‘WarGames’ Interactive Series From Sam Barlow Sets Early 2018 Release Date

Three decades after “WarGames” bought the world to the brink of thermonuclear Armageddon, the franchise is being reborn as an interactive story — in which you, the viewer, decide the fate of key characters and plot points.

Interactive-media startup Eko announced that “#WarGames” will launch in early 2018. The interactive series is based on MGM’s 1983 film starring Matthew Broderick as a whiz teen hacker. Eko, previously known as Interlude, announced the project two years ago in partnership with MGM.

The series is created by Sam Barlow, the acclaimed British video-game director behind 2015’s “Her Story.” Eko hired Barlow last year as creative director. Brooklyn-based production company m ss ng p eces is a production partner on “#WarGames.”

“#WarGames” is really only conceptually based on the original film, and would appear to draw as much inspiration from more recent hacker-culture fare like Sam Esmail’s “Mr. Robot.” The interactive series follows a group of young hackers who get involved in a web of modern espionage and government conspiracy. Viewers direct the story of the lead character, hacker protagonist Kelly, who “represents the breadth of modern hacker culture and its humanity,” according to Barlow.

“With ‘#WarGames’ I was thrilled to take the questions raised by the original movie and ask them again in a world where technology has fundamentally changed our lives,” Barlow said. “To do that interactively felt like a perfect marriage of form and content.”

Eko hasn’t revealed distribution plans for “#WarGames,” but currently the company distributes interactive series on HelloEko.com and through affiliate partners and social media.

Last month, Eko launched interactive comedy “That Moment When,” in which viewers can help Jill, played by Milana Vayntrub (best known for her role in a series of AT&T commercials), pass a test to get a new roommate and avoid running into her boss after faking being sick. The seven-episode series is produced by Olive Bridge Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Other media companies have been experimenting with interactive-storytelling formats. Netflix debuted two interactive kids’ shows this summer — “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” — and is looking at developing similar “choose-your-own adventure” shows for adults, chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at an investor conference this week.

HBO, meanwhile, worked with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh on “Mosaic,” which launched last month as an app that lets viewers choose the narrative outcome of a murder mystery. Soderbergh’s cut of “Mosaic,” starring Sharon Stone, will premiere on HBO as a six-part limited series on Jan. 22.

New York-based Eko, which changed its name from Interlude a year ago, is backed by investors including Innovation Endeavors, Intel Capital, Marker, MGM, NEA, Samsung, Sequoia Capital, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and WPP. The company owns seven patents for its technology, including its proprietary player and authoring tools. It offers the free Eko Studio suite of authoring tools to creators to make interactive experiences on Eko’s platform.

Watch the teaser trailer for Eko and MGM’s “WarGames” series:

More Digital

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

  • Apple Plans to Fund Podcast Exclusives:

    Apple Reportedly Plans to Fund Original Podcasts

    Apple has plans to open its checkbooks for podcasts that would be exclusive to its podcasting apps, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The investments would help the company defend its market leadership in an increasingly crowded field, and fend off competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Luminary. News of the plans sent Spotify’s stock down more than 3%; [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

  • Recording Studio

    Cloud-Based Music Mastering Platform Landr Raises $26 Million

    Cloud-based music mastering and distribution platform Landr has raised a $26 million Series B round of funding. The new founding round was led by the Sony Innovation Fund, microphone manufacturer Shure, state-owned financing corporation Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Warner Music, Plus Eight Equity Partners, Slaight Communications, YUL Ventures and PEAK Capital Partners [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content