Summer Games Vs Movies

SSJmole

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Summer Games Vs Movies
We weigh up Watchmen, Dragonball and the rest of this year's blockbuster movie-game tie-ins
.

Now that software publisher Activision has announced its upcoming game adaptation of Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, almost every big summer blockbuster movie - with the notable exception of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot - has a tie-in game as part of its full-frontal multimedia assault.

With the smallest fistful of exceptions - Starbreeze Studios's Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, springing most readily to mind - movie-license games have traditionally been a quick-and-easy cash-generator for their respective publishers, usually enjoying minimal resources and the slimmest of development cycles.

All this corporate cynicism means joyless, predictable offerings that besmirch the usually good names of their movie brethren, disappointing fans and sullying the sub-genre even further in the process. And that's quite an achievement given that history is already littered with horrors almost too many to mention - anyone who's unfortunate to experience the likes of Matrix: The Path of Neo or Genuine Game's jaw-droppingly awful Fight Club: The Game will know exactly where we're coming from.

However, with film studios now making a far greater effort to integrate game development into movie production cycles, surely a kick-*** entry into this dubious sub-genre is just around the corner? With that in mind, IGN weighs up this year's blockbuster movie-game tie-ins.

Here it is

http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/954/954513p1.html


Pretty interesting read and I'll admit it looks like movies games are showing improvements. Maybe it's because people have noticed how much they suck.


So what are your thoughts on Movie games, Are they improving? Is there any you want?
 
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Gemini

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IGN has this tendency to say "hey look this actually looks like it'll be pretty good" before the game comes out and then say "yeah sorry, this is complete trash" in the review
 

SSJmole

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IGN has this tendency to say "hey look this actually looks like it'll be pretty good" before the game comes out and then say "yeah sorry, this is complete trash" in the review

That Is true. I was just using their article to see where people stand on it. I mean I've admitted movie games are showing signs of improvement E.g Incredible Hulk the game was much better than the game based on previous hulk movie. Now some have gotten worse E.g Spider-man 3 was worse than Spider-man 2.


However I think the best movie games are ones that come out years after the film or are only loosely based on movie. Some examples :

  • Godfather
  • Star wars Battlefront 1 + 2
  • Ghostbusters looks to be great.


Maybe that is because the concentrate on the game not getting out for the film. But ones based on the film themselves at the time of the film's release have improved. I admit I loved Transformers the game, TMNT the game. and others.
 

ourchair

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I honestly think that motion picture rights holders should consider a different strategy for exploiting their IP in videogames.

Instead of farming out game development work to create release tie-ins, why don't they just contract developers to produce movie-based games based on already popular releases?

They could then go the extra mile by trying to pull of a marketing thing where the second selling point of the movie-based game is that a star developer or name studio is handling the game development.

A lot of the best developers in videogames right now, are the ones that work with original properties and are interested solely in working on their own IP. I think that if Universal, FOX or Warner Bros. is willing to commit to securing top talent, they could just try to win over these developers with a lucrative contract, while minimizing the risks the developers take with original IP.
 

Zombipanda

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I honestly think that motion picture rights holders should consider a different strategy for exploiting their IP in videogames.

Instead of farming out game development work to create release tie-ins, why don't they just contract developers to produce movie-based games based on already popular releases?

They could then go the extra mile by trying to pull of a marketing thing where the second selling point of the movie-based game is that a star developer or name studio is handling the game development.

A lot of the best developers in videogames right now, are the ones that work with original properties and are interested solely in working on their own IP. I think that if Universal, FOX or Warner Bros. is willing to commit to securing top talent, they could just try to win over these developers with a lucrative contract, while minimizing the risks the developers take with original IP.

