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If history has taught us anything, it’s that video games rarely transition well to the silver screen. That’s not to say there are no good video game adaptations out there, they are just few and far between. However, by the looks of the slate of upcoming movies things may be about to change.
Since gaming's demographic has changed over the last decade or two and geek has become chic, the market has opened up to all genders and ages and has become the biggest grossing form of media on the planet. Studios have started to capitalise even more on the success of their franchises by branching out of the original format into comics, books, toys and bigger budget films.
Studios usually play it safe with the games they adapt, knowing that regardless of the quality or similarities their movie holds to the game they will inevitably earn millions. Yes there are those complete turkeys that are churned out (most notably any adaptation made by Uwe Boll) but the films made that put the bums on seats are the ones that have the widest following.
The early 90’s was an awkward time for film and video games were starting to become a staple of every household. Stories to games were becoming more elaborate and graphics were starting to become more important than they ever had been before. The characters were coming to life on our small screen at home and it was inescapable that this would transcend the confines of our living rooms and these characters would be acting out our favourite games in cinema screens around the world.
1993 bought us the first video game adaption in the form of The Super Mario Brothers. To say this was a bad start to the relationship of games and movies is an understatement but I’d like to remind you that the first proper Marvel film was Howard the Duck and look how things have turned out.
The remainder of the 90’s only did more harm than good and with fighting games being the flavour of the decade we were given unsavoury treats such as Double Dragon, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Then in the Noughties things started to change, Tomb Raider made its way to our screens and even though it isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, it did what no other adaptation had done before and raked in $274,703,340 worldwide.
This calibre of success would not be emulated until nine years later in 2010 with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, grossing a whopping $335,154,643. There had been other prosperous films during this time, the Resident Evil movies have had a solid run and are by far the most successful franchise but that comes down to a dedicated fan base and a multitude of films.
Half decent video game movies have been few and far between and to put the future into context there have been around 28 big screen adaptations release between 1993 and 2014 and there are 42 movies in some phase of production due for release in the next few years.
Most of these scheduled features are of a new generation of video game, a generation where games are like being part of a movie. There are both pros and cons where converting such intricate storytelling, the ground work has already been laid and the stories will write themselves but any deviation from the known will make a large fan base very unhappy.
8bit Cinema will be bringing you all the latest updates and breaking news on these future video game films including Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed, The Last of Us, Splinter Cell and many more. You can keep up to date with all the latest news by following us on Twitter and liking our facebook page.
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