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Movies And Video Games Should Be Mutually Exclusive

For a while there, things were looking up.

There was Kung Fu Panda, The Bourne Conspiracy, and Transformers: War for Cybertron (one of three pretty decent "Transformers" titles). But you know, we have to come to the conclusion that no video game based on a movie, and no movie based on a game is going to be winning any awards.

The whole "Battleship" fiasco is just another example, although in this particular case, the movie tanked, too. The bottom line is that whether a game is based on a film or vice versa, there just aren't enough resources or effort put into the production. This is partly because the distributor probably knows it won't win any awards or hit big on the sales charts; thus, the vicious circle: Not enough resources and effort, no win on either side. The whole thing is just pointless, so let's just keep the industries mutually exclusive, shall we? No, of course it won't happen. I'm just saying, in an ideal world...

I think the final element is one not enough people acknowledge- Movies and games are just vastly different. This isn't about visuals; this is about how we participate in both hobbies. One is entirely passive while the other is almost entirely active. To take a production from one world and attempt to jam it into the other is the epitome of square peg syndrome. Worse, it's entirely unnecessary. Let movies do their thing and let games do theirs. Let's not keep cross-polluting because after many years of futility, the failures are numerous and obvious, and it's time to accept that.

Tags: video games, movies, films, game movies, movie games

5/21/2012 9:06:09 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

xenris
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 10:12:51 PM
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I agree. I don't know how these games manage to sell, but clearly someone somewhere is buying them.

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Killa Tequilla
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 10:23:02 PM
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Maybe the big developers should try... And see where that goes. If they fail, then...

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evilmunkie
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 10:26:31 PM
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I saw this failing not a mile away, but from the horizon itself. A movie about a boardgame just cannot end right...... right? Seriously now, who the - is green lighting these projects? It also doesn't help that when I see the movie trailer I keep on thinking its a Transformers movie. I saw the game trailer on tv the other day, I assumed it was a browser game with PS2 visuals then at the end its revealed to be Battleship. I haven't seen this movie but from what I saw from the trailer it looks like either a Transformers or a Crysis movie. It would have done alot better if the name wasn't Battleship. Whats next hangman (sounds like a western).......connect four........hungry hungry hippos? Some things just do not translate correctly and sometimes people in charge need to respect a winning recipe and not toss in ingredients that will just foul up the dish. The nerve some directors/writers/producers have, thinking they are doing some good changing things. Theres a reason a project is being made into a movie, it was successful before it was brought to them, and it will be successful after they maim it's name on the screen (talking about movies about games in general not battleship).

Last edited by evilmunkie on 5/21/2012 10:29:08 PM

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Akuma07
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 6:32:16 PM

The problem isn't the qualty it is the fact that people expect them to be the same.

If the movie is great, they expect the game to be stellar. If the game is amazing, then they expect the movie to be the next best hit.

We simply put WAYYYYY to high expectations on these things.

I have enjoyed most game based movies, the resident evil series is great! I agree that most movie based games suck, but that is because the developers just try to copy the movie entirely, and really don't care about the actual quality.

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SaiyanSempai
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 10:57:11 PM
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Agreed! And lets not forget the games based on movies that are based on games. Like the incredibly horrible 80's "Street Fighter: The Movie" game based on the equally horrible 80's Street Fighter movie, based on a really good video game - Street Fighter II. I know! It just doesn't make any sense!

Last edited by SaiyanSempai on 5/21/2012 10:59:37 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 11:03:13 PM
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Well since most videogames based on movies are made simply to make some quick cash I don't think the developers or movie companies care about the current opinion on the quality of their products.

Kids are stupid and will get mommy and daddy to buy them a game regardless of the reviews.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 11:44:40 PM

There isn't much "quick cash" to be made on crap, movie tie-in or no.

Just ask THQ.

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tes37
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 11:42:53 PM
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These game and movie tie-ins seem to be funded by someone who wants to see it happen. While the person that's hired to make it happen, is only concerned with meeting a time-frame in a contract. The result is usually a bunch of ideas thrown around with no vision or direction in mind.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 11:47:44 PM
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Star Wars: Kinect

But seriously it really is irritating. When I heard someone wanted to make a movie of Heavy Rain I was like, "But it would only have a single ending."

I'm not too concerned about games that come from movies as they get the poor sales they deserve but I worry about gaming being the next target of the creatively bankrupt movie business once they squeeze comic book characters to death.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 1:44:14 AM

Incidentally, Rain is still coming out next year, if I remember correctly. (yes, they decided to drop the Heavy-ness)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 12:43:37 PM

You're kidding me?

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GuyverLT
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 12:20:07 AM
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I generally agree with this topic..... However is it wrong for me to have high expectations 4 the Amazing Spider-Man Game, since Spider-Man 2 game was actually good.

