Comcast’s X1 Set-Top Platform Might Get Back Into the Game

Comcast is exploring the notion of offering casual, interactive games via its X1 platform more than a year and a half after it ended a trial with Electronic Arts to offer console-style games on X1 set-top boxes. 

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In recent weeks, Comcast has been selling an episodic, interactive game called The Walking Dead for $9.99 in partnership in partnership with Telltale Games. X1 customers currently have the option to play the first chapter/episode of the game (six episodes make up the game’s first season on X1) for free.

Comcast has been promoting the game alongside other OTT apps supported on X1, such as YouTube, Netflix and Pandora. The Walking Dead, like those other OTT services, is streamed to X1 boxes via internet connections so data for the game is subject to Comcast’s internet usage data policies.

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There are a lot of differences between this game and the games Comcast had offered to X1 boxes in partnership with EA, which had included titles from the game-maker's FIFA and PGA franchises. 

Rather than centering on sports and fast-twitch action titles controlled by tablets and smartphones such as it was in the Comcast/EA set-top gaming trial, The Walking Dead is a slower paced, cinematic graphic adventure game in which the narrative changes based on the decisions made by the player. The player makes those decisions and navigates the screen using the arrow keys and “OK” button on the X1 remote.

Additionally, the EA/Comcast trial was free; X1 customers have to pay in order to get access to the full version of The Walking Dead.

Comcast is not making any further commitments, noting that it’s currently in the exploration phase with respect to offering causal, interactive games on X1.

The TV-MA-rated game is set in the same universe as Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, which, has also been adapted in the popular AMC TV series. The user plays as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal who gets a second chance at life in a world of the undead. The choices made by the player affects how the story unfolds.

Telltale Games also sells The Walking Dead games on other platforms, including PCs, consoles and mobile devices. The version being sold by Comcast limits access to the set-top box.

To get a sense of the game, here’s the trailer for season one:

And here’s a video posted to YouTube showing the game running on X1 (again, it’s rated TV-MA):