Popular Movies Made into Games
Movies are a key part of our culture and continue to influence us on a daily basis. From the products we buy to the way we speak and act, we may even be subconsciously mirroring our (possibly fictional) heroes and villains. Movies aren’t just 2 hours of escapism anymore; the themes, characters and motives are translated into hundreds of other industries, with advertisers recognising and capitulating on popular franchises with tie-ins and product sponsorship. Just look at Star Wars, a film that has dominated the toy, book, gaming, food and leisure industries and has promoted everything from cars to baby products.
Gaming is an exploding industry and has been for some time. Billions of dollars are spent worldwide on the latest consoles and games, with more people than ever spending their free time either using a well-known avatar to play others online or acting out their favourite stories in a virtual environment. This desire to create new events using recognised characters is a key part of gaming and films lend themselves well to game conversion. Recognised franchises will sell more copies and gamers get their kicks from reliving enjoyable moments in cinema history (just look at the Grand Theft Auto series). We’ll be taking a look at some of the most famous films that have been recreated digitally to allow gamers to relive their favourite moments.
Since A New Hope hit screens in 1977, the movie series that changed the sci-fi world has easily lent itself to video game conversions. With a plethora of characters, a rich universe and multiple story arcs, the variety and style of games over the years mean that the franchise has benefited massively from getting their brand into the gaming world. The most recent addition in the Star Wars Battlefront series brings the key characters into a first person shooter that has performed well since its release in 2015.
Clash of the Titans
The 2010 remake of the 1981 classic that starred Sam Worthington and Gemma Aterton was a sleeper hit and spawned a sequel in 2012, Wrath of the Titans. The original movie was translated into a PS3 / Xbox 360 adventure game which came across as a bit of a money-spinning tie-in, but a popular online slot game Clash of the Titans got better reviews and is still a popular alternative for fans of the series.
The original 1980s movies have become cult classics, with the comedy of Bill Murray rocketing them to the top of everyone’s nostalgia lists. The success of both movies meant that a series of video games and eventual third film would inevitably follow. The 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game is the most successful so far with a solid plot, decent graphics and the magic of Murray, but unfortunately the 2016 remake tie-in was doomed to failure, with a 30 out of 100 score on Metacritic which caused the game developer to file for bankruptcy three days after release.
Every single Harry Potter film to date has had a video game tie-in and the Harry Potter brand has followed the Star Wars school by creating merchandise out of everything in sight. Despite most of the official movie games being shameless money makers with poor plots and a lack of actual gameplay, the Lego series of games performed very well and benefited from the super successful Lego legacy.
The Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy based on Tolkien’s classic book series was a film phenomenon in the early 2000’s which lead to an adaptation of the Hobbit this decade. The films of course managed to have some fairly average games tied to them, but recently Shadow of Mordor was a highly playable RPG which had some excellent gameplay, dialogue and felt very well made. There have also been a series of successful mobile phone games and of course a Lego series which again received very positive reviews.
As the scale and budget of films continues to rocket and interest in gaming increases, the scale of the video games that are released is beginning match the quality of Hollywood blockbusters. This is good news for gamers recreate their favourite moments and will hopefully see the end of low quality games rushed to market just in time for the film release.