How TV & Film Trends Shaped 21st Century Gaming

"Tomb Raider" (CC BY 2.0) by JBLivin

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The popularity of computer and video games has grown exponentially in the last two decades. According to the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, the worldwide gaming audience is thought to be up to 2.6 billion people, creating a global industry that could be worth $128.5bn by the turn of the next decade. The accelerated convergence of all forms of media and entertainment has led to a distinct crossover and influence between both the Hollywood film and TV industry and the gaming sector. Let’s take a look at some of the most successful films that have been modelled on highly popular video games in recent memory and vice versa.

Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros remains one of the biggest-selling platform gaming franchises of all time, initially released in 1985 on the Nintendo Entertainment System home console. This particular title received critical acclaim from all corners, with IGN labelling it the “greatest game of all time”. The franchise’s success spawned the creation of an adventure comedy film based on Mario and Luigi, starring Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper. It wasn’t a box office success unfortunately, raking in less than half of the $48 million budget ($20.9 million).

In fact, most movies that have been adapted from successful video game franchises have fared badly at the box office. The one exception to the rule was the 2001 action-adventure film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider which revitalized the career of actress Angelina Jolie, scooping $274 million at the box office, well over double the film’s budget. The sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life struggled at the box office but still managed to make a sizeable profit. It would be Angelina Jolie’s last appearance as Lara Croft, the character designed and spawned by British computer game designer and consultant, Toby Gard. In March 2018, the third Tomb Raider movie is due to be unveiled at the big screen, with Alicia Vikander taking the mantle from Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. The film is a reboot of the Tomb Raider film series, based on the 2013 video game by Crystal Dynamics.


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More modern-day mythical television trends have also helped breathe new life into the mythological and fantasy gaming genre, online as well as on consoles. Visit 32Red mobile here to discover a 3D slot game based on global HBO series phenomenon Game of Thrones, set in the heart of Westeros, transforming gamers into the fantasy medieval world as seen on our TV screens. Jurassic World is another movie-influenced online slot machine game available to play on 32Red, as well as Unibet Casino. It is an official Universal Studios licensed title. Jurassic World is a prime example of a Hollywood classic which has transcended across multiple gaming platforms, with 2018 expected be a big year for the franchise. Jurassic World Evolution, based on the 2015 movie, is to be released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to coincide with next year’s movie release, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – further proof that the release of movies helps to add a new dimension to gaming genres.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is already one of the most talked about movie releases in 2018, but there are plenty more guaranteed to whet the appetite – many of which are likely to result in the creation of a complementary gaming title. X-Men: The New Mutants is due to arrive at the big screen in Easter 2018; the X-Men franchise is one which has very much underpinned the superhero gaming genre, along with Batman and Superman.

On the flip side, the gaming industry has benefitted hugely from the number of spin-offs developed following successful movies and television shows. There is a great range of sci-fi movies that have been transformed into hit video games. Vin Diesel’s The Chronicles of Riddick was developed into a successful game by Starbreeze Studios and Tigon Studios and released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator is undoubtedly one of the longest-standing video gaming franchises influenced by movie trends. The sci-fi horror genre was turned on its head by the 1979 classic, which saw the first video game spin-off appear in arcades and living rooms from 1982 onwards. Fast forward to the latest 2017 release, Alien Covenant In Utero, based on the film Alien: Covenant, which makes it 38 officially licensed video games related to the three film franchises.

While some games based on movie franchises have failed to live up to the hype – and vice versa – it’s difficult to ignore that gaming and movies are now so intertwined, as franchises seek to build on strong storylines and characters that enchant movie fans and gamers young and old around the world.

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