Nowadays the top selling video games are replete with highly polished cinematics and celebrity voice actors, but back in 1993 the game that took the PC gaming world by storm was Robyn and Rand Miller’s puzzle adventure game Myst. Players took on the role of a Stranger who finds themselves on the mysterious island of Myst, which contains many hidden books that act as gateways to other worlds. The only problem is that these books lie behind fiendishly tricky puzzles, and in 1993 there was no such thing as a Youtube walkthrough.
As with many video games of the time, Myst‘s story was simple and not exactly rich with the kind of plot twists and turns that would fill the running time of the average Hollywood movie, but developer Cyan Worlds also published a series of novels that expanded upon the mythology presented in Myst and its sequels. The novels were said to be the main source material for a movie based on Myst, which was in development several years ago by Roserock Films and Gran Via Productions, but never came to fruition.
Now another Myst adaptation is in the works, this time a TV series from Cyan Worlds and Legendary TV and Digital Media. Deadline reports that the Myst TV series is being developed alongside a companion video game, in what Cyan describes as a “transmedia” project.
“[Cyan is] finally… able to express in a visual linear medium the rich story that the Myst franchise is dripping with… Cyan’s goal in working with Legendary is not just to create a compelling TV drama but to develop a true transmedia product that will include a companion video game that extends the story across both media. Seventy percent of tablet owners use their device while watching TV at least several times a week. Cyan sees the potential to push the boundaries of interactive storytelling to a new level.”
Cyan’s statement indicates that the companion game is targeting a release on iOS and other mobile platforms, and it’s also possible that the TV series will end up releasing on a digital distribution platform like Netflix, which is already host to other video game-based shows like Red vs. Blue and Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. If the series is written in such a way as to draw a wider audience, however, it’s easy to imagine a Myst TV show ending up on network television.
This announcement is part of a growing trend of media based on video game properties, with Legendary’s film division currently in post-production on Warcraft, Duncan Jones’ epic fantasy film based on the video game franchise of the same name. Sony is also developing adaptations of its video game properties Uncharted and The Last of Us, and Ubisoft Motion Pictures has a full slate of movies based on Ubisoft games in the works.
Myst was one of a select few games that were included in the ‘Art of Video Games’ exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012 and holds a lot of nostalgic value for those who played it upon its initial release. In order for a TV show to be a success, however, Cyan and Legendary will need to attract new audiences to the story, as well as finding a way to translate that story to a whole new medium.
We’ll keep you updated on Myst as development continues.