Will the success of The Witcher herald a golden age of game-to-TV adaptations?

January 23, 2020 at 07:00AM

With their long, complex stories, video games fit television better than film – especially now streaming services have the firepower to make such projects

It is a truth, universally accepted, that video games do not translate well to the big screen. From Assassin’s Creed to the Super Mario Bros movie, the result is usually a compromised monstrosity, ignorant of the source material and quickly disowned by the studios, directors and actors responsible for it. There have been exceptions – Detective Pikachu was weird but fine and the Resident Evil films have their fans. But films based on games are usually a mess. Have licensing managers been looking at the wrong screen the whole time?

This week, Netflix released viewing figures that showed its fantasy monster-hunting series The Witcher is on course to be the platform’s biggest-ever opening season, viewed by more than 76m households. There are question marks over how the company is now gathering its data (Netflix considers a view to have occurred when anyone watches for more than two minutes – it used to be 70% of the show). But even with such provisos in mind, The Witcher has been a success, performing well against veteran series such as The Crown (73m households).

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Will the success of The Witcher herald a golden age of game-to-TV adaptations? …

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