Back in the NES and Super Nintendo pretty much every major movie would get a video
game adaptation. We are not just talking kids movies either, I vividly remember playing
games like Nightmare On Elm Street, Predator and Friday The 13th on the NES. Hey, I am
not saying these games were good, but when you were a kid and at the video store, you
would be drawn to the games based on things you actually knew about and this was why
licensed games, despite more often than not being bad would be so successful.
This carried on to the 16-bit era and I personally feel it was even more prevalent during the
PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 days. Any kids movie that came out most of the time would
have a video game to go along with it. Most of the time these would be average at best and
with the internet becoming more mainstream word was getting around to kids that these
games were not all that great.
There was still some movie tie ins during the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 days, but this was
when they really started winding down, to the point where now on the PlayStation 4 and
Xbox One, I am having a hard time thinking about a franchise that got a game tie in. To be
fair some of these were swallowed up by Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions, but it is still a
type of game that has pretty much vanished.
My theory for why this happened is the boom of mobile gaming! Why would a studio spend
money acquiring the license for a movie, spending money to make and publish the game,
when they can churn out a match three type game for mobile devices? When it comes to
kids movies, nearly them all have some kind of mobile game tie in and the majority of the
time it requires you to match three things or to run endlessly. These kind of games are
cheap to make and as they offer in app purchases they can be quite the cash cow.
I know that some people will not care that movie tie in games have disappeared from store
shelves, but when I was a kid, no matter how bad the tie in game was. You sucked it up and
you got the best out of that game because you either got it as a present and you did not
know how long it would be until you got a new game. Or you rented it from the video store
and your whole weekend depended on you getting the most out of that game…… actually,
maybe the movie tie in game dying off is not a bad thing?