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Comic Shaman
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 10:29:46 AM

First example I thought of as well. Spidey 2 demonstrated to me that the crossover is not impossible, just very, very improbable.

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Raze22
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 12:54:20 AM
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Bad idea because your going to have good games based off different medias that will be wonderful and then your going to get your bad ones. This works vice-versa as well. Plain and simple.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 12:55:13 AM
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Yes Ben, YES. Seldom has I agreed more with an editorial of yours than this.
No mud slinging either way, just a conclusion that they are two entirely different medium with each their own properties and strengths.

"Let movies do their thing and let games do theirs" - amen to that, and cheers.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 12:59:46 AM
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I can't comment too much on the quality of games based on movies as I've only played the occassional demo. Lego PotC was fun though, right?

My main issue with movies based on games (I own a LOT of those) is that the movie never follows the game! I want to see what I played but in live action or full CGI. Alright, they would need to cut down on the 'find the red key for the red door' puzzles but they could still follow the story of the game. THAT would be enjoyable. Unless it's a boardgame as those really have no story to follow.

Heck, there are plenty of games including MGS and Resi Evil that I used to enjoy watching my friends play more than playing them myself.

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gungrave
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 2:01:13 AM
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That's true for most cases but I think EA did a great job with The Lord of the Rings. The Two Towers and Return of the King games on PS2 were excellent in my opninion. I also enjoyed Enter the Matrix, although it needed more time, I appreciate the fact that they attempted to incorporate it into the story and filmed new footage for it.

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PharaohJR
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 3:49:55 AM

Lord of Rings game on ps2 was trill. remember doing co-op with my cousin, story should of been longer.

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JDC80
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 2:35:00 AM
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I've always liked the Spider-Man movie based games(Not Spider-Man 3 for the PS2) The Amazing Spider-Man from clips and previews I've seen look really good. As for other movie tied in games Captain America:Super Solider is a decent game, X-Men Origins Wolverine is a good game and Star Wars Ep.III revenge of the sith game was hack and slashing fun.

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Axe99
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 2:49:44 AM
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If we'd have stuck to that policy, though, then we'd never have had Goldeneye, the Lego "everything" games, the PS2/Xbox LOTR games and a few other quality games that were movie tie-ins. Can't think of any quality films that were game tie ins (although I do have a soft spot for 'Wing Commander', but it's B-grade and I know it), but we do, on occasion, get genuinely good movie-based games.

So I wouldn't outright ban it, but rather just encourage the tie-in game not to be rubbish!

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 3:21:23 AM

"Silent Hill" (and for me personally I loved both Final Fantasy movies)

I thought it was great(SH) and I am highly anticipating the next one later this year.

To the article;

Me personally I don't mind the industries mixing it up. Most of the time they are flops on one side or the other, and sometimes they both flop, but once in awhile it pays off and something good is made.

THQ to me is a bad example as they tried to make to many games based on movies. And not just that but they seemed to approach them with a "here this is your project that you can work at home with your kids on the weekend" type thing. If you were to get Naughty Dog to make one of these games don't tell me they wouldn't do a fantastic job. Everyone and their mother knows they would :D

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 3:55:21 AM

Yes! Silent Hill was a fantastic adaptation, surwe it was different, but it certainly caught the atmosphere spot on. I hope the second film delievers and from what I have seen from following the story of the 3rd game I think it will.

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ulsterscot
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 3:08:14 AM
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Debbie Does Dallas the game - now available for PS3 with Playstation Move support

just joking folks

but could it happen?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 4:22:37 AM
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What could have been done more, is games from the same universe as a movie. That can easily work.

Just don't try to recreate a movie in a game (or vice versa), that's bound to be mediocre at best.


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/22/2012 4:23:39 AM

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___________
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 6:54:56 AM
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its a bit harsh to say no games should become movies and no movies should become games.
yea most of the time they end up poorly but not ALL the time!
xmen origins wolverine for example was a freaking awesome game!
wanted weapons of fate another example.
not saying they were GOTY contenders, but compare to something like THOR they were!
some movie based games turn out pretty good, definitely worth the time and money spent on them.
same thing goes for game based movies.
id love to see another tomb raider movie!
and of course we need the uncharted, bioshock and assassin creed movies to hurry the hell up!
i just hope they dont prove this stereotype right.

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PC_Max
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 7:34:20 AM
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I've been saying this for years. Movies based on games, boardgames, and in quite a number of cases.... comics. And vice-versa. Don't shoot me.

And regardless of what your tastes are... sorry, I played the game series.... I do not want more of the same when I go to the movies. I normally would like originality or the facsimile there of.

Yep, sometimes they work in both/all scenarios but rarely.

BUT REALLY! Why do they keep on doing it? Come one you know the answer to that. Do I have to drag it out of you? Money. Its a business and people will go see or buy these translations from one medium to the other.

