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Weekly Musings #2 - Why Do Movie-License Games Usually Suck?
Author: Michael Ahlf
Date: June 19th 2004
Last week, I spent a good deal of time examining the question of why movie-license video games are stereotyped as "sucking."

This week, I'm taking the other side of the argument - not arguing that they all DO suck, but examining WHY they have a tendency both to suck, and to be remembered for it as opposed to the hundreds of games published in a given year that suck, but that nobody cares enough about to remember that they did suck.

The first thing I should point out, however, is that licensed products - just in general - tend to have problems. With movies made from novels, for instance, the common battle cry of the fan is "wow, the book was better." This is currently proving itself in theaters currently with the Harry Potter series; while the first two were reasonably close to the books, the third wound up compressing too much story into too short a movie, and wound up looking like the Cliffs Notes. Likewise with Jurassic Park; the movie is good, but not nearly as good as the book. Is it an insurmountable problem? Of course not. Anyone who's both seen the movie Forrest Gump, and read the novel, will realize that Gump is the exception that proves the rule - the movie is much, much BETTER than the book.

The reason movie-license games tend to suck, really boils down to a collection of reasons that any game release can be considered to "suck." The reason movie games get pegged for this more often, is that the circumstances that create said games make those mistakes much more likely.

In order, I can think of four major mistakes that cause a licensed game (or in some cases, just a licensed product) to suck. They are:

  • Lack of respect for the source material.
  • Rushing through to get a finished product out the door.
  • Forcing the product to adhere too closely to the source.
  • Overhyping.

Onwards, to the first problem - The source just doesn't get any respect.

Weekly Musings 2: Why Do Movie-License Games Usually Suck?


Added:  Sunday, June 20, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf

Page: 1/5

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