Boss Rush Banter: Should More Video Games Be Adapted From Books?

Books? In a Boss Rush article? That’s right, today we’re talking about video game adaptations of novels. Different from visual novels, novel adaptations are video games based off of books. While not incredibly common, there have been a small handful of games based on, or influenced, by books. While not all of these are hits like The Witcher (originally written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski), these books could potentially be a well of inspiration for gaming studios going forward.

Aside from the Witcher, other games have been based on video games. The Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series of games are based off of, or at least influenced by, the 1998 novel. Hogwarts Legacy, coming out later this year, pulls a new story from the world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. George R. R. Martin, the author behind A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, even played a huge part in helping design and write the lore behind Elden Ring, which while not a novel adaptation, feels much like a world you could read about in one of these novels.

So should more games be based off of books? Maybe. First off, not every book would translate well to a video game. I’m not sure a Pride and Prejudice dating simulator would have a large target audience, and I don’t think anyone is itching to play Cloud Atlas: The Game. Some popular books have even attempted to make video game adaptations, such as The Great Gatsby for NES (spoiler: it’s terrible). Many books that don’t have flashy action sequences may seem dull when made into a video game. Video games should be exciting, giving you choices and differing outcomes for your decisions. 

Some books, though, would make awesome transitions. Could you imagine a Hunger Games battle royale type game? Or a Percy Jackson game where you get to battle these epic monsters from ancient Greece in Times Square? Some books could make for excellent transitions to video games, whether action games, turn-based games, or even MMORPGs. 

If I could choose one book to adapt into a video game, it would be Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire. The book has a magic system that feels like it’s ripped straight out of a video game, and the way that the main characters maneuver the main city of the book sounds an awful lot like how zipping around NYC feels in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Not to mention, Sanderson recently ran the most successful Kickstarter campaign in history of the website, attracting the attention of FromSoftware, who sent a loot box to Sanderson personally. Sanderson also noted that he is a huge fan of the Souls games, and has lately been enjoying Elden Ring

Are there any books that you would love to see receive adaptations in video games going forward? Is there even potential for books to translate over, or is it too hard to get right? Let us know in a comment below, or join the conversation on the Boss Rush Discord.

Image Source: TV Insider

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