Netflix Fan Service: The Streaming Giant’s Upcoming Video Game Adaptations

Written by Contributor

February 8, 2020

“The Witcher”, Netflix’s high-profile sword-and-sorcery series released last year, is often misclassified as a video game adaptation. Actually, it was based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels and short stories revolving around the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a “witcher” (Wiedźmin in Polish), a mutant warrior bred to be a monster hunter. Netflix’s choice to adapt this source material was a really inspired one: the books have a large and consistent fan base and CD Projekt Red’s video game adaptation of the story is also very popular. Then again, Netflix goes to great lengths to maintain its leading position in the increasingly crowded online video streaming market, including tweaking itself into the land-based cinema business. At one point, Netflix considered buying a network of movie theatres, then settled to release its latest big-budget Oscar hopeful “The Irishman” in cinemas. But it is well aware that it can only “buy” its subscribers’ loyalty with quality adaptations of their favorite characters and stories, no matter if they are anime or video games. As such, it is preparing for more “fan service” releases in the near future – let’s hope these will be at least as good as The Witcher was last year.

Devil May Cry

Created by legendary game designer Hideki Kamiya for Capcom, was first released in 2001 on PlayStation 2. Then, the franchise expanded to other platforms as well (including releases on Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox, and all the other platforms you can think of) and spreading into other media as well: “light novels” (the Japanese version of “young adult” novels), manga, anime, even stage plays.

Now, a new small-screen adaptation of the story may be on its way: producer Adi Shankar announced that he was planning to develop a Devil May Cry series for Netflix and that it may even cross over with Castlevania.

Fingers crossed.

Resident Evil

Resident Evil is a franchise well-known both for gamers and movie lovers. On one hand, the beloved survival horror franchise has a long and successful past and – hopefully – an even longer future. On the other, Paul W.S. Anderson’s movie franchise has successfully concluded in 2016, and a reboot is said to be in the works. Not to mention the animated features that add even more material to the game’s already complex lore.

Netflix has reportedly grabbed this piece of pop culture, too, and it is planning to turn it into a live-action series. A year after its announcement, the show doesn’t have a release date or a cast – it remains to be seen if and when it is released.

Once again, fingers crossed.

Tom Clancy’s “The Division”

Finally, here’s one that has a bit of relevance today due to the pandemic-in-the-making dominating the news. Tom Clancy’s The Division takes its players into a pandemic-ridden Manhattan where smallpox-infected dollar bills are spread by an eco-terrorist to decimate the human race (and preserve the environment). The game was very well received by gamers and critics alike, becoming Ubisoft’s best-selling game at the time – so a film adaptation was to be expected.

The development of the movie version started in 2016, with Jake Gyllenhaal (Prince of Persia: Sands of Time) set to star, Rafe Judkins (who is also penning Nathan Drake’s origin story) writing the script, and David Leitch (Deadpool 2) set to direct. The movie will be distributed exclusively via Netflix – there is no word on its release date just yet.

Fingers crossed on this one as well.

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