Should Hollywood Stay Away from Games?

Should Hollywood Stay Away from Games?

The Weinstein Company recently announced the assembly of TWC Games. The new division will reportedly brew up video games based on popular Weinstein Company TV and movie properties including Scream, Halloween, and Hellraiser.

The venture has been met with some skepticism. When we talk about games based on movies (or vice-versa), we cringe automatically. “Sorry, but TWC is doomed from the start,” writes James Brightman from IndustryGamers. Given the piles of poorly-made movie tie-ins that clog store shelves and are first in line for the discount bin cull, it’s hard to argue.

Even so, there are a few good reasons to keep the faith for TWC Games. For one thing, this is a game studio that’s dedicated to making game adaptations of popular movie properties: We’re not talking about half-formed movie game projects that are being shoveled out to the lowest bidder.

Second, Scream, Halloween and Hellraiser are movies that inherently make for good video game fodder. They’re long-lived horror properties that are gory, but have also taken on a cheesy quality thanks to remakes and sequels. The movies don’t take themselves seriously, and TWC Games will probably keep the films’ heritage in mind when designing the video game counterparts.

It’s also important to remember that there’s no massive rush for TWC Games to push these titles out the door thanks to the timeless appeal behind the properties. A Halloween release seems likely (or whenever the DVD release of Scream 4 becomes available), but otherwise a game based on Scream won’t need to be pushed out the door before the relevant movie fades away from theatres.

What’s more, not every movie-based game is poison. Spider-Man 2 for the PlayStation 2 was a huge hit and genuinely enjoyable, and even some of the older arcade titles were fun to play as long as they didn’t attempt to get too complicated. And then there was E.T.–oops, scratch that.

To be fair, the games developed by TWC may well turn out to be mediocre, or completely awful. But Hollywood and video games have co-existed since the dawn of the arcade, and they’ll continue to feed off one another. Dedicating a studio to the making of games based on specific properties is a step away from rushing them out the door to meet a tight deadline–and that’s unarguably a step in the right direction.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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