Movies bring in the bank, we get it. We live in age where almost any given week you can go to the movies and half of them being showed are either adaptations or remakes. It’s an odd movement but usually it comes down to one thing, cashing in on existing fans. Why release a completely new concept when you’re guaranteed money from dedicated lovers of existing media? Obviously I’m not saying all of Hollywood follows this rule but tons of people in the industry do.
Now I’m going to try and make this argument as simple and short as possible. What is an essence of a book? A story.
If you adapt a book into a movie, you are keeping said essence. You do sacrifice one thing, imagination. Imagining how the characters look and sound and the areas they explore is important. Movies give that up, but at least they keep the essence.
What is the essence of a video game? Nine times out of ten, the gameplay aka interactivity.
Interactivity cannot exist in motion pictures, thus the whole soul of the art form is tossed out the window. Sure we can get the stories still, but half of the thrill of Nathan Drakes adventures is you actually surviving tough gun fights and occasional puzzle. There is absolutely no way to make an adaption of a video game without ignoring it’s main component. So why even try?
You could argue that these adaptation aren’t made for the players (a stupid argument if I may be frank), and that they’re made for casual people interested in the stories. You could argue that they’re also just made for movies fans, both arguments don’t hold up in my book
Think of it like this; 2016’s Ratchet and Clank movie was a leading product with a tie-in video game (mind you this series started off with video games on the PlayStation 2). The new game wasn’t even sold at a full sixty dollars because it was merely a side product for the movie. At the end of the day it was the movie that flopped and the game that succeeded. So even when all effort was put into an original video game movie, it panned.
What does this mean?
Games were not meant to be movies, they are what they are on purpose. It’s why when you had a friend for stay a sleepover, they weren’t satisfied watching you play single-player Mario, they wanted to be Luigi and join in on the fun.
I’ll even counter my own argument and use Pokémon as an example of a franchise that has had multiple successful TV series, movies and even a moderately popular card game. The only thing I could say is that Pokémon has been made into an expansive universe almost from the beginning, it’s why it’s the highest grossing franchise of all time, making about $46.2 billion. Most video games are just made to be games, the other stuff is not in the creators minds. So why force it?
So there you have it. Am I right, am I wrong? Are there any good video game movie adaptations? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply. As always, thanks for reading.