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The inevitable Incredibles 2 game will be trash, but here's why I'd buy it anyway

Before the trailer or release date, let me go ahead and call how bad The Incredibles 2 game will be. But also, why these movie games exist.

The long-awaited sequel to the hit 2004 film, The Incredibles 2 was confirmed back in 2014, with writer Brad Bird returning to continue the story. Lately, it's been making waves largely because of its poster reveal at the Disney Expo (D23 EXPO) alongside movie posters for Finding Dory, Cars 3, and Toy Story 4.

Like all blockbuster movies these days, you should expect a very bad video game tie-in. However, in the case of The Incredibles 2, I would buy it just to support the franchise. And these days, playing old or terrible games is a favorite past-time or lucrative career on the internet. The Incredibles video game, Rise of the Underminer, served as a sequel to the events of the movie.

Why garbage licensed games will always exist

Movies, especially big budget ones, have large marketing tactics to make sure they turn a profit to offset the costs. These costs come in the form of liability and legal matters, paying for equipment and talent, theater cuts, and a whole lot of ads.

If you're not familiar with the cost of ads, know that ads are sometimes half the budget for these multi-million dollar movies.

In turn, you see everything under the sun to establish brand name and force popularity on the masses - video games, books, comics, amusement park sections, toys, posters, clothes, accessories, collectibles, office supplies, school supplies, kitchen supplies, Halloween costumes, diapers, pet accessories, and probably trash cans. The list is endless. I have themed underwear, piggy banks, wallets, and I wouldn't mind some computer monitor decals. Why not? They do have the mouse pads.

The point is, Hollywood's current design is as follows:

  • Pick or start a franchise that can spawn sequels
  • Put a lot of money into the movie and advertising
  • Throw up merchandise to help offset the costs, because they still need enough to make future movies
  • ????
  • Profit

It's not the world's favorite model because it doesn't support originality, but with how much money these movies cost to make, it's understandable.

Pixar has had games for every single one of their movies, sometimes multiple. While its cheaper and easier to have web-based or mobile games, sometimes there are full titles created for consoles.

There was one for Ratatouille, Up, Brave,  and Toy Story 3. What do they all have in common? They're all arguably "good movies," and have been written by or had heavy influence from Brad Bird. On the flip side, all the games are arguably "dumpster quality" outside of the exceptional Toy Story 3.

The fact is, these games exist to ride out the popularity, not to "be good."

Why I'd buy the game anyway

I'd still buy this game I assume is going to be awful to support the amazing creators behind the franchise. The Incredibles 2 writer, Brad Bird, is that main creator. It's not his fault the game is going to suck, he's not a programmer or narrative designer and probably has little to do with the game at all. But the reality is that successful merchandising fuels his career as a screenwriter. It's simple - Bird makes good movies and I want him to continue making good movies. He's not concerned about money grabs and the reason there hasn't been a sequel in over 10 years is straight forward:

"To say that I’ve had trouble [coming up with a story] is to say that [a sequel] has been my pursuit. I haven’t really been pursuing that."
—Brad Bird, exclusive 2011 interview with Movies.com

The success of The Incredibles is documented, it broke a lot of records for Pixar and animated kids movies at the time. My enthusiasm for The Incredibles 2 to be just as awesome is because Bird says so:

"I want to do it because I have something that will be as good or better than the original. Toy Story 2 was, to me, a perfect sequel, because it absolutely respected the first film but found new places to go without selling out its characters. So if I could come up with an idea that is to Incredibles that Toy Story 2 is to Toy Story, I would do it in a second.”
—Brad Bird

The reason people buy concert tickets, CDs (yes, discs), posters, cheap collectibles, or other junk isn't always for the experience. Sometimes, it's to support the developers or creators because they want them to continue doing good work. It's the idea behind successful platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon. For a gamer, the cheap junk I would buy in support (besides the movie ticket, of course) is the video game. Just ask any popular streamer or YouTube star, playing "bad" games with your audience is equally one of the most agonizing and fun experiences to be had.

While there is still no trailer and the release date could be anytime in 2017 or 2018, you certainly will catch me on Twitch (if it still exists, of course) then. Of course, maybe the game will surprise me and be...incredible.

Published Aug. 18th 2015

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