The Netflix Witcher series proves games can get great TV adaptations

video game tv adaptation the witcher geralt of rivia
video game tv adaptation the witcher geralt of rivia

Adaptations of video games for TV or the big screen can be a bit, well, hit or miss. It’s hard work translating the sheer depth of a video game world and its story into a two or three hour window – and by its very nature, it’s never going to be the same as actually experiencing, exploring, and shaping that world for tens of hours through your own actions and decisions.

Adaptations of video games for TV or the big screen can be a bit, well, hit or miss. It’s hard work translating the sheer depth of a video game world and its story into a two or three hour window – and by its very nature, it’s never going to be the same as actually experiencing, exploring, and shaping that world for tens of hours through your own actions and decisions.

A TV series, on the other hand, gets a lot more time to introduce you to the world, and an episodic format that’s not all that different to a series of quests and side quests in a game.

video game tv adaptation the witcher roach

Netflix’s reimagining of Andrzej Sapkowski’s iconic The Witcher book series may have only arrived in December, some four years after CD Projekt Red’s stunning Witcher series last let us adventure as Geralt of Rivia, but it’s already turning into the new Game of Thrones. And that got us thinking that there’s a definite case to be made for taking sprawling fantasy games and transforming them into an amazing TV series, much like Netflix has done with Sapkowski’s Witcher books.

The likes of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Stranger Things have made it much cooler to be a fan of fantasy (and let’s face it, to be an unashamed nerd), and they also proved that there’s an insatiable appetite among audiences for rich worlds filled with magic, monsters, and adventure.

video game tv adaptation the witcher the continent

Games have been doing this kind of thing for a long time (take a look at The Elder Scrolls, for instance, or Warcraft), and there are stacks of amazing games with worlds just as deep and complicated as those of Game of Thrones or The Witcher, not to mention larger-than-life characters and heart-wrenching storylines.

Take the sprawling world of your favourite game, throw in an appropriately complicated but compelling plot, add in a few big names (we’d gladly have Henry Cavill star in everything) to play the characters everyone loves best, and you’ve got a recipe for TV gold. The Witcher series does all of the above very well, and it’s a format that could be incredible if you paired it with the likes of Skyrim, say, or perhaps God of War, Life is Strange, or Horizon Zero Dawn.

video game tv adaptation the witcher monster

So while a lot of video game movies might not have realised their full potential, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that there’ll be more Witcher-esque TV series in the future that draw on our favourite games and their amazing stories. We’re thinking Skyrim could be a great place to start…

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