X-Men Origins: Wolverine got its own movie-based game. This weekend's Star Trek movie will not, unless you count the downloadable spin-off.
We asked why.
Big movies get video game adaptations, most of the time. For better or worse.
But that's not happening with this weekend's Star Trek film, which is getting the spin-off space-combat game Star Trek D-A-C but no big-game adaptation.
The official reason for the lack of a game based on the events of J.J. Abrams' Kirk adventure is that there wasn't enough time to make a great full-sized game.
"We certainly wouldn't have done a better job telling the story than the filmmakers would," D-A-C producer Ben Hoyt told me as he demoed the game for Kotaku on a Paramount floor in a Times Square skyscraper this morning.
Hoyt said the D-A-C team deliberately tried to not re-tell the events of the film, focusing on making their top-down, multiplayer-centric space-combat game that has three modes, seven maps and no plot.
Hoyt's proud of the downloadable game and makes a strong case that going the D-A-C route can produce a good game and lessen the risk of making one of those bad movie games that players are sick of. "The amount of time it takes to do a full-scale [movie] game and to make a film don't line up well," he said. "I think there's a strong correlation between that and the fact that games based on films have a spotty track record."
That philosophy led to the creation of D-A-C instead.
Some other notable movies are not being adapted to games. This spring's Watchmen game took the same spin-off approach as Star Trek D-A-C does.
But the stakeholders behind some other big movies this season, including X-Men: Origins and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — both of which are getting full-game adaptations — are moving ahead with full film-to-game adaptations.
Gamers and movie-goers alike can vote on which approach they prefer by choosing how to spend their money.