What do Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings), Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) have in common? Right: These three men are not only known from movies and TV series, they are also looking for their luck in the video game business. Norman Reedus most recently appeared in Hideo Kojima's polarizing action adventure Death Stranding, where he took on the role of the main character Sam Porter Bridges. Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill know video game veterans as actors from Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger or as the English voice of the Joker in titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum or Batman: Arkham Knight. Elijah Wood did the same as Hamill and spoke, among other things, to the protagonist Spyro in the bouncing adventure The Legend of Spyro, but also played a part in the VR title Transference, developed by his production company SpectreVision for Ubisoft.

Games and prominent names have a long tradition. And especially in recent years, the once frowned upon video and computer games for stars and starlets have become a second stage.

Tennis rackets and cannons

However, the fact that actors, athletes and other celebrities are grinning at us from the screens is not a new trend. Stars had various appearances in games as early as the early 1990s. With the growing popularity of our favorite medium, celebrities also sensed the chance to increase their level of awareness and, on top of that, make a little money with their own name.

Martial artist Bruce Lee was – even after his death in 1973 – one of the first stars to be banned in bits and bytes in the 1984 Bruce Lee platformer. But apart from the pixel graphics on the title screen, the martial arts athlete was hardly recognizable in the actual game. That should only change with the martial arts simulation EA Sports UFC (2014). Lee was there as a bonus character and could be unlocked by exiting the career mode.





<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2019/12/prominente02-buffed.png" alt = "Actually Shaq Fu should have been a basketball game from 1994. But NBA star Shaquille O 'As a huge Mortal Kombat fan, Neal insisted on developing a spanking game.
& Nbsp; "/>



Shaq Fu was originally supposed to be a basketball game from 1994. But NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, a huge Mortal Kombat fan, insisted on developing a spanking game.

Source: Moby Games




Boxer Mike Tyson had Punch Out in Mike Tyson's !! (later renamed Punch Out !!) more luck at least in terms of graphics. The former heavyweight world champion could be clearly identified in the spanking game for the Nintendo Entertainment System published in 1987 solely by its characteristic tooth gap. Tyson acted as the final boss in the game and is still considered one of the toughest bosses in games history. Between 1987 and 1990, he allegedly collected $ 50,000 a year for the various branches of the punch-out series.

Selling one's own name was a popular extra income many years ago, especially among athletes. Whether on Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour (1989), Lothar Matthäus Super Soccer (1995), Tony Hawk's Pro Skakter or Tiger Woods PGA Tour (both from 1999) – many athletes have already graced game covers. In this context, NBA star Shaquille O'Neal is also worth mentioning, who received his own Beat'em Up with Shaq Fu in 1994, which has a loyal fan base to this day. In 2018 Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn even got a – unfortunately only moderate – remake.

In addition to athletes, musicians also repeatedly ventured into computer and video games. For the 1988 released film Moonwalker starring "King of Pop" Michael Jackson, publisher U.S. Gold 1989 several games of the same name. And the midway shooter Revolution X (1994) revolved around the US rock band Aerosmith after some development problems. The members of the cult combo recorded short samples, for example, which were then recorded when power-ups were collected. There were also short video recorders in which, for example, front man Steven Tyler addressed some wise words to the players.





<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2019/12/prominente04-buffed.jpg" alt = "Action film mime Vin Diesel not only played the main role in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004) and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (2009), he also founded Tigon Studios in 2002 – with a rather manageable success.
& Nbsp; "/>



Action film mime Vin Diesel not only played the main role in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004) and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (2009), he also founded Tigon Studios in 2002 – with rather manageable success.

Source: Moby Games




Aerosmith aren't the only chapel to be seen in games. The Beastie Boys entered the basketball court in NBA Jam, Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst was a playable character in the film implementation Fight Club, the medieval band In Extremo played a virtual gig in Gothic and the late David Bowie steered for the von Quantic Dream not only developed the action adventure The Nomad Soul with the soundtrack, but also had a longer cameo there.

