Hollywood turns gamers into focus groups

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The Future. With video game-based movies making $712.2 million at the domestic box office last year (2x more than the year before), Hollywood is all-in on the IP for its next generation of franchises. Just as Marvel started to connect its franchises through movies and shows, don’t be surprised if studios and game developers start to create a similar relationship between movies and games.

IP level up
Hollywood studios are learning that if you’re going to make a movie or show based on a video game, you better make sure the fans approve.

  • Studios are pressure-testing designs, characters, and story points in communities on Reddit, Discord, and in traditional focus groups.
  • The goal is to tow the line between appeasing hardcore fans (who are very vocal) and culture at large (which played a lot of games during the pandemic).
  • That’s because there’s major money at play — hit games can gross billions of dollars over their lifespans, so making a movie that fans don’t like could hurt the game.

As for the movies themselves, studios are putting in work on the front end because no one wants to go through their own Sonic the Hedgehog situation, which led to a major creative overhaul of Sonic’s look after the release of the movie’s first trailer led to fan outcry.

But, hey, the backtracking ultimately turned out well for Paramount — Sonic is almost a billion-dollar franchise.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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