I feel the same way. I just feel like, it's going to be hard to pull away a top name developer from their passion projects to work on a licensed property. And I'm sure having to work with all the different people involved in the license is a huge pain in the ***. Besides, there's no real incentive for the studios, who know that a license will sell whatever crappy games they put out.
 

ourchair

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I haven't looked up the numbers in a while, but I'm pretty sure that a moderate portion of tie-in games don't sell as well as is popularly believed, especially considering the amount of development budget waste that has been associated with some of these movie tie-in games. For example, Enter the Matrix cost an *** load of money so while it still made a ton of money, its return on investment is nothing compared to say, Rollercoaster Tycoon or Diablo II.
 

Zombipanda

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I haven't looked up the numbers in a while, but I'm pretty sure that a moderate portion of tie-in games don't sell as well as is popularly believed, especially considering the amount of development budget waste that has been associated with some of these movie tie-in games. For example, Enter the Matrix cost an *** load of money so while it still made a ton of money, its return on investment is nothing compared to say, Rollercoaster Tycoon or Diablo II.

Hm. Valid point. I think, by and large, licenses are going to be hard sells to developers who have already made their bones. Look at Bioware, which started with licensed games like Star Wars and is now trying to push away from those licenses to do their own things.

I'd love to see a push towards big name developers, but I'd also like to see license-holders try out different methods for expanding their licenses. The market for a lot of these licenses are more casual gamers. The Watchmen tie-in, I think, is a step in the right direction for experimentation (although they picked about the worst license to do it with). I'd love to see, for instance, DC or WB putting together small development teams who are experienced in smaller, homebrew games to put out Live or PSN games, utilizing licensed characters in well-established genres from the pre-3D era of gaming. Say, Batman using the Castlevania formula or Aquaman using the Actraiser formula. Production would be much cheaper and you'd be able to use technology and styles of gameplay that are already well established and polished.

As for IGN, yeah. They'll market the **** out of a game before its release, no matter how bad it is.
 
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ourchair

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Hm. Valid point. I think, by and large, licenses are going to be hard sells to developers who have already made their bones. Look at Bioware, which started with licensed games like Star Wars and is now trying to push away from those licenses to do their own things.
You're right.

By and large, the most successful videogame companies have been the ones that developed original IP. Which isn't to say, that the originality of the IP was critical to their success, but it usually meant that developers weren't being held accountable to a rights holder vision of what direction an IP shoould take in game form.

In the hypothetical scenario I sketched above, I actualy neglected to mention that I meant that the developers would be given carte blanche on how to work the IP into a game. Which is why I mentioned people like Sid Meier, graybeards who have earned enough experience and royalty treatment to earn designer prerogative when they sign distribution deals. Though I imagine a better example is Peter Molyneux who is just ****ing crazy.

Many of the first videogame IPs were really just thinly veiled knock offs of concepts made popular in other forms of popular culture. Some even originated as licensing pitches for things like Star Trek, Star Wars and the like, that were ultimately rejected by the rights holders.

Zombipanda said:
I'd love to see a push towards big name developers, but I'd also like to see license-holders try out different methods for expanding their licenses. The market for a lot of these licenses are more casual gamers. The Watchmen tie-in, I think, is a step in the right direction for experimentation (although they picked about the worst license to do it with). I'd love to see, for instance, DC or WB putting together small development teams who are experienced in smaller, homebrew games to put out Live or PSN games, utilizing licensed characters in well-established genres from the pre-3D era of gaming. Say, Batman using the Castlevania formula or Aquaman using the Actraiser formula. Production would be much cheaper and you'd be able to use technology and styles of gameplay that are already well established and polished.
I agree with this.

Not because I'm interested in seeing those games --- a moot point --- but on the sheer principle of it: which is that IP needs to be keyed into designs that either target the market, rather than just being Punisher = Max Payne with a skull shirt or Batman = Final Fight with black kevlar, or that designs need to be made to complement the IP.

In any case, the origins of my fantasy lie in the fact that for every boring licensed game I've played, I've often wondered what it would be like if they just gave the license to someone bat**** loco. The resulting game isn't guaranteed to be better, but at least it would be interesting and ambitious.
 

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