2009 is a congested year for movie-licensed IP, with a wealth of new games based on top upcoming films such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, Terminator: Salvation, Harry Potter and Xmen Origins: Wolverine. And the companies behind the software are confident their games will delight the movie-going audience.
“The industry would say that three quarters of movie games are poor, but we think this is also true of all games – not something specific to movie licenses,” said Jonathan Bunney, executive producer of the Harry Potter franchise at EA Bright Light.
“I’ve played more bad games without licences than those with licences but movie games get additional flak because they get additional exposure. I love it when our Harry Potter games get great reviews, and Order of the Phoenix was the highest rated movie game of 2007 on 5 of its 8 platforms – but I care more about the people who are actually going to play it.”
Activision Blizzard’s head of marketing David Tyler added: “It is important to note that many licensed titles are targeted at kids, many of whom don't differentiate between say a 7 out of 10 game and a 9 out of 10 rated game.
“In many instances, success or failure for a title will depend on how fun the game is and how well the licence translates to a video game experience, not the metacritic rating itself. Generally speaking, the older the target audience, the more important the game rating starts to become.”
For more on the games industry’s improving relationship with the movie business, make sure to check out our three part roundtable with key figures from both sectors.