Hunger Games Console Games Might Become a Reality

    April 5, 2012
    Sean Patterson
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With The Huger Games being a runaway success at the box office, it is only a matter of time before the new franchise makes its way into every type of entertainment media possible. When The Hunger Games movie was released in theaters, Lionsgate had already licensed two video games that were released alongside it. One is a side-scrolling 2D platformer for the iPhone and iPad, ‘The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire’. The other is an adventure game for Facebook, ‘The Hunger Games Adventures’. Now, in an interview with Forbes, Lionsgate Vice President of Digital Marketing David Hayes said games for consoles are not out of the question.

“Games have always been in the back of everyone’s mind since we picked up the rights to the books,” said Hayes “Outside of the name that has ‘games’ in the title, it’s no-brainer that you’d make a game based on the book or movie. But we’ve been careful and cautious that when we do embark on a new project, we’re doing it the right way and delivering an experience that fans will enjoy. We’ve had many discussions about all the types of games, including console games. The two we released at launch are the best representation of what we’re setting out to do with these games.”

The pedantic observation that the word “games” is in the title, and that it should imply video games, is moronic. But, in a way, Hayes is correct. The plot of the stories revolves around a competition, which is something almost always welcome in a video game. Competition to-the-death is especially popular in video games.

The main characters and combatants of The Hunger Games are young people, however, so any console game would need to be extra careful of its content. A game in which the player could massacre children would not go over well with parents groups or ratings boards. Bethesda was aware of this when it released Skyrim, which allows the player to slaughter anyone in the game world – except children, who cannot be harmed. From the Forbes interview:

“I don’t think having kids battle to the death in the Hunger Games is a hindrance to a potential console game,” said Hayes. “If you look at the narrative arc across the trilogy of books, there’s an Old Testament-style story of Katniss versus the Capitol. It’s that grander story of having an enslaved people forced to compete in the games that’s very attractive to fans and marketers and anyone participating in the franchise. It gets people excited. The focus would be less on the kids killing kids aspect and more about the more powerful story of good versus evil.”

That sounds nice in principle, but good luck to the game designers who have to tip-toe around this essential element of the stories. What do you think? Have a good idea on how to make a Hunger Games console game without children dying? Let me know about it in the comments below. Meanwhile, here are trailers for the existing Hunger Games titles:

  • Michael

    I can totally see a game where they have a campaign mode similar to the movie where you’re in the arena and have to protect Peeta and all that great stuff, but then it would be crazy if there was an online multiplayer mode. 24 people in a selected arena either the one from the first book or second maybe some from the second book when they watched clips of previous games or even have Suzanne come in and throw out some other ideas. You’d start underground, rise through the tube, cornucopia in the middle with weapons and it would almost be like a Call of Duty meets Grand Theft Auto sort of thing since the maps would have to be bigger so you could hide except you get one life and maybe even have a thirst and hunger meter you’d have to keep up. With every death, a cannon sounds and since it’d be online you could even form alliances and create a chat between you and specific other players so only they can hear you through their headset. I so badly wish I knew how to make games because this would be sweet. Every 3 months they could have the quarter quell where theres some sort of twist to the games. I don’t really see how you could avoid the whole killing children thing seeing as that is the basis of the books. It’s not hard to see that any other game that is rated M are still bought for younger kids. If this game is anything but that, I’d find it hard to be anywhere near decent. I understand that the movie was targeted to the younger audience, but without the true violence that was in the book, it is tough for a fan to truly enjoy it. Just looking at sales for other M games, most of the people who pay them are under 17. Don’t get me wrong, I will be the first one to buy any game related to the Hunger Game, but it will be hard to thoroughly enjoy anything that doesn’t involve the violence that is in the book. All I can do is hope!

  • Gab

    I have to say I agree with Michael, although the books could be considered a ‘young adult’ title they are widely read by adults and thoroughly enjoyed. They have a thought provoking message and socio-political themes. What would be the difference in creating a game that is truthful to the action in the book and all of the M/R rated games on the market. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t this why we created the ratings system, to grade content according to maturity levels. Thus to facilitate adults to enjoy entertainment in a different capacity. I had a look at the Hunger Games adventures (I don’t have facebook) on http://www.playthehungergamesadventures.com and I think that it is a great way for young adults to engross themsevles into the world of the hunger games without it becoming overly violent. The facebook and the iphone game are both great examples of design concepts based on maturity levels.

  • Jordan

    well i thought about this all night and i thought first the maps need to be huge. the graphics have to be like know other. the games wouldn’t only take like 10 minuteness im talking hour games where players can clime trees hide in bushes. now to the fighting i know theirs going to be a big deal about the whole kids dying thing but go play gta where kids crash planes into buildings and say its nine eleven. so i think teens dying in an arena arnt that bad compared to gta. but really good players would never play bad players . this is because your division goes by district so 12 is the worse and 1 is the best. sponsors would be in it too the people in the division ahead of can give u gifts every thirty minutes like water or food. you get points which can go towards your player that you customize his/her appearance. these points get given to you by staying in the arena getting kills. points go towards attributes like how good you are with a certain weapon or strength making fires hunting and surviving.before you go into the arena a you actually do the training you can get to know the people your about to play with. one of the hardest things will be having to sleep to keep your stamina. there will be randomly generated maps so you cant memorize them but like i said the maps are gonna be huge. this game would make tons of money on all consoles