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Games, Movies Tie The Knot

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the escape-before-plunging-into-river dept.

Movies 23

Thanks to Wired News for their article discussing the continuing and increasing synergy between games and movies, as the piece starts: "Hollywood involvement has gone one of two ways: licensing a hit game franchise... for a big-screen adaptation, or incorporating Hollywood talent (writers, directors, actors) within a... game." The piece discusses Hollywood agencies like Endeavor, who "...worked with Vin Diesel in setting up his new game company, Tigon Games.", and has also arranged creative input behind the scenes: "Despite the objection of some game designers, agencies are cutting deals for writers to get involved in video games. In the case of Activision's World War II game, Call of Duty, Michael Schiffer was brought in to punch up the game characters' dialogue." The article concludes: "It looks like Hollywood and games are in this marriage for the long haul."

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23 comments

wopee (FP?) (4, Insightful)

jermyjerm (705338) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688133)

I'd rather there be more "synergy" between games and writers. No matter how cinematic a game is, it'll still suck if it's got a B-movie equivalent script (as most of them currently seem to).

Doh... shouldn't post at 4:30 am... (1)

jermyjerm (705338) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688145)

I mean more "synergy" between games and writers rather than games and actors (or directors). Although more voice talent couldn't hurt any...

Re:wopee (FP?) (5, Interesting)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688146)

The only issue I think there would be is that screenwriters might not be attuned to the open-ended plots of games.

But I would definitely like to see more screenwriters brought in as script doctors for dialogue!

Using Hollywod "superstars" in games (5, Insightful)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688402)

Bah, mod me -1, cynic, but I think this is the last thing games need at the moment.

We all know a major problem with the games industry at the moment is the lack of innovation - the reluctance of publishers to fund the long term development of a game that doesn't fit the tried and tested mold of a dozen other games. They can't afford to spend money on games that they can't guarantee will sell.

Tell these same publishers they need to divert many $$$ from the budget to secure an actor or actress for essentially a couple of hours in a sound studio and a signature allowing the use of their likeness, and I guarantee you they'll plump for a basic clone of whatever's in the top 10 that particular day. You could argue that the use of a popular celebrity would help any game sell, but I can't see that washing with those in control of the purse strings.

Re:Using Hollywod "superstars" in games (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688749)

Too true. The video game industry, at least right now, is opting for the "big name" factor to push their games above the crowd rather than work on the gameplay or innovation factor. If Enter the Matrix wasn't based off the movies, didn't have the cutscenes with clips of the movie, and wasn't connected to Time Warner (who produced the game); people wouldn't even acknowledge its existance. Vice versa, a cult-like game like Ico or Dance Dance Revolution (before it finally hit mainstream) gets no love, no publicity, and no talk outside of certain groups.

Re:Using Hollywod "superstars" in games (3, Insightful)

zenobr (677134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7690107)

I agree to an extent... but, take GTA3 for example... This game in and of itself was brilliant and original and a blast to play. Then in addition to fantastic game design it got the voice acting support of Hollywood names (Michael Rappaport, Joe whatshisfacefromTheMatrix, etc), which made it a whole helluva lot better. Granted they didn't seem to really even use these as a selling point of the game but I remember the first time I played it and was showing it off to all my friends that was always one of the first things I showed 'em (after the hookers and beating random people on the street with a baseball bat).

Vice City on the other hand did advertise the names (and music) that were attached to it. Now would either or both of these games done just as well without the Hollywood influence... probably, but it may have taken longer for the mainstream folks to get over the lower quality of voice acting that the no names would have been more likely to provide.

That's my opinion anyway.

Oh god... (5, Funny)

SuperMo0 (730560) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688807)

Seeing "Hollywood" and "Video games" in the same sentence bring horrible memories of the Mario Bros. movie into my head... MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP! *cries in a corner*

Shameless Plug (1)

smothra (725684) | more than 10 years ago | (#7689892)

I wrote this for a review of the PS/2 game Dark Summit last year and now my worst fears are realized: If Dark Summit were a movie (and let's all take a moment to pray it never will be), the trailer would go something like this: In a world where skiers rule the roost and snowboarders are second-class citizens, one stuntwoman in training will stop at nothing, risking her exposed abdomen and her reputation as a top-notch grinder, to take on the fascist ski-patrol and expose the secrets of Dark Summit. Dark Summit is rated R for "Remove my eyballs with a spoon if I see this movie"

Games + Hollywood talent (3, Interesting)

1eyedhive (664431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7688856)

remember Freelancer?
A few familiar faces and names from the SF&F genre showed up in that game (John Rhys-Davies and George Takei at least) I was quite surprised.
They need more hollywood talent in the game industry, there have been some well written games out there (Freelancer had a VERY compelling single player campaign).

