6 classics that could become video games this year

First day of the new year marks Public Domain Day. This annual event marks the day many works enter the United States public domain and are free for anyone to use without fear of copyright. In 2023, the works that entered the public domain are 95 years old, so the hottest media from 1927 will soon be adapted. What better source could there be for game studios to get their ideas from? Here are the six best properties that should be adapted into video games as soon as possible.

6. wings

The first Best Picture winner would make a stunning video game.Primordial

Video games and movies have a back and forth of homage and adaptation that goes both ways. While video games based on movies and movies based on video games both have their good, bad, and ugly titles, it’s hard to deny the influence of movies on gaming. The 2010s solidified a cinematic style of gameplay that we still see today in games like God of Wår Ragnarok.

In the spirit of taking a page from the movies, the perfect property to adapt from the public domain would be wings. Winner of the first ever Best Picture Oscar, wings follows two men who join the Army Air Service and are in love with the same woman. It’s a story full of romance and action, as well as aerial warfare perfect for a video game.

5. color out of space

HP Lovecraft is best known for being a huge racist. Also, he wrote stories that contributed to the cosmic horror genre. One of his most intriguing stories having fallen into the public domain, developers can now adapt color out of space without giving a penny to the estate of Lovecraft!

Cosmic horror has had a big resurgence in video games, with titles like transmitted by blood and Signalis showing the potential of the genre in games. color out of space follows a named narrator attempting to uncover the mystery of a recent meteorite impact in Arkham City (not Batman’s Arkham) and falling into a web of cults and unknowable monsters lurking around every corner. This story would be perfect for a survival horror game similar to resident Evil or silent Hill.

4. The Hardy Boys

The perfect property for a series of detective games for teens.Simon & Schuster

The second greatest detective fiction that falls into the public domain consists of the first three novels of The Hardy Boys series. The books follow brothers Frank and Joe as they solve a series of mysteries in their area. The Nancy Drew games already exist, so it only makes sense that the sister series would get an adaptation!

The Hardy Boys is perfect for more teen-oriented detective play in the form of something like life is strange or the Telltale game catalog. You can explore the town and ask people questions, make choices, and pull out conflicting evidence and statements to piece together the crime.

3. Metropolis

Few media have images as iconic as Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. The image of a robotic woman in a future Art Deco city is seared into the public consciousness, though few have actually watched the film.

It is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of a small group to rally the working class to help overcome the massive class inequality that this city suffers from. If the setting and themes somehow remind you BioShock then you wouldn’t be wrong. Which makes MetropolisThe one-of-a-kind visuals are so compelling for a video game that plays to the same kind of philosophically-minded story as the BioShock series questions.

Fritz Lang’s iconic sci-fi masterpiece is at home in the world of video games.FW Murnau Foundation

2. America

The work of novelist Franz Kafka may seem unsuitable for video games, but I think it’s just a lack of imagination! Take his unfinished novel Americawhich enters the public domain in the year 2023. The story is a bizarre tale of the wanderings of a newly arrived teenager in New York.

Literary fiction sees a greater influence on games in 2022. Repentance, sleeper citizenand I was an exocolonist teenager all feel extremely literary in the way they tell the game’s narrative to the player. America: the video game could be a Disco Elysee-like a dialogue-heavy RPG that delves into philosophical themes.

1. sherlock holmes

Not to be confused with Herlock Sholmes (pictured).Capcom

While some Sherlock Holmes stories are already in the public domain, those who wanted to use the character had to jump a few hoops and still risk legal action from the Doyle estate. A notable example of this is the character Herlock Sholmes in the Ace Attorney series, a not-so-subtle product of the public domain issues surrounding the detective. But in 2023, the last Sherlock Holmes story enters the public domain.

Holmes is great for so many different types of games: detective puzzles, AAA adventures, visual novels – but I think we need to see Sherlock make an appearance in ace lawyer. Could Capcom just rename Herlock Sholmes in future games? Absolutely. But Sholmes is a great parody character, and I want to see the “real” Sherlock Holmes step into the franchise and face his double face to face. Go ahead, Capcom.

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