There are a lot of different things that are based on or inspired by video games, and I wanted to know which one(s) you preferred. Part of this was inspired by the fact that there are whopping four big-budget Hollywood movies being released in 2016 based on video games, which is the most video game movies we’ve seen in a single year in quite some time. It was also inspired by the recent proliferation (and success) of comic book properties in live-action TV show form, which made me wonder if maybe that’s a better way to go than traditional feature-length movies. But enough about my seemingly out-of-step opinion…here is what you guys and gals had to say on that matter.
Despite the largely negative opinion on video game movies, the choice of bringing video games to live-action, feature-length films took first place in the poll. I did specify in the poll that you could make your choice based on the past or on your hopes for the future, so maybe the 24% of you that chose this option were simply optimistic that Hollywood will get live-action video game movies right sooner or later.
Not trailing very far behind at 23% was video games in comic book, graphic novel, or manga form. I myself only have very limited experience with reading video game comic books, most of which occurred in the early 00’s, but I’m definitely aware of how much of that is out there. There are a number of comic book and manga series based on video games, some of which have been running for decades. Clearly that format has a strong fan base, and Chi-Scroller readers must be among them.
A more distant runner up was video games as cartoons/animated series. This could include anything from lighthearted Saturday morning fare all the way up to darker, more series anime OVA. I don’t know exactly where the 16% of you who picked this option fall on that spectrum, but either way it seems that a lot of you like your video game characters animated rather than live action…so long as it’s in shorter-burst series form (more on that caveat later).
Various video game franchises have branched off into traditional novel form – Eric Nylund’s Halo novels are some of the most highly acclaimed, but there have also been novels based in the universes of – but telling original stories within – Mass Effect, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed, Infinity Blade (yes, the mobile game), StarCraft, Tomb Raider, and many more. The popularity of this form of game-based storytelling is quite evident given how many game novels are out there, and I was honestly a little surprised to see it only get 10% of the votes in this poll.
Personally, I think a live-action series on a channel like FX, AMC, or even HBO, or one of the streaming services, could be a really great platform for a video game franchise. Likely the two biggest problems with video game movies are executive meddling (which there seems to be less of on cable networks and streaming services) and, more crucially, trying to cram 60 hours worth of game into a 2-3 hour movie. Being able to space it out over 10 hour-long episodes would be the perfect way to tell the story of a video game with minimal sacrifice, and again, the popularity and success of shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead prove that “nerdy” properties are a great fit for modern television. Alas, only a disappointingly low 8% of you agree with me.
I was reluctant to add an option like “None of the above – games should stay games, period,” but I figured if I didn’t, people would use their “other” vote on that. I assumed that a lot of gamers felt that way, that they don’t see the need for video game characters and worlds to be brought to other forms of media, but it turns out that only 7% of our readers feel that way. Again, I have to imagine that that has more to do with optimism for the future of game-based things than their current state, but either way, it’s nice to see that only a relatively small number of games are selfish about sharing.
Lastly, I wanted to note that there was one choice that got literally 0% of the vote, and that was CGI or animated feature-length movies. I don’t know if people just think it feels too redundant since games are basically already CGI movies, or if that many people are still bitter about Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Whatever the case, that certainly doesn’t bode well for The Angry Birds Movie or the Ratchet & Clank movie that are both coming out this year and are both computer animated.