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Harry's Book to Game
Harry Potter is a commonly known name in many households across the world, whether it is through the form of novels, movies or games, however, without the technology present today, the convergence between Hollywood films and video games would never have been possible.
The recent convergence of Hollywood films to video games has been impacted greatly by the advancements of technology which in turn, offers the audience to interact with the story to create a better sense of success within a franchise. This convergence has offered a new cross-platform to the Hollywood film industry, offering major films the chance to live twice - through the movie theatre and the interactive realm.
Technology today, has certainly advanced to quite a large extent from the simple shades, textures and graphics which were used in the original computer game 'Pong', released in 1972. Mr Martin McEachern, editor at Computer Graphics World explains that, "Film crews now work alongside video game artists to make sure their game upholds the same production values as the film.”* By taking photographs and recording certain proportions and textures of sets, video game artists are then able to transfer the environment seen within the film, into an interactive world.
'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' PlayStation 2 game which was released in 2004, would have never been possible, technology wise, during the 'Pong' era; due to limited processors, it did not allow room for action or actual storylines. However, with the advancement of hardware upgrades, Harry Potter the videogame is able to replicate its film through the form of increased pixels, instructions and detailed shading.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film (2004) was quite successful itself as the opening weekend brought in $93,687,367(USA). With a fan base already in existence after the release of the novels and the previous two movies, the third instalment was expected to excel in the Box Office - which it did. The videogame version was due to be released Spring of 2004 to coincide with the film's debut date.
It was expected to appeal to the younger generations although, when adding in the gamers and older generations, it became a large success.
This game offered the new chance to play as not only the hero of the series, Harry Potter, but one is also given the chance to take on the role of Ronald Weasly and Hermione Granger which, in turn, broadens the target players' group. Along with keeping true to the film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban PS2 game is also made to appeal to readers of the series as it includes characters such as 'Peeves the Poltergeist' who is only present in the pages of the original novels.
As the third Harry Potter film has an action-filled plot, involving an escaped ‘criminal’ and a number of magical creatures, spells and potions; the PS2 game has as well. Writer of the game, Nuno Miranda, created an amazing likeness of the film and its components with the help of ‘Electronic Arts’ production Company, or more commonly known as ‘EA Games’
The convergence of the third instalment of the Harry Potter movies, into the PlayStation game was a new way for the franchise to draw in a larger audience through the form of an interactive world.
To add to the original revenue, the third Harry Potter video game contributed another $24 million with the sales it made within the first week of its release. As this game appealed to the modern audience, sales increased largely with two games already being well-known and adding in a gradual introduction of new features to sustain interest in this franchise, the same previous consumers were persuaded to purchase the newest instalment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
It is well-shown in the past through the form of Super Mario Bros., video games made into movies are not always quite as successful however this also applies to low budget and unpopular films. Films such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, make converging them to video games much easier with the knowledge of their already popular reputations.
These popular movies turned video games all have adventuress storylines and offer space for the game creators to experiment and fill in the blanks the movie left.
As it is usually the family or adventure themed movies/series which create the best revenue through Box Office viewings they are subsequently referred to as ‘tent-pole’ pictures, as their income is used to support the rest of the franchise’s success and marketing ability which includes video game spin-offs.
Advancements of technology through the years has led to the convergence of the two medias, films and video games, therefore changing the way entertainment is enjoyed and experienced. With the example of the Harry Potter franchise, one is able to see that the technology used to create these convergences has developed steadily as the games continue, forming a strong link between the two Medias –one that assists the franchise to bring in more revenue and subsequently a larger audience.
© 2016 Ashleigh Cochrane