Industry Shocker: Crappy Movies Make Crappy Movie-Based Games

Industry Shocker: Crappy Movies Make Crappy Movie-Based Games


Jos Ruffel of Speed Racer developer Sidhe International has blindsided both the movie and the videogame industries with a shocking revelation: Movies that bomb tend to result in movie-based games that bomb.

Speaking at the Games Convention Developers Conference at Leipzig, Ruffel claimed that despite "overall good reviews," the Speed Racer videogame was dragged down by the movie, which crashed and burned in theaters. "When you make a game based on a license you are really playing roulette - you don't know how the film is going to play out in the market," he said. "When we were first asked to do Speed Racer the property was incredible, it was very exciting. It was a film by the Wachowski brothers and it was about car racing - awesome, that's going to make a great game."

But because the movie tanked, Ruffel claimed, the game's performance at retail wasn't nearly what it should have been. "We're in a unique situation with the game, we're like 40 Metacritic points above the film - Usually the film and the game mirror each other quite closely on review scores," he continued. "We released on the same time frame as Iron Man, which was a very successful film. The games didn't review very well - but we know what Iron Man games sold very well."

Setting aside for a moment any bewilderment over the description of post-Matrix Wachowski brothers as "exciting" and "awesome," Ruffel may have a point: Sidhe's Speed Racer videogame has a Metacritic score of 69 for the Wii and 74 for the DS, while the movie comes in at an embarrassing 37; the Iron Man film, on the other hand, carries a Metacritic rank of 79, while the games range from 56 on the DS all the way down to 32 for the PC version. On the other hand, despite the apparent sincerity of his surprise and disappointment, I don't think anyone can claim to be too terribly shocked by the fact that games based on a high-profile summer blockbuster sell better than those tied to a piece of crap like Speed Racer.

Source: GamesIndustry


I liked the Speed Racer movie, though I did have 3 seziurs and an apiphany while watching it...

The inspirational field for games has always been broader than the fat lady that sings at the end of the show, but movies and games based on them walk hand in hand down a razor wire strung across a pit of angry critics with pencils and notepads on hand. Developers who chase this genre should be aware of this fact far before they delve into the creation of a game.

I have never rented or bought a game simply because I thought the movie that it was based off of was good. Mind you I rarely if ever play games based off of movies to begin with. I find that they often have a forced narrow minded view of what could potentially be an impressive work of art if they didn't have to conform to a specific set of story lines (or single storyline) put before them by the owners of the intellectual property of said story lines.

This limited potential has always lead me to believe that a game drawn up from thin air with its own story written by the people designing it will always be one step ahead on getting a better review. Attempting to perform to someone else standards is a daunting task and can effectively do the opposite of what you initially set out to do.

Speed Racer, in a nutshell:

neon diahrrea

Wait, so what he's telling me is that if people aren't motivated to see my movie (Baby Killers: 3000, Release TBA) they won't play my game (Baby Killers: 3000: THE GAME, similar release)? Oh man, we got's to go back and rewrite the whole script. Now I have to make it good.

Seriously though, didn't Hollywood get this memo yet? And didn't we figure it out back around the first time it happened? I like how it was never the game's fault with this guy. The whole blame lays entirely on the movie.

Well your right for the most part cuz I cant name ANY crappy movie that has a good game based on the movie.

Speed Racer was great. I can see why it failed to attract many viewers, though - the setting is... unorthodox.
This guy, though? Backstabbing bitch. Sidhe made a decision to create the tie-in and they should stick with what they've chosen. Promote your game at GDC? Okay! Try to pick better deals in the future? Go on! But blame someone else for the unsatisfactory results of your own decision? Let's see how that works out for you.

Also, Speed Racer was great.

the monopoly guy:
Speed Racer, in a nutshell:

neon diahrrea

F-Zero with wheels.

Well your right for the most part cuz I cant name ANY crappy movie that has a good game based on the movie.

Incredible Hulk Ultimate Destruction
And according to some, Chronicles of Riddick (but I liked both)

I just had a quick look and I don't appear to have any movie-based games. The closest I come looks to be games built around movie properties: Escape From Butcher Bay, Tron 2.0, Knights of the Old Republic.

What I find really amusing is that this guy feels the need to tell people about this, as if the fact that a game based on a really shitty movie is going to have a hard time succeeding is some kind of major news flash. Isn't that just common sense?

Isn't that just common sense?

Isn't it just common sense that most people these days are not bestowed with common sense?

Wow! What an amazing revelation! I would have never figured that out if Gameindustry hadn't had their crack reporter on the scene to interview the developer of a bad game about a bad movie. Thanks! Here all this time, I thought it was just a strange coincidence that each time I played a game based on a terrible movie, the game turned out to be terrible too.

What is actually strange and worthy of study is how games based on fantastic movies also sometimes are terrible games. Games based on movies like The Matrix, Chronicles of Narnia, Batman Begins, Braveheart etc. should have been great but they weren't.

Every once in a great while a genuinely startling thing will happen: a great or at least decent movie will get a good (and on even more rare occasions, great) game. Battle for Middle Earth II, Dark Knight (on Verizon cell phones), Empire Strikes Back (for the Atari 2600), Lego Star Wars are a few of these rare exceptions.

Everytime Speed Racer movie uses a floating head for clip transition, God kills a kitten.

Proof that devs making a tie-in game shouldn't bother making it more than average (if they really just want the money to work on new IP they're actually interested in). Any more effort is a waste of time and money, especially if the movie bombs.

"Jos, your grasp of the obvious is inspiring"... I quite liked that line.

Anyways, he should of seen this coming. Most good movie tie-ins don't sell to well, even if they're based off a successful movie. So it's no wonder that the shit movies would have even worse sales.

That, and the game itself is mediocre.

Aside from the guy having gone through a reality check, good for him, they seem to abide by some flawed logic, which is worded thusly:

When we were first asked to do Speed Racer the property was incredible, it was very exciting. It was a film by the Wachowski brothers and it was about car racing - awesome, that's going to make a great game.

Obviously, and contrary to his beliefs, he doesn't know what makes a great game.


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