Movies of games suck because?

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OK so I have watched a few films of games and they all suck and what really got to me was the main reason why. they change the plot and sometimes the characters. now since the reason you make a movie out of something like say, prince of Persia is so fans of the game will watch it, its clearly a bad idea to change the plot, after all if you change the plot of a game, ITS A DIFFERENT PRODUCT!

so I want to ask and to especially ask anyone who has been in the room when the decision to change the plot of a game when making a film WHY?! what is the reason TELL ME!

I was listening to a commentary track featuring a director and producer for a movie based on the game, and at one point during the commentary they mentioned that they changed the plot because they felt that most of the fans want to see something new from the universe that they love.

I forget which movie it was though. I want to say it was one of the "Resident Evil" movies, or maybe "Silent Hill"... but I really can't remember.

A. More action-focused games are difficult to turn into films because a direct translation to film would have action scenes take up about 75% of screentime. Difficult to budget, even more difficult to make interesting for an audience as an uninteractive medium.

B. More story-focused games are difficult to turn into films because they'd be unbearably long without removing anything that gave them character.

C. Nobody has really tried.

Even the most iconic videogames have awful stories. Or, a lot of videogames don't really translate into movies. How do you squeeze the plot of Shadow of the Colossus into a movie that isn't a live-action play trough of the game?

Bad directors.

Bad acting.

I would assume one of the reasons is the same with certain films base from a book, they can't fit it all in. I mean depending on the game itself let say the total game length is around 20 hours on average and films are usually around one and a half hours to two and a half hours. Therefore they will miss or drop some of the game stuff so they can fit it into the film.

They suck because studios don't know how to handle gaming IPs. They don't take them seriously.

Rather than develop a good story that plays to strengths of both cinema and the IP at hand, they insert characters and situations from games into generic action movie templates and hire Paul WS Anderson to direct them. Then they drop in some crappy fanservice stuff like the BFG in Doom and call it a day.

It's NOT because they change the plot. Game plots aren't necessarily going to work in a literal translation from game to movie screen. If the adaptations were more literal, they would still suck, just for different reasons.

What Scarim Coral said

They suck because movies are about 1-2 hours long while games can last well over 30 hours, to condense all that game play into just 1-2 hours of video, a lot of stuff has to be cut out and since most directors have no clue about the game they're turning into a movie, they'll most likely cut out an important part thus initiating the rage mode of all fans.

Game movies suck because Uwe Boll makes them. Also, because most games are about the gameplay, not a compelling story. Sure, there are some amazingly detailed stories in games like Mass Effect, but the only way to know about it is to spend hours listening to the insane amounts of dialogue, and that'd make for a rather dull film.

You didn't seriously go to see Prince of Persia and expect to watch the prince leaping around the castle by himself for 90 minutes of a 2 hour film did you? Of course they had to change it to include a little more plot - its really fun to play but much less entertaining to just watch.

It really depends on the genre I guess. Aside from that, the only film based on a game Ive seen is Silent Hill, which at least had the same concept. Only Cheryl became Sharon because Cheryl isn't common enough I assume, Harry became a woman and Pyramid Head got chucked into it, sending the meaning of his presence from deeply psychological to "He's scary". Why they do these things, I dont know - if to change anything, I thought they'd censor it but considering a particular scene involving barbed wire at the very end, that cannot be the case.

Hal10k:

Scarim Coral:

These two. But mainly part C. of Hal10k's post. Seeing as there aren't a lot of movies that try hard be good movies, I don't see how we expect to get good movies based on games. I think the dominant view in the film industry is that movies of games should be directed by Michael Bay to be true to the source. So they don't bother. They just make something that bares the same title as a game and has similar plot (similar to what Wikipedia can tell) and they call it a day. The fact that they go after popular franchises doesn't help. Most of the popular stuff isn't really the top in terms of plots and even if it is, film directors don't seem to care.

Silent HIll is a good example - it has a good plot but...well, SH has mostly been about the atmosphere and the whole "journey not the destination". You can't fit that into a movie. It's not possible to convay the same exact same message on a different medium. It is possible to try but you wouldn't win the masses with it.

Game stories in general are too long, too short, too nonsensical (see mario bros) or told ina non cinematic way (metal gear solid via codec). Early attempts were done when gaming was a kids hobby only so things got very dumbed down, but even today, what can really be down to resident evil to make it something other than just another zombie movie or Tomb Raider to make it something other than an Indiana Jones knock off.

But the big one is lack of effort. None of these has been lovingly crafted as Lord of the Rings, and is often just a paycheck for those involved. Some like Doom I'm sure were another movie that just leeched the title. Then there's Uwe Bol and his level of crap.

To be honest, the real reason is that Hollywood could care less about video games. They're competition. And Hollywood is filled with people who look at them as nothing more than toys for children to play with.

