The BIG Question - Will We Ever See A Good Videogame Adaptation?


OK, we can all agree that videogame adaptations haven't had the best of lives on the big screen so far. Early efforts like Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros. were awful and are deservedly included in many 'worst of' lists to this day.

But consider the fact that over the last five years or so, videogame adaptations have steadily been getting better. Silent Hill from 2006 for example, has a pretty decent IMDb average of 6.5 whilst new release Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time has clawed its way up to a not too rotten 40% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The point is that, steadily, Hollywood is realising that videogames can't just be ported, rather they do genuinely need an adaptation with a coherent story and script crafted around the world the game creates. Producers are also realising that in making a quick buck from fans by turning out trash like Streetfighter, they're alienating the very people they want to come to their next film. The logical conclusion is that, as Hollywood continues to wake up to what videogames really need in order to work, they'll approve bigger budgets, adapt better games and make better movies. We're particularly hoping that the likely adaptation of Heavy Rain could be the title that leads the way.


The problem with videogame adaptations is two-fold; big money and big talent. In every other case one naturally leads to the other but in this particular scenario one seems to exclude the other, leading to the conclusion that we'll never see a good videogame adaptation, let alone a great one.

The numbers involved here are simply massive. In 2008, total videogame sales in the US alone amounted to $21 billion, in a year which also saw the industry rival the film business for total sales. Hollywood knows that the fanbases involved here are loyal and eager for more of their favourite franchises.

What this means is that they will never spend money on the big talent needed to pull videogame adaptations up a level. Sure, Prince Of Persia has Jake Gyllenhaal but that's the best any adaptation has done yet and besides, are we classing him as a genuine A-lister now? You only need to look at Uwe Boll's adaptations to realise that you really can turn out any old tripe and it will make a certain amount of money. And, whilst we're on this track, are any of the adaptations ever going to be able to attract a Chris Nolan, Sam Mendes or Martin Scorsese? We doubt it.

What's your answer to The BIG Question?


  1. Sooner or later I feel someone's going to make a passable one, if only by accident.

    What I think would be better suited is for someone to make a lower budget, more personal video game adaptation using one of the lesser known series. But that'd be an incredibly hard sell.

  2. On both counts I think you're right. A niche videogame adaptation made for the right reasons would, I'm sure, be great but like you I think it's very unlikely. Having said that, I suspect SILENT HILL didn't have a great budget and I maintain that that is the best one so far.