience. The results of a survey just released by new-media consultancy company Interpret indicates that large percentages of viewers are abandoning network and cable programming in favour of watching movies and television series on DVDs and yes - playing video games.
Of the survey's respondents, all of which fall into 18-49 demographic that advertisers just adore, 27% say they are watching less network television, while only 12% of cable series viewers have been turned away by the lazy fare being served up on the airwaves these days. The DVD industry is seeing the biggest benefit from the strike, as 43% of Americans turn to DVD movies for comfort and another 23% prefer to curl up with a TV box set of shows gone by. Another 26%, however, have discovered they suddenly have more free time to fire up their consoles or computers and get their game on.
"The strike makes scripted programming more valuable than ever," Interpret CEO Michael Dowling said. "As top shows disappear from primetime, viewers may go back and view critically lauded TV series they missed the first time around, play more video games or watch more movies on DVD."
Looks like Joseph Olin knew what he was talking about late last year when he suggested the strike would prove fortuitous to gaming as a whole.
The only thing that worries me here is that video game writers are slowly being allowed into the Writer's Guild of America as part of their new media push, which could mean that in the future such strikes could affect the game industry as well. Where then would the game companies turn for witty, borderline attractive writers with a background steeped in video game culture and history? Oh, and tall. They'd have be very tall. *finger-phones to the ear while mouthing "call me"* We'll just have to hope that never comes to pass.
Survey: DVD, games not striking out [The Hollywood Reporter]