During a panel for SXSW this week, Veronica Hart, EVP of Global Franchise Planning & Operators, Consumer Products at ViacomCBS, and Mike DeLaet, SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Scopely, discussed the partnership between their companies and the future of Star Trek mobile gaming.
Last year Scopely, the gaming company behind Star Trek Fleet Command, announced that they were partnering with ViacomCBS so they could license the entire breadth of the Star Trek universe for their games. Previously, Scopely was only able to create content focusing on the Kelvin Timeline — the timeline created by the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies. Though the game was wildly successful while focusing only on the Kelvin timeline, not being able to access other Star Trek properties left only so much room for expansion.
After they partnered with ViacomCBS, Scopely quickly launched a whole new suite of content based on Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: The Original Series, including missions based on the shows and new characters that players could add to their crews.
During the panel, Hart and DeLaet discussed the plans for future Star Trek Fleet Command content and expansion to other platforms.
Expanding the Fleet Command Universe
Now that Scopely can play around with the entire Star Trek universe from TOS to Strange New Worlds and Prodigy, they intend to bring that content to the Fleet Command universe. Though they didn’t drop any hints as to which Star Trek series would be the next target for Scopely’s development, Hart and DeLaet hinted that content from fan-favorite shows is on the way.
DeLaet emphasized that their top priority is to give fans what they want. Scopely gathered player feedback about what new content they were looking for, which led to discussions with ViacomCBS about which Star Trek properties they could license.
If Scopely chooses to expand the Fleet Command universe in chronological order, it could mean that Star Trek: The Next Generation content is next in line, though that’s pure speculation. No timeline was given for adding content from other Star Trek shows.
So far, the focus seems to be on expanding the content based on the shows they’ve already launched in-game. The TOS universe in Fleet command got some major additions in the March patch. Commanders can now add Chekov and Scotty to their crews. The patch also added new TOS-inspired missions.
Going Where no ‘Star Trek’ Game has Gone Before
The major focus of the panel was how mobile gaming is changing what that means for Scopely’s games. Hart and DeLaet didn’t give specific details about plans to expand the mobile experience for Fleet Command, but they did talk about where they think the game is headed.
Integrating the gaming experience for players is one of the main goals for the future of Fleet Command. DeLaet said that Scopely is working toward making the mobile gaming experience just as expansive and immersive as the gaming experience on a PC or console. He added that with new mobile technology and 5G infrastructure, that level of the mobile gaming experience isn’t far in the future.
DeLaet also said that Scopely hopes to expand into the console space. They currently have games available on mobile and they just launched the promotional web game, Star Trek: Kobayashi Maru. However, they have yet to break into the console space. As they venture into other platforms, Scopely plans to make the gaming experience from platform to platform seamless.
When asked about the possibility of expanding into augmented reality, Hart and DeLaet agreed that it was something they’re interested in exploring. They pointed to the success of games like Pokémon Go and said that it would be interesting to explore how they could do something similar with Fleet Command. However, they emphasized that right now, the focus is expanding to console and PC.
Though these advancements for Star Trek Fleet Command are likely far on the horizon, they make the future of Star Trek gaming quite enticing.