They don't know how to work with them, because they don't care. And when has Hollywood not had a superiority complex towards all media? They don't even tend to treat books with the respect they deserve, much less do they have an interest in doing anything respectful with video games.

Though I have to give them respect for some of the effort they have actually given with various horror video games. Then again, horror games are pretty tailor-made to Hollywood.

twiceworn:
so I want to ask and to especially ask anyone who has been in the room when the decision to change the plot of a game when making a film WHY?! what is the reason TELL ME!

Because video game plots and characters are boring, worthless, tepid garbage written for children and teenagers that only gets a free pass due to the pitifully low standards of the target audience. Anyone trying to make a decent movie from a game would have to be clinically insane to not change the plot.

At the end of the day. you can't make trifle out of dog turds, no matter how hard you try.

Of course, the fact that nobody really gives a shit is also a factor.

twiceworn:
OK so I have watched a few films of games and they all suck and what really got to me was the main reason why. they change the plot and sometimes the characters. now since the reason you make a movie out of something like say, prince of Persia is so fans of the game will watch it, its clearly a bad idea to change the plot, after all if you change the plot of a game, ITS A DIFFERENT PRODUCT!

so I want to ask and to especially ask anyone who has been in the room when the decision to change the plot of a game when making a film WHY?! what is the reason TELL ME!

Well first of all they do not make it for the fans. Hollywood has an obsession with using the titles of things to sell to you. How else would a movie based on the board game Battleship EVER be made.

Brands sell, and Hollywood knows this.

The reason for changing the plot is because Hollywood thinks they know better than the games and aim to make a movie that is "Accessible for all" and in doing so they change the weirder parts of a games plot.

this can also lead to situations like "Priest" where the movie had so little to do with the comic that it might as well had a different name.

So yeah fans of the games etc will get disappointed, but most people that have no knowledge of the game/series/etc might actually like the movie. I for one found Prince of Persia to be a rather fun movie to watch.

Zhukov:

twiceworn:
so I want to ask and to especially ask anyone who has been in the room when the decision to change the plot of a game when making a film WHY?! what is the reason TELL ME!

Because video game plots and characters are boring, worthless, tepid garbage written for children and teenagers that only gets a free pass due to the pitifully low standards of the target audience. Anyone trying to make a decent movie from a game would have to be clinically insane to not change the plot.

At the end of the day. you can't make trifle out of dog turds, no matter how hard you try.

Of course, the fact that nobody really gives a shit is also a factor.

on a game website and hating games... ladies and gentlemen i present to you..... THE MISSING LINK!

Some games of movies don't suck. Goldeneye didn't suck. I'm sure there are others but I can't rememberSPIDERMAN 2!

Yeah, that's about it.

Part of it is due to the time difference, another part is just how much of gaming's narrative can come from gameplay.

Film makers understand their craft (not necessarily all of them, but that's a different discussion), and game makers understand theirs. A game designer likely understands that gameplay itself can be used to tell a narrative, but to a director, that isn't an immediate connection. They are likely to focus on the narrative delivered in the way they most understand: cutscenes, and likely nothing else.

I have tried (mostly unsuccessfully so far) to watch game cutscenes back to back like a movie, and while some do it better than others, you can easily lose out on a lot about a character, scene or whatever by ignoring the gameplay. That boss isn't quite as characterized without his attacks that are both named and inspired by his personality.

Wolverine was awesome. :D

They suck for the same reasons that games about movies suck and why movies about books suck. Everyone wants to put their own touch on the product, and that means changing it.

DOOM: Walking down corridors with a gun in your face and barely any character interaction wouldn't interest non-gamers that much. The movie was crap anyway as the was completely different from the games'.

Resident Evil: Kinda the same reason. A person on their own most of the time, sometimes solving puzzles and always trying to peer round corners for the next danger doesn't make a interesting or engaging film.

Essentially Games + Mechanics/plot = Uninteresting Movies to everyone, Games + a plot that has been messed around with and the mechanics chucked out = A Crap Movie for gamers/something other people will watch without complaining about "Them vidjeo games are taking over our medias." Also some film directors don't give a toss about the fanbase. Look at George Lucas, his rebox of Star Wars 4, 5 and 6 and the who shot first argument.

I want to say it is because if they followed the storyline from the game then they would lack imagination or people might find the movie unoriginal (yes using the title of a video game as the title for your movie is also unoriginal but that's ok by me)

Some people might also like the films because they have not PLAYED the game. For example, I never played any of the Prince of Persia games yet I knew about the concept and I found the movie to be more tolerable then say Silent Hill or Resident Evil.

