Games and movies have enjoyed an uneasy alliance over the years; an alliance that began when producers realized that to help sell a film, it didn’t hurt to organize an interactive component, too. All the production company had to do was bolt together a last minute video game, slap on the appropriate box art and leave serious gamers to sift through the wreckage. And so the movie tie-in was born.
We’ve endured 30 years of detritus since and the movie tie-in has become a buzzword to describe lazy, feckless design, with the new Ghostbusters game being the latest addition to the pack. It displays all the usual qualities of this stunted breed with bland graphics, buggy gameplay and none of the replay value you expect from a full-priced package.
But, as we count down some of the worst tie-ins we’ve ever seen, it’s impossible not to reflect on the real success stories, too; the games that use cinema as an inspiration, not a constraint, and the ones that are given the time in development to flourish.