Film and Video Game Adaptations


Film adaptation is where other forms of medium- novels, comics, plays, video games – are made into films.

Video game adaption is… you guessed it… where other forms are created  based on this medium!

I thought these crossovers were interesting so this week we are going to look at movies based off of video games and vice versa.

Games are believed to be outselling any other forms of media in the entertainment industry. In addition, super comic heroes dominate the box offices so why not make video game based movies and movie based video games?

Here is a short but great overview the video game based sub-genre of movies!

Funfact: Mortal Kombat was actually the first successful video game based movie after two failures (Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter). This $18 million movie made $70 million domestically and $122 million worldwide!

To check out how some of how the other movies did in the box office and some possible reasons why they did or didn’t succeed read this article:

What has been more successful is movie based video games!

Watch Top 5: Movie Inspired Games

It seems that just about any action movie and animation movie has been made into a video game.

Here is a long list of movie video games (this list includes arcade games) you can skim through if you want. My favorites have been Rugrats in Paris and Jurassic Park!

Funfact: Did you know that there will be a movie based on the mobile game Angry Birds coming out in 2016? I didn’t. Will I be seeing it? Nope. I prefer not to ruin my gaming experience!

Here is a list of other video game based movies Hollywood plans on producing that you can skim through. If you are not a gamer you will most likely not know any of these games.!A2zXo

If you are curious to see how the majority of game adaptations have done in the box office click this link:

After doing this research, I really wanted to go play all of the games mentioned in the videos and then watch the movies. I wondered why the video game based movies were less successful than movie based video games?  (If you are a reader, you can relate to video gamers with book adaptations. For example, Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings franchise).

I came up with the conclusion that the success of these adaptations has to do with the differences in the production process of different mediums. What makes a game good is significantly different from what makes a movie good. Yes, both mediums need to be visually appealing and have a good story plot but games differ with user interactivity. The player has to be able to interact with the environment to the point where he/she can succeed in a game and the audience has to emotionally connect to the actors in movies.  When making video game based movies, I can definitely see how the focus on acting is inferior to the special effects. What do you think? Is there a video game based movie you enjoyed? For you non gamers, what about a book based movie?

The next few weeks will cover portable games  with a spotlight on mobile games and handheld console games.


8 thoughts on “Film and Video Game Adaptations

  1. It’s interesting how some video games that were based off hit movies were not hit games (or it seems like they weren’t if the video is titled “movie inspired games you never played”) I wonder why?

  2. This is my opinion about why movies are not not as successful as other mediums. Similar to book, video games can be as long as it need to be with good plots and climaxes. Movies are usually limited in time and have to crunch everything in while excluding some parts, which might’ve been important in games and books.

    So, am I the only one who like the Mario Bros. movies? =P

  3. I think the fact that they are different mediums represents different challenges. I agree on how you point out that in a video game, acting comes second; the interactivity of the game and the player is the focal point, where as in a movie good acting makes it believable and perhaps a successful movie.

  4. Hardware, Mobile Platforms, and the origins of Digital Media

    I will agree with Sabrina… kinda. It’s not so much length, but depth of story and detail which gets left out of a video game or movie when it’s translated to a different medium. I personally hate video games based on my favorite movies. They are linear and you know what’s going to happen! I love a video game for the new story and the exploration of it.

  5. I will never forget Mortal Kombat the movie. So cool to see it play out on the big screen. I was probably way too young to love that video game but who really cares, I turned out fine. Great post.

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