Skimming a few posts, none of them are really wrong. There's a mound of reasons as to why these conversions don't work.
One of my theories is that it's an interactive medium being converted into a noninteractive one. See other posts for more details, I just woke up.

The only two successful Game-Movie conversions I've seen were Prince of Persia and Hitman.

Hitman was a bit flawed on its own but it was actually a successful experiment. It alluded to VARIOUS actual in-game mechanics backed by a plausible thriller-story and good actors.

Can't comment on Prince of Persia, didn't play the games. So with that in mind, it was simply a decent, stand-alone film. But I have no idea what it did or didn't do to stay true to the games.

I actually didn't mind the Resident Evil movies, mostly because I knew it was all just going to be a silly zombie slaughterfest. Acting made me cringe though.

Doom was only saved by the last 20 minutes or so of the movie. The First Person sequence was fascinating (I had never seen that before) and the final fight wasn't too bad.

Advent Children, while a tad hard to follow (Even for those who already knew the lore, somehow!) did something right off the gate. It was an extension of the story, rather than a rehash. That's what more of these conversions need to do.

twiceworn:

Zhukov:

twiceworn:
so I want to ask and to especially ask anyone who has been in the room when the decision to change the plot of a game when making a film WHY?! what is the reason TELL ME!

Because video game plots and characters are boring, worthless, tepid garbage written for children and teenagers that only gets a free pass due to the pitifully low standards of the target audience. Anyone trying to make a decent movie from a game would have to be clinically insane to not change the plot.

At the end of the day. you can't make trifle out of dog turds, no matter how hard you try.

Of course, the fact that nobody really gives a shit is also a factor.

on a game website and hating games... ladies and gentlemen i present to you..... THE MISSING LINK!

I don't hate games. I just despise 99% of game stories.

Bear in mind a game with a shit story can still be enjoyable.

Well they usually hit two cardinal sins, they either change too much or change too little.
"Change too much" - every creative director and/or writer has their own ideas they want to put into movies and often game recreations are their time to pounce, so they end up creating something completely different sugar coated with our expectations.

"Change too little" - no matter how hard some people want to believe the mediums are not the same, the elements that make a game great could make a movie bad and that is often ignored for the sake of "staying true to the formula", but it is just bad design.

On the whole they should just stop with direct book/movie/game translations, they simply don't work.
Worse yet we get unrealistic expectations, we want all the franchise creations to capture the same magic but they simply can't, different medium different approach, there can be no other way.
What they should do is follow the grand idea and do something new with it, like the new Batman movies and games, they all run with the Batman theme but are connected by nothing else.

When you boil it down...it comes to Hollywood simply not giving a shit. Not understanding source material, just trying to make a quick buck...whatever. I'm saying...if I was in charge of directing Max Payne, it would be a hell of a lot better.

Also, I would make Mark Wahlberg at least play the game.

duckymcfly99:
Some games of movies don't suck. Goldeneye didn't suck. I'm sure there are others but I can't rememberSPIDERMAN 2!

Yeah, that's about it.

Not games based on movies, movies based on games.

I think it's hard to capture what made a gamer enjoy the game in a movie. A game is more personal than a movie. A game is about what we accomplishes, not what someone else does. Games and movies are very different and catching the mood of one media and transferring it to another isn't easy.

Mr.K.:
Well they usually hit two cardinal sins, they either change too much or change too little.
"Change too much" - every creative director and/or writer has their own ideas they want to put into movies and often game recreations are their time to pounce, so they end up creating something completely different sugar coated with our expectations.

"Change too little" - no matter how hard some people want to believe the mediums are not the same, the elements that make a game great could make a movie bad and that is often ignored for the sake of "staying true to the formula", but it is just bad design.

On the whole they should just stop with direct book/movie/game translations, they simply don't work.
Worse yet we get unrealistic expectations, we want all the franchise creations to capture the same magic but they simply can't, different medium different approach, there can be no other way.
What they should do is follow the grand idea and do something new with it, like the new Batman movies and games, they all run with the Batman theme but are connected by nothing else.

I concur with this man, the stories should be inspired by the originals, not the same exact thing, different mediums work differently.

The game's are made because the movies, tat's the movies only fault. The rest is the game maker's fault for making a crap game.

Its already been said, but Ill add my two cents anyway.

I think the reason movies of game series suck is because of one of, or all three, of these reasons:

1. Games and Movies are completely different mediums.
This is a prety simple point, yes? But I think it might very well be the simplist point. Movies are meant to be watched, games are meant to be played.

Lets take a videogame made from a movie. Most will tell you that movie-games suck, primarly because they are made to cash in on the movie in question. But if you think about it, a movie is usually about 90-2 hours long, games are typically about 10 hours long (give or take for some). A lot of the problem with movie-games is that they are making a game about a movie, which means that have only 90 minutes of material to work with. So in many cases, they have to create content for those other 8 or so hours for gameplay.

