Apps and Games by Jack Degg

Originally video games and Hollywood were very close. Hollywood saw video games as a great way to expand on a film that they would have created, as well as this Hollywood saw video games as another way to express all the great and wonderful aspects in movies such as; immersive storytelling an emotional response from audiences and obviously a huger profit margin for the company. [1] However, Hollywood and the video game industry are not as close anymore as they once were. In 1982 the video game based of the hit movie at the time, E.T The Extra-Terrestrial (Directed by Steven Spielberg, 1982)[2] maker a significant decline in video game sales as the game did not do very well commercially and in this process Hollywood did distance themselves from the gaming industry.[3]

 

However currently video games are getting progressively more cinematic and with the cut scenes that most games have nowadays often gives games a ‘filmic’ vibe to it, especially with the technology advances that the gaming industry has received over the past decade.[4] Video games are now capable of giving an audience emotional experiences within the games rather than limiting the terrain in which they play in or outdoing a competitor to puzzle solving.[5]

 

As well as this video games are turning over huge amounts of profit as opposed to Hollywood. In 2010 the US box office was about $10.6bn but on the other hand the gaming industry had exceeded this amount and by the end of 2010 it was estimated that the annual income revenue for the video game industry was around $18.6bn in the US alone.[6] With this information Hollywood has begun to take note of the gaming industry[7] and have even gone as far to create movies that are based on game such as; Silent Hill: Revelation and also Resident Evil: Retribution. As these markets already have an audience then it is almost guaranteed that Hollywood will make a lot of money from the movie as these types of movies tend to make a profit pretty quickly.[8]

 

What’s more is that as video games progress and become more and more cinematic they threaten to move into the world of film, either replacing the film experience or simple accentuating it.[9] An example of this is the 2016 game release of Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment)[10]. This is a “multimedia game experience” as the game combines both film elements as well as gaming elements.[11] By doing this it means that Quantum Break is like no other game as the combination of gameplay as well as live action episodes offers an interesting mix and possibly a step in a different direction for future video games.[12]

 

Quantum Break is essentially a game about time and time travel. The main protagonist, Jack Joyce, is given the power to control time when a science experiment goes wrong. Joyce then discovers that time is basically collapsing around him and everyone so he sets out to fix this ‘fracture in time’. Quantum Break is extremely interactive as the player is faced with decisions, called junctions in time, and these decisions then alter how the storyline will go. This gives the player their own individual experience which can differ from other players depending on what they chose.

 

Reviews of the game talk a lot about the live action that is featured in the game. DigitalSpy stated that “The facial capture is out of this world, accurately recreating each one of the game’s star-studded cast with an almost eerie authenticity.”[13]

 

The live action within Quantum Break lasts for around 22 minutes and features relatively bug Hollywood actors such as; Shawn Ashmore, Jack Joyce, (X-men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, 2016) Dominic Monaghan, Will Joyce, (Lost, 2004-2010) and Aidan Gillen, Paul Serene, (Game of Thrones, 2011- )[14]. This also meant that by having these huge actors that the game doesn’t just involve the normal voice overs and occasional facial recognition in pre-production but it also it involves actual sets and a whole new set of personnel that are not usually associated with games.[15]

 

Games such as Quantum Break are prime examples of how digital technology has impacted an entire industry. As games originally started out with very unrealistic graphics and also constricted terrain in which players were able to traverse upon, nevertheless, with the increase of better technology it has lead these games to become more photorealistic and have better storylines in which the player can emotionally involve themselves with.

 

But a popular question is; are games going to overtake Hollywood and become the ‘new film’ or new interactive media? While it is true that games nowadays are very sophisticated compared to their predecessors offer a lot of interactive entertainment and the video game industry does overturn a higher profit than Hollywood (based off the 2010 figures) it does look extremely unlikely that these games would succeed people’s love for Hollywood movies.[16] On the other hand, due to the success of the videogame industry then there is no reason to why Hollywood and the video game industry should not work together and maybe in the future collaborate on a few projects in the future. Games that are based on movies, and movies based on games would allow audiences to explore further and more in depth their favourite universes and create a lot of cross-media links, thus increasing profit for both Hollywood and the video game industries.[17]

To conclude while Hollywood and the video game industry are different types of media, they are extremely similar to one another and games like Quantum Break can only solidify that fact. Technology has also played a huge part on this as it has lead games to become more realistic and have a better quality of storyline.

[1] McDonald, P. and Wasko, J. (eds.) (2008) The Contemporary Hollywood film industry. 4th edn. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd.) (p.132)

[2] McDonald, P. and Wasko, J. (eds.) (2008) The Contemporary Hollywood film industry. 4th edn. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd.) (p.133)

[3] McDonald, P. and Wasko, J. (eds.) (2008) The Contemporary Hollywood film industry. 4th edn. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd.) (p.133)

[4] Alexander, L. (2012) Gamer’s paradise: The evolving relationship between film and games. Avaliable at: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/gamers-paradise-the-evolving-relationship-between-film-and-games Accessed: 28th April 2016.

[5]Sattin, S. (no date) Video games are the new movies. Available at: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/30/video_games_are_the_new_movies_partner/ (Accessed: 29th April 2016).

[6] Graham, J. (2016) Are video games now more sophisticated than cinema? Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/jun/02/la-noire-video-games-films-sophistication (Accessed: 28th April 2016).

[7] Sattin, S. (no date) Video games are the new movies. Available at: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/30/video_games_are_the_new_movies_partner/ (Accessed: 29th April 2016).

[8] Alexander, L. (2012) Gamer’s paradise: The evolving relationship between film and games. Avaliable at: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/gamers-paradise-the-evolving-relationship-between-film-and-games Accessed: 28th April 2016.

[9] Sattin, S. (no date) Video games are the new movies. Available at: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/30/video_games_are_the_new_movies_partner/ (Accessed: 29th April 2016).

[10] Remedy Entertainment, 2016, Quantum Break, video game, Xbox One, Microsoft Studios.

[11] IGN (2015) Quantum break: Bringing the vision to life – IGN live: Gamescom 2015. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Pptjt_oBw (Accessed: 30th April 2016).

[12] Reserved, M.A.R. (2015) Gamescom day One report. Available at: http://www.quantumbreak.com/2015/08/gamescom-day-one-report/ (Accessed: 28th April 2016).

[13] Loveridge, S., Davies, M. and Sandwell, I. (2016) Quantum break review: Is this the future of gaming? Available at: http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/review/a785725/quantum-break-preview-review-a-game-of-two-halves/ (Accessed: 2 May 2016).

[14] Makuch, E. (2015) Xbox One-Exclusive quantum break cast includes game of thrones, LOTR, x-men actors. Available: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xbox-one-exclusive-quantum-break-cast-includes-gam/1100-6429537/ (Accessed 1st May 2016).

[15] IGN (2015) Quantum break: Bringing the vision to life – IGN live: Gamescom 2015. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Pptjt_oBw (Accessed: 1st May 2016).

[16] McDonald, P. and Wasko, J. (eds.) (2008) The Contemporary Hollywood film industry. 4th edn. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd.) (p.133)

[17] Alexander, L. (2012) Gamer’s paradise: The evolving relationship between film and games. Avaliable at: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/gamers-paradise-the-evolving-relationship-between-film-and-games Accessed: 28th April 2016.

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