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Video game adaptations are on the horizon: What is Netflix planning?

People are getting excited about The Witcher.

With Disney+ set to be released soon, Netflix could be about to lose a lot of major content spanning television series and films. For this reason, the streaming service will need to create a lot of new content to fill the void. One of the most highly anticipated offerings on the horizon is The Witcher, which is being touted as Netflix’s answer to Game of Thrones. This could lead to other titles being made, with there being a lot of talk of a Legend of Zelda adaptation. TV, film and gaming have always shared a strong bond, and taking advantage of this could be a key way for Netflix to keep hold of customers and stop them from moving over to Disney’s platform.

The Witcher is just around the corner

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia

It has already been confirmed that The Witcher will be hitting Netflix before the end of the year, with Henry Cavill playing the lead character Geralt of Rivia. The series is apparently going to stay true to the series of novels and short stories written by Andrzej Sapkowski, upon which the best-selling games were also based. There is no doubt that it was the CD Projekt Red games which brought the fantasy to mass audiences, though, and many will be viewing this series as a video game adaptation.

The Witcher shares many similarities with HBO’s hugely successful Game of Thrones. Like the George R.R. Martin inspired epic, the upcoming Netflix fantasy also features a number of warring factions and political intrigue. It differs in that there is a much higher level of magic involved, with a number of sorcerers and sorceresses central to the plot. There are also elves, dwarves, monsters, and various other interesting creatures scattered around the sprawling and harsh land known as The Continent.

The show is mainly about the adventures of Geralt and his adopted daughter, the incredibly powerful but slightly unstable Ciri. There is so much material for showrunner Lauren Schmidt to go on, and if there is a strong critical and commercial response the series could run for a number of seasons.

Legend of Zelda has long been discussed

Despite 2014’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt earning a vast number of Game of the Year awards, Geralt is nowhere near as iconic a character as some other videogame heroes. This is why The Witcher series could represent somewhat of a gamble for Netflix, as it has invested heavily in the project. One video game series which could be adapted at some point is the Legend of Zelda, which is one of the most legendary game franchises ever created.

There has long been discussion for a Zelda series, but up to now it has never come to fruition. In 2018, there was talk of the Castlevania producer, Adi Shankar, working on a series about The Legend of Zelda. He even went as far as to say that he was working with a famous Japanese game company. However, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata quashed these rumors and said that the information that had been leaked was false. This doesn’t mean that a series about Link, the game’s star character, couldn’t happen in the future, but fans shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet.

Some other major characters from video games that deserve their own series include Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Crash Bandicoot. There has been no talk of a Super Mario series or movie, but Sonic is due to star on the big screen soon. Could this leave an opening for Crash Bandicoot to become a Netflix star? The classic games were recently released again, and attracted a lot of players. In fact, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy sold approximately 225,814 units in its first week. This means there could be a big audience for other media to do with the character. There is no limit to the amount of characters which could be made into television series, so Netflix should have enough inspiration to work from if it decides to make more content based on video games.

Netflix E3 panel will discuss future games

Stranger Things season 3 will be accompanied by a game

Just as video games will be made into series, it is going the other way as well with series being translated into games. Netflix has already announced that there will be a game to accompany the upcoming Stanger Things’ third season. The Nintendo Switch offering will reflect the nostalgic themes of the show, and is designed to look like an early NES title. This is almost certainly going to be a hit in the current gaming climate, with players hungry for retro themes. In addition to this title, there is already an iGaming offering on the market which is attracting a lot of players. The Narcos slot at Wink Slots is one of the top slots online along with Dragons of the North and Durian Dynamite. This exciting game is based on the hit series which originally centered on Pablo Escobar.

The streaming service will also be making an appearance at E3 2019 this month, to announce some other titles that are in production. At the moment, Netflix’s plans for games are shrouded in secrecy. But there are a number of series which would make pretty cool games. For instance, the Umbrella Academy is packed full of interesting characters with special powers. A lot of the Marvel characters like the Punisher and Daredevil would also be amazing in game form.

If Netflix is to stay on top when Disney+ is launched, it may have to get even more innovative than it already has. The rise of interactive programming like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch could be lucrative. But there is likely to be more money to be made in creating a greater number of links between the video game and the television worlds. For this reason, there are going to be a lot more video game adaptations and vice versa in the near future.

Featured image: Netflix Press

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