October 28, 2023

Video Game Movie Adaptations That Just Worked

Video game movies have a long history of being flops. For every good adaptation like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or Pokémon Detective Pikachu, there are dozens of bad ones like Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. But why are video game movies so hard to get right?

One reason is that video games and movies are two very different mediums. Video games are interactive, while movies are passive. This means that video game adaptations often have to make big changes to the source material in order to work as movies.

Another reason is that video game fans have high expectations. They want to see their favourite games come to life on the big screen in a way that is faithful to the source material. But this can be difficult to achieve, especially when video games are often complex and have a lot of lore.

Despite the challenges, there have been a few video game movies that have managed to be both successful critically and commercially. Here are a few examples which we’ve came to after surveying our employees in Tamatem Games:

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Pokémon Detective Pikachu was a surprise hit when it was released in 2019. The film was praised for its visual effects, humour, and performances. It was also a box office success, grossing over $433 million worldwide. One of the things that made Pokémon Detective Pikachu so successful is that it embraced the absurdity of the Pokémon world. The film didn’t try to be too realistic, and instead focused on telling a fun and entertaining story.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was another successful video game movie adaptation, released in 2022. The film was praised for its humour, action, and performances. It was also a box office success, grossing over $400 million worldwide.

One of the things that made Sonic the Hedgehog 2 so successful is that it listened to the fans. After the first film was criticised for its design of Sonic, the filmmakers went back and redesigned the character. This showed that the filmmakers were committed to making a film that the fans would love.

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat was a successful reboot of the popular video game franchise – we’re obviously talking about the 2021 reboot and not the so-bad-it’s-good Annihilation (1997), which fun fact, was filmed 20 miles away from our Amman office. The film was praised for its violence, action, and performances. It was also a box office success, grossing over $83 million worldwide. One of the things that made Mortal Kombat so successful is that it didn’t shy away from the violence of the video games. The film was gory and brutal, but it was also stylish and entertaining.


Arcane is an animated television series based on the video game League of Legends. The series was praised for its animation, voice acting, and storytelling. It was also a critical success, winning nine Annie Awards. One of the things that made Arcane so successful is that it was created by people who are passionate about the League of Legends universe. The series was well-written and well-acted, and it showed a deep understanding of the characters and the world they live in.

These are just a few examples of video game movies and TV shows that have been successful. There are many other good adaptations out there, and with the video game industry continuing to grow, we can expect to see even more great video game adaptations in the future.

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

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