Full-motion video (FMV) is a video game narration technique that relies upon pre-recorded video files (rather than sprites, vectors, or 3D models) to display action in the game. While many games feature FMVs as a way to present information during cutscenes, games that are primarily presented through FMVs are referred to as full-motion video games or interactive movies.
The early 1980s saw almost exclusive use of the LaserDisc for FMV games. Many arcade games used the technology but it was ultimately considered to be a fad and fell out of use. In the early 1990s FMV games had a resurgence of interest, the proliferation of optical discs gave rise to a slew of original FMV-based computer games such as Night Trap (1992), The 7th Guest (1993), Voyeur (1993), Phantasmagoria (1995), and Daryl F. Gates' Police Quest: SWAT (1995). The introduction of CD-based consoles like 3DO, CD-i, and Sega CD brought the concept of interactive FMV gameplay. Companies such as Digital Pictures and American Laser Games were formed to produce full-motion video games.
As the video game industry was emerging from its niche status into the mainstream—by 1994 it was two-and-a-half times larger than Hollywood by revenue—Hollywood began to make inroads into the growing market. In 1994, Sony's Johnny Mnemonic became the first video game title produced by a film studio. Soon thereafter, video game heavyweight Electronic Arts featured well-known Hollywood talent such as Mark Hamill, Tom Wilson and John Spencer in their critically acclaimed titles Wing Commander III and IV, setting the stage for a more expansive tie-up between the movie and video game industries. With the continual improvement of in-game CGI, FMV as a major gameplay component had eventually disappeared because of the limited gameplay options it allowed.
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