Why are Franchise Based Games Bad?Jan 14, 2015 | 1 Votes by GamingApe 9 rate Every time we tried playing a computer game that was based on a franchise, we found ourselves frustrated. So why didn't the matrix get a good game? Why we haven't seen a good Lord of the ring game? here's our opinion on the matter.
In my teens I was a huge fan of the X-files. Well actually that's not quite precise, I watched it because it was the "must see show" of that time, much like Game of Thrones today.
But when in 1998, alongside a theater movie, a PC game of X-files was released, I rushed to my dad and asked him to buy it for me. I wanted the game of course, but I really wanted to brag about having it to everyone in my school.
Just before the age of the DVD, the game came in 7 CD’s, which is a lot of CD’s, Discs that you had to switch while playing the game. The X-Files game was surprisingly pretty decent, but it crashed on disc 4, and I never finished the game, not wanting to spend additional amounts of money on a game I didn't like all that much.
That being said, That was the best experience I had with franchise game, and ever since it was just went downhill.
Every franchise game I played had a major issue with it causing it to be extremely bad. Unfurtunely this phenomenon leaves us, the gamers, with bad taste in our mouths.
What causes movie based games to be this terrible? Well, here are the main reasons:
Problem 1: Rushed production
When producing a movie, the producers naturally focus their efforts in creating and promoting the movie itself.
All the merchandise surrounding the movie, such as toys, clothes and games are usually addressed only at the post-production phase when the studios haהק a deeper understanding of what the film they have in their hand. As many of you probably aren’t aware, a movie in its first stages isn’t close to the movie that you’ll eventually see. The movie is completely different after the director added his perspective, the actors acted the way they see their role, scenes were added/removed and more.
That’s why post-production usually takes around a few months to a year before the movie hits the screens, which is generally fine for producing toys or shirts, but leaves very little time to produce a decent game, giving the game producers a very tight schedule with not enough time to create a good game.
That's why usually those games are rushed, filled with bugs and leaves us with a feeling of an incomplete game that didn't have any heart to it.
Problem 2: Forgetting what we came for
Every one of us wanted to be a Jedi when we first sew Star Wars. Force pushing, Lightsabers and Flying spaceships around. None of us thought about dressing up an angry birds in outfits or playing as a storm trooper.
Many games forget what the movie is really about and don't focus on the game experience we expect and want.
Spiderman without swinging webs is not Spiderman, The Hunger Games without action is not The Hunger Games.
Because game producers get a lot of pressure and a very vague requirement list for the game they are making, they forget the audience came to play a fun game and submerge in a franchise world they love. This usually cause 2 distinct problems:
1. Bad Gameplay
Some games do get what we came to do. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" for example brought us an action game in which you as Wolverine slice your enemies making the main character Look all awesome.
Thing is, they've put too much emphasis on the graphics and slicing, so much so they forgot this is a game. A game is not merely the way it looks. It’s the fun of playing it, the interaction you have with the world, the actions your can perform and more.
As Gamers, we expect to do cool combos, Explore interesting areas and Achieving goals. We don’t want to be railroaded from cameo to cameo of different characters from the movie.
2. Bad story/Coherency
Other games do the complete opposite. "Game of Thrones: Genesis" tried riding on the success of the franchise. One of the richest worlds in current culture, There was many directions the creators of the game could have taken. However, what they did in the end, was offering us a poor story and bad experience. In this action game, you stroll around Westros as a lowly knight, and try to battle your way to the Iron Throne.
Where I expected to find the Finesse of the TV series and the books, the beloved characters and the politics I came to expect from the franchise, I got a medium action game that lacks the spirit of the show and the detailed world of the books.
Problem 3: Trying to squeeze profits
No one likes a conditional game. I, Personally, hate games that let me play for a few minutes and then demand payment or have me waiting an entire day to receive lives.
Many movie games know the power they have towards the audience, and use the worse marketing practices out there. Producers know we love the franchise they’re promoting, they know we’ll buy anything related to it and if we are gamers - We will surely buy/download a game belonging to that franchise.
Keeping that in mind, because they know we will buy the game no matter what, they try all kind of marketing technics like: "Had fun playing with Iron man? Pay 5$ to get another avenger!", "Liked episode 1? Pay 2.95$ to open episode 2 or wait 24 hours.".
Ending on a good note, we hope producers will realize the new market they can approach and the prospects that can be made from it. A good game can lift a movie or its sequel and will maintain the audiences’ attention for a long time while keeping the brand close to the public eye and heart.
Producers, we’re asking you, please start investing more time and effort in games for your franchises. We won't die if we have to wait a few months after the movie is in theaters, or just start producing the games earlier with a better premise and decent gameplay.