Sales of video games may be lagging, but Hollywood is upping interest in game-themed movies.
Sony Pictures is partnering with South Korean video game publisher Smilegate and China’s Tencent Pictures on the film adaptation of the popular franchise, “Crossfire.”
Smilegate previously signed a contract with Original Film, a film production company that co-produced the “Fast & Furious” franchise, for “Crossfire” to be the first Korean game IP to enter Hollywood. In 2017, Smilegate completed the first script for a Crossfire film with Chuck Hogan, who is best known for writing the screenplay of Michael Bay’s film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
Video games continue to draw moviegoers at the box office with feature-film success such as Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, World of Warcraft and most recently, Sonic the Hedgehog.
“We have discussed and prepared the movie for a long time. Through Crossfire movie, we will make [the franchise] a leader in making a good precedent in diversifying the game industry,” Paek Min-jung, EVP of marketing/IP business development at Smilegate, said in a statement.
Crossfire, launched in 2007, is a first person shooting game and is currently played in more than 80 countries worldwide by approximately 1 billion gamers. The Crossfire-based e-sports league “Crossfire Stars” records an average viewership of 20 million people for each event. Launched in 2013, Crossfire Stars continues to expand in China, South America, Southeast Asia and Africa.
In addition to releasing a movie version of Crossfire, Smilegate is actively promoting various businesses utilizing the IP, including an e–sports drama is scheduled to be broadcast in China produced by Chinese major production Youhug and Tencent Video.
Microsoft is developing the console game, Crossfire X, which will be launched this year. A theme park has opened up in the Suzhou region of China that offers visitors a hands–on and real-life Crossfire experience.