16 APR 2024

Video game adaptations, a growing trend in Hollywood

According to Ampere Analysis, video games IP is driving ever-bigger hits, on the cusp of overtaking established comic-book franchises.

16 APR 2024

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2023 saw a decline in the popularity of movies and TV series based on comic books, and a rise in video game adaptations, according to the latest research from Ampere Analysis. Comic book adaptations remain important components of studio and network strategies, but interest in franchises is beginning to flag. Average consumer search volumes for the latest iterations of major comic-book adaptations have declined since 2021 and 2022.

However, IP from the video games market is beginning to offer comparable performance, and is growing in demand – as illustrated by recent successes based on video games, such as “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “The Last of Us” series.

Growing consumer interest in video game adaptations has paralleled a surge in gaming activity over the last few years, partly influenced by the impact of COVID19 lockdowns. The global gaming industry –despite facing a tough 2023– has grown by a quarter since the end of 2019, according to Ampere estimates. However, Ampere Popularity data showed that video games have not yet proven to be consistent sources of high-impact, broad-appeal releases, with performance of gaming adaptations much more variable than comic book IP.

Illia Abusaitov, Commissioning Researcher at Ampere Analysis, said: “Following the success of video game adaptations such as ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’, ‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’, ‘Uncharted’, ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’, and ‘The Last of Us’, risk-averse studios have begun a smooth transition into the gaming realm. These adaptations have already demonstrated their capacity to match or even exceed the success of comic adaptations. However, studios need to establish a consistent approach to ensure they become reliable hits, akin to the achievements of comic adaptations.”