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  Movie magic hits the games market
Updated 24 July 2004, 09.25

The same week that Spidey swings into cinemas - the game based on the movie has conquered your consoles.

So are the games of the films as good as the flicks themselves?

Newsround Showbiz investigates on Sunday 25 July.

In the UK we spent 742m going to the cinema last year.

But Britain's joystick fans shell out over 2bn on games and consoles.

Movie bosses are beginning to take notice - games based on them are getting more money spent on them and their advertising.

Historically games based on movies haven't been good to play. Sometimes they were clunky and failed to live up to the cool look of the movie, but now things are changing.

"So it's up arrow, shift and return? Are you sure!"

Paul Davies, from Computer and Video Games Magazine says: "The movie licensed games aren't an after-thought any more."


He says whereas before the games were an add-on, produced cheaply to sell to fans of the film, the companies now know people won't settle for rubbish.

He says: "The major change is when the next big action movie is on the drawing board they're also planning the game.

"They tend to be launched at the same time as the movie now and cost millions of pounds to make."

Now even the stars of the big screen are getting in on the act.

"Hehehe, my game's great!"
Hollywood hard-man Vin Diesel says he set up his own game development company because he wasn't happy with the games based on his movies.

Sometimes a film-based game doesn't even need a film to launch it - the most recent James Bond game, starring Pierce Brosnan, was a brand new plot with no film behind it.

But sometimes an A-list cast doesn't guarantee a big hit game! Computer and Video Games magazine doesn't like the new Catwoman game very much at all.

'Better than the film!'

But sometimes, these days Davies says the games can be better than the movies.

He says: "The Van Helsing game was better than the film. The game play was purely about action and special effects. So although the bad dialogue ruined the film a bit, the game was great!"

Angelina Jolie as the film Lara: "Wot, the Lara from the game is chasing me?"
Tomb Raider is an example of how far things have changed, Davies reckons.

He says: "Now you get successful series of games and then you get a movie - and you're hoping it lives up to the game!"

'Freedom of imagination'

But what does the future hold? Will the games market be swamped with blockbuster movie games?

Davies reckons the best games will still come from original ideas.

He says: "You can just have more freedom of ideas with a video game - you can do crazy things that you couldn't dream of with a movie in a game - like flying people and you just accept it when you wouldn't in a film."

To catch Newsround Showbiz's feature on movies and games tune in to the CBBC channel on Sunday 25 July.

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