Oh and really come on now, don't you think the guy who did this film is not a fan of Halo. lol. Alien armour design very similar. And the seller for some... Rihanna.

Its a business and something we will all have to be patient with... or not.

Keep... watching. Keep playing.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 8:27:25 AM
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Of course they should be, just as theatre is different from movies, books are separate, and music is separate.

All these mediums are capable of telling a story, but they are done so in a different manner. Personally, I don't feel any of them are better than the others. It just becomes an issue of which medium is the most effective for the story you wish to tell.

Forrest Gump couldn't be anything other than a movie, Lady Windemere's Fan is much more effective as a play, A Boy Named Sue is better told as a song, Twenty-Six shouldn't be anything other than a book, and Uncharted or GOW, or the Final Fantasies are much better as video games.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 8:33:21 AM

Bub, once in a blue moon I completely agree with your posts. This is one of those times. ;)

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Comic Shaman
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 10:28:11 AM

Er... maybe there's some subtle point that I'm missing here, but Forrest Gump WAS a novel first. Not a terribly successful one until the movie, but it started out as prose. So saying it "couldn't be anything other than a movie" isn't quite accurate.

Books/plays/comics/movies cross over quite well all the time. I don't think the "keep 'em separated" thesis that Ben is proposing even remotely applies to anything but the games-and-movies relationship.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:05:38 AM

yeah, Forrest Gump couldn't be anything but a movie. Clearly it's book didn't do well. I think that's a relationship that is clear. There are exceptions like the Harry Potter series, but even then, I think movies can't accomplish everything the books set out to accomplish. Of course, I don't really consider those books great literature anyways.

Just like Resident Evil can't be anything but a game. Sure it was a movie also, but it sucked.

My point stands...

Each medium does certain things better, and different stories would benefit more from different mediums.

Lady Windemere's Fan was a movie a few times over, but that doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be anything other than a play. Final Fantasy tried to be a movie as well, and it destroyed the entire Hawaii office of Square.

Even if you feel the Forrest Gump example is bad because it was a book first, the movie accomplished what the book could not, and there are plenty of other movie's to choose from that support my cause as well.

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Comic Shaman
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 2:24:24 PM

My friend, you have no leg to stand on with regards to the supposed need to keep books and movies separate. You can go back to Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, East of Eden, (great books, great movies), look to more modern examples like the Lord of the Rings (great books, great movies), look into different genres for something like Jaws or Silence of the Lambs (great books, great movies), go into more artistic territory with movies like Mystic River (great book, great movie)... and so forth and so on. You can go a long, long time before you run out of examples. Same goes for theater.

A movie will tell the same story differently. Of course. A book and a movie have different strengths of storytelling. Of course. But way too many great movies have started out as great books to support your point.

Now, we do have a harder time finding something that was a movie first and translated into a great book. Novelizations of something that started out in a visual medium (books, games, etc.) seem to have a handicap.

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Comic Shaman
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 10:39:29 AM
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I would say that Ben's opinion is pretty sound... but that I wouldn't call it impossible to see an exception come along.

I think we've had some near hits with movie-to-game translations. Ben listed some examples, and I also think of Spider-Man 2 (which I thought was great), Goldeneye (old, but significant), and a number of the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek games (executed with varying degrees of success). So it's not hopeless.

Games to film... well, hard to point to any great successes there, but perhaps someday.

Just consider: I think that nobody would have thought that making a movie out of an old theme park ride could possibly work until the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" film showed up. It hasn't exactly set a trend of ride-to-film successes, but it did prove to be an interesting exception.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:10:39 AM

I think you're starting to blur the lines between what constitutes a sort of... transplant of one medium to another. Using that pirates of the Caribbean example is moving away from what we're really talking about.

The entire screen play for Pirates is almost entirely original and separate from the roller coaster... it's not like taking the books of Ben Hur and making them into movies, which is a near direct screenplay reference to the books. It's just borrowing an idea. But the idea itself is largely original.

And regardless of success in general, it isn't difficult to find people that believe most works of art excel most out of one single medium of delivery. Even if you make a successful transplant into another medium, you -must- admit that something is lost on the original or that the transplant accomplishes what the original could not.

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Comic Shaman
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 2:28:19 PM

I used the example of Pirates because Ben used the example of Battleship in his original essay. If we're saying that the movie Battleship is really based on the game, then that sets a pretty wide basis for the kind of adaptation we're talking about.

And I don't agree with your last point. I think that there are some kinds of stories that have shown to work brilliantly in print as well as on the screen. I've listed just a few examples in my post above.

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D1g1tal5torm
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 3:23:08 PM
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Agree with the movie/game thing just not being able to be done right.

However, I have watched Hitman loads of times, dunno what it is, just enjoy it!

Sorry!

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