Grand Theft Adaptation

Grand Theft Adaptation
Now Playing: Why They're Mining Old Movies for New Games

Tom Chick | 16 Aug 2005 12:04
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The Warriors is probably the most videogame-friendly choice among these unlikely game IPs. The movie was a tightly focused story about a gang of guys just trying to get home before dawn by fighting their way through themed territories. This gamey simplicity, from a time before computer games, is partly what makes it attractive. Consider, too, the dark, vaguely post-apocalyptic production design, the barely post-disco "worse" part involves the lack of willingness (or inability) to take risks, boards of directors and investors who need to be appeased, the supremacy of marketing, and the other elements of success that lead to games with numbers after their titles and movie tie-ins. A scant few years ago, Will Wright had a hard time getting Electronic Arts to see The Sims through to completion. He probably wouldn't be able to get it made today.

Now, the deck is stacked against original IPs, but astute companies will still need to cultivate their own, partly because they're cheaper to build from the ground up rather than buying them from someone else after they've become valuable. This is what's happened in the last five years in enough to know that the cachet of a fifteen-plus-year-old, critically acclaimed or fondly recalled movie has nothing to do with the game that bears its name. Joe likes The Godfather; ergo, Joe will like this game. See Joe buy. "Go, Joe, go," says EA.

As for the rest of us, we're left on the sidelines to watch and remember the good old days when Star Wars games were so awesome. We'll always have Hoth. Sometimes, we're not so much gamers anymore as we are spectators. Break out the popcorn.

Tom Chick's articles have appeared in several gaming publications. He also provides commentary at his website, Quarter to Three.

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