Movie Tie In Games – As Bad as We Think?

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Movie tie in games are bad. I mean, I’ve sat through my fair share of terrible games, but movie tie in games are something else. But sometimes good. Right?

Well, surprisingly you are right. There are some good movie tie in games. Examples being the ever phenomenal Back to the Future game, held together by a strong plot that takes place after the movies and it’s an extremely fun adventure game made by none other than Telltale. Other examples being the quite okay 007 Quantum of Solace, Shrek Superslam, Spongebob Squarepants: Lights, Camera, Pants and Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee. But we aren’t focusing on the good, we’re gonna focus on the bad.

So while the bad can range from slightly bad (The Bourne Conspiracy) to horrifying monstrosity (Star Trek), they do often have one or two good mechanics in there. But why is this? Well to be honest, the main problem is that the producers behind these games wont look into the source material and don’t really give a shit. And why would they? I wouldn’t want to be making a tie in to fucking Wall-E. Would you? I didn’t think so.

At least tie-in games are dead…

No longer will we be seeing our Xbox Ones and Playstation 4s stuffed full of movie tie in games like Ben Hur-oh. Right. What I was going to say is that movie tie in games are no longer as popular and profitable to make as they used to be. In today’s market, it just wouldn’t fit in. With games as good as Grand Theft Auto, Fallout 4 and even some of the newer indie games like Letter Quest are just phenomenal and will make the publishers and developers a lot of profit. I can’t really see a Finding Dory game anywhere on the horizon. But no, there’s another change in the market.

Consoles and handhelds used to be chock full of movie tie in games. I mean I own so fucking many of them. Horrid Henry, Club Penguin, Disney games seem to be fairly popular to make a quick buck off of. For example, I own a copy of Cars, Cars 2, Toy Story 3, Disney Infinity and Disney Sing It. And High School Musical 3 Senior Year Dance. Do you know why I do? Because of easy achievements.

And I think the movie tie in game devs have, for the most part, done something very, very clever. They know that there’s a market for achievement hunters and they’re capitalising on that. They’re betting on the fact that if they make a game pretty shit but make the achievements easy then people will buy it and play it. I mean, take a look at the amount of people that will have completed a movie tie in game compared to how many copies the game has sold. Avatar the Burning Earth takes five minutes for a full 1000 Gamerscore, the average price of that game is £25, and that’s for a pre-owned copy.

The most recent movie tie in game I can think of is Ben Hur. That was genuinely the shittiest thing in the entire Xbox One library since Battle Ages. A chariot racer that doesn’t even try to be a functional game. But it’s honestly the easiest thousand gamerscore on the market right now. And it’s free. So the devs know their game is shit, but because it’s an easy addition to your completions then it’ll at least appeal to someone.

What was once a very dominant market has been utterly destroyed. And that makes me sad. It shouldn’t do, but a small part of me died along with the death of movie tie in games. I just like to play bad games though, and movie tie in games were like the bread and butter of bad games. And without bread and butter, all you’ve really got is a knife.


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Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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