As the world of gaming has evolved to more and more ambitious levels, so have their stories. Although, a video game is an interactive way to tell a story with a different focus compared to movies, TV and books, it doesn't mean its characters and story must suffer because of it and game developers have understood it. Therefore, through the years, we have gotten some memorable supporting players that have potential to stand on their own and who are popular with the fans.
I would like to point out that the picks in this list are not only based on the likeablilty of the character but also on the prospects of building the game around them and their potential to expand the franchise/property they are a part off, in new and interesting ways. Before we go into it, let's quickly go over what the point of a spin- off is in the first place
The idea behind them is simple... make mo' money and milk the franchise in question dry...
But let's not be so cynical here and assess the more appealing reason for a spin-off to be made. We have these ever-increasing and rich fictional universes and they bring along with them. On the other hand, since a good story requires focus, it means that you can't throw everything on the screen that the universe offers. Spin-offs help to do it.
One of the parts of it is obviously all the side characters... Making a spin-off out of them should ideally give us more of the character and answer some questions, but also expand the established world from a different point of view.
Bear in mind that often, a spin-off is a bad idea. Some characters are indeed designed to be more vague supporting acts and that is where their appeal comes from. But in case of the following characters, I believe that it would be a nice direction for their respective franchises to go towards.
Making spin-offs is used heavily in the world of cinema and TV and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea for the world of video games to follow that trend more. So, let's get on with the list.
1. Victor "Sully" Sullivan
Where is he from?: The Uncharted series (all the four games). Indiana Jones-esque adventure series set in modern day following the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake.
Who is he? He is a companion and a mentor/father figure to protagonist Nathan Drake. We know that he met Drake at a very young age and they became a team. Generally he is a fun and likeable, albeit a bit cliched ( in a cool way ;) ), old cynical badass, whose main function in the story is basically to accompany Drake in his treasure hunts.
Why does he deserve a spin-off? Well, he is likeable and endearing character who, by now, is also pretty fleshed out. But as said before, likeability is not enough. There should also be a cause and possibility to build a game around him and explore the established universe from a different perspective. So, how does Sully fit into it?
Although never say never, Naughty Dog has stated that Uncharted 4 is the last adventure of Nathan Drake and the last game in the series. Quit while you are ahead for sure, but as we have seen so many times in movies, TV and video games - even if you say that this part of that popular series is the last one... some time passes, the demand is still there and somebody at some point picks it up again. A circle of life... I mean fiction.
It is possible that the same will happen to Uncharted. But since Nathan Drake's story is finished, why not do a prequel and explore the adventures of young Sully. We don't know that much about his background apart from some ties to navy.
We do know, however, that he taught Drake a lot of the things he knows, meaning he must have had some remarkable adventures himself. We also know, that he is born somewhere around 1952 or something like that and he met Drake around 1992. So if we, for example, take 20 years old as a starting point, we have 70-s and 80-s to play with. It would be a brilliant setting for a treasure hunt adventure, since this setting has not been used in that context a lot.
Sully is an easy to like character. He would be an excellent companion to go on an adventure with in a setting largely unexplored (at least in video games) and continue the beloved Uncharted franchise.
Where is she form? Two first entires in the EA 007 trilogy (Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing). A trilogy of games that was made from 2001 to 2004 during Brosnan's Bond era that feature original Bond stories made specially for the games and a diverse gameplay full of different globetrotting levels.
Who is she? Basically she is a "Bond Girl". More specifically she is a capable CIA secret agent (except when a game needs Bond to save her), a brilliant driver and a marksman. She is probably not too three dimensional character, but she has some witty banter with Bond throughout the games and is one of the few links that ties EA (Electronic Arts) 007 trilogy together (at least the first two games).
Why does she deserve a spin-off? While it is nice to know that the EA 007 games still have a fair bit of following, it is fair to say that she isn't exactly a classic game character by any stretch of imagination. But the idea is there and although, as said before, her character is a bit vague in the games, she comes across likeable enough to build upon it.
The thing is, I feel that EA was really on to something with their series of Bond games that I like to call EA 007 trilogy. They were three original Bond stories with fun and globetrotting plots and their own special feel. These games were a nice addition to Bond universe but also created their own alone standing one. They also had a nice mix of gameplay elements that, I feel, has not been captured later on.
"Secret agent" format for a video game, at least potentially, offers so much, but as we have seen, it has been difficult to make a decent Bond game these days. I am not going to delve into the reasons behind it in this article, but there hasn't been too many strong outings after the three EA games. So, why not use this established universe and have more freedom and independence with it. That is what a spin-off is for.
And before I make my last point about why she deserves a spin-off, I want to emphasize that I am not trying to go for some feminist agenda here ( Bond has already gotten that point with an epic burn form M). The main reason why I picked her, is that she probably stands out the most of the Bond allies in this trilogy of games.
Having said that, a female secret agent would be a nice direction to go for. It would continue the welcome trend where video games are finally starting to get strong female leads (Tomb Rider and Assassins Creed etc.). Nightshade would be an excellent addition.
Also, we are so used seeing Bond universe through... well through Bond's eyes, that to make him a cool side-character could have an interesting outcome.
I don't think making a Bond spin-off movie from Halle Berry's Jinx character from Die Another Day (apparently that idea was actually a thing at some point) would have worked. But the idea of a Bond spin-off might just work with a video game.
I am missing a big fun spy-adventure game. Why not have more freedom with the Bond universe and create it. For that, to use an already established female lead, would be an interesting way to go about it. You could also play around with the time since we know that she was active before 2001 and after 2002, so there is a room to explore.
Landon Ricketts or Jack Marston - depending on where the Red Dead franchise is going
Where are they from? Red Dead franchise (Red Dead Redemption more specifically)
Who are they? Jack Marston is the son of protagonist John Marston.
He later becomes playable character after John Marston dies
Landon Ricketts is a former famous gunslinger during the height of the Old American West.
Why do they deserve their spin-off? If we take Red Dead as an open world western franchise, you can't really go forward with the western theme (timeline wise) from Red Dead Redemption, since the game is largely about the end of that era. So, you have to go back in time and why not do it with a character that is already confirmed badass in form of Landon Ricketts. It is made clear that he has had many epic adventures by the time we meet him as an old man in Redemption.
But let's not forget that Jack Marston is a playable character after the ending of the main game and many have probably spent more time playing the game with him. So why not continue his story that is set in 1910s or 1920s or maybe even 1930s. Unexplored time periods, to a large extent, by video games and ones that definitely have a lot potential.
With Red Dead franchise, of course, you can just create another new character but why not use someone established, around whom you can build an epic adventure.
To sum up
Along with memorable leads, video games have offered us many brilliant side characters. The characters are there for the taking, so to say, and one could argue that video games offers a lot more freedom in creating a spin-off than movies and TV. Why not go for it? :)
There is actually one more idea - any Star Wars side character or a villain or who ever... just make an open world Star Wars game already with space travel and stuff! ;)