Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077… Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?

Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077… Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?

game news Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077… Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?

Nowadays, when we think of video game adaptations on screen, we first turn to Netflix. Is SVOD the Eldorado of video games?

Founded in 1997 by two friends, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, Netflix was just a mail-order DVD rental service at the time; an anecdote reminiscent of the video clubs of the time. It was 2007 when the company really got its start in the still vague land of webcasting in the US and was soon preparing to launch its first in-house series, house of cards, produced among others by David Fincher. Fifteen years later, it is a service fueled notably by dozens of video game adaptations that imposes its dominance on the SVOD market.


Arcane, Edgerunners, The Witcher… The triumphant adaptations

Every year it’s the same story, Netflix goes to great lengths to churn out a bunch of popular video game adaptations as if conscientiously holding on to a well-found vein. After Arcane, a series from the League of Legends universe that won four Emmy awards, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has been shining in recent months.. The series is so successful that it even increases the popularity of the CD Projekt game. Studio Trigger’s adaptation (Darling in the FranXX, Kill La Kill) serves as an excellent introduction to the universe by introducing the key elements of Night City bit by bit and is considered by many fans to be “the best publicity you can do for the gameEdgerunners accumulated 14.8 million hours watched during the six days after its release; excellent results, but far from enough to dethrone Arcane which clocked in at 34.1 million hours over the same period.

On December 25, subscribers to the service will also be able to dive back into the world of The Witcher, not with season 3, scheduled for 2023, but with Blood Origin. The spin-off takes place 1,200 years before the events of the base series and will focus on the adventures of the first warlock as well as the Conjunction of the Spheres. It’s probably thanks to the witcher’s travels that Netflix was able to build a solid reputation on the JV adaptation, or even thanks to the critically acclaimed Castlevania series. Think of any big triple-A in gaming today and you’ll find it a news story affiliated with Netflix, if not another SVOD platform. Ubisoft has also recently confirmed a partnership with platform Reed Hastings to develop a catalog-exclusive Assassin’s Creed game. along with a live-action series adaptation currently in the works.

Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077... Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077... Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?

So of course, video game adaptations haven’t just been hugely successful on Netflix. The Resident Evil series, for example, is canceled after only one short season. Low viewership scores led to the abandonment of the show, which, however, started with 72.7 million hours of viewing in the first week before slowly falling to the behemoth Stranger Things. The reception from both audiences and critics is far from helping with a 55% critical score and 27% audience score on RottenTomatoes.. As a general rule, the adaptations of the Capcom saga have rarely managed to attract attention. Either way, failure is a grain of sand in the fertile soil of video game universes that Netflix cultivates by applying itself. Horizon, BioShock, Tomb Raider… soon they too will have the right to their own production on the platform, being able to count on their ranks with big names in the field capable of ensuring great success. And as we write these lines, a series adaptation of The Medium game has just been announced. If the decision platform is not really specified, there is little doubt when we know that it has the support of the executive producer of The Witcher series.


Adaptation, yes, but real game, a little less…

In publishing its results for the first quarter of 2022, Netflix indicated a drop of 200,000 subscribers for the first time in its history. A loss of momentum that, however, is explained by extenuating circumstances such as the return to normal life after months of confinement and an international conflict: “Following international sanctions against Russia, Netflix lost more than 700,000 paying Russian subscribers. Without this impact, the service would have gained an additional 500,000 subscribers overall”, says a spokesman. However, the service knows that it will have to stay the course to increase its appeal and reassure investors in a sector now very well exploited by other companies such as Disney +, Amazon Prime and MyCanal. The current strategy is to bet fully on the video game market beyond simple adaptation. An action plan already launched by the acquisition a few months ago of the talented studio Night School Studio at the origin of the Oxenfree license and by Next Games for the distribution of mobile games.

Oxenfree is now available on Netflix

Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077... Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?Arcane, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077... Is Netflix the Eldorado of video games?

Today, Netflix even has its own video game section accessible on its platform. It offers 24 games, some very good, and plans to grow to 50 by the end of the year. But the balance is at the moment frankly bad: According to a new report from CNBC, only 1.7 million subscribers interact with the service’s games on a daily basis, which would represent less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers.. The giant does not give up, however, and recently announced the creation of an in-house development studio based in Helsinki, Finland. It does not yet have a specific name, but it already has an expert manager in the sector: Marko Lastikka, former CEO of Zynga Helsinki. For Netflix, it’s still just the beginning:

We’re just getting started and we still have a lot of work to do to deliver a great Netflix gaming experience. Building a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how steadily we’re building the foundations of our game studios in our first year, and look forward to sharing what we’ll produce for years to come. — Amir Rahimi, Vice President of Netflix Game Studios

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