Video games have always had the power to be marketed in different ways. Merchandise is an obvious strategy for any big game, with many children going to school with lunch boxes, notepads and rulers adorned with pictures of Pac-Man, Mario or Street Fighter characters. Video games have also crossed the bridge into other forms of gaming from simple things like jigsaws and board games, all the way to pinball and slots games.

The one form of media, however, that has always had a rocky relationship with gaming, is the movie industry. When someone mentions video game movies people normally immediately think of Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter. Neither of these are great films, and are perhaps remembered in a cheesy, nostalgic way now. But there are many more video games out there and they just keep coming.

There was a flurry in the late 90s and early 2000s of some fairly decent movies, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat and Doom, all pretty watchable. Let’s just not mention Double Dragon though.

Perhaps the most successful genre of video game movie has been the horror genre. Silent Hill and Resident Evil have had some very good movies, with perhaps Resident Evil producing the best movies all round in the video game genre.


The more recent releases such as Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed, have been decent attempts, although they often lack something in the plot. But that’s the whole issue. Games and movies are very different beasts. In a game you often write your own story, choose your battles, and make your own path within the world. That’s part of the fun. You can’t just make a good movie straight from that premise. You still need a good writer to take the framework from the game and write a proper story within that. The problem is that to make a truly riveting story they would probably have to add new elements and go down routes that you hadn’t experienced from the game. And then it starts to become something else.

Is it easier to make a movie out of a very simple game like Rampage or is it easier to adapt one that already has a lot of (often linear) story such as Silent Hill? The Last of Us is almost like a movie already. Is there any point trying to turn that into a movie?

But despite being difficult, they’re not stopping their attempts. It would be stupid to do so, given the fiscal heft of the video game industry. Making a movie out of a video game sounds like a good idea. The recent Tomb Raider in 2018 was a perfectly decent movie. Rampage, also 2018, was very watchable indeed. Personally I love movies set around tournaments, and I would love to see a good remake of Street Fighter in a tournament setting. In fact, I’m probably going to work on a blog post where I cast a new Street Fighter movie, because hey, who doesn’t like the idea a video game movie?