Video Game Firsts - First Game Based On A Movie

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Many early video games were inspired by movies. Take, for example, Death Race...


Released into arcades in 1976, and inspired by the 1975 cult movie Death Race 2000. Then there's Shark Jaws...


I'm sure I don't need to tell you which movie inspired this game! One more prime example of movie inspiration came in 1979 with an arcade title called Star Fire...


The look and feel of Star Fire was directly lifted from the movie Star Wars, though the game, just like many others from this period, was not officially licensed.

The first movie to give its official blessing to a video game was Tron. The Disney film was released in 1982 but during production of the film work was underway on various video game adaptations. The first to hit the shelves was Mattel's Tron: Deadly Discs, released for their Intellivision system over six months prior to the film's premiere!


In Tron: Deadly Discs you play a man trapped in a computer world who must keep moving to avoid being hurt. Sorta like the film. Sorta. And this wasn't the only Tron video game that appeared before the movie, as an arcade title was released just prior to Tron's July 1982 premiere, with many cinemas installing the machines in their lobbys to maximise profits.

Tron the arcade game featured four subgames, all based on sections of the movie, including I/O Tower, MCP Clone, Battle Tanks and, of course, Light Cycles...



Both Tron: Deadly Discs and Tron the arcade game where huge money makers and marked the start of many other Tron video games, inc Tron: Maze-A-Tron, Adventures Of Tron and Discs Of Tron, which were released to varying degrees of success. They also kick-started the whole 'Officially Licensed Game' craze for movie to game adaptations, and, in case you were wondering, the first game to carry that particular phrase on its marketing was 1982's Raiders Of The Lost Ark for the Atari 2600.

Find all our previous "Video Game Firsts" articles here.

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