Movie-games are almost universally terrible, critically panned, and hated by most consumers. However, the titles often outsell many other games due to the established license, with many buying a game after they saw a movie from the same franchise. Now, one of the world’s largest publishers, Electronics Arts, has revealed that the end of the movie-game industry is nigh, and that they will no longer make movie based games.
Talking to Develop, EA Games president Frank Gibeau stated:
The days of licensed-based, 75-rated games copies are dead like the dinosaur.
We dumped [the James Bond] licence because we felt like we needed to own more intellectual property, and we don’t like where James Bond is going with all the creative limitations on it. The percentage royalties you have to pay the licensors are going the wrong way for publishers. The margins are being squeezed. And, to top it all off, the movie-game business is falling apart.
Considering the total amount of money we have to spend on those types of James Bond games, and the total amount of man-hours we had to put into them, we thought; hell, let’s work on our own IP. The guys who made James Bond games for us, well yeah, they went on and made Dead Space.
And look where we are now; what would you rather publish, retail and play – the latest James Bond or Dead Space 2?
Gibeau makes a good point – innovative titles like Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge are far more appealing than Megamind: Ultimate Showdown. Additionally, owning their own intellectual property means that EA can make money off future iterations of a game, as well as their own movies, comics and music – all without paying high royalties to movie studios.