Series adapted from video games: the race has only just begun?

Robin Lamorlette

February 07, 2023 at 3:10 p.m.


The Last of Us © Sony / HBO Max

© HBO / Sony

The curse around video game adaptations seems to have found a cure thanks to TV series, and this would only be the beginning.

Examples such asArcane, Cyberpunk: Edge Runners or very recently The Last of Us in any case suggest that the winning formula has finally been mastered.

A whole cinema around video game adaptations

Habits die hard, and video game adaptations are no strangers to it. For years, this kind of production has been associated with likable chicks at best, downright turnips at worst.

Just see the adaptations of resident Evil by Paul WS Anderson or the horrible productions of a certain Uwe Boll (we would have preferred his “adaptations” of Alone in the Dark Or House of the Dead never existed) to be convinced of this. If several films such as Warcraft Or tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie in the role of the iconic Lara Croft have more or less satisfied fans, a majority of films based on video games have been resounding critical failures.

Fortunately, a few recent films have represented relative redemption. We can cite in particular Pokemon: Detective Pikachu and the last two films sonic which were commercial successes with revenues well above their production costs.

On this point, we are watching the next film very closely. GreatMario Bros. which, so far, has generated a certain amount of enthusiasm, both among fans and among a wider audience.

A brighter future on the small screen?

Despite a slightly improved image for adaptations of video games in cinema, TV series seem to be the medium where they have the best chance of shining. The format indeed seems more suitable for telling stories that often struggle to last for a maximum of 2 to 3 hours.

Another point in favor of the series: an audience much more at the rendezvous in front of the small screen than in cinemas. Just look at recent figures to be convinced. Episode 4 of The Last of Us released yesterday brought together 7.5 million spectators, and this, counting only the American public!

This new series therefore explodes records and has added a new key ingredient to the success of this kind of adaptations. Remember that the series is co-directed by the brilliant Craig Mazin (Chernobyl), but also by Neil Druckmann, screenwriter of the franchise at Naughty Dog.

A close collaboration between directors and the creators of the game is therefore a major point for a successful adaptation. Arcane And Cyberpunk: Edge Runners had already proven it, the studios working together with Riot Games and CD Projekt RED respectively to make the project a reality, with success that is now well established.

Next in ideas

It is therefore not surprising, after the critical and commercial success of the aforementioned series, to see that this has given many producers ideas. Adaptations of video games in series indeed now seem to be growing like… mushrooms.

Among the confirmed adaptations to watch, we have an anthology of candidates. On the Amazon Prime Video side, we can cite god of war, fallout, tomb Raider or Mass Effect. At Netflix, there are also beautiful people with Assassin’s Creed, Gears of War And Horizon Zero Dawn. Not to mention the sequels planned for the excellent series Arcane And Castlevania.

From there, the sky seems to be the limit, with a wide open door for other major franchises in the serial video game to adapt. In this case, we would be curious to see what a good adaptation of DOOM (unlike the two atrocious films on the subject), Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption or, let’s be crazy, The Legend of Zelda And Half Lifeamong many others.

And you, what video game adaptation in series (or in film) do you dream of seeing released in the next few years? Do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comments with, why not, a synopsis and a casting forecast, if producers come by chance to take a look at Clubic!

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