While superhero series and movies certainly aren’t going anywhere, a new report suggests that video games are becoming an increasingly important source of intellectual property, especially as streaming services look to ramp up titles that they can fully control. A recent study from Ampere Analysis shows that the trending success of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services and the video game industry might be because of a growing link between video game adaptations and their streaming homes.
Ampere reports that there are roughly two dozen video-game adaptations released every year, and that number is increasing annually, with a larger percentage of those appearing on SVOD streamers in 2021 than ever before.
“From a cinematic viewpoint, studios recognize the value of utilizing gaming IP and brand recognition with pre-existing fan bases,” Ampere research manager Lottie Towler said. “SVOD platforms meanwhile also see it as an opportunity to create new original-based TV franchises, that differentiate them from competitors in an increasingly competitive market.
With so many invested, dedicated fans, it makes sense for the next streaming battle to be fought on the front lines of the video game industry. After the overwhelming success of adaptations like “Arcane,” “Witcher,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and more, obtaining rights to premiere video game IP might be the next key to boosting streaming platform growth. So far, 63 of 118 video games that were commissioned to be adapted into movies and TV shows since 2018 have been released meaning that many more are likely on the way.
Let’s take “Arcane” for example — The League of Legends series debuted on Netflix in November 2021, setting off a cascade of events for the streaming giant. “Arcane” remained in Netflix’s Top 10 for six weeks, held a top position in 52 countries, and accumulated over 144 million hours of watch time — not to mention taking home four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program.
Appealing to a large portion of the Riot Games fanbase, it would only be a few months after release that data analysis would show that 58% of U.S. “Arcane” fans were more likely to choose Netflix over its competitors.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved; fans are happy seeing their beloved gaming characters on screen, the gaming industry gains more recognition, and streaming platforms see more subscriptions. Growth is also driving production quality; as viewership for these adaptations grows, so does the money invested in them. This in turn leads to increased quality, broadening the appeal to even more viewers.
A third wave of streaming is indeed a possibility thanks to the excellent performance of several movies and TV shows based on popular video games in the last decade.