Video on demand platforms work on numerous projects based on the great intellectual properties of video games.
Videogames expand beyond their own medium, but it is not something unheard of at this time. Since the eighties, some of the best known sagas, see Super Mario, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Sonic or Dragon Quest, have had film and television adaptations. However, the proliferation of streaming platforms and the rise of series, traditionally undervalued compared to movies, has led to a new dawn for fiction in this format.
Netflix’s The Witcher is not based on video games, although it does draw on the success of the CD Projekt RED titles. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich and the rest of the creative team have worked alongside Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the novels, to shape this series starring the warlock Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill). This fantasy story premiered its first season in December 2019, while the next batch of episodes is scheduled for 2021, still without a specific date.
As with many productions, the coronavirus epidemic caused filming to stop (and it has already happened for the second time), a recording that will last at least until early 2021. As if that were not enough, the platform is preparing two spin-off: first, the animated film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, a prequel starring a young Vesemir, the mentor Geralt. Second, The Witcher: Blood Origin, set a thousand years before the events of the main series. The latter will be in real action.
Netflix has also been the home of Castlevania, an anime version of the classic Konami title. And it will not be the last: the portfolio of ongoing projects is extensive on several different platforms, since HBO, Amazon Prime Video or Showtime also have some products to consider. Also, some productions have not yet confirmed where they will air. Throughout this article we will review what is and what will be on each of the platforms.
There are few who asked for the return of Sam Fisher, and although at the moment it will not do so in a traditional video game, a completely new title for Oculus virtual reality is confirmed. Splinter Cell will also return through an animated series developed by Derek Kolstad, creator of John Wick. According to sources from Variety, he will act as a scriptwriter and executive producer on a fiction series of at least two seasons (eight episodes each). At the moment there are not too many details about it, since it has not been officially announced. Variety, which published it exclusively, wrote that it had contacted Ubisoft for details of the deal, but the French declined to respond.
Image of the video game.
Assassins Creed had a bittersweet debut in theaters. The film directed by Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender did not meet the expectations of the fans. Ubisoft may be able to compensate for those bad feelings with the series that they just announced. Just ten seconds of teaser have been enough to confirm the first live action series of Assassin’s Creed, a product that will feature Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik, from Ubisoft Film & Television, as executive producers. At the moment, only the logo of the saga has been shown in a composition in which it is intertwined with the iconic “N” from Netflix. There is no release date, but everything seems to indicate that it will be long, since they are still looking for showrunners and writers. They have also mentioned future animation and anime series.
Rabbids: The Invasion
After the GameCube generation, Nintendo decided to change strategy and offer a different product with its new console. Wii opened the doors to new intellectual properties, some arising from previous sagas. This is the case of the Rabbids, very unruly extraterrestrial bunnies that caused chaos on the Nintendo platform, although later they also made their own on the Sony and Microsoft systems. This Rayman spin-off has had its place on television, all thanks to a Netflix series, Rabbids: The Invasion. It is an animated comedy for children that was created in collaboration with Nickelodeon and that tells the story of these crazy characters. Not only have they invaded the earth, but they live a lot of adventures in their yellow submarine. There are currently 4 seasons available.
After a prolific series of film adaptations and a few animated films, Capcom and Netflix have signed an agreement to develop a live action series based on Resident Evil. In principle, it is not inserted within the official canon of the saga, but rather tells a story parallel to that of the games. Developed together with Constantin Films, it will be composed of 8 one-hour episodes. Andrew Dabb (Supernatural) has been cast as showrunner and executive producer, while Bronwen Hugues (The Walking Dead, The Journey is the Destination) will direct the first two episodes. It all begins when Wesker’s daughters move to the new Raccoon City, where they discover secrets that “may be the end of everything,” as the official synopsis says. Sisters Jade and Billie Wesker realize that something dark surrounds their father. Ten years later, more than 6 million people and animals have become creatures from beyond the grave.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
The Capcom saga will repeat on Netflix with another series, although this time animated. The studio behind the project, Quebico, is not a rookie in the series, since they were responsible for Resident Evil: Vendetta, one of the CGI movies that were released in their day. Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy, characters who first appeared in Resident Evil 2, will return in this new series, which Capcom itself has confirmed will be part of canon, although it will not be based on any specific game. The production, which is provided by TNS Entertainment, will focus on “the biological hazards that are released.” The official synopsis ensures that “only a couple of veteran hunters” will be able to complete the job. The images that were recently published portray Leon and Claire, so we assume that they are the reputed hunters.
Capcom’s commitment to expanding its intellectual properties to other media includes such powerful brands as Resident Evil, Street Fighter or Megaman. Dragon’s Dogma, on the other hand, is not such a veteran saga or has so many deliveries behind it, but once again, Netflix has all the episodes of its first season. Each of the seven chapters has been titled with one of the deadly sins (anger, gluttony, envy, laziness, greed, lust and pride). “After resurrecting as an Arisen, Ethan decides to kill the dragon that took his heart. But with each demon he defeats, he loses a little more humanity, ”reads the synopsis. It does not directly transfer the events of videogames, although it does draw on its elements. It premiered on September 17, 2020 and can now be seen on Netflix.
Devil may cry
Dante has returned to the front line with Devil May Cry 5, which now releases the Special Edition on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. A year before the launch of the fourth installment of the saga, Funimation aired all 12 episodes of this anime series. The main character is Dante, who maintains his carefree modus vivendi as debts pile up on his desk. At the same time, he takes the odd job, which generally leads to demon hunting. One of them, the clever Sid, will make things very difficult for you. Devil May Cry stayed in a single season, which can now be seen on Netflix.
