The Give and Take of Gaming Media Adaptions

If you’ve been playing video games as long as we have then no doubt you would have noticed a few patterns emerge. One of the oldest of these, dating back to the age of Atari’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, is the concept of multimedia adaptions. While this stands as one of the most obvious negative examples, it’s important to note that there are those that stand not only as great adaptions but as fantastic, genre-shifting creations in their own right.

So what are the biggest examples of good and bad adaptions and how has this environment formed over the years to become the enormous industry it is today?

Great-goodness, Batman!

Among the most fantastically well-received and professionally developed gaming media adaptions are the Batman Arkham series and the games built on the Chronicles of Riddick films.

These Batman games succeeded where so many others have failed because they managed to capture the feel of Batman in a way few other games ever could. No single average person is a match for Batman and because of this, the fighting of groups becomes not a matter of survival, but of dominating your enemies in a manner that puts in them the fear of the bat.

"Batman: Arkham Knight / Screenshots" (CC BY 2.0) by Stefans02
“Batman: Arkham Knight / Screenshots” (CC BY 2.0) by Stefans02

Likewise, the Riddick games do an amazing job of illustrating the stoic badass nature of Riddick. Tough, versatile, and utterly brutal, these games were projects of passion over all else, and that comes through perfectly in the gameplay and game world.

The less than Superman

E.T was bad, even fuelling partially true legends of desert landfills filled with unsold cartridges, but we feel the more impressive failure was that of Superman 64.

"E.T." (CC BY 2.0) by Digital Game Museum
“E.T.” (CC BY 2.0) by Digital Game Museum

Released on the Nintendo 64 all the way back in 1999, Superman 64 was clumsy, ugly, and a terrible attempt at the admittedly difficult task of adapting a near-invincible hero into an enjoyable game. Now regarded as one of the worst games of all time, this stands as a prime example of what happens when the desire for profit overrules passion for a quality experience.

The Relationship is the Key

As you can see from these previous examples, the real determinant of quality comes not from the original property, but from who gains the rights to this property. Some developers care more about creating something special and are actual dedicated fans, while others simply seek to quickly monetize a trend.

A recent example of this would be the recent partnership by Mr Green and Ve Global. Existing as a well-known gaming service, a non-insignificant proportion of the initial draw to Mr Green comes from the direct appeal of their games. As one of the more established and already trusted, especially when it come to the hosting of themed slots, this partnership helps not only each company by bringing in new players, the emphasis on quality means that every brand involved comes off better for the collaboration.

What’s Next?

While there will always be a market for low-budget and low-quality multimedia adaptions, we are happy to see that we now live an age with more quality adaptions than ever before. From the recently amazing Spider-Man for PS4 to the fantastic Injustice fighting series, rights holders are finally taking notice of just how much good a quality adaption can do.

We might still be hoping for a good Superman game, but if the rumors are true then we might not have to wait much longer.

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