Monday, June 5, 2017

Games That Should Be More Popular in Fan Fiction

I've been writing fan fiction for almost fifteen years now.

Something that's always bothered me, and continues to do so to this day, is that there are some games that seem like they should have a great deal more fan fiction than they do. And I've never been able to really figure it out. I guess this post is kind of asking for opinions.

Why do you think these games never got off the ground in the fan fiction forums?

Also, a few things to consider. When I go looking for fan fiction, I mainly go to Fanfiction.net and WattPad. I know there exist other sites for fan fiction, (and even WattPad is, well, debatable as to whether or not it caters to fan fiction, I don't consider stories about Youtubers and bands fan fiction), but every one I've come across tends to be far less well put-together and enjoy far less traffic than either of those two sites.

So, first on the list: ID Software games.

By that, I mean the unholy trinity that is Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein. I mean that in a good way.


I think there is an obvious and direct correlation between popularity and the amount of fan fictions. So why are these three series so dormant and unpopular in that regard? There might be somewhat of an argument for Quake and Wolfenstein, they're popular, to be sure, but fucking everyone knows about DOOM. I mean, come on.

And the numbers do actually reflect this. On Fanfiction.net, the stats for these three series are:

DOOM: 351 Stories
Wolfenstein: 23 Stories
Quake: 48 Stories

But those numbers seem abysmally low, especially considering that all three series have seen a resurgence recently. (Although the new Quake game is both non-story oriented and not out yet.) And, on top of that, both Wolfenstein: The New Order and DOOM were very good games with completely solid, well-crafted campaigns.

It gets even more confusing when you consider the fact that all three series were already well established by the time Fanfiction came online in 1998, AND you consider the fact that these are all the stories we have access to after eighteen years of continuous gathering. Sure, some people will have deleted their stories, but this is absurd. All three franchises have interesting storylines and universes that easily cater to fan fiction writers.

Okay, this one is even more perplexing.


Half-Life is really popular. Although it's past its heyday, it still has a very strong following if only because everyone is fruitlessly holding their breath for Half-Life 3.

The game is fairly legendary. Half-Life 1 and 2 were both pretty groundbreaking when they came out, and it was awesome when Episodes 1 and 2 came out as well. Given the sheer amount of mods, machinima, and other content related to this, you'd think fan fiction wouldn't be far behind.

And yet, there's just over 1,200 fan fictions on Fanfiction.net. Sounds like a lot, but consider that Half-Life came out the same year that the website launched, and what you're seeing is the culmination of eighteen years of traffic. Also consider the more popular games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age or Final Fantasy 7, which enjoy tens of thousands of fan fics.

You'd think Half-Life would be up there, not just because of its interesting and huge universe, but also because of the fact that the series ends on a fucking cliffhanger.

(Side note: Fuck you, Valve.)

Next on the list is somewhat more understandable.


Sorry I couldn't find a better banner. Don't get me wrong, this one is nice, but I would have preferred a more series-encompassing one.

Anyway. The Red Faction series.

I was there from the beginning. I played Red Faction on the PS2 in 2003 and fell in love. I played Red Faction 2 and was deeply disappointed to learn that it actually wasn't a sequel to Red Faction, because it had nothing to do with that game. I had mixed feelings about the third and fourth game, but have come to really love them.

So what happened?

The Red Faction franchise takes place across over a hundred years, has had some comics, five games, (if you count Battlegrounds, which I never played), and even a movie. (That didn't totally suck! Is it possible?! A made-for-TV video game movie, handled by THE FUCKING SYFY CHANNEL, that didn't suck?!).

And yet there are a grand total of twenty eight fan fictions. The series was obviously popular enough to warrant three sequels and a movie. I'll grant that interest in the franchise has dropped off since Armageddon flopped, but there's been over a decade to build up the library.


Granted, SubNautica hasn't been around nearly as long as these other games, but this game has been in development and available to play for approaching two and a half years now. It clearly has a large following and a pretty solid community. Given that it's an open world game with a plot that has been largely absent until recent updates, (and is still, right now, incomplete), with a lot of mystery still left to the player's imagination, including a silent protagonist, this seems like the kind of thing that would have exploded.

And yet Fanfiction only has fourteen stories for it. Fourteen. WattPad has about as many, maybe more, (although I don't count those self-insert Markiplier stories, and, given the view count on a lot of those, apparently neither does almost anyone else).

So what's the story?

There's more, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind. From a personal standpoint , I find it kind of depressing, and I plan on writing fan fictions for some of these, so I obviously have some kind of investment.

But really, it begs the question, why do some games take off while other games, which are just as popular, if not more so, get left in the dust, in terms of a fan fiction archive?

There are others, obviously, but these are the most immediate ones that come to mind.

So why is this? I don't have a lot of ideas, but a few things come to mind. In regards to the first person shooters, I think that fans of this genre just don't do a lot of reading and writing of fan fiction. Glancing over even the top twenty games being written about on fanfiction.net, the only first person shooter up there is Halo. It seems to be the exception, not the rule. For whatever strange reason, it broke the mold.

There is also a very good chance that I'm just not looking in the right places. While FanFiction and WattPad are certainly popular, the internet is an enormous place, and I'm sure I'm missing a crapload of fan fics being written on smaller sites or forums.

Oh yeah, also Metro 2033 and Last Light. I know that the books have a huge following and the author even allowed a ton of other people to extend the universe with lots of other novels, novellas, and short stories. But there's less than one hundred fan fictions on FF for Metro, and the only section it has is in the game section. There's nothing for books. What happened there? Those two games were fucking awesome.

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