Hollywood is starting to embrace TV as a better way to adapt video games after a history of movie flops

Hollywood is starting to embrace TV as a better way to adapt video games after a history of movie flops
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  • Hollywood is turning to video games for established IP on the small screen.

  • Video-game movies have a long history of flopping, but streaming provides new opportunities.

  • Upcoming TV shows include "Halo" on Paramount+ and "Assassin's Creed" on Netflix.

Movie adaptations of video games have been common in Hollywood for the last two decades, but for the most part they have been consistently derided by critics and have flopped at the box office.

The most recent video-game movie, "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City," has made just $14 million domestically and $25 million worldwide, and received a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 30%.

There have been some successes, like "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "Pokemon Detective Pikachu," the top two highest grossing video-game movies in the US with $149 million and $144 million respectively. But there have been far more misses than hits.

That doesn't mean Hollywood is done with video-game movies. Sony's "Uncharted" film hits theaters next year and Eli Roth is making a "Borderlands" movie. But the industry is also starting to see the potential for TV adaptations like never before.

"We play our favorite games for hundreds of hours," said Christian Linke, the showrunner of Netflix's "League of Legends" series "Arcane" and a creative director at Riot Games. "Movies don't do the experience justice when you only stick with that world for two hours."

With the rise in streaming services in recent years, media companies are competing for well-established IP to attract subscribers, which the games industry provides plenty of. Game sales hit a record $56.9 billion in 2020, according to a report by the research firm NPD.

The "Halo" video-game franchise alone has made $6 billion since the first game launched 20 years ago, not including the latest entry, "Halo Infinite," that was released on Wednesday. On Thursday, Paramount+ dropped the first trailer for its upcoming "Halo" TV series in what will be its biggest title yet.

Other high-profile video-game TV shows coming to streaming soon include:

  • "Assassin's Creed" (Netflix)

  • "Fallout" (Amazon)

  • "The Last of Us" (HBO)

  • "Resident Evil" (Netflix)

Amazon is also nearing a deal to make a "Mass Effect" TV series, based on the hit sci-fi roleplaying series, Deadline recently reported.

"If you're going to tell a story that's as fleshed out as 'Mass Effect,' TV is the way to do it," Mac Walters, the "Mass Effect: Legendary Edition" project director, told Insider during a recent interview. "There's a natural way it fits well with episodic content."

Walters had described why a planned "Mass Effect" movie was scrapped a decade ago. Aside from a leadership shakeup at the movie studio Legendary, the creators also couldn't get the story right. It reflects why some game professionals see TV as the best medium for adaptations.

"It felt like we were always fighting the IP," Walters said. "What story are we going to tell in 90 to 120 minutes? Are we going to do it justice?"

Read the original article on Business Insider