Movie Video Game Tie-ins: Do They Work?

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Two of the biggest grossing entertainment sectors in recent times have been movies and video games. Movies are thought to generate around $50 billion in revenue in the USA alone, while the global games market is worth an estimated $100 billion each year. With these sorts of figures, it is easy to see why the two are so critical.

Many years ago, the decision was made to make the most of the popularity each niche enjoyed, to drive even more sales. This was done by combining movies and video games. If a movie was looking like an obvious success (think a big franchise like the Bond films) then the filmmakers would ask a game development company to produce a video game to tie in with the movie being released.

Not only would this help promote the movie but also make extra cash for all involved. While this is great for the execs, how does it pan out for players?


Movie tie-ins: What makes them good? 

One thing that you might wonder is what makes the movie video game tie-in idea work? What makes you want to play a video game of a movie that you have seen? The simple answer is escapism and the chance to live out your favorite films. After all, if you are a big James Bond fan, you will not be able to resist actually being Bond via your console. When you add in the ability to play out that movie you love but with you in the driving seat, the attraction is clear.

In some ways though, this is what makes you want to play them. What makes them good is another question entirely! This relies on the game developer and film-maker investing enough time and effort into producing a game that plays well and is not just a lazy cash-in affair.


Which are the video game movie tie-ins that worked? 

Unfortunately, not all video game tie-ins from movies work. Some simply fail to put enough effort into the gameplay, sound, and graphics to succeed – instead of relying on the movie name to sell. However, there is a good number that was pretty decent. Here are a few of the best:


  • GoldenEye 007 – to begin with, you could start with arguably the most well-loved and finest movie and video game marriage. The film saw Pierce Brosnan reboot the whole Bond franchise in movieland, whereas this tie-in video game really showed everyone what great games could be made from movies. It really gave you the feeling of being Bond as you shot your way through all the major scenes of the film.

  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – driving games are always worth playing as they give some serious thrills and high-speed fun. The Fast and the Furious series was already popular when this installment was released in 2006. Produced by a company called Relativity Media, headed by Ryan Kavanaugh, the movie was a hit, with cool cars and crazy racing scenes. The game replicated this and had really amazing streets to race on, and fluid handling controls.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – when it comes to film franchises, none have quite matched The Lord of the Rings in recent times. Even people not into fantasy seemed to love its epic scope and a cool cast of Tolkien characters. The game of this installment was every bit as good and got you right into the action, playing as one of the main characters in the film. Battle scenes were exciting and the controls intuitive, which made it sell well.

  • The Warriors – this was a strange one in a way, as the game was made long after the original 1979 cult film hit. It is worth a mention, however, as it is easily one of the best movie tie-ins you can play. It has it all – fully developed characters, a great soundtrack, and plenty of butt-kicking action. As a result, it is one of the best video games to spend a few hours with.

Movies and games are the perfect matches 

As game tech develops, the match of the video game world with movies is perfect. The sheer scope of what can be done with games now means that the cinematic effect of a film can be experienced on your PC or console screen. Of course, the older, amazing games still hold up, thanks to their ingenuity and sheer playability. When done right, a video game tied to a successful movie is a real winner.


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