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EA On Movie-Based Games: They're Just Not Worth It

Although some games based on movies have proven decent this generation, EA says they're done with the games/film licensing business. It just isn't worth it, they say.

This according to what EA Games president Frank Gibeau told Develop during a recent interview. What once was a big cash cow for the company has failed to deliver; games like James Bond 007: Blood Stone and titles based on "The Lord of the Rings" just don't seem to sell well. Said Gibeau:

If you want to make a hit, you have to give a game time to get to quality. The days of licensed-based, 75-rated games copies are dead like the dinosaur."

After being asked if EA would be returning to the movie/game business - in which they've participated for a good 15 years - Gibeau's response was firm and unwavering:

"The percentage royalties you have to pay the licensors are going the wrong way for publishers. The margins are being squeezed. And, to top it all off, the movie-game business is falling apart.

Considering the total amount of money we have to spend on those types of James Bond games, and the total amount of man-hours we had to put into them, we thought; hell, let’s work on our own IP. The guys who made James Bond games for us, well yeah, they went on and made Dead Space. And look where we are now; what would you rather publish, retail and play – the latest James Bond or Dead Space 2?"

Well, that's a darn good question. While we said Blood Stone was a pretty fun game and worth playing, we also know it paled in comparison to the fall season's truly great titles. This is the type of thing that drives EA nuts. However, we will say that High Moon Studios (Kung Fu Panda, Transformers: War for Cybertron) seem to be quite capable when it comes to making decent games based on films that also sell well.

You might want to ring 'em up, EA.

Tags: movie games, game movies, game industry, ea

11/29/2010 9:14:36 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (38 posts)

Snaaaake
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:30:55 PM
Reply

I got many movie-based game, and they're all pirated copies ;)

Agree with this comment 3 up, 8 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:36:33 PM

...we don't need to know that.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:40:52 PM

Lemme guess. Pirates of the Caribbean? =p


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Temjin001
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:52:13 PM

Oh, and Snaaake, if you act fast you can snag PS3 Castlvevania LoS for $34.99 off Amazon within the next 30min.

It's a steal! Just the way you like it =p

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Snaaaake
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:53:11 PM

It's not like I enjoyed any of them though, but these games are only worth pirating.

@Temjin, I already got Castlevania, fun game.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 11/29/2010 9:53:39 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:17:12 PM

Sshhhh, the word is "acquired" not pirated.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 9:05:49 AM

lol@world

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Temjin001
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:43:49 PM
Reply

I've never really been big into movie to game cross-overs of any kind--except N64 Goldeneye.

And I'm not looking forward to Uncharted the movie. Something about it just seems wrong because the game does the cinematic side of Uncharted so well it'd be bizarre to see a different take on the characters that I already like.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:18:06 PM

You can already tell the movie is gonna blow because they plan to add characters that don't belong in the series at all.

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Jawknee
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 9:49:06 PM
Reply

"They're Just Not Worth It"

Someone needs to tell Capcom.

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GuyverLT
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:15:09 PM

Capcom makes movie based games???

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Jawknee
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:47:06 PM

4 Resident Evils and 2 Street Fighter movies. All terrible in my opinion.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 11:27:14 PM

Those be game based movies.

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Godslim
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 4:50:55 AM

yeh those were games first and resi 4 is brilliant :)

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Alienange
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:16:22 PM
Reply

This Gibeau fellow certainly has his head screwed on right. Games need to, as he said, "get to quality."

Now you wanna know why those 75 rated movie-based games are dead like the dinosaur? I'll tell you. It's because the kids who've been ripped off by movie based games for the past 20 years are now all grown up, and now we're educating our kids, our nieces and nephews and anyone else that'll listen, on how to avoid these crappy movie based releases.

I think the kids are listening. I think one day there'll be a world free of movie based games.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:19:04 PM

I, for one, am a "World" that is free of them.

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Alienange
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:46:35 PM

We should mark this day on the calendar. The beginning of the end of movie based games was started by EA.

Or was it started by the devs who were smart enough to never get involved in the first place?

The world may never know.

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MadKatBebop
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:23:11 PM
Reply

If they do stop making movie based games Ill kinda be sad, but understand that they did it for the best. Btw even though Blood Stone isn't the best game I still had a lot of fun with it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:23:37 PM
Reply

Good on him/them, these games are never great and rarely even good. And movies based on games are worse, the two industries just shouldn't mix most of the time. Advent Children and Resident Evil Degeneration were good, and surprise surprise they were CG and had input from people who know something about the games.

I'd much rather EA keeps pushing their awesome IPs than putting up money to make another steaming pile of Jame Bond.

As for High Moon studios, nice work on yours but don't you think it's time to get to work on Darkwatch 2? Hmmmm?

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BikerSaint
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 10:38:25 PM
Reply

Overall I think Gibeau is right, but I also there were a few games out that did OK.

For me, AeonFLUX was one.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 11/29/2010 10:39:08 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 29, 2010 @ 11:28:36 PM

I liked the old anime, the movie was meh, never played the game. I'd definitely throw it in Charlize Theron though.

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eLLeJuss
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 12:09:20 AM
Reply

Inception game. brix will be shat.

