SAN FRANCISCO — GamesBeat 2015‘s theme was Game of Thrones. And if the virtual reality platform were a character on the show, it would most likely be Daenerys Targaryen.
The Mother of Dragons, or VR in this instance, wants to be ruler of Westeros but is still figuring out how to get there and what it will take to conquer the Iron Throne.
Lionsgate president of interactive ventures and games Peter Levin chatted with CNET’s Ian Scherr during a short GamesBeat session on Tuesday. Their discussion covered marketing and promotion and how Lionsgate plans to make VR a successful commercial product.
Levin said a sign of a healthy emerging platform is when marketing and promotion coexist right alongside commercial products.
“You go to a film you’re going to see trailers. You’re going to see commercials when you get to the theater. You watch television, you’re going to see commercials. You’re going to see integrated market.” Levin said.
Levin opened up about how his department is working hand-in-hand with their marketing brethren. For example, they displayed The Hunger Games VR Experience booths in New York on October 9, which allowed people to go through a six minute journey in the movie’s landscape using a Samsung Gear VR headset.
“How better to raise awareness for an emerging platform than to couple that experience to ginormous intellectual properties? Who wouldn’t want a Hunger Games VR Experience?” Levin said.
Levin said he believes Hollywood studios can be successful with video games. His best example was Warner Bros. and how it’s taken huge strides in the industry for nearly a decade with games like the Batman Arkham series, Shadow of Mordor, and the Lego series.
GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi reported in August that Time Warner, the video game company’s parent, reported second-quarter revenues of $727 million, which is up 135 percent from a year ago.
Warner Bros., which includes the movie studio and game division, saw revenue of $3.3 billion, up 15 percent from a year ago. Operating income for Warner Bros. was $344 million, up 46 percent.
“I think the fundamental driver there is that the economics can no longer be ignored,” Levin said.
Levin also credited VR companies and developers on pushing back release dates, which gave them time to work out kinks in the hardware. To his amazement, Levin said the reaction was well received among fans despite the delay.
“Interestingly you don’t get a lot of negative blowback because I think people are feeling this is a real thing,” Levin said.