Throughout time, there have been a number of popular films based on video game franchises, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Need for Speed. More recently, the popular online game World of Warcraft was transformed into an action film under the name Warcraft, this movie was considerably less successful. But is it a good idea to turn video games into movies?
We have seen many industries move into movies in the past years. The casino industry, for example, has inspired many movies like 21 that focus on blackjack or Casino Royale was you can see the famous James Bond battling in a high stakes poker game. Some game fans might argue that the films based on games make it possible for gamers to get a better insight into their favorite games and characters. However, there are already plenty of online guides, such as the Ladbrokes’ beginners guide to casinos, which can provide plenty of background information and strategy for games.
Video games these days have a lot to offer, in terms of story, characters, and graphics. In some cases, games are more like movies with playable elements, particularly when they have dramatic, cinematic cut scenes throughout the game. So, it’s not surprising that movie studios are becoming increasingly interested in creating live-action or CGI adaptations of video games. With all the right elements for a good film in place, it should work. However, 9 times out of 10 it just doesn’t.
There have been plenty of video game movies over the past few years and, although there have been some successes, most of these films have flopped at the box office. Time constraints are just one of the struggles Hollywood has when it is turning a popular video game into a feature-length film. Most video games are made so that they can be played without time limits, even once you’ve completed the game you can go back to it and replay levels or roam the open world. In movies, there’s a two-hour window in which the whole story needs to be told and wrapped up neatly. This leaves the difficult task of picking the best parts of a game and turning it into a comprehensible story. More often than not, things get lost in translation and the plot of the game is condensed so much that the story is not very convincing.
Although video games themselves have a relatively wide audience, movies based on them often don’t. This is because fans of popular video games have become so familiar with Hollywood making poor adaptations of their favorite games that they simply don’t want to watch another one. Outside of video game fans, these movies don’t have a particularly large audience. Why would someone who has never played a game be interested in watching a two-hour movie about it? This means that even the greatest movie based on a video game won’t do as well as other popular blockbusters that do have a wide appeal.
Despite the obvious flaws with video game movies, Hollywood doesn’t seem to be put off trying to make them work. In the future, it’s likely we’ll keep seeing many adaptations- some might be good but most won’t be worth the watch!