On Universal Pictures’ Latest Reduction…

How many times must we see our corporate big wigs do the right things for the wrong reasons?

I’m not the first—nor will I be the last—sad victim of the shameful genre of games known infamously as “tie-ins”, though I certainly wish I was the final prey of these discs of marketing fodder. It seems that in many ways, making a movie just isn’t enough anymore; there must be more to indulge the peripheral senses and create full immersion for those potential die-hard fans. If this is true, then why must everything but the film achieve brilliant levels of sucking that only George Michaels or Yanni can compare to?

Wanted: Weapons of Fate already had a slight gimp in its walk to begin with: The film, while adrenaline infused and perfect for an electronic twin, lacked the parts that any video game fundamentally requires to even be considered decent. I caress my face with frustrated palms when I hear how aghast the publishers respond when their team of twelve desginers couldn’t create a successful game in just 8 to 12 months after the movie’s initial release.  And alas, just when I saw hope in the words of Universal Studios, it was quickly slapped away by the newly implemented “If it’s gonna suck, at least it’s not our fault” licensing system. Instead of halting tie-ins altogether—an idea that, in this current economy, might be the smartest way to make money—Universal opted instead to just let someone else who’s willing to tarnish their own record. Swwwwwwwiiinnnggg-and-a-miss

I suppose it’s not surprising to see them continue futile efforts to pawn more money from the passionate fanboy or the clamoring masses willing to drop the $50; it is a business after all, games and movie both. As the two industries grow closer and closer every year, the line that seperates them has become all but fine. Now, the true gems of either category come not from those that tread the line carefully, but instead stay the hell away from the line completely and within the realms of their respective industry. If you know how to make a movie, don’t think you can make a game, and vice versa.

This same principle is precisely why I am not happy with the introduction of a video game adaptation of Cameron’s Avatar. In almost all cases, the movie will always inevitably overshadow whatever tie-in that comes toddling along with it, but with Avatar, it isn’t so much overshadowing as it is a complete domination, and the film hasn’t even come out yet. There is hardly any way the game adaptation will stand out from it’s much larger brother, and that should already be warning enough that this game will not live up to anyone’s expectations (unless you’re wise enough to set your bar much closer to the ground than usual). As Cameron has alledgedly broken ground in several new technologies to create his new masterpiece, these same spectacles won’t have the same luster on the small screen no matter what Ubisoft hopes to do.

But with a movie this big, how can a publisher ignore the opportunity to do a tie-in? And so the circle of life and shitty adaptations continues to churn.

See you in the next level,

Gray

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