Skip to Content

Blockbuster Inc. Video Game Review

Blockbuster Inc. Video Game Review

Released back in 2005, The Movies is generally considered a game before its time. The game was basically about running your own movie studio. In addition to running the day to day operations of the studio, you were able to make your own movies inside the game. While I didn’t play the game a lot, I found it to be an intriguing game. The game ended up developing a dedicated fanbase. I bring this up because The Movies immediately came to mind when I first saw Blockbuster Inc. After watching the trailer, it looked like a spiritual successor. Fans of The Movies should be really happy. While Blockbuster Inc. is not a perfect game, it is a fun and engaging game that allows you to run your own movie studio.

When I look at a game like Blockbuster Inc., I see two main elements that are going to attract different types of players to the game.

Let’s start with the management/tycoon side of the game. Basically the game lets you run your own movie studio. To start the game you have a plot of land and some money. You must use them to make a movie studio from scratch. As the head of the studio you are responsible for everything from constructing buildings and sets, to hiring all of the employees.

A lot of the management elements of the game are similar to other games in the genre. To create a building you just need to put up some walls. The function of the room is determined by what objects you place in it. There are a number of different types of buildings. These include offices for some of your employees, buildings to provide food to your employees, and training facilities in order to improve the skills of your employees. Managing your employees is pretty simple. You need to fulfill their needs or they will get upset and eventually quit.

What is unique about Blockbuster Inc. is that you actually are in charge of making the movies themselves. The game actually gives you a lot of options for creating your movie. When you want to start production, you pull up a menu. This allows you to name the movie/TV show as well as choose the producer, director, writers and actors that will work on the film. You also choose the genre and theme of the movie and what elements you will emphasize.

Next you move onto picking the sets that you will use for each scene. Finally you choose which post production elements you want to add. Once you are ready you can start production and your employees go to work. Each scene receives a rating after you complete it. If you aren’t satisfied you can re-shoot the scene. When you are ready, you can release the film. The film will receive a score and you will receive revenue for a few months. Your revenue is based on how much publicity and interest there is in the movie as well as its rating. Hopefully after all of that your movie makes more than it cost to make.

And that is about it to the business/tycoon side of the game. You will keep making and releasing movies/TV shows to hopefully grow the size of your studio. As you progress through time new things open up to you approximately based on actual movie history. You will get access to new genres, technologies, and other things that will allow you to make more complex movies.

The business/tycoon side of Blockbuster Inc. is the aspect of the game that I was most intrigued by. I am a pretty big fan of the tycoon genre. I honestly don’t consider myself to be a super creative person. Therefore the creative element wasn’t a huge selling point to me. Don’t worry, I will address that aspect of the game soon.

As a fan of tycoon games, I would say that Blockbuster Inc. is a good tycoon/simulation game. It probably won’t be for everyone, but those intrigued by the premise should really enjoy it. The game is pretty straightforward. If you are looking for a highly detailed business simulator, the game may not be for you. Your enjoyment will also likely depend on your interest in running a movie studio. The game may not be for you if the premise doesn’t sound that interesting to you.

With all that out of the way, I have really enjoyed my time so far with Blockbuster Inc. As a fan of movies and TV, I was really intrigued by the premise. The game does a great job making you feel like the boss at a studio without overwhelming you with a bunch of spreadsheets and other things that make it feel more like work than a game. The game does a really good job focusing on the most enjoyable aspects. It is a fun experience creating a movie from scratch and choosing all of the major elements that go into the production. The game does a good job letting you choose how much you want to get into the details of the film. You can just focus on the basic elements, or you can take a much more in depth approach to creating each of your films.

It is hard to pinpoint exactly why the game is so enjoyable, but it is quite satisfying running a successful studio. You will see your bank account grow, but it is more than that. To start the game you will only have enough money and employees to shoot one movie at a time. You hope that the movie makes enough money that you can invest that money into making another movie. The game does a really good job making you feel like an upstart movie studio. Your early movies aren’t going to get great ratings. You mostly will have to use them in order to gain some recognition and build up your bank account. In fact the early game plays a lot like early movie studios with you regularly releasing films. They may not be blockbusters, but they make a profit.

As you progress through time your studio will start to grow allowing you to add more buildings/sets and hire more employees. You will eventually get to the point where you are shooting multiple movies/TV shows at the same time. The game does a really good job making it feel like you are building something. A nice little treat is that at the end of each in-game year there is an awards ceremony which kind of feels like a mini Oscars. Winning awards boost your studio’s reputation leading to more success in the next year. The little ceremony might seem kind of silly, but I actually looked forward to it at the end of each year.

Let’s move onto the creative aspect of Blockbuster Inc. as that is what most of the fans of The Movies really gravitated towards. While I played The Movies some, I never got involved in it to the point where I created my own films. Therefore I can’t really compare the two games in this area. Basically the game gives you quite a bit of control over each of the movies you make.

First you can create your own sets or import sets created by other players. You will begin by choosing an overall theme and a size for your set. Then you can place whichever objects you want into the set. You likely will want to stick with props that match the theme of the set, but you don’t have to.

Next you can choose to direct each of the scenes in your movie. This is optional so you can skip it if you aren’t interested. You can choose things such as which actors will be in the scene, the position of each actor, what action they will take, camera movements, and other special effects. After you have set up all of your scenes, you can then actually edit the film together. This aspect of the game uses a video editor setup allowing you to place the scenes in the order that you want. You can also add sound effects, add text to the screen and a few other things. When you are done making your movie you can export it to share with others.

