Apropos of my earlier post on Steve Long’s licensed games op-ed piece:
- Roleplaying games are not very easy to adapt to traditional narrative forms like novels and films because the most important thing about traditional narrative forms are their protagonists and the things they want, but nearly every RPG begins with the premise that the protagonist is something the player develops, and which is not part of the game-as-published. In an RPG, the more you say about how the protagonist needs to be, the more sketchy a proposition your game becomes.
- Comic books have a nefarious leg up in movie licensing compared to other creative forms because their for-publication format amounts to a film’s storyboard. The numb Suited Human evaluating a comic book property for his production company needs to expend nearly no imaginative effort to see the movie in his mind.
- Even low-circulation comic books benefit from the point above. Even RPGs with a vastly larger fan-base than Indie Comic Book #4,572 can’t compete with them in terms of scoring a movie license, especially given the massive money that’s been earned in the past by high-impact comic licenses like X-Men and Iron Man. (Never mind that there’s no comparison between the comics in question. The Suited Human making the evaluation is simply concerned that, if the movie fails, he will be able to say, “It wasn’t a stupid decision to make a movie based on a comic book. Look at all these other, massively successful comic book adaptations!” And then, the logic goes, he can’t get fired. Not so much with an RPG adaptation.)