Video Games & Hollywood Part 1 – Mistakes Have Been Made
If anyone were to say that video games aren’t popular I would find myself laughing in their face. Video games are so popular that everyone wants to get their share of the pie. In this case, the share of the pie is a pile of cash. So, it should come as no surprise that Hollywood has also tried to grab its share of the video game cash cow. In this first part of a two-part series we will look at Hollywood’s attempt to cash in on the video game craze.
Hollywood is trying to crack a nut they don’t understand
Over the years Hollywood has had many genres that have been successful. Most recently movies based on comic books have found unparalleled success. Much like every successful genre in the history of Tinseltown that success won’t last forever. Video games, especially modern games, could be a great source for future blockbusters.
This Isn’t A New Trend
This isn’t anything new Hollywood’s been adapting games into feature films for decades. The most recent attempt has been the Tomb Raider reboot. Which as of this writing is too early to tell if it’s going to be the success that Hollywood is hoping for.
Hollywood has been down this path before when it comes to video game adaptations. During the 90’s video game adaptations of Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, Double Dragon, and Wing Commander all found their way to the big screen. Out of the titles listed only Mortal Kombat had a sequel green-lit, a sequel that failed miserably.
In the 2000’s Hollywood kept the adaptations coming with the likes of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, BloodRayne, Hitman, and Resident Evil. Out of this list Tomb Raider had a sequel greenlit. Which failed to make enough profit to justify another movie in the series being greenlit.
Resident Evil, is the video game adaptation that has spawned many sequels. It is, the exception and not the rule, after all with Hollywood making so many video game adaptations. You’d think more than one would have spawned a successful movie franchise.
Sadly, that’s not been the case, and that’s because Hollywood doesn’t understand what they’re trying to do. Movies and video games are two completely different mediums. What works for one won’t necessarily work for the other. Until Hollywood understands that most adaptations will continue to fail.
One key factor is that video games are designed to provide hours of entertainment. Some genres such as role-playing games can take anywhere from 30-50 hours to complete. This is much more content then can be crammed into a two-hour movie. These are important facts that must be accounted for with future game adaptations.
To Be Continued
Video games and movies are two different mediums. This must always be taken into consideration when deciding to transition a game to film. Movie execs need to take the time to ask (If a game can work as a movie?) before deciding to move forward.
That’s all for now look for part two of this series Friday. Where we discuss some steps that Hollywood can take to avoid some of the flops of the past.
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