If they can get away from the liscensing and into actually using real talent (writers, actors) then the industry will get mainstream recognition. Though these hollywood types are DEFINATLY gonna need at attitude adjustment if they are gonna do games. Mabye Wil Wheaton could do something (j/k... or not?)

Grr... (1)

FeetOfStinky (669511) | more than 10 years ago | (#7689781)

Does the world really need more Vin Diesel?

If he would just go the Paul Newman route and start a line of salad dressing products, we could continue to ignore him, and all would be well...

But now the guy wants to screw up video games too? This time it's personal.

Re:Grr... (1)

Thrymm (662097) | more than 10 years ago | (#7691457)

No I certainly dont need more Vin Diesel, and wont be interested in his gaming line.

trollish comment (2, Insightful)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7689934)


If you are basing your video game on a movie, you spend lots of cashish on licensing the brand name. Thus, less money gets spent on development. They are relying on the FRANCHISE to sell the game, not the fun-factor or the mechanics of it. Can someone say Harry Potter?

I can't speak for everyone, but I can't think of one exceptional game based on a movie.

Hire creative people to make creative games, and only use movie rights to sell commodity crap like happy meals and automobiles.

Re:trollish comment (1)

neelm (691182) | more than 10 years ago | (#7691015)

X-Wing... Tie Fighter... X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter...

They seemed like great games to me

Re:trollish comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7691889)

That's an excelent point, those are fantastic games. However I still tend to agree with the original posters comments.

For one, the Xwing and Tie-Fighter games came before this sudden rush of hollywood-ization of the games industry, when things were still a little new, and the medium was a little less cloned.
Also, if I look over the history of all Star Wars games, I'd say those two, with the addition of the first two Jedi Knight games and the recent Star Wars RPG are probably the only good games in the entire franchise out of like 100+ titles.

I don't know what that means, but I do know that we need less industrialization in games right now, and more inventive development.

Re:trollish comment (1)

neelm (691182) | more than 10 years ago | (#7693782)

There is also the early indy games that were quite good. But another thing to note here is Lucas Arts did these games. So this is nothing new, hollywood has been into games for sometime. In fact, for a long time, Lucas arts produced alot of hits, movie based or not - so to think hollywood can't produce a good game is a mistake. And while alot of lic'd games suck... alot of games suck period. Most games today suck when you consider how many games there are released eaach year to how many of those can even get a passing rating from most review sites. So to say "Most lic'd games suck" is misleading, really you should say "Most games suck". And contrary to popular belief, it's not an all or nothing thing. Hollywood will not be invloved in every game from here on out, nor will it be absent. Nor will hollywood doing one game stop another from being developed. It's not a zero-sum game. I fail to see the bad in more people trying to produce games.

Re:trollish comment (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7694063)

LucasArts is in San Rafael, CA, which is quite far away from Hollywood, CA. Besides, LucasArts are game people and LucasFilm as movie people and that's why they are good at what they are doing, the movie people aren't doing the games and the game people aren't screwing up the movies.

Re:trollish comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7692466)

I can't speak for everyone, but I can't think of one exceptional game based on a movie.

Goldeneye?

Re:trollish comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7692532)

That's true, that's probably one of the best games of all time.

The synergy of movies and games is wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7693316)

Look at all the quality films it has brought us. Mario Bros., Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Wing Commander, just to name a few.

Look at the Positive Side... (1)

El_Ge_Ex (218107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7694673)

Gigli: The Game _has_ to be better than the movie.

J.lo playing a lesbian hit-woman. Seems like the perfect character. Only problem is no ever wins the game cause the players shoot Ben Affleck's character on first sight.

-B

Too bad... (1)

Hecubas (21451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7694789)

Too bad there wasn't more synergy with E.T. the Extra-Terrestial game for the Atari 2600.

Now if you want to talk about movie/game synergy, check out all the bonus stuff on the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers game. Major involvment from the studio and actors throughout the development process. Lo and behold, the game was actually fun!

I believe in "Separation of Game and Movie" (1)

Valleyman (731934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7706352)


Call me old-fashioned, but I personally don't care for games becoming movies (though I don't mind the conversion between book and movie). The reason being you are in complete control of what happens in the game. Will you go down that cave and find a secret flamethrower that you're not supposed to have until much later, or will you go on with your shotgun and missile launcher? In movies you just sit there and look at moving pictures; you're not in control of what it shows you at all (excluding stop, rewind, etc). You lose the glamor of being in control of the story if the game becomes a movie. Anyways, this is just my humble opinion.
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