For years, the worlds of video games and movies seemed to be like oil and water. Movies that had made it big on the big screen were often thrown onto systems as a gimmicky cash-grab, whilst video game adaptations for the film world often struggled to secure the financial backing to make their releases… good. Thankfully, as gaming has become more and more mainstream, the video game movie market seems to be on the up. Join us here at Hollywood North Magazine as we run you through our favourite video game to movie adaptations ever!
Life, death and an annual release of an Assasin’s Creed game are three of the certainties in life, but it’s hard to argue against Ubisoft’s insistence on flooding the industry with the stealth-action series when you consider the numbers. When Ubisoft Montreal developed the first entry back in 2007 as a Prince of Persia-inspired action-adventure game, they couldn’t have imagined sitting here in 2023 with eleven further releases, selling over 200 million copies and inspiring a Hollywood blockbuster hit.
The Assassin’s Creed movie came out in 2016 and stars Michael Fassbender, who also acted as producer. Fassbender plays Callum “Cal” Lynch and Aguilar de Nerha, with the latter being a member of the Assasin’s order during the Spanish Inquisition. The movie grossed over $240 million and showed that even video game adaptations could be backed with the big bucks.
Pikachu is, arguably, the most famous animated character in the history of entertainment. The flagship mascot for the Pokemon franchise, Pikachu has dominated the tabletop, TV, video game and now even Esports betting markets thanks to its appearances in competitive titles such as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros.
But, it wasn’t until 2019 that fans were given a live-action movie adaptation. Detective Pikachu, starring Vancouver native Ryan Reynolds as the yellow electric type, is a mystery fantasy flick based on the game series of the same name. The adaptations of these creatures for the movie were undoubtedly the big highlight of Detective Pikachu, though it still went on to gross over $433 million and bag itself a sequel in the works.
Sonic The Hedgehog
If you’re of a certain age, you might remember Sonic the Hedgehog blasting across your television set as the game franchise your cool older sibling played. SEGA’s blue mascot is one of the most recognisable faces in the video game world, amassing over $6 billion in sales with over 140 million units being shifted.
The 2000s and 2010s were not the happiest of hunting grounds for Sonic, however, with SEGA struggling to find a footing in the brave new 3D market. Eventually, though, a movie adaptation was announced with Canada’s own Jim Carrey being given the honour of starring as Dr Robotnik, Sonic’s arch-nemesis since his debut in 1991. A quick redesign of the blue hedgehog’s look aside, the Sonic film franchise has been a roaring success with the first entry in 2020 becoming the highest-grossing movie based on a video game in US history.