It’s a running joke in Hollywood that they’ve run out of ideas– so it wasn’t a surprise, but certainly a disappointment, when in the 1990’s, Hollywood began making big-screen versions of beloved videogame stories and characters– and ruining them. Much like the early forays into comic book movie adaptations, where the filmmakers didn’t seem to get what the comic books were about or what those fans wanted to see, really, the same has since been mostly true of videogame adaptations.
One of our cousin sites, mxdwn Movies, has a great article on the slew of forthcoming Hollywood blockbusters based on existing games and game franchises. The new twist is that it appears to be Ubisoftin particular taking the treatment of their properties seriously, rather than churning out an unwatchable Super Mario Brothers or Tomb Raider, and the stories are getting directors you’ve heard of. This is only logical where quietly videogames have become the dominant form of entertainment (in dollars spent, and hours spent engaging) that transmedia storytelling (that is, spreading an IP across multiple media) should follow the lead of the most expansive form of storytelling (games) and figure out how to work that story on the big screen, rather than trying to go the other direction.
The fundamental failing of videogame storytelling has often been maturity, but that is rapidly catching up– and with apologies to the late Roger Ebert, videogames are art. And a generation of would-have-been screenwriters don’t have to figure that out.
See the mxdwn Movies article here: Ubisoft Making Major Push Into Movies