The amount of video game-based intellectual property (IP) adaptations by the TV and movie industry has grown steadily over the past two decades, and currently 20 to 25 movies and TV series are released each year based on games.
The share of TV series in particular increases over time, according to a new study by Ampere Analysis.
Ampere notes that historically, most franchise building in the video and game sectors has focused on the adaptation of entertainment IP in spin-off games. In fact, more than 2,000 games have been released based on existing entertainment IP – movies, live-action or animated TV series, and anime content – over a 40-year span. In the early 2000s, there were usually only a handful of major video game-based adaptations, such as movies based on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, resident Evame and the Whileon franchises. However, since the beginning of 2010, the volume of game adaptations in TV shows and movies has increased, peaking in 2016. Examples include the Sonic the hedgehog movies and the Arcane animated TV series based on League of Legends.
An increasing share of these releases is attributable to SVOD, such as Netflix and Amazon, who have been responsible for a number of original releases over the past five years.
Ampere adds that this boom in game adaptation has come at a time when spending on movie and TV content is at an all-time high, but much revenue (particularly at the box office) is concentrated around a small number of franchises. These are largely owned by the major studios, causing SVOD platforms to look for new sources of inspiration. At the same time, there has been an explosion of valuable original IP in the game world, through games like Roblox, League of Legends, Fortnite and Minecraft.
In this way, gaming IP has become a battleground in the TV and movie industry, with many of the biggest platforms competing. Several high-profile game tweaks have performed very well lately. Among which Arcanebased on the game League of Legendswhich was in the Netflix top 10 for six weeks in a row, and not mapped (Sony), which grossed more than $400 million in box office worldwide.
Commenting on the research, Lottie Towler, research manager of Ampere Analysis, said: “From a cinematic standpoint, studios are recognizing the value of using gaming IP and brand recognition with already existing fan bases. SVOD platforms, meanwhile, are also seeing it as an opportunity to create new ones. , to create original-based TV franchises that set them apart from competitors in an increasingly competitive market”.
As the audience for these customizations grows and more money is invested, the quality has increased, which in turn helps to increase the potential audience. Since 2017, titles have been rated higher overall as well as critics’ ratings on par with audiences, implying a marked increase in overall quality without sacrificing audience enjoyment.
Towler added: “We expect continued growth in cross-format IP, particularly game-generated, and there has been a consistent upward trend in game customization. Of the 118 titles tracked under commission since the fourth quarter of 2018, just over half (63) has yet to be released, meaning the number of game customizations available to consumers will only increase.