So there was some thread on BGG where I stole this from. The guy posted some question about which books would you like to see turned into games or do you want more original IP's like "Dust and Twilight Imperium" his choices, not mine.
I ended up getting in a fight in like 20 minutes. I posted harmlessly enough saying as I'd always say. Give me something new and then some guy got all arrogant on me.
Probably I imagined it all and I'm a huge dick, I think I'll be suspended again because I misunderstood the guy. In any case who cares, the point is...
New IP or Adaptation.
I prefer Avatar over New Trek because I prefer new IP
I prefer the Incredibles over any other comic book movie partly because it's a new IP (and cleverly designed to say a lot of what he wanted to say about classic family roles just through their powers)
I'm just that kind of guy, I give a lot of extra points for at least trying to create your own mythology. Screw adaptations, re-boots, and all that shit.
It was when I saw Sin City that I first realized that making something exactly the same in a new medium does nothing for me. I wished immediately that he had used the cool look to do something completely new.
.. and no, I'm not linking the goddamn thread it's a fuckin embarrassment.
I enjoy any "good" film for what makes it good as an individual move. For me, I can't really compare Avatar to new Trek. I know that's not what you are doing, I'm just using it as an example. If I was forced to choose which do I prefer, I'd say Trek over Avatar because I grew up watching Trek with my family. We ate pizza, broke out the "Star Trek Movie and Show flaw encyclopedia" and then watched episodes and movies finding the flaws detailed in the books. Conversely, I LOVED Avatar. It is pretty much a live action Fern Gully and that's just fantastic. All these people who say Dances With Wolves are crazy. It is so much more like Fern Gully it's ridiculous. Down to the scene with Sully attacking the giant excavator, a scene ripped right from Fern Gully.
tl;dr Old, New, it's all the same to me. If it is a good film, it is a good film, period.
Regarding boardgames, I'll take the lowbrow position and say that I am happy to see games based on existing themes and settings. Boardgames are not really a medium where you can do vast worldbuilding, so having that stuff completed before the game even starts is good stuff. Yes, the majority of licensed stuff is crap, and I can imagine it's harder to build a good game around existing restrictions. But when it does happen, in the hands of an inspired designer you can get games like Battlestar Galactica or Dune, where the existing IP makes a good game better.
Regarding movies, anything goes. I agree with Cloudy - if it's good, it's good.
If we're talking about games, I think it's a stronger move to use an existing IP that already has a compelling back story, fleshed out characters, solid world building, etc... and then build the mechanics of the game to reflect these things. My guess is that most board game designers are not also compelling writers/story tellers, so instead of burdening themselves with coming up an interesting universe to set their game in, why not use a setting that is already mature and probably part of the social consciousness already? Let the writers do what they do best and let the game designers tell that story in a different light.
FFG seems to be the company that attempts the "new IP" thing the most with mixed reviews. The Terrinoth games and TI universe are their creations, but can anyone really say that those worlds are as compelling as something like Dune, Battlestar, Game of Thrones, etc? It seems like the video game world has had more success with this, but that's probably because that industry can afford to hire actual writers and basically make movies within the game to tell the story. Board games have a tougher time of it, unless you can get the players to do a lot of reading to familiarize themselves with the world. Probably not gonna happen. Even in video games... You can say that the Mass Effect universe is really developed, but how many people actually read the entire codex to get the story on everything in the game? Most probably just watch the cut scenes.
I haven't read the thread, so I am coming at this cold. For myself however, I like the use of existing IP over new IP. Why? Because I think boardgaming telling a story is a terrible medium to do so. I feel boardgaming works best where the basis of the story is already in place, and the game is used to expand the experience OR to bring the reader into the story itself. I already know the background, the setting, and the plots, yet I wish to get closer to those beloved settings. New IP like FFG does always felt flat and one dimensional, because no matter how much flavor text it has, I'll never have the level of mental investment to care what the theme is. I love TI:3, but the background story never really came into my thoughts. It's always been Race A is cool because of Powers X,Y.and Z. But in Dune, playing the Harkonnen mean being devious, cruel, and agressive. The story comes into how I play the game. I am into the intrigue that the IP has already laid groundwork for. The theme is so much more immersive. IMHO.
Games: Presence of theme and integration with the mechanisms is way more important to me than the source of the theme. Good source never made up for a bad game, and a good game always survives its source. Note: I don't really have a hard-on for any particular source.
Movies: I like dramas, so this is mainly N/A to me. But, on a related note, I generally prefer unknown actors. An overly familiar face can really drag down a movie for me.
I'm surprised at most of you. Really? IP's have ready made characters and scenario's if it plays out the same way in game, otherwise they don't mean shit do they? How can so many people be so wrong? Your not all Elvis fans too are you?
Space Hulk could be called Aliens, clearly. But when the Aliens win it would be strange, plus I like the GW world enough that I prefer it as Space Hulk by this point. It's a cool world and I'll take two cool worlds over one any day. It's nice because that gives them freedom to give Brother Claudio claws and have a Librarian, etc.. which is cool. I'm happy it's not Aliens.
I think I'd enjoy Battle Star Galactica more if it wasn't BSG. I never liked that show, it seemed to take itself far too seriously and no one had a sense of humor. If it was just some random world they made up where robots are taking over I'd be happier and may have even been tempted to own it. As is those stupid photo's of real people really hurt the design.
Terrinoth and TI:3 are both pretty derivative. Neither is really an original IP, they're new IP's that's for sure but it's not very original. Still, I'd rather that, same with Android. Which could have been called Blade Runner.
I find that if a game strays from the events it's trying to cover it ruins the experience a little bit. Arkham's end battle is kind of stupid because we know it doesn't make sense in the Lovecraft world. Doom and Gears of War would both be better games without the video game holding them back. It was a nice source of inspiration and caused some cool design ideas but then your stuck with the look. Actually, Doom is alright I guess but Gears is just ugly. Conan suckered me into buying a game I wouldn't have cared about otherwise. I learned my lesson after that one.
What games would actually be improved by pasting a popular IP over top of them? ... and forget the Rex thing because that one's too easy. Anything?
I love Earth Reborn and Mage Knight from the last couple years. I guess Mage Knight is not an original IP, it already existed and in a game context but I never played it. I wish it was new, but to me it is so I'm fine with it as is. I have no clue what the fuck could be pasted onto ER but I love it as is and I even enjoy the nerdy flavor text in both games. Remember I don't read much in the way of genre fiction so I get my cheese fix in games.
In fact I wouldn't have enjoyed all those fun and awfully pulpy flavor texts of so many great and mediocre games if not for game world IP's. My brother and I both know what idol Vul-Kar is, we know the importance of Mecatol Rex and we love that it's specific to gaming.
Give me Gygax's D&D over RPG Star Wars or Lord of the Rings any day.
TL:DR : Game worlds can be designed to be more robust so that any possible outcome in the world is designed from the ground up to be a part of that world. Pasted IP's from other mediums are more fragile and offer either something I already know (redundant) or the ability to shatter and screw with what I already know. It's no contest.