Konami may not be at its best when it comes to game development. Ever since Mercury Steam designed the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow spin-offs, the vampire saga has remained silent, save for the release of compilations. Despite this, the brand has developed in a medium other than that of the video game, that of television. Netflix has already released three seasons, while the renewal for a fourth was confirmed in March 2020. For now there is no release date announced, so everything seems to indicate that it will return in 2021. The series, made in anime style, has the story of a vampire hunter who fights to defend the city from the horde of beings from beyond the grave led by Count Dracula himself.
Minecraft: Story Mode
The independent studio Telltale Games came to work with multiple globally successful intellectual properties. Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, The Walking Dead or Borderlands were some of the titles that were transferred to the narrative adventure format. Before the company went bankrupt (it was resurrected by LCG Entertainment after acquiring the brand and some of its licenses), the studio designed Minecraft: Story Mode for consoles, PC and mobile devices. Based on the popular Mojang saga, the game has been moved to Netflix as an interactive product, as viewers can participate in the development of the plot.
The last of us
Naughty Dog and HBO join forces with the first live-action series based on The Last of Us, the video game starring Ellie and Joe. At the same time, the filming of the Uncharted movie has already concluded. The new production is being handled by Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions, an adaptation that will feature Carolyn Strauss as executive producer, as well as Naughty Dog President Evan Wells. Craig Mazin, responsible for the miniseries Chernobyl, will be the showrunner of the fiction. Neil Druckmann himself, creative director of both installments, works closely with Mazin. “Neil Druckmann is without a doubt the best screenwriter who works in video games, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus. Having the opportunity to adapt this incredible piece of art has been a dream for me for years. I am very honored to do it in collaboration with Neil, “said the head of the series in a press release.
Image from the video game The Last of Us.
Amazon Prime Video
Bethesda Softworks has collected headlines after Microsoft’s intention to acquire the company was officially announced, as well as the rest of the Zenimax Media studio. This operation will close in 2021, but for now, there is already a series underway based on Fallout, one of the most powerful properties of the North Americans along with The Elder Scrolls. Westworld creators Jonathan Noral and Lisa Joy will take over the series, which will be developed by Amazon Studios and Kilter Films in collaboration with Bethesda. Todd Howard and Hames Altman, both from the company, will participate in the creative process. “Over the past decade, we’ve been looking for ways to bring Fallout to the big or small screen, but it was clear from the first moment I spoke to Jonah and Lisa a few years ago: they and their team at Kilter were the right fit. We are huge fans of their work and I couldn’t be more excited to work with them and Amazon Studios, ”Howard explained.
Concept art for the video game Fallout.
A long time has passed since the Showtime-produced Halo series was officially announced. Throughout these years, names such as Peter Jackson, Neill Blomkamp or Steven Spielberg have appeared. The latter finally acted as a consultant for the hiring of the responsible team, since Amblin Entertainment, the production company he founded, participates in the series. In 2019 it was confirmed that Pablo Schreiber would play the Master Chief (American Gods, The Wire or Law & Order). He will be accompanied by Jen Taylor, who will play Cortana again (she is the original actress of the video games). Bokeem Woodbine will play Soren-066 and Shabana Azmi will play Admiral Margaret Parangosky. In total, a first season of 9 episodes written by Kyle Killen, who has already resumed filming after the stoppage due to the coronavirus.
Halo Infinite image.
No confirmed platform
2019 was the year of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Control, Death Stranding or Resident Evil 2 Remake, but among so many high-budget video games, Disco Elysium stood out, an independent role-playing game that soon received praise for its undoubted quality. The title of ZA / UM will come to the small screen from the hand of the producer of Sonic The Movie. Neither the cast of actors nor the team that will be in charge of writing the scripts has been announced. Nor is the television channel known or the platform on which it will be available. “We are very satisfied with the response that Disco Elysium has received, and very happy to collaborate with dj2 in expanding the brand to other media and new audiences,” said ZA / UM main screenwriter Helen Hindpere.
Image from the video game Disco Elysium.
My Friend Pedro
My Friend Pedro is another indie game that will be turned into a television series. The project is led by Derek Kolstad, who is also working on the Splinter Cell series. Legendary Television, 87North Productions and DJ2 Entertainment (Sonic: The Movie, Disco Elysium) are the companies behind the adaptation. The video game, which combines elements of action and stunts, will feature David Leitch (co-director of John Wick) and Kelly McCormick serving as executive producers. Stephan Bugaj and Howard Bliss of DJ2’s Johnson will serve in the same role. On the other hand, Devolver Digital co-founder Mike Wilson will also participate.
My Friend Pedro.
Kingdom come deliverance
In this case, it is completely unknown whether the result of the agreement signed by the producer Wild Sheep Content and Warhorse Games will crystallize into a series or a movie. Both parties have announced that they will develop an adaptation of the video game Kingdom Come Deliverance, an RPG title for PS4, Xbox One and PC that takes us to the Middle Ages, specifically in the 15th century, the time of the Holy Roman Empire. After the death of King Carlos IV of Bohemia, a war of succession took place, which culminated in the kidnapping of the monarch by his half-brother, aspiring to the throne.
Capture of Kingdom Come: Deliverance.