If you are looking for musicians in video games, you can not avoid the Brütal Legend (2009) developed by Double Fine Productions: actor and tenacious D singer Jack Black served the main character as a dubbing voice and an obvious role model, furthermore there were also veteran rock and metal legends like the late Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead or Ozzy Osbourne are represented in the game. Brütal Legend is still considered a declaration of love for rock and metal culture, but unfortunately it was never continued.

But especially for actors, video and computer games have increasingly become a profitable source of income in the past 30 years. In the Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger from 1994 mentioned at the beginning, Hollywood stars such as Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange, Star Trek: Meeting of Generations) or John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings) also played alongside Mark Hamill , Thanks to new recording technology, developers linked games and films more closely together. This increased the recognition value and raised the staging of the interactive stories to the next level.





<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2019/12/prominente05-buffed.jpg" alt = "Ellen Page took on the role of Jodie Holmes in the action adventure Beyond: Two Souls The story of the non-linear, but nevertheless very story-heavy game is about Jodie's relationship to the ghost Aiden.
& Nbsp; "/>



Ellen Page took on the role of Jodie Holmes in the action adventure Beyond: Two Souls. The story of the non-linear, but still very story-heavy game is about Jodie's relationship to the spirit being Aiden.

Source: Moby Games




To date, many strategy game fans still remember the cutscenes of the early branches of Command & Conquer. For example, the first part of Command & Conquer produced: The Tiberium conflict of 1995, in particular the previously unknown Joseph D. Kucan as the charismatic leader Kane, later put the series on more prominent names. Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (1999) featured Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens) and James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, in front of the camera. In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (2008), experienced stars such as Peter Stormare (Fargo – Bloody Snow) or Oscar winner JK Simmons (Whiplash) and with them supporting actors such as star Trek cult figure George Takei, wrestling legend Ric Flair or Knight Rider hero David Hasselhoff.

At this point we don't want to let Apocalypse (1999) with Bruce Willis fall under the table either: the die-hard protagonist made at least a few sound recordings for the Playstation-exclusive action game. However, motion-capturing recordings never took place with him, instead the developers at Neversoft simply put Willis' portrait on a polygon body. Fun fact on the side: Tony Hawk's skateboarding was finally created in 1999 based on the Apocalypse graphics engine.





<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2019/12/prominente07-buffed.png" alt = "Brütal Legend is the cult game for all lovers of hard guitar music! The action title developed by Double Fine Productions is full of allusions to metal culture and is peppered with prominent guests such as Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.
& Nbsp; "/>



Brütal Legend is the cult game for all lovers of hard guitar music! The action title developed by Double Fine Productions is full of allusions to metal culture and is peppered with prominent guests such as Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.

Source: Moby Games




Our examples illustrate: For many stars, digital games became a second mainstay – sometimes as the main actor, sometimes as the voice actor. After Wing Commander 3, for example, Mark Hamill set more than 30 game characters, including the Joker in various Batman titles or Master Eraqus in the role-playing game Kingdom Hearts. British actor Tim Curry imitated Hamill, even graced the cover of the interactive film Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster (1995) and later took on voice roles in Dragon Age: Origins or Brütal Legend.

Christopher Walken (Die die hell hell, Pulp Fiction) appeared in 1996 in the cyber adventure Ripper as well as in the space game Privateer 2: The Darkening and later took on voice roles in True Crime: Streets of LA (2003), codename: Panzers – Phase 1 (2004) and True Crime: New York City (2005).





<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2019/12/prominente06-buffed.jpg" alt = "Speaking of Quantic Dream: Pop icon David Bowie, who died in 2016, celebrated in 1999 in The Nomad Soul (English original title: Omikron: The Nomad Soul) made a cameo and contributed eight songs to the soundtrack in collaboration with composer Reeves Gabriel.
& Nbsp; "/>



Speaking of Quantic Dream: Pop icon David Bowie, who died in 2016, made a cameo in 1999 in The Nomad Soul (original English title: Omikron: The Nomad Soul) and contributed eight songs to the soundtrack in collaboration with composer Reeves Gabriel.

