It will be interesting to see what other publisher can successfully go the Marvel route; with a $2B+ worldwide box office already in for the Avengers’ on-screen storyworld (one that still bizarrely lives in total isolation from the comics), I’m guessing several will make the attempt within the next 2-3 years. Two gaming franchises I think have some serious transmedia potential are Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls and Activision’s Skylanders, though you might be surprised by which one I think has the most potential.
Nash took an honest shot at something he believed in and, more importantly, maintained his integrity throughout the process. While neither Cursor nor Red Lemonade ended up being the “game changers” some thought they might be, one could argue (and so I will) that the publishing industry overall is stronger for the attempt, and what *did* work shouldn’t be lost in the discussion.
Most magazines, print and digital, are little more than advertising platforms whose readers are defined as “targets”, valued in quantity over quality, and when the advertising revenue stream dries up, the magazines usually fold, readers be damned.
In the pre-digital days, influential media brands like Cosmopolitan and Vogue were one of the primary gateways for marketers to connect with consumers. They offered an attentive audience that would have been difficult for most marketers to gather without investing heavily in staff and infrastructure. Today, those media brands are no longer primary gateways, and marketers aren’t nearly as reliant on them to reach their desired audience as they used to be as they now have cost-effective tools at their disposal to engage directly with consumers.
Book publishers, on the other hand, have traditionally either focused on “digital” as a secondary medium, or worse, not even as a distinct medium at all, simply a fascimile or marketing channel for their print products. In doing so, they’ve effectively positioned themselves for easier disintermediation, being seen as container manufacturers instead of content curators and community organizers.