When I play a video game, I often find myself imagining it in movie form. While navigating the jungles of Pitfall, for example, I can't help but wonder what a big-screen version of the mythology would look like, with snazzy special effects and Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame in the lead role -- not much of a stretch, since Campbell voiced the character in an earlier game.

The Hollywood potential for THQ's (NASDAQ:THQI) new game Destroy All Humans! was probably apparent from the get-go. The tongue-in-cheek game casts players as a little gray alien intent on conquering Earth with mind control, death rays, and some rather dubious probes. When I first played its demo, the game's look instantly reminded me of a 1950s B-grade sci-fi film, Invasion of the Saucer Men, with its classic bug-eyed enemies. So it's no surprise that THQ has hired a talent agency to pitch the game to movie and TV studios.

As the release indicates, the game's setting and atmosphere add considerably to its fun, and provide potential source material for the big and small screen alike. The enduring popularity of cinematic alien invasions is undeniable, as War of the Worlds is proving right now. Add that to the comedic elements DestroyAll Humans! blends with its science fiction, and THQ may indeed have a hit on its hands.

It may also have a new addition to its business model, one which more video game entities will likely explore as time goes on: licensing their own properties -- a la Marvel Enterprises (NYSE:MVL) -- to generate profits without expending a lot of capital. The release does not detail THQ's desired deal structure, but I believe the company should have a studio finance and release the film while it sits back and takes a cut of the profits. That strategy has generated plentiful profits and stock appreciation for Marvel in recent years. (Note, however, that Marvel recently decided to take a more direct approach to movie adaptations of its properties.)

Should THQ morph into a movie studio? Probably not, although video game companies seem to be headed in that direction. Today's games increasingly boast intricate screenplays and Hollywood-caliber acting talent to accompany their complex computer code. The path from movie to game has always been a bidirectional one; Doom, the demon-infested granddaddy of all first-person shooter games, is bound for the big screen later this summer with The Rock and Lord of the Rings' Karl Urban in the lead roles. Licensing a game to Hollywood can also help amortize the expensive costs associated with producing a hit console game, and provide an additional revenue source for companies whose success might otherwise depend almost entirely on a single hit title. Jeff Hwang explored that issue when Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) delayed the release of its next Disney (NYSE:DIS) collaboration, Cars.

Whether it's Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) making a game based on The Godfather, Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) bringing Madagascar to all the major platforms, or Microsoft's Halo heading to the big screen, video games and movies have always had a synergistic relationship. In time, these companies may have even greater pull in Hollywood than they do now.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney and Marvel Enterprises. He just completed Pitfall: The Lost Expedition for Gamecube and noted suspicious similarities to Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Fool has a disclosure policy.