Source: Moby Games




Action star Vin Diesel also treaded several paths in the game industry. In 2002 he founded Tigon Studios. In the action adventure The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004) developed by Starbreeze and the successor Assault on Dark Athena published in 2009, he acted as the main actor and also worked behind the scenes as an executive producer. Both parts were created in cooperation between Tigon Studios and Starbreeze. Above all, Escape from Butcher Bay is one of the best game implementations for a film template and impressed with great technology and a skilful mix of stealth and action gameplay.

Diesel was also to play the leading role in Midway's rather moderate action game Wheelman (2009) and as producer on the mobile game Riddick: The Merc Files (2013). Unfortunately for Tigon Studios there were no great successes, as a result the company was apparently closed – despite the lack of official announcement. The website currently leads, like the URL vindiesel.com, to a domain trader.

Read too Slightly Mad Studios Announces the Action Game Fast & amp; Furious CrossroadsPCPS4XBO

Fast & Furious Crossroads: New action game with Vin Diesel presented

Slightly Mad Studios presented its new action game Fast & Furious Crossroads to the public at The Game Awards.

Not a new one, but a logical trend

As you can see, celebrities in video and computer games have not been invented in the past ten years; this connection has existed almost since the beginning of the playful medium. However, the relationship between the film industry and the AAA games industry has intensified significantly in recent years. Because it often makes sense for well-known stars to embody certain game characters and create Hollywood flair and a dense atmosphere – which, thanks to mature motion capturing technology and credible facial animations, is always better.

See, for example, the Beyond: Two Souls from French studio Quantic Dream, which has also been available on the PC since summer 2019: In our opinion, the adventure would be without the intensive performance by Ellen Page (Juno, Inception) and Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spider-Man) much less gripping and atmospheric.





<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/1020x/2019/12/prominente08-buffed.jpg" alt = "Again John Rys-Davies: Also in Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger appeared the versatile actor alongside Mark Hamill, the latter personified the hero of the game – Christopher "Maverick" Blair.
& Nbsp; "/>



John Rys-Davies again: In Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, the versatile actor appeared alongside Mark Hamill. The latter personified the hero of the game – Christopher "Maverick" Blair.

Source: Moby Games




But even big brands like Call of Duty, which should feel like cinema blockbusters to play with, clearly benefit from the involvement of any acting stars. That is why Jeff Goldblum, Heather Graham, Neil McDonough and Ron Pearlman play in the zombie mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 alone. In Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington mimicked the villain, and Kevin Spacey from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, who has since fallen out of favor, can probably be remembered not only because of his dead eyes.

And the star cast of Death Stranding with Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux and Troy Baker certainly drew the attention of the mainstream media and many casual gamers to an open-world adventure game that was not necessarily intended for the masses.

The games with star participation mentioned in this article are of course only a few examples, which could be supplemented by many more. For example, about the upcoming sci-fi role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red, in which Keanu Reeves takes on the central character Johnny Silverhand. But they should be enough to make it clear that the symbiosis of video games and celebrities can be very fruitful. We believe that if the games behind it are top-class, all parties involved ultimately benefit from the participation of stars and starlets and sometimes bring video games to new target groups. And that's not the worst, is it?

Read too Reluctant: Ubisoft distanced himself from Tom Clancy's The Division and the successor to possible political allusions contained in the game. & Lt; br & gt; & Lt; br & gt;

Social criticism in games: How political should games be?

Socially critical cultural property or just a fun pastime? How much politics should there be in games and how political are games already? & amp; nbsp; & lt; strong & gt; Copy excesses and defective joysticks: memories of the C64 & lt; / strong & gt;

Copy excesses and defective joysticks: Memories of the C64

Copy excesses, pirate sauna, microwave hamsters and defective joysticks – we remember the C64! An Apple founder Steve Jobs floppy disk is up for auction and valued at $ 7,500

Apple: Floppy disc signed by Steve Jobs for $ 7,500

A diskette signed by Steve Jobs is currently being auctioned for an estimated $ 7,500.