According to Peter Jackson, if Mortal Engines performs well enough to make a sequel, there will definitely be a videogame to follow. We asked the cast what kind of videogame they think would fit the series, and they each had different ideas on how it would go — though there seemed to be a slight consensus on an open world game.
Being based on a series of four books with cult-level success, there was much that didn’t make it into the film. Taking place after the year 3000, there are a lot of holes that could be filled in by a game. Why did these giant cities become mobile in the first place? How do they sustain themselves? Why does every fantasy property need a white wolf?
With most movies, it’s crystal clear how a videogame adaptation would play out. The action genre has been the most willing to share IP between mediums, and these games usually take the form of first-person shooter or third-person action/adventure.
But with Mortal Engines, it’s a little less cut and dry. There are so many ways you could slice it. Would it be a city management game that somehow incorporates the consumption of other, smaller cities? Would it be an action game, either on foot or flying around with fantastical views of transforming metropolises? Or perhaps a more story-focused approach, uncovering the intrigues of a London elite being grudgingly dragged into a new era?
While it’s almost certain a Mortal Engines videogame would take the form of an action romp, we think the idea of a city management puzzler has legs (or tracks). Imagine a Sim City in which your cities could actually move. Smaller, more mobile cities would evade juggernauts such as Berlin. A tech tree would progress on how many iPhones and Fitbits you dig up.
We’ll have to wait and see how Mortal Engines goes at the box office, of course. Fans of the books, which span the entire life stories of Hester Shaw and Tom Natsworthy, will of course be hungry for the visualisation of the rest of the story. But it’s the reaction of those not currently in the cult that’ll decide if we see a game or not.