In fact, let’s quote the whole description, as written by A+E Networks’ PR team:
An exciting new free-to-play adventure game from A&E Television Networks based on The History Channel's hit television series ANCIENT ALIENS.
Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings. What if it were true? Did ancient aliens really help to shape our history? And if so, might they have come here to escape some cataclysmic event on their home planet? Or perhaps... to prevent one from happening on ours?
Play as a reluctant Alien Hybrid in this climactic story-driven city building game written by bestselling author and award-winning game writer Steven-Elliot Altman. Uncover evidence along with Ancient Astronaut Theorists and learn the truth from the Aliens themselves. Abduct primitive humans, manipulate their DNA, and help them establish modern civilization as you exploit Earth's mineral wealth and oversee the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
What if it were true? Find out now playing ANCIENT ALIENS: The Game!
The game, scheduled for final release this month, is no great shakes, and the opening chapters are more than a little boring (to me, anyway; I don’t care for this type of Civilization or Sim City type of building game), but it has a cartoony aesthetic guaranteed to appeal to the younger end of the Ancient Aliens fan community. The game opens with a cartoon of Tsoukalos giving a lecture on ancient astronauts behind a podium emblazoned with the History Channel logo and before a wall bedecked in the Ancient Aliens title card. If that doesn’t make manifest how much the network and its designers want users to associate ancient astronauts with the History Channel, I’m not sure what would.
The fictitious Tsoukalos then asks you, the game player, to undergo hypnotic regression in order to travel back to a past life in Egypt, where a Grey alien from Nibiru abducts you and orders you to lie to and deceive your fellow humans in order to build nuclear power plants to run the aliens’ earthly gold-mining operations. Later in the game, players meet “Akasha,” an alleged Egyptian oracle, who is clearly named for Theosophy’s Akashic Record and the Vedic Akasha ether it was based upon. Obelisks, of course, serve as energy beams, because David Childress once said so.
All of this I might have dismissed as “fun” if it were presented as fiction, but the game isn’t just content to tell a story about ancient astronauts. Despite a few feints toward noting that the game is merely assuming that the hypothesis is true, as players get deeper into the game, the disclaimers get swapped out for “guidance” by “Giorgio Tsoukalos,” who presents ancient astronaut theory claims in a way that heavily implies that they are factual statements meant to “educate” players about ancient astronauts. For example, in one scene “Tsoukalos” informs players that the Temple of Denderah in Egypt has no evidence of soot on the ceilings and too little oxygen to keep a torch alight, thus demonstrating that the Egyptians had electricity.
I can’t decide whether this game—parallel as it is to the Pawn Stars game History previously produced—is actively harming the network’s audience or whether it represents proof that History considers the program to be essentially a semi-fictional reality show with ancillary merchandising.
But what I really want to know is where the money is coming from. Networks don’t spend cash for no reason, and a “free to play” game either is intended to generate in-game purchases, or else History thinks that this game is going help them expand the Ancient Aliens brand in additional money-making directions. At this point, the investment History and A+E have made in Ancient Aliens—from the game to a fashion line to the children’s book to regular DVD releases—suggests that the program isn’t going anywhere and makes a hell of a lot more money than even I suspected it takes in.