Halo, The Last of Us, The Witcher…: a large number of XXL video game franchises in streaming and cinema

For a long time it was one of the most prominent Arleys in the video game industry. But anything happens. After seventeen years of delays, announced XXL projects, launched and then shut down or recalibrated to a more modest format, not to mention successive broadcaster changes, the Halo television series – Microsoft’s flagship home franchise in video games – will see the light of day. of the day this Thursday on the SVoD Paramount+ service in all countries where the latter is already available.

In France, where Paramount+’s rollout is scheduled for December, it will be Canal+ that will provide a “fast” (no date announced) broadcast of the series, with a French preview taking place during the opening ceremony. Cannes Film Festival 1uh April. This first season has ten episodes featuring the iconic Spartan character John-117 at the height of an interstellar war in the 26th century.as well as century, Microsoft and its partners went above and beyond, with a total production budget of around $100 million. A second season is already in development and scheduled for Paramount+.

The Last of Us on HBO, God of War on Amazon Prime Video, new Resident Evil series on Netflix, Ghost of Tsushima feature film for movies…: the list of upcoming projects for small and large screens of flagship video game franchises is long and growing thicker. A decline that is due to the recent successes of The Witcher and Arcana series on Netflix, which gave ideas to their rivals or encouraged them to pick up the pace even more.

XXL video game licenses drain large player base

“For broadcasters, it is better to rely on an existing asset than to start from scratch,” emphasizes Charles Louis Planade, video game financial analyst at TP ICAP. Moreover, video games have long been aimed at a wide audience and are more popular than ever. And these XXL video game licenses are draining a large player base. A boon for the (very) many SVoD platforms that are in the midst of a content war and a fierce fight for subscribers.

“The spread of these projects is also due to the very strong affinity between the two media, series and video games, in particular the construction of the script with their very long arcs and their many characters,” deciphers Albin Levy, artistic director of the festival. Canned food. And we’re only at the beginning, but we’ll be moving more and more towards mixed formats between video games and TV series. »

“Make your video game public”

However, the marriage between video games and their on-screen variations has not always been rosy; Bad film adaptations have long been the norm rather than the exception. But over the years, some productions have proved to be more convincing, up to real success at the box office. The feature films Warcraft, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and Rampage released over the past six years in darkrooms have crossed the $400 million mark in revenue.

The use of a video game in a movie or TV series has long been considered solely a marketing expense,” recalls Mathieu Levisse, director of communications for entertainment group Ankama, known in particular for its video games Dofus and Wakfu, which were rejected by him on small or large screens. “Today, the purpose of these formats is of course to make your game known to the general public, and also to use your license, creating new sources of income as your universe expands,” he continues.

Reputational risk

“Another big difference is that these projects today are not only the giants of the industry,” notes Charles-Louis Planade. We see that more and more intermediate players are starting. An example is the successful French game A Plague Tale: Innocence developed by Asobo Studio, a project adaptation of the series co-produced by its publisher Focus Entertainment and Merlin Productions (Mediawan) and directed by Mathieu Turi.

“This project has a lot of potential, and it will contribute to the future development of our franchise in video games, as well as in other areas of culture,” explains Gregory Carro, COO of Asobo. This type of project was not a priority for us a priori, but we are fortunate to be surrounded by the right people to create a quality adaptation that will respect the universe of our franchise. »

A risk that all video game players, young and old, take very seriously. “Rightholders are very concerned about retaining the right to review the final render in order to protect the reputation of their license,” notes Charles Louis Planade. Seventeen years of gestation to see the Halo series land is the perfect illustration of this.

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