Monday, February 21, 2005

Dynamic changing between game makers, movie studios

The New York Times (registration required) looks at the changing relationships between movie studios and video-game developers, triggered by the unpredictable performance of licensed games.

Spider-Man 2
sold more than 2.5 million copies in the U.S., while Catwoman sold less than 150,000. The Hulk performed moderately at the box office but fared poorly in the game market, yet The Chronicles of Riddick Xbox game sold fairly well despite the film being a theatrical disappointment.
Projects that command big advances now almost always have a track record in another medium, such as comic books or Tom Clancy novels, as well as the potential for sequels. Electronic Arts has turned the James Bond franchise into several top-selling games not directly based on individual films.

"Because of the cost of making the games, the more trump cards you have, the better you sleep at night," said Avi Arad, chief executive of Marvel Studios, which makes movies based on the company's comic book characters. "We are the suppliers of the trump cards."