For as long as there have been movies, companies have tried to cash in on them by producing memorabilia and other media. These can range from toys and action figures to novelizations. However, perhaps the most popular tie-in in recent years have usually been video game adaptations.
These games usually mirror the events of the films, giving players the chance to take on the role of the main characters on an adventure that they are familiar with. They became successful due to the fact they allow people to experience and become immersed in their favorite fictional worlds rather than just passively view them.
Although the early days of gaming would often see tie-in games release months or even years after the movie was in cinemas, that has changed recently. Now it is possible to have games come out even before the film is ready to premiere, giving players the chance to spoil the story long before they can go and see it in a movie theater.
17 Iron Man
Although both the game and the movie officially released on May 2, 2008, many players were able to get their hands on the game before it was supposed to be in stores since the release date broke. That gave fans the chance to see important plot points from the movie before they got a chance to see it in the cinema.
16 Alien Vs. Predator
There have been a number of Alien vs. Predator games since 1993. They are based on the a comic series that began in 1989 and although they do not follow a set story, they do feature a lot in common. The 2004 film Alien vs. Predator also uses these comics as their main source. This means that the earlier games, including ones released in 1994 and 2002, spoiled events of the movie – such as the revelation that Predators hunt Aliens as a rite of passage.
15 007: Quantum Of Solace
The exact plot details of each new Bond film are usually closely guarded secrets up until they release in the cinema. That’s not always the case, though, and tie-in media such as games can sometimes reveal more info than what the filmmakers might want. This is what happened in 2008 with 007: Quantum of Solace. The game’s plot closely mirrors that of the movie, meaning that its release date in the run-up to it spoiled some of the major story points.
14 Disney's Hercules
Disney's Hercules released in North America on June 20, 1997. That was a full week before it launched in cinemas in the region. The movie followed the same story as the film, meaning any kids who got their hands on the game would find out about all the characters and the various events of the plot. That includes all the important fights the Hercules would take part in.
13 007: Licence To Kill
007: Licence to Kill came out in April, 1989. This was several months before the release of the film in July of the same year. The game revealed major plot details, such as the death of CIA agent Felix Leiter’s wife, and the fact that Bond would be pursuing drug boss Franz Sanchez throughout the movie.
Although Cars had its premiere in May, it did not receive a public release on June 9, 2006. This was three days after Cars: The Video Game released in both North America and a day before its release in Australia. The end result was that anyone who had the game could see all the characters and their relationships with each other before having seen the movie.
11 The Amazing Spider-Man
A reboot for the Spider-Man film series, The Amazing Spider-Man came out in July of 2012. The problem was that the video game adaptation of the movie released on June 26 in the US and then around the rest of the world over the next three days. That meant that players could work out what had happened in the movie since the game actually took place right after the events of the film.
10 James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
Avatar was something of a phenomenon when it released on December 18, 2009. It smashed box office records and was hugely successful. Meanwhile, the game hit store shelves on December 1 of the same year. While it didn’t follow the film’s script, as it was a prequel, it did introduce players to the various factions and some of the same characters while also establishing major arcs & themes. Not an ideal way to see them for the first time considering the stunning visuals of the movie.
9 A Bug's Life
Although the A Bug's Life game did make some changes to the storyline, much of the plot of the title follows what happens in the movie version. Anyone playing would be familiar with how the overall story goes, the main characters, and their relationships with each other. As the game released in North America a week before the premiere, this could easily have spoiled the experience for many viewers.
Everything gets a little bit complicated with the 2012 film Battleship. After all, the movie is based on the traditional board game and then this had its own video game tie-ins. The game released in April around most of the world and May 15 in the US. On the other hand, the film was released globally on May 18. This posed a problem as the plot of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version mirrors the actual movie, giving away practically all of the important moments.
The more adult-themed Coraline based on the dark fantasy novel of the same name finally released in cinemas on February 6, 2009. That was several days after the video game tie-in released on January 27 in the US. Not only did the game give away important plot details but it was also very difficult, potentially putting many people off the film based on their negative experience with the game.
6 Peter Jackson’s King Kong
After success with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson tried his hand at an adaptation of King Kong. The 2005 movie proved successful and in the run-up to the release, Ubisoft produced a tie-in video game. Most versions of Peter Jackson’s King Kong released in November, around two weeks before the premiere of the movie. Because it follows the movie so closely in terms of story it gave away most of the plot details and characters far in advance of when many people would have seen it.
5 Van Helsing
The 2004 Van Helsing film made its premiere worldwide on May 7. The accompanying video game tie-in was released a day earlier in the United States. Although the story of Van Helsing isn’t exactly a secret as it is based on the character in the novel Dracula, the movie did have lots of new elements and those unfamiliar with the story would have had it ruined by playing the mediocre game rather than seeing the film first.
4 Where The Wild Things Are
Releasing a full three days before the theatrical release of Where The Wild Things Are, the game received poor reviews and was a flop by most standards. Both differ slightly in their stories and anyone who played the game might have the film ruined as it deviates quite significantly. On the other hand, important plot points from the movie and book are revealed nonetheless, spoiling it for those who like to know nothing about a movie before they see it.
3 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
The return of the Star Wars franchise in 1999 with Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace was a huge event. As with the previous, all kinds of tie-in media and toys were produced, including a video game for PC and PlayStation. Although they officially were released on the same day, early copies of the game did end up in some players' hands. The sheer popularity of the film meant many people couldn’t see it on the opening weekend either, and the game followed the story almost exactly, spoiling it for those who couldn’t get to the cinema to see it.
Based on the popular novel of the same name, Eragon tells the tale of a boy who finds a dragon egg that hatches. The video game adaptation of the film released on November 14, 2006. This was a full month before the theatrical release of the movie. Considering that the game closely mirrors what happens in the film and book, it was a huge spoiler for anyone who wanted to see the movie but also played the game.
Catwoman the video game launched on July 20, 2004. Meanwhile, the film is based on released three days later after a premiere on July 19. It loosely followed the plot of the movie and due to the fact that it released before it, many of the important story moments were spoiled. This was even more significant considering that the film does not use the comics as source material so the script was completely new.
Sources: Fandom.com, imdb.com, Eurogamer.net, Pixar.com, Disney.com, Gamespot.com, and Polygon.com.