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18 March 2009 18,932 views One Comment

rescue_rangersFor those of us that were raised on a steady diet of TV and video games, most would probably agree that it is a very rare occurrence when a video game based off a TV show is anything more than disappointing. Sure there have been a few exceptions in the past; Darkwing Duck, Rescue Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for example were all TV inspired video games that were considered successful games for the most part. On the opposite side of the spectrum however, there were games like Beavis and Butthead, The Simpsons, and pretty much anything licensed by Nickelodeon which were almost unplayable. Yet these games lined the media shelves of almost every TV stand in America based solely off their name recognition.

Video games based off of TV franchises are for some reason still prevalent in today’s gaming market. It seems as though every TV show is granted its own video game spin off. What makes matters worse is the fact that TV as we know it is only getting worse. How does one transpose reality TV into a half way decent video game? American Idol, Hannah Montana, and even Hell’s Kitchen all exist in video game form, but one question remains… Why?

The biggest problem with TV inspired video games is the lack of thought that is usually put into developing the game. The reason is quite simple. The name will sell, so there’s little reason to invest much time or money in the game itself. Also depending on the title, odds are the person purchasing the game won’t even be the one who ends up playing it. A parent sees a title on the shelves like Hannah Montana: the video game, and figures that their child loves the show and loves video games so the combination of the two must be pure gold. When in actuality nothing could be further from the truth.

Even quality TV shows usually spawn lackluster video games. The hit show LOST for example, is one of the most innovative and exciting shows on television today and yet the video game of the same name does nothing to capture the true essence of the show. LOST is a dramatic masterpiece full of suspense, mystery, and action, while the game is little more than a glorified Easter egg hunt.

As time goes on the chances of a TV series license producing a quality video game continues to diminish. The sad fact is that a video game does not need to be good in order to be successful; it needs only to make money. As long as popular show titles are being plastered on video game boxes and games contain vague references to past characters and plotlines these games will continue to sell.

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One Comment »

  • Bill said:

    I think the developers just see it is an easy way to make income off an already successor product such as a Television show. People will buy it just because they like said show.

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