After several years in development, the blockbuster video game series Halo, owned by Microsoft (MSFT 0.17%)'s Xbox Game Studios, is finally going to be a big-budget TV series. The show, also called Halo, is scheduled to begin streaming on the ViacomCBS (PARA 4.07%) service Paramount+ in late March. In this episode of "The Gaming Show" on Motley Fool Live, recorded on Jan. 31, Motley Fool analyst Jon Quast and Fool.com contributor Jose Najarro discuss what this content synergy means for the growth of gaming companies.
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Jon Quast: With this news about Halo, though, you're talking a pure video game franchise now, getting a really major release. Paramount is really hoping that this is going to be a driver for them for subscriber growth. I just can't help, and Jose you already alluded to it, but I can't help but think that, that is maybe Sony's angle here [in acquiring video game company Bungie] because they do have the movie studios. They do have that whole entertainment division. In a way, you think about all of the movie and TV content that have been generated from comic books. Whether it's [Disney's] Marvel, [AT&T's] DC, or the other comic book companies of the past. That was a whole genre of entertainment for decades and then it fell out of style. Nobody is really into reading the comic books anymore. You might collect them for nostalgia's sake, but that form of entertainment has largely gone the way of the dinosaur but has been reimagined with video entertainment. There's so many ways that you can tell this whole library of comic book stories over different mediums like movies and TV. And is video games like modern comic books, where you are going to be able to go to source so many good story lines that you can bring to video entertainment? It really looks like that might be Sony's play here.
Jose Najarro: Especially here, with a little bit, going back to the Halo, I think it's insane how now we're moving from the gaming style to the movie theaters and I do believe they're going to get a nice amount of subscribers. Microsoft just released a nice free-to-play Halo game, and this is the, I want to say, the tactic Activision has kind of been doing in the past with Call of Duty mobile. It's a free-to-play game. Players go, they learn about Call of Duty mobile. It's free to play and then they get pushed to their other games. Then they start paying for either skills on their free-to-play game or they start buying the games that are $50, $60. I wonder if this is such a great move where Halo is doing this. They're going to grab up a whole new customer that might want to try this free-to-play Halo game that's available now. Then from there it feeds to those that want to continue the process, learn more about the Halo series and buy those games. I think it's pretty cool what's happening now with the games going into the streaming market. I know on The Witcher, it's known for being a book first, but I think most people watch it and know it for the video game series as well. That's one of the most popular series, I think, in Netflix, where it continues to do well. And I wonder how much money the gaming sales have improved due to them being a Netflix series doing amazing.