Random House continues to push deeper into the murky but promising frontiers of “transmedia.” A few months ago the RH Publishing Group’s intellectual property development group was quietly christened Random House Worlds–meant to represent their broad development of content for multiplatform implementation, across books, interactive, film, TV, mobile, and more, working with partners from various media. RH Worlds is an evolution of what started as a unit to develop videogame properties in March 2010 under director of creative development Keith Clayton. Spokesperson Theresa Zoro says they regard the unit as “a service/development area, as opposed to an imprint.”
In the latest step, the company announced today that RH Worlds is partnering with Blacklight Transmedia, a “next generation production company, producing feature films, television programming, video games, books, comics, and digitally delivered content” started by Zak Kadison in 2009 (with a first-look deal with Imagine Entertainment).
Their intention is to work together to “create and develop complete transmedia worlds,” along with detailed “world bibles” documenting those new creations, to drive partnerships with authors, screenwriters, directors and media companies. Clayton says in the announcement, “We are leveraging one of Random House’s core strengths–story development–in new and exciting ways. This includes developing rich worlds ready for multiplatform implementation. Blacklight has one of the most unique transmedia strategies in Hollywood, and our relationship with them will help to further enrich the quality of our content as we develop properties for mediums beyond the book.”
In a different beyond-the-book expansion earlier this year, Random House, Inc. acquired Seattle-based digital media agency Smashing Ideas in May. At the time they said it “signaled the intention of Random House and its parent company to be leaders in digital content creation, and demonstrates their commitment to expanding revenues from mobile and interactive online products and services.”
Speaking of transmedia, our partners in producing Digital Book World F+W Media are convening their inaugural StoryWorld transmedia conference in San Francisco in just a few weeks. Our Publishers Launch Conferences division will be there, too, producing a West Coast version of our very well-received eBooks for Everyone Else full-day program that we first held at NYU last week. You can register for either or both at great rates here.