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August 19, 2013

Are Licensed Games Really Such A Bad Thing?

(Pardon this, ahem, "cheaper" editorial-like post; I will be very busy today, and I need to leave soon, so this post won't have pictures for the moment. I'll add pictures later today.)

In my collection, I have a few licensed games.

Licensed games are games created by a studio to cash in on something very popular at the moment of the game's release. The biggest example is to release a game that ties in with a movie presently in theaters, or which has just stopped airing in theaters. It happens very often, on almost all consoles. Of course, this happens more often with animated films.

However, the quality of such games can vary greatly. In fact it isn't easy to create a game based on a movie. Do we continue the film's story? Do we just re-create the story in game form? Or, do we make a game that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie? Those are all questions a game developing studio tries to answer when it's time to make a licensed game.

The results can... well... divide the film's fans. Indeed, licensed games have been heavily criticized because of their quality. Many of those games feel rushed, and for the worst possible reason: Just to cash in on the popular thing at the moment, the developers gotta hurry and release a game just while that thing is popular. But, this still begs the question: Are licensed games really such a bad thing?

Personally, I'd answer: Not really. Or, well, not all of them. I know that licensed games can feel like just a way to make more money, and in a way, you can't exactly blame video game companies; after all, they're still a business. They are subjected to the ups and downs of economy just like everyone else, and they must roll along. So, when a chance to gain more money arises, of course they'll do it. And since they have very little time to make such a game (some can take a few years to be made), they must keep it simple. Or they must make a shorter game. Shorter games, games that can be completed in just a few hours, are often hated by the fans, especially if those games don't offer an additional challenge, something more that will make it longer to complete or achieve 100% completion.

But, does that mean all licensed games are bad? Actually... no! That's the better thing about licensed games: Sometimes, they can still be really, really good. It's rare, but it happens. There are some licensed games out there cherished as if they were masterpieces. ...Okay, not that much, but still. The best way to find those is to look for licensed games that are reviewed positively; it's very easy to find a video game review website that will give a score to each game, and you can use that information to decide whether or not a licensed game is worth your money. In the end, again it all boils down to what YOU think is good in a game, and if a licensed game corresponds to your criterias, then it's a good game for you. Some are unsalvageable; others are nice little surprises hidden in the Cheap Box at Wal-Mart.

Read you soon!

(P.S. This blog is one month old! Awesome! Also, with this post, it will most likely reach 1000 views! Thanks everyone for visiting this blog!)