Adapting popular works to MMO Videogames: Considerations for Developer Companies

Videogames are created with the goal of entertaining your users and offering them a unique experience, achieving both is the most important thing of all, as it allows any game to establish its players and their success.

But, there are other MMORPG that besides trying to get their own audience, also try to take advantage of the existing audience of any other successful work, for example, movies, books, mangas or other videogames. It has always been normal to find hundreds of videogames based on existing popular works, as they have a well-established and passionate audience in advance, who would not hesitate to try a videogame based on their favorite work.

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However, adapting any work to the MMO or MMORPG genre is an extremely difficult task, as the developers of these videogames not only have to worry about the quality of the game, they must also try to correctly transport an established world to an online multiplayer videogame, and if the latter is not achieved, the critics will come from the public fanatic of the original work.

For this reason, the best MMO and MMORPG developers take into account the following aspects when adapting an existing piece of work:

The public and the trajectory of the franchise

As you can imagine, in order to turn a popular franchise into an MMO or MMORPG, this must be attractive and the main way to know the success of the franchise is with the observation of its public and the number of copies that have sold in their respective presentation (film, book, manga, videogame). That said, the higher the sales, the more likely it is that the work will be adapted and successful.

For example The Star Wars saga. This world-famous movie saga has a base of highly passionate players, most of who are male and are fans of science fiction worlds. When looking at the Star Wars audience, the developers confirm that making an MMO of this series is a good idea, as they are sure that millions of people will be interested.

An action-packed story

Any franchise that will be adapted to an MMO or MMORPG videogame must have a story full of action and epic adventures quite varied.

Considering this, epic fantasy stories such as “The Lord of the Rings”, stories about superheroes, or Japanese manga, especially Shônens, are perfect.

In spite of this, even some literary or film franchises with calmer stories can also result in a good MMO if their world is worked well.

The process of adapting the world of existing work

When a franchise has been found to be quite successful in sales, and it also has a story full of epic action, the next thing to achieve is to correctly translate the franchise universe into videogame. To adopt a franchise to videogames requires transporting everything related to it (its world, characters, history, politics, economy, powers, among many other characteristics).

This is the most complicated task that development companies have, because the videogame must capture the selected work as accurately as possible, otherwise, the game could lose much of its audience for the displeasure of altering his admired work.

Even the transfer of a saga of videogames to the genre MMO or MMORPG turns out to be quite difficult, as for example, is the case of Final Fantasy XIV, which was basically an adaptation of the videogames of this saga to the genre MMORPG, in its beginnings it could only get failure, but its developer (Square Enix) knew how to fix the problems, and through a re-release of the game, FFXIV achieved the great success that still retains today, as it correctly adapted the saga, and even adjusted its currency (the “Gil”) and turned it into a monetary system with real value, as happens with other popular MMORPG, so it is normal to find players who try to buy FFXIV gil with money through various websites like Eldorado.gg.

Having said all this, these were some of the aspects that development companies take into account when it comes to translate an existing franchise to MMO or MMORPG videogames, and it was made clear that this is a complicated job where the chances of success will depend on the quality of adaptation and the hard work of the developers.

Bradley Wood
Bradley Wood is a freelance writer who lives in Pomona, Los Angeles. He is pursuing graduation from the University of California (UC). Bradley frequently contributes his high-quality articles in Academics and Education to our site to help students in their day-to-day life.