Ong-Bak Movie Gets a Video Game Tie-In Nearly a Decade Later

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Remember that ridiculously awesome martial arts movie that came out about 9 years ago?  The one that put Tony Jaa on the map and made knees to the face the most insanely cool move in history.  Yeah, it was great and someone has finally decided to turn it into a video game.

For those who don’t know, I’m both a martial artist and a filmmaker, so it goes without saying that I’m a sucker for all kinds of martial arts movies.  Ong Bak is one of the best and features some of the most interesting fight scenes ever created.  If you haven’t seen it…go see it right now.  The two sequels weren’t bad, and featured great action but a far more lousy story.  Regardless, this franchise, which has been dormant for a while is getting picked up for a video game.

We all know how common it is a for movies to get video game tie-ins, but typically those are timed to come out around the same release window of the film.  That didn’t stop Studio Hive, however, from picking up the rights.  They announced just recently that they were developing the game, and outside of saying it’d be released “in 2012” didn’t offer up many other details.

Normally, I’d be pretty interested in something like this, but there are a few things holding back my enthusiasm.  First, Studio Hive has never made a video game before.  They’ve done some art work for Square Enix’s Front Mission Evolved, but that’s about it.  On top of that, while Ong Bak was a hit in the martial art community, it never really reached out to a large audience here in the States.  There wasn’t much mainstream about it, and dealt with lore and foreign religion quite a bit.  So it’s hard to see how this story is going to appeal to a wider audience, especially considering the age of the property.

Lastly, it’s a movie tie-in game.  We all know the track record those typically have.  Who knows, maybe they’ll be able to spin gold out of this ass-kicking film, but I’m not holding my breath. What do you guys think about it?

[learn_more caption=”Read the Press Release”] Bangkok, January 17, 2012 –Studio HIVE has secured videogame license for the next installment of famous martial arts movie series Ong-Bak. The Thailand based game development team is currently working on a stunning multiplatform game set in the unique Ong-Bak universe. The famous martial arts action brand is a perfect fit for gaming platforms and it is the first time ever that Ong-Bak will be released on various gaming platforms in 2012. The game is being developed in close collaboration with the license holder Sahamongkol Film International in order to achieve a much deeper story involvement for all Ong-Bak fans. “Ong-Bak is well known as a powerful international martial arts brand. We are very selective with our licensing partners and found in Studio HIVE the right partner to bring Ong-Bak to gaming platforms. Their approach to tie in movie and game is the right way to create a perfect interactive entertainment” comments Akarapol Techaratanaprasert, business development director at Sahamongkol Film International. Kan Supabanpot, General Manager at Studio HIVE adds: “It’s a great honour for our team to work on the very first Ong-Bak multiplatform game. As a Thai development studio we love the movie and have a deep understanding of the Ong-Bak brand values and we make sure that the videogame will be an inspiring martial arts action experience for gamers.”[/learn_more]

-Jordan