Game Cos. in Talks to Use Limited-Play DVD16 Nov, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik
Video game companies may someday employ new Flexplay limited-play DVD technology as a quasi-rental product, said the company's president and CEO, Alan Blaustein.
While the company is focusing on the technology as a promotional and marketing platform for entertainment companies or any Fortune 500 company with a dynamic message to get out, Blaustein also suggested the technology could be used as a limited-view, disposable rental product. Due to resource constraints, Blaustein said the company is not currently pursuing that opportunity in the home video market. He did say, however, that the company has been in discussions with some video game companies to deliver a limited-play game “rental” product.
Just last week, MGM was the first Hollywood studio to use the Flexplay DVD as a promotional vehicle in its promotion of the Nov. 22 theatrical release of Die Another Day. The disc, mailed to a reported 5,000 press members and entertainment executives, contained a trailer and a number of other teasers, as well as several featurettes and Madonna's “Die Another Day” music video.
The Flexplay DVD, in development since 1999, made its debut during last month's MTV Video Music Awards Latin America, where a compilation of music videos from some of the nominees was inserted into the show program. Blaustein said the company is targeting music as an especially viable market for its DVD.
The Flexplay DVD can be played on a normal DVD player and is a standard DVD in every other respect except that it has special coatings applied to the disc that when exposed to air gradually change, making the disc unreadable. The technology is scalable from a few hours up to 60 hours. The MGM disc, designed to last 36 hours, came in a sealed plastic pouch with a promotional card glued to one side.
Many of the elements on the Die Another Day promotional DVD are similar to typical DVD extras, but MGM Home Entertainment executives said the home video arm wasn't involved. Blaustein said the disc took about five weeks to put together with MGM.