It is not unusual to see movies or television shows based on books, but they are not the only forms of entertainment to do so. With thousands of active games companies and an increased mainstream appeal the computer and video game industry also generates revenue in the billions. This means that many of the popular franchises, such as Mass Effect, Halo and Star Craft have received novelizations that expand the universe. However, the opposite is also common, with popular books receiving a computer or video game adaptation. This was more common in the early days of the industry when text adventures were very prevalent, but the trend has continued to this day. Here are just five books that made the transition from literature to interactive entertainment.
Author Tom Clancy was best known for books such as The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games and The Sum of All Fears, which have all been turned into blockbuster movies. However, he also went on to found Red Storm Entertainment, the software developer responsible for the popular Rainbow Six series of games. The original game was based on the book of the same that the author was busy writing, but since the game was released before the completion of the book there is some difference in regards to the plot.
Micheal Crichton is another author famous for writing books such as Jurassic Park and Timeline that eventually received Hollywood adaptations. The author also actually created a graphical adventure called Amazon in the early eighties, based on his book Congo. This was not his last brush with games either as he went on to found Timeline Computer Entertainment, which published Timeline, based on his book of the same name.
Author George Alec Effinger released his science fiction novel, When Gravity Fails, in 1986. The book was nominated for both a Nebular Award and Hugo Award for its unique setting and storyline. In 1989 a game called Circuit’s Edge, based on the book, was released by Infocom. What is unique about the game is that it takes place between the events of the first and second novel of the trilogy.
Author Terry Brooks published his epic fantasy novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1997 and the series has continued ever since with the 12th book released in 2016. In 1995 Legend Entertainment published Shannara, a computer game based on the series, which also included the original novel to bring newcomers up to speed. What makes Shannara interesting is that it was designed by Lori Cole and Corey Cole, the husband and wife team who also co-designed the Quest for Glory series
Polish fantasy author, Andrzej Sapkowski, made a name for himself with his book series, The Witcher. Although originally published in Polish, the books became popular enough that they have been translated to almost twenty different languages already. In 2007, a role-playing video game based on the novels and bearing the same name was released by CD Projekt RED and sold well enough that two sequels have also been created to date.