Lunchtime Discussion: Spin-Off

I got my hands on Halo Legends yesterday, it was a rare DVD that I wanted so much I purchased it in a real store. I know, I wasn’t aware people still sold things in the real world, I thought Amazon did it all now. From what I’ve seen so far it looks great, although I’m only on the second story so far. The difference in art style is interesting, and seems to fit the each of the short stories well. It also adds manages to tell new stories and add some depth to the already deep pool created by the extended universe books.

So why am I talking about Halo Legends so much? Well today I want to talk about spin off media. It seems to be happening more and more now, for example I saw an anime version of Dante’s Inferno when I was browsing in HMV yesterday. I was genuinely surprised to see it, I hadn’t known that the title was getting spin off media at launch. In the case of Dante’s Inferno it seems doubly weird, spin off media being created from a game that’s already a spin off from the classic poem. Maybe it’ll get interpreted back into a poem again at some point, although by then I think it may be worth giving up on humanity as a whole.

Whilst some animated stories are popping up from time to time, comics seem to be the primary medium for games to turn up in other media now. So many major releases now feature a comic, although I’ve no idea if they’re any good. Whilst I may be a comic geek and a Halo fan I’ve no desire to pick up the Halo comics, they just don’t really appeal to me. Most of the expansion of a series’ universe outside of the games feel like cashing in a little, but that’s not to say it’s all bad. The Halo books are certainly good, I hear that the Assassin’s Creed 2 novel is a good read and I’m certainly enjoying watching Halo Legends as I write this (although the story the imitates Dragon Ball is very weird).

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So what’s your opinion? Is the expansion of a title into other media simply cashing in, or is it a genuine attempt to tell new stories? Should a game just be a game, or is there room for expansion?

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