As I mentioned above, I don’t consider myself to be a super creative person. Therefore this wasn’t a huge element of the game for me. I did try it out some though, and I have to say that I was impressed. While the films I ended up creating were terrible, people who are creative and like putting together their own films should get a lot out of the game. Obviously there are some limitations. If you are creative though, I think you could make some good short films inside the game. If you really liked The Movies because you made your own films, I think Blockbuster Inc. will give you everything that you are looking for.

I usually like to give an expectation on how much time you can get out of a game. There really isn’t a way to give an estimate for a game like Blockbuster Inc. The game relies on its sandbox mode as there are no campaign missions. The amount of time you can get out of the game totally depends on how creative you are and when you get sick of the gameplay. It will take a long time to run through the entire lifespan of your studio. You can always start again with a new studio as you likely will encounter different challenges. If you are a creative player, I can’t imagine how much time you could put into the game making your own short films. Basically if you enjoy these type of games, you will easily get your money’s worth out of Blockbuster Inc..

While I liked Blockbuster Inc., there were a couple of issues with the game that keep it from being perfect.

I would say that the biggest issue that I had with the game is that I encountered a few bugs here and there. This review is based on a pre-release version of the game so some of these bugs may already be fixed or could be fixed soon. I would say that the biggest problem is that my employees would sometimes get stuck and refuse to do their jobs. I would get warnings that an employee was stuck, and yet there was nothing blocking them from getting to their destination. A couple times the employees assigned to a movie would suddenly stop working on it and I couldn’t get them to finish it. This forced me to scrap the film and lose all of the money I already invested in it. These bugs aren’t game breaking, but they can be kind of annoying.

The second issue I had with the game is not going to be a problem for everyone. I generally don’t care if a game is on the easy side. That said, it is really easy to make money in Blockbuster Inc. Based on my experience (normal difficulty) you don’t ever have to worry about going bankrupt. As long as you don’t spend way too much on a movie, it is basically guaranteed to make money. Early on you may not make a huge profit on each film, but if you release a bunch of films you will earn money quickly. You can make a new movie within like two or three in-game months so you will be constantly putting out movies.

Maybe I just got a lucky break, but I had a movie that became a huge hit in my second or third year. This was jet fuel for my studio as I gained a bunch of fans and made a ton more money from each movie. I ended up making money so quickly that I didn’t know what to do with all of it. The game actually lets you buy shares of the other movie studios. Since I had nothing else to do with the money, I ended up buying up portions of the other studios. By 1923 (my studio started in 1920), I had purchased all of the shares of two or three of my competitors and owned portions of the rest of them. I can’t see a situation where my studio could ever struggle as I am rolling in cash.

The game being easy is not necessarily a bad thing. You don’t have to worry about your studio going bankrupt which removes any potential stress from the game. You can just sit back and have fun running a studio without worrying about losing everything. The fact that it is really hard to lose money though does take something away from the game. At first you get the feeling that your decisions matter as any wrong decision could bankrupt your studio. Once you break out though, you basically can’t do anything wrong so it feels like your decisions are less important. 

Combined with the game being on the easy side, I think the game progresses through time too slowly. Each in-game day counts as a month. At first you might only release a movie every couple months, but you will eventually get to the point where you are releasing one or two movies a month. Being the type of player that doesn’t like to waste in-game time, it felt like time barely progressed. It took quite a few hours just to go through a couple in-game years.

This wouldn’t be such a problem except that research is locked behind time periods. I ended up being stuck in the 1920s for a long time even though my studio had grown so much that I wanted to try out more of what the game had to offer. After a while it got kind of repetitive making the same type of films over and over again. I really think the game should speed up the in-game time some. Otherwise I can’t imagine how long it would take to play a studio from the 1920s all the way to the current day.

The final improvement I would like to see is for the creative side of the game. I hope the game eventually adds some more options for the sets and scenes. At this point there is around 10-20 objects for each theme that you can use in sets. Meanwhile for the scenes there is a decent amount of animations that you can use for the actors. While these give you quite a few options, after a while you wish there were more options. Hopefully the developer adds more options to this aspect of the game or opens up a way for players to create their own.

I was intrigued by Blockbuster Inc. because I thought it would be fun running my own movie studio. For the most part the game is exactly what I wanted it to be. The game has enough for both fans of tycoon games, and those interested in creating their own short films. The tycoon side of the game may not be super in-depth, but it focuses on the most important elements. It is really satisfying growing your studio from basically nothing to a huge studio. The game also gives you quite a few options to customize your films and even create short films that you can export from the game. At times the game seems kind of easy, there are some minor bugs, and I wish there were a few more customization options. Nevertheless Blockbuster Inc. is a great game that people who are intrigued by the premise should enjoy.

Blockbuster Inc.

Release Date: June 6th, 2024 | Systems: PC

Developer: Super Sly Fox | Publisher: Ancient Forge | ESRB Rating: Not Rated

Genres: Indie, Simulation, Tycoon

Official Website:


  • A fun movie tycoon game that does a good job making you feel like you are running a movie studio.
  • Gives creative players a good tool to make your own short films.


  • Has some small bugs and is on the easy side.
  • Could use more customization options to give players more options to make their own films.

Rating: 4/5

Recommendation: For those who enjoy tycoon games and the premise, or people who enjoyed The Movies.

Where to Purchase: Steam

We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Super Sly Fox and Ancient Forge for the review copy of Blockbuster Inc. used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.