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Why Are Video Game Adaptations Good Now? | Spot On

With the success of recent video game adaptations like Fallout, The Last of Us, and The Super Mario Bros Movie, Lucy and Tam ask the question: is the curse of bad video game movies and TV shows finally broken?


From the moment Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo slid into their matching overalls and unleashed Super Mario Bros. on to the world back in 1993, video game fans have wondered: can video game adaptations ever be... good? For years, it seemed as if the answer was a resounding no. While some films were decent, the vast majority left a lot to be desired--such as good dialogue and storylines that, you know, made sense. Recently, however, everything has changed.

In the past few years, Netflix has earned not only financial success but critical-acclaim with its television adaptations of Castlevania, Arkane, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, and The Witcher. Just last year, HBO delivered a The Last of Us adaptation worthy of the coveted "prestige tv" status, while Amazon Prime's Fallout series has already left fans eager for its next season. And it's not just video game-related television shows that are finding success. The Super Mario Bros. Movie was the second-highest grossing film of 2023, surpassing Oppenheimer and every super hero movie released that year.

So, what happened that made video game movies, well, good? And more importantly, what does all this mean going forward? Tam and Lucy discuss the game-to-film pipeline, what's changed, and how this movement is fantastic for indie games with interesting narratives--such as El Paso, Elsewhere and Dredge--which now have movie deals of their own.

Spot On is a weekly news show airing Fridays in which GameSpot's managing editor Tamoor Hussain and senior producer Lucy James talk about the latest news in games. Given the highly dynamic and never-ending news cycle of the massive video game industry, there's always something to talk about but, unlike most other news shows, Spot On will dive deep into a single topic as opposed to recapping all the news. Spot On airs each Friday.

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