Forget GTA: San Andreas – get 'Left Behind'
That emerging market segment will be in focus at the fourth annual Christian Game Developers Conference (July 28-30, Portland, Ore.), which hands out awards for the best Christian games of the year and looks to “equip game developers to glorify God.” Sector insiders suggest that like the Christian music market, the religious gaming market has strong potential.
N’Lightning Software CEO Ralph Bagley believes half of the video game crowd is Christian. His company was the first of about 100 Christian game developers to invest in the creation of PC games. Its first title, “Catechumen,” cost $830,000 to develop and has sold about 80,000 copies worldwide since its 2001 release, according to the company. The second game, “Ominous Horizons,” cost $1 million to create and has sold more than 50,000 copies, it said.
…Go Play Research video game analyst Billy Pidgeon said “socially conservative Christians may not want their children to play games at all. . . . On the other hand, when kids are asking to play video games, Christian parents may find these games an acceptable way to promote their values, while keeping their children entertained.”
…Another major factor is the unveiling of the first PC release from Left Behind Games, which will translate content from a 13-volume book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins that has sold more than 63 million copies.
“Left Behind: Eternal Forces” is a real-time strategy game set in New York during the End of Days, which will allow gamers to choose between the angelic Tribulation Forces and the demonic Global Community Peacekeepers in a multiplayer online mode. The game is set to ship before Easter.