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SolidFantasy
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 1:20:10 AM
Reply

I always felt like movie based games were a good opportunity for inexperienced developers. It may take a few games to really figure out how to make a great work of art. Or maybe they just aren't getting enough funding from the publishers.
Either way when you make a movie based game there are always those uninformed (ignorant) gamers that will buy it b/c they like the movie that it is based on and assume that the game would be no different and thus the publishers can be assured that they will get there money's worth even if the developers aren't up to the task of a AAA title just yet.
that has always been my theory anyway.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 1:50:34 AM
Reply

i dont like movie based games. except quantum of solace, i still play the multiplayer purely because it is so fun, and occasionally, glitchy

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 1:55:47 AM
Reply

In my opinion, there are a huge number of movies that would make excellent games. The problem is that devs think that they can take shortcuts in the production, and make a game that is only semi-faithful to the movie and filled with absolutely pointless segments and plot points to pad out the gameplay. Done properly, any game can rate extremely highly.

As for EA, they are simply giving up. And I don't blame them. Movie-based games haven't been profitable for a long time, and if they have been, it isn't by much. There simply isn't that unified quality.
Peace.

P.S. James Bond is a bad example of a movie-based game... because Ian Fleming wrote the books long before any movies were made... and I know the games follow the movies, but still...

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 11/30/2010 1:57:16 AM

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Fane1024
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 @ 2:08:01 AM

IIRC the first Bond movie came 4 years after the first Bond novel.

Correction: it's actually 9 years; Dr. No (the first movie) was made into a movie 4 years after the book release.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/1/2010 2:14:36 AM

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___________
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 2:03:17 AM
Reply

cost too much in licensing and 90% of the time there on a strict budget and have a small development window.
thats why movie based games suck, because they get a minuscule budget compared to other games and have a minuscule time frame compared to other games.
one movie based game i would love to see a sequel for would be xmen origins wolverine.
was a fantastic game that, yea buggy, broken, f*cked camera, f*cked controls but it still was lots of fun!

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 3:05:57 AM
Reply

How EA kicked the license habit

http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/217416/how-ea-kicked-the-license-habit/

Last edited by BikerSaint on 11/30/2010 3:07:18 AM

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Norrin Radd
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 12:55:26 PM

Thanks for the link. Good read.

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Bjorn77
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 5:33:28 AM
Reply

They should have made that decision years ago... Those game sucks, they sucked since the Amiga and Atari era and keep on sucking.

The list of good games made from movies contains only 2 or 3 titles... nuff said.


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JackC8
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 6:57:58 AM
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God move on EA's part. It takes longer to make a (good) game than a movie, so timing them to release simultaneously almost guarantees crumminess. I'd much rather see them come out with a new IP than just give us another rushed movie adaptation.

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Orvisman
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 9:29:39 AM
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I need to point out here that neither Bloodstone nor War for Cyberton were movie-based games, especially since neither were based on movies.

Yes, BloodStone was based on a character from the movies and BOOKS; but it was an original story and game. As for War for Cybertron, it too was an original story and not based on any movie.

My point is that neither of these games faced the typical problems movie-based games have to endure: sticking to the plot of the movie and releasing when the movie releases. So, saying they are the exceptions to bad movie-based games is not entirely accurate.

Saying Kung Fu Panda and the X-Men Origins: Wolverine games are the exceptions would be true.

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A2K78
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 11:15:36 AM
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Star Wars: Trilogy Arcade, Star Wars: Racer, and The Lost World:Jurassic Park were excellent. If anything props to SEGA for creating 3 of the best arcade games based on a movie franchise, but its a just a shame no other movie-based games will never match their quality.

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swapnilgyani
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 3:26:06 PM
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I've generally stayed miles away from move-based games. I guess the ony exception I've made was The Godfather game on PS2, and found it to be quite good, actually.

Perhaps the reason it was a good game was because it was not pressurized to be released along with the movie, and because it was allowed to have a character development and story progression of its own.

Why can they not just take characters from a popular movie franchise and build their own game based on it.

Kindaa how they make games based on comic book characters, you know? Just use the immensely popular characters (Batman, for example), create your own story and environment, concentrate most on "game" things such as gameplay and controls.

If the latest James Bond game fails to be a great all round product, its not because it was based on a movie franchise. It's probably because it's just a "rental" kind of a game - good while it lasts, but nothing too great.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 10:16:14 PM
Reply

Billy Bob Thornton Believes Games Are Killing Hollywood

Billy Bob Thornton has decided to become the Keiji Inafune for his industry. The actor slammed the industry that made him famous in a small interview with The Telegraph, calling recent Hollywood productions “the worst movies in history.”

Thornton believes that video games are the cause of the decline.

“In our current state of affairs, especially in the entertainment business, we’re living in a time when we’re making — in my humble opinion — the worst movies in history,” said Thornton.

“They’re geared toward the video game-playing generation. And these video games, which I’m on my son about constantly, these games are people killing for fun, and I think traditionally in movies, there’s always been some kind of lesson in the violent movies.”

Thornton exempts his latest film, a violent revenge flick starring Dwayne Johnson called Faster, from this trend.

You can read the complete story right here....

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/billy-bob-thornton-believes-games-are-killing-hollywood/


BTW, here's that earlier B.B. Thornton interview with the "Telegraph" right here too...

Hollywood is making 'worst movies ever' says Billy Bob Thornton

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8156395/Hollywood-is-making-worst-movies-ever-says-Billy-Bob-Thornton.html

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 10:20:12 PM
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Quick.....somebody send Billy Bob Thornton a copy of "Heavy Rain"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 10:56:11 PM
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FYI.....
Here is a very "Frank" discussion with EA Games President, Frank Gibeau......

http://www.develop-online.net/features/1065/A-Frank-discussion-with-EA

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Banky A
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 4:23:34 PM
Reply

That's what I like to hear!

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