We’ve all seen them, and we all hate them, movie tie in games. For the few that don’t know, a movie tie in game is a videogame that releases either before or very close to the release of the movie hits theaters. Here, I’ll give you a few examples. Let’s take one of the big blockbuster movies this summer, Battleship. Releasing on May 18th of 2012. The videogame for this Battleship movie was released May 15th. On top of being a sub-par film the video game is getting horrible reviews. Second we have a movie like Kung Fu Panda which released June 6th 2008, while the video game released June 3rd 2008. While the movie and video game weren’t absolutely terrible, the quality of the video game was less than what video games being released nowadays should be.
Because videogames are “in” now, it means that these film studios are trying to take advantage of the hype of the movie to sell their terrible games. Most would say blame the developers of the games, but stop right there, they are not the ones to blame. These unlucky developers are chosen to take on one of the worst jobs imaginable. These developers are put in the biggest time constraints possible and are scrambling to make anything passable to throw on the disc before the movie comes out, because if they miss that date nobody will buy the game.
The videogames that are rushed to release are usually so bad that most are never talked about again. With such huge time constraints most games end up adding missions and side quests that don’t even follow the story of the movie. This frustration of the developers and their cycle is soon passed on to the reviewers (like myself) who have to struggle to not throw controllers through their tv’s. We have to find some way to be honest, but not completely horrible trying to put together words to explain why you really don’t want to pick this game up. These games then get bad review scores and that just eliminated a huge audience of people who read reviews and trust the opinions of others. Who is left but a few people who go out to watch every summer blockbuster and enjoy it enough to blindly buy the video game.
I feel bad for all of these people that have to work on, review, and eventually buy and play this game. I really do. The money wasted in this entire process is right up there with the entire “Sport” of NASCAR.
Don’t get me wrong, some movie tie-in games can be pretty good. Remember Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64? It’s one of the most popular games for the console and it spawned from the James Bond film series in 1997. Not many will remember the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay game that released in 2004, this was also considered one of the better games that came out on the Xbox. But these few games don’t make up for the tons of movie tie-in games with all their review scores combined not equaling one Goldeneye review score.
So my idea is that these film studios really need to stop trying to capitalize on a market that is continuing to dwindle in size by releasing shitty games that probably caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to controllers, televisions, and walls. If you know that almost every single game that is released with a movie turns out to be horrible why would you go out of your way to spend millions of dollars to release a game that you won’t make your money back on?
There are a few time where people have wanted games to go along with the movies, the most recent that comes to mind is “The Hunger Games”. I agreed with the idea of a game being created because of how much I enjoyed the movie, but when thinking about what kind of game it would be, I blanked. What kind of game should the hunger games be? a First Person Shooter? a Role Playing Game? either way, I’m glad the game wasn’t made.