Video game adaptations have become more popular recently, especially with the commercial success of Emmy award-winning TV adaptations like The Last of Us and Arcane. They’ve also enjoyed the success of film adaptations, like Resident Evil and The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Their popularity can be attributed to an already existing audience of gamers who are ready to anticipate and watch the adaptations to compare them with the games they are familiar with. The interesting lore behind these games can also help non-gamers enjoy and contribute to the rising popularity of adaptations.
In this way, film and TV show adaptations have greatly impacted the gaming industry. Games–or at least their stories–are now being introduced to a bigger audience. But aside from screens, video games are also now being adapted into a seemingly unexpected format: The Audiobook.
Why audiobook adaptations?
According to an article published on The Maine Campus, adaptations help expand the lore behind video games by adding minor tweaks that make these stories more appealing to wider audiences. When a game is adapted into a particular medium, its world is introduced to a newer audience and expands its existing fanbase. So, apart from film and TV, why are video game companies also turning to audiobooks?
A great answer would be their accessibility. Audiobooks can tap into demographics film, and TV can’t reach, such as visually impaired individuals who want to learn more about a game but cannot play it themselves. Audiobook adaptations may also appeal to those interested in certain games but cannot afford to buy consoles on which to play them. That’s especially true now that they’re more affordable through subscription plans. Take the audiobooks on Everand, thousands of which are available for a flat monthly fee. In fact, such digital collections already include video game-related content, including Joe Hempel’s deep dive The Psychology of Zelda, and Jason Schreier’s industry exposé Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made.
It thus comes as no surprise that more video games are translating their content into audio format. And the best part is, many of the titles that successfully pulled adaptations off are likely one of your favorites to play, too. Here are just a few of them:
Best audiobooks based on popular video games
Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings of Fury by Brittney Moris
It’s difficult to exclude the web-slinging, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man when we talk about video games and lore. Our previous review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales highlighted how the game puts you in the shoes of Miles, who officially assumes the responsibility of saving the world as Spider-Man while exploring the themes of revenge, family, and friendship that put his resilience to the test. Brittney Moris’ audiobook adaptation tackles the same. However, it goes further by giving listeners an inside look at Miles’s thoughts as he navigates his newfound abilities and the temptation of power while contending with everyday pressures and expectations of others.
HALO: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund
Halo is among the most popular games in recent years, with multiple installments like Halo: Combat Evolved available on monthly gaming subscriptions like the game pass for Xbox. It lets gamers assume the role of a supersoldier named Master Chief as he battles aliens and explores the mystery of an object called Halo. Eric Nylund’s audiobook adaptation is perfect for gamers who want to further explore Master Chief’s origins: it details the events that led to the inception of supersoldiers and an experiment that turned a six-year-old boy into humanity’s last hope.
Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks
A game like Minecraft seems pretty laid back because it lets you tinker with your imagination as you build houses or cities with the help of devices in your collection. But Max Brooks’ Minecraft: The Island can offer gamers and listeners a much more stressful experience. The story tells of a hero stranded in the world of Minecraft, and gamers accompany him as he navigates a harsh and unfamiliar territory to survive. It’s a solid adaptation that dives deeper into the realities of what it would be like to live in Minecraft‘s innocuous-looking, pixelated landscape.
Video games are enjoying more popularity thanks to various TV and film adaptations. With audiobooks emerging as another popular adaptation medium, the stories of popular video games can reach an even wider audience. Check out the rest of Gameblur for more of the latest updates in gaming.