Videogame adaptations: Movies vs Mini-series

Just like books, videogames have always had a hard time making it to the big screen. But unlike books, videogames already give us a visual representation of their stories and characters, they don’t leave much up to the director. So what is it that videogame movies rarely work? What makes it so hard to make videogame adaptations.

Choosing content:

The number one issue for a director making an adaptation of a book or videogame is choosing what to keep or cut from the original story.

This is always a hard choice and will always have backlash. No matter what the director chooses.

The average length of a video game is 10 hours. The average movie is 2 hours. See where the issue is? Most videogame adaptations try to cram 10 hours of content into 2 hours and all you’re left with is a mediocre movie that nobody’s going to watch.

So what can directors do differently?

The mini-series

Has anyone else finished watching ‘11.22.63‘ by J.J Abrams yet? If not then go do it now!

The show is an adaptation of a Steven King epic of the same name. It’s one of the few adaptations that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed! I do have to admit that I haven’t read the book yet but I’ve heard that the show does it justice.

Abrams made a smart move by adapting the book into a mini-series rather than a movie.

Abrams had room to add content rather than cut and this is what give him an edge over his competition. His series gave the fans of the book everything that they were after and he didn’t disappoint.

How does this apply to videogames?

Good question

Like I said earlier, the average videogame goes for around 10 hours. This also happens to be around the same length of the average mini-series.

So why are directors constantly trying to create videogame movies?

Videogames have a lot of content! Movies have to pick and choose from that content and that only kills the story. If you want to see your favourite videogames on the screen then are movies the way to go?

Maybe, just maybe, videogames would benefit more from being adapted to the small screen rather than the big one.


There is so much potential in videogames! Just imagine being able to watch a mini-series of your favourite games such as  Bioshock or Red Dead Redemption.

Personally I think that mini-series’ show more potential for the gaming and the book industry than the movie industry ever could! With their short but sharp plots and huge range of content, mini-series have more to offer than we think.

Do you agree? Do you think that mini-series are the future of adaptations? Post your comments below

-Chris Gutteridge

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