Captain America's Got Me Missing Crappy Movie Tie-In Console Games

The official video game tie-in for Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out this week for iOS and Android, and the $2.99 Gameloft joint has me waxing nostalgic for the days of paying $50 for licensed console games that were almost guaranteed crap.


Movie-based console games have been on the decline since 2011, when the first Captain America film was accompanied to market by Captain America: Super Soldier. It wasn't a great game, but it wasn't horrible, and it didn't once ask me to pay a premium for additional items that would help me complete the game.

The Marvel movie universe is actually a good focal point from which to observe the decline of console movie tie-ins. Iron Man, Captain America and Thor all had console game tie-ins, as did Iron Man 2. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and now Captain America: The Winter Soldier all got the Gameloft mobile treatment. The Avengers movie had no real game tie-in (though several comic book-based games came out around it), and serves as the turning point.

Illustration for article titled Captain America's Got Me Missing Crappy Movie Tie-In Console Games

Over the past three years the vast majority of movies that would have once been made into console games are instead going the mobile route — Man of Steel, After Earth, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and the new Robocop, to name a few. We've still got our Amazing Spider-Man and The LEGO Movie Video Games, but it feels like it's only a matter of time before we lose those too.

I guess it makes sense. Why bother employing a massive development team to crank out a passable console game that might sell a couple hundred thousand copies, when a cheap-as-free mobile game will sell ten times the number and continuously generate fresh revenue via microtransactions?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier isn't a bad game. Sure, it's $2.99 with a heavy focus on microtransactions, but its got style and a unique Diablo-tactics vibe to it. I guess I'm just missing the days when publishers were confident enough to try and trick us out of $50 all at once, instead of a dollar or two at a time.


Mike Fahey

Stop taking about Arkham! You want a Batman movie tie-in, this is it here.