Most industries have seen how popular gaming is around the world and naturally that gave birth to the Licenced Game this is when a game developer is contracted to work with an already existing IP.
It can be a let-down where companies think "Consumers like our licence, they like gaming, they must love a game based on the licence".
This is a risky approach since most fans of an already established licence tend to have an idea of the what they would like or expect in the game with high expectations (or would if not for the usual quality of games so some our met with groans of why bother) and generally having an idea on what they would like to see.
Just like it sounds it tends to be hit and miss territory much like when games go the other way but that is a worthy of a blog on its own.
This is a good time to mention this as arguably the best licenced game is out now Batman: Arkham City is winning acclaim from critics, gamers and more importantly fans, another licenced game that was recently released The Adventures of Tintin; based on the movie of the same name which is based off the comic book and cartoon of yesteryear so the game is carrying expectations of parents who grew up with Tintin and children who see the movie but thankfully has also received positive reviews.
However for every Batman and Tintin you are faced with many more poor tie ins Superman 64 I'm looking at you.
At times it seems to work better if companies hand off their IP's to smaller companies ones who want to make a name for themselves in the main stream such as Rocksteady (makers of Batman Arkham City) and Starbreeze (makers of The Chronicles of Riddick).
No game developer wants to make a bad game and I think most would relish the chance to do any product with their company name on it well, since a good game can lead to more IPs to work with or a chance to work on their own.
So given time and not being forced to rush a launch within days of a movie release is always a relief. Time is the major factor fine tuning a game for a just a week or month could work wonders but since most companies would settle for any game shelf presence just to increase that ever important profit margin, it is time game developers are rarely given.
That is another reason why Riddick and Batman worked so well, I feel not being a movie tie-in (games based solely on a movie plot) really a difference. For example look at Spiderman 2 vs Spiderman Shattered Dimension, giving developers that little bit of freedom can help create a much better and hopefully in turn successful game.
From when I thought I'd never see a good licenced game I'm happy times have changed where now I can have light optimism and hope for the best.
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