Trace the history of video games back to its roots and, near the beginning, you’ll find Atari’s Centipede and Missile Command. The shoot-em-up games were early pioneers of the genre, and now they’re catching up with modern games by getting their very own movies. Deadline reports that Atari has teamed up with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films to produce movies based on both Centipede and Missile Command. No writers or directors have been attached yet, which means no one actually has any idea of how these largely non-story based games will make compelling movies. But that’s not important, right? It’s only important that people know the name!
Sure, there’s someone out there who can take the very rudimentary mechanics and basic story beats of these games and weave them through a narrative. But if you look at the track record not just of video games that get turned into movies, but board games and any other games, how many have actually been good? A handful? And have any of those been based on games without a story? Unlikely. Atari could be the exception but, if these movies ever get made, I will be incredibly surprised. And if those movies are good, I’d go bonkers.
Top: The Centipede scene from Pixels, which totally worked, right? Image: Sony Pictures