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: