Why aren’t movie tie-in games, especially those that are a story adaptation to the movie’s story they’re loosely based on, really a common thing anymore since the beginning of the last decade?

It’s mostly because mobile devices became the platform du jour to publish movie tie-in games and other similar shovelware-style titles. Development costs are lower, turnaround time is faster, expectations are lower, and audiences are larger on mobile, so it makes sense that licensors would go there.

In addition to the rise of mobile, the relationship between a movie tie-in console game’s development cycle and the movie itself was already fraying in the mid to late 2000s. Back when AAA games could be developed by a fairly small (< 50 people) team in a year or less, it made a lot of sense to develop tie-in games alongside movies that also took around a year to film and produce. However, by the PS3/X360 era movies hadn’t really changed their production time, but AAA games were taking 2-3 years to complete. Those two time frames are essentially incongruous. Combine that with the rapidly escalating production budgets due to the increase of team sizes and the economics of a movie tie-in game weren’t really that profitable anymore. Something had to give eventually, so the transition to mobile as the platform of choice should make a lot of sense.

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