How Books Have Helped Plot Development In Games

There once was a time when a good comic book, movie or TV show would spawn a video game based on its desire and notoriety would guarantee sales. These were the days when a hit movie franchise would release a lackluster game to capitalize on the fan base. While that still happens – game developers in the last three generations of games have been working backwards – creating their games and then making comics, graphic novels and movies to give back elements of the plot that a game couldn’t cover. This has provided the most developed game lores we have ever seen.

Games like Halo, Warcraft, Dead Space, Gears of War and Bioshock have used graphic novels, movies and to a lesser extent comic books to provide gamers with parts of the story that the natural development of the game would not be able to cover. Gears of War alone has released five books covering everything from the *spoiler alert* capture of Adam Fenix by the Locust to why Marcus Fenix was in jail and how his time in the slab helped form him. Bioshock introduces the backstory of Andrew Ryan and the early days of Rapture before it became the opposite of a Utopian society. Warcraft, a game shrouded in lore and approaching its 25th year anniversary of being out, still relies on books and comics to fill in the gaps about the war with the Orcs and how the other races have come to exist in the world.

Halo and Dead Space have specifically used short animated movies. Halo was the one of the first next generation games that would possibly receive a Hollywood release, but that died on the doorstop. Still, Halo produced Forward Unto Dawn, Fall Of Reach and the Nightfall series to go further into the lores and explain just what the gamers have been fighting against for the last 15 years. Dead Space released two movies, Downfall which occurred before the original game and Aftermath which fills in the space between Dead Space and Dead Space 2. Warcraft has a big budget studio release due out in 2016  – with the addition of an Assassins Creed movie to go along with the many books as well to use the video game medium to attract business.

So in our day and age we have seen it go in the opposite direction – with video games becoming the precursor setting the creation of more media and it has only improved the quality of the games. No longer do gamers just take the game for the value that it is. Gamers understand why Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago were so close, how Isaac Clarke in Dead Space was already behind the 8 ball before his first venture onto the Ishimura and why the hell the UNSC can’t control the damn Halos before someone else uses them against the universe. Its a great time to be a gamer.

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