General Question

weeveeship's avatar

Why don't video game developers create animated movies?

Asked by weeveeship (4622points) January 8th, 2011

A lot of video games nowadays have cutscenes showing the background story. example

The video game developers could make an animated feature that combines cutscenes with some added animated footage. However, I find that there are very few, if any, movies that do that. Instead, studios tend to make dramas out of video games. Many of those dramas are mediocre at best.

I feel that people would watch an animated movie based on a video game, if the graphics are good. The video game developers have a lot of options. They can show the movie in a theater (2d, 3d or both). Or, they could just release it straight to DVD.

Any ideas on why video game developers aren’t already doing this?

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10 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

Previous attempts at making movies based on video games weren’t successful. (have you seen Final Fantasy?)

In the mean time, movies based on comics and superheroes have been extremely successful, as have animated movies aimed towards families (think Pixar) so those keep getting pumped out instead.

What game would you make into a movie?

Ivan's avatar

They have, actually, and they’ve all been awful.

SavoirFaire's avatar

There’s even an entire page on TV Tropes about how Video Game Movies Suck.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@funkdaddy To be fair, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within wasn’t based on any particular installment of the Final Fantasy game series. It seemed to be based on a nonexistent game that probably could have been Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was much more successful.

PocketWatch's avatar

@Ivan is correct, look at Resident Evil. The animated RE movie was decent at best. Although the others were not animated. They only make those animations to make the characters do what you can’t do in game. Can you really block and parry all those bullets in final fantasy, devil may cry. Can you really kill a zombie in one shot in RE ok the rare rare occasions one handgun bullet will do the trick They should really just stick to doing what they do best, making video games. Although I’m sure they can be great at animation but I prefer my game tittles not be destroyed…

Disc2021's avatar

I think it’s because video games and movies are just fundamentally different. As previously stated, they’ve tried – and although it works, it usually doesn’t work too well.

Take a game like Metal Gear, for example, which is although incredibly cinematic, would it really still be Metal Gear if it were an actual movie? Would it provoke the same responses from it’s audience; would it feel the same way and have the same effect? Chances are it wouldn’t excel as a movie nearly quite the way it does as a video game.

To echo @PocketWatch developers should really just stick to what they’re so brilliant at. Usually, this same rule follows for those “actor turned musicians”.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

If I am remembering this correctly – Valve was contacted years ago by a movie studio to adapt the Half Life story. Valve said no. Valve said if they wanted a Half Life movie, they would make it themselves. Fast forward some years & we begin to see animated shorts for the game Team Fortress 2 in a series called, ‘Meet The…’. It is believed that these short films are Valve’s way of testing the waters with making a feature length film. It is quite possible, that in the near future – Valve will come out with a movie. Whether it is an original story or adapted from one of their games, no one knows.

ragingloli's avatar

It all depends on whether the movie maker can capture the “spirit” and feeling of the source material, which I would imagine is not that easy with video games, especially games where most of the time you are in a first person perspective, shooting at things.

I recently watched a fan made Metal Gear Solid movie. Well made, and one of my favourites. It was made by Italians if I remember correctly.
There was also a fan made Dragonball Z movie, which, while the effects were not polished, and the acting was cringeworthy, managed to capture the feeling of the anime. Absolutely awesome.
So it depends on who makes the movie.

Do not expect any master pieces in that regard from Uwe Boll and Co.

WhenAllLightDies's avatar

…. The same reason why still life painters don’t do abstract? There doesn’t seem to be much interest in CGI movies. Yes, they look great, but they take longer than movies with actors, and would probably be more expensive to make.

Hard work and very small returns don’t make a good company :D

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