Game-movies are the opposite problem, you instead have a game about 10 hours long, and you have to cut that down to about 90 minutes; which means in most cases removing alot of the gameplay sections which dont add any story. But with games, one of the most important parts is the gameplay, which does contain in most cases numerous elements of the story. Its most likely, than when directors or producers or whoever decides, "Lets make a movie about a game" will focus on whats in the cutscenes first and formost, cause it likely is the easiest way to get the story.

2. Executive meddeling.
Pretty simple. Whenever Hollywood gets a videogame franchise, they tend to alter said franchise. While some games need to have some story elements changed, alot of changes can also be argued as more in line with makign the movie how the directer wants it. Just look at Doom, the games series basically had the forces of Hell attack space marines on mars. The movie, instead of the forces of Hell, its a gentic anomoly that causes mutations in most people,save (obviously) the one main character who didnt die and wasnt a d-bag (sorry Dwayne).

3. Fan expectations.
This isnt Hollywoods fault, this is our fault. The most likely target auidince four videogame movies are the fans of said videogame. So you can expect the obvious level of expectation for a film from series fans.

I'd say a huge factor is that there is a built in fan base for movies based on video games. That is only people who play or at least know about the game will want to watch a movie based on it. Do you think a theatrical release of Advent Children would have done well? I doubt it as my parents couldn't have cared less about the game. The Resident Evil movies have a chance since they are pretty much zombie movies, but most of the people I know that have seen them are gamers.

Therein is lies the problem. They want to change the story to appeal to people who don't know the background, but this ends up alienating the long time fans. Why is Marcus Phoenix a truck driver in 2022 New York? Since when is Dr. Wily a geneticist? Why does Nathan Drake have a British accent? Mario's last name is Mario!? So now you have people that have no interest in the film and others who you are pissing off by changing everything about established characters. So no one is happy and everyone loses.

On top of that, even the best video game plots aren't going to be Academy Award winning master pieces. Especially if you have to compress the 20 hour plus campaign's huge sprawling narrative into a two hour film.

With all of these factors taken into account I doubt studios are throwing money at the productions. Which is kinda a self fulfilling prophecy. The films don't even have a chance.

That being said, there are some games that I think could be made into huge epic movies. Like Mass Effect. Bitch and moan about Bioware and EA all you want, but the story of the game does lend itself to a sprawling space epic along the lines of Star Wars. The biggest problem would be compressing the plot of the games.

Because they never stay true to the source material. That is the biggest problem of all. And there are decent game-based movies, it's just they're made by people of the same nationality as the source material and are assisted by the original creators.

Video games require active participation from the audience. You have control of your character's pacing, movement, and goals.

Movies require a passive audience. You have no control over anything on screen.

This means Video games have a completely different set of mechanics for telling a story. Scarce ammo in Resident Evil builds tension and isolation, regenerating shields and health in Halo, COD, Battlefield series builds impression of invincibility, etc.

Movie directors often try to understand the medium through their own perspectives and don't pick up on story methods told through gameplay. Hence why you get Resident Evil movies that are similar to Call of Duty running and gunning. Director sees plot as one person against horde of zombies = action movie.

twiceworn:
OK so I have watched a few films of games and they all suck and what really got to me was the main reason why. they change the plot and sometimes the characters. now since the reason you make a movie out of something like say, prince of Persia is so fans of the game will watch it, its clearly a bad idea to change the plot, after all if you change the plot of a game, ITS A DIFFERENT PRODUCT!

so I want to ask and to especially ask anyone who has been in the room when the decision to change the plot of a game when making a film WHY?! what is the reason TELL ME!

Because games have uninteresting plots in the context of movies. Games are about goals and accomplishing them, and usually, their stories are ancilliary to this. Now, of course, some break the mold, but in the end, games are about the accumulation of short term goals, which doesn't usually make a very good arc.

Movies are about the plot and characters exclusively, and don't have to worry about letting the player loose to have some fun.

Also, once you cut down the action from the games, their stories really don't tend to extend particularly far.

I can't think of many games which have plots that would make a decent movie. That's neither a good nor a bad thing. It just is. Some mediums just don't mix. We don't write a novel of a painting, and we shouldn't need a movie of a game.

Because the simple fact that it's a movie means you can't "play" it.

The reason we like videogame settings and stories is because we get to experience them first hand through play. This why game-to-movie adaptations will never work, because you're subtracting the one element that makes it all go; Gameplay.

Why would I want to watch Silent Hill, Resident Evil, or Prince of Persia when I can experience it in the medium that it was intended for?

The lara croft movies aren't too bad.

And according to rotten tomatoes the best videogame adaptation in a movie is:

The spirits within.

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