If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve most likely noticed that there are a lot of video game TV shows in the works. In fact, it can sometimes feel like we can’t go more than a week or two without another story or report about some video game getting a show on Netflix or Amazon Prime. And after looking around at all the shows coming down the pipeline, I’m here to confirm that, yes, there is indeed a shit-ton of video game shows coming to your TV screen over the next few years.
Just remember: A show can be greenlit, have a writer attached to it, and even start casting people but still never make it to your screen. Making TV shows and movies is hard and video game adaptations have a long track record of getting stuck in development hell. But even if only half of these are eventually made and released, we are still looking at a lot of new video game-inspired TV action.
Where: On Netflix
When: July 14
Netflix’s Resident Evil is one of the few shows on this list with a definite release date, July 14. That’s not long from now. So what is this show and how does it differ from numerous Resident Evil films of the past, which were also based on the Capcom games? Resident Evil focuses on Albert Wesker, played by Lance Reddick, and his two daughters, Billie and Jade Wesker and will bounce between two timelines. It’s a weird setup, but sounds more intriguing than yet another live-action adaptation of Resident Evil 1 or 2.
Where: On Netflix
When: TBA (Likely 2023)
Splinter Cell, currently the working title, is one of the many animated video game TV show adaptations on the list. Based on the popular Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell franchise, this new show is being written by Derek Kolstad, the creator behind the John Wick franchise. We don’t know much about this show, though we do know that it will be at least eight episodes, each episode will be about a half-hour and it will star Sam Fisher.
The Last of Us
Where: On HBO
HBO’s first TV series based on a game won’t be out until next year. But folks are already excited about the show, which stars the Mandolorian himself, Pedro Pascal as Joel, and Bella Ramsey as Ellie. The upcoming HBO drama is based on the events of the first game. Interestingly, two actors from the game will be appearing in the show, but only one of them, Merle Dandridge, will be reprising her role from the original game. Hollywood is a wacky place!
Untitled Knuckles Spin-Off
Paramount has had a lot of success with that first live-action Sonic film and signs are pointing towards the upcoming sequel also being a hit. So it seems only logical that Sega and Paramount not only have a third movie already planned, but also a live-action TV show spin-off. Idris Elba, who plays Knuckles in the upcoming film sequel, will return to voice the character in the still-untitled show.
Assassin’s Creed is another Ubisoft franchise that Netflix is adapting into a live-action TV show. It’s being written by Jeb Stuart, who was the writer behind the original Die Hard screenplay. More interestingly, his most recent project was writing and creating the Vikings: Valhalla series. Is this an indication that the Netflix show might be based on the recent Viking-themed Assassin’s Creed game, Valhalla? Maybe, but we don’t know yet as Netflix has said little about the show’s plot or characters.
Tomb Raider (Animated Project)
Tomb Raider has been adapted into a few live-action films, but now Netflix has plans to create something different. Its Tomb Raider adaptation will be an animated series that it describes as a “Japanese anime action series” that will also “explore new territory.” Lara Croft herself is being voiced by Hayley Atwell, who has appeared in the MCU as Peggy Carter. The animation studio behind this upcoming project is reportedly Powerhouse, the same team behind the popular Castlevania series on Netflix.
Of all the shows on this list, this is definitely the weirdest combo. A Twisted Metal show is already an odd idea and then having it air on NBC’s forgotten streaming service, Peacock, is even weirder. The show will star Anthony Mackie, best known for his role as Falcon in the MCU, who is playing a smartass milkman “who talks as fast as he drives.” He has no memory of his past and enters a deadly car combat tournament in hopes of finding the family he’s always wanted. And yes, Sweet Tooth will appear in the show
Live-Action Pokémon Series
Where: Netflix, reportedly
When: TBA, not officially announced yet
Variety first reported on this show last year, and since then we’ve heard… not much else. It’s yet to be officially announced by Netflix, but reportedly, Lucifer’s co-showrunner and executive producer, Joe Henderson, will write and produce the series. As of yet, there’s no release date information or any other concrete details. It will be a live-action series, likely using CGI Pokémon mixed with live-action actors, like the Detective Pikachu film.
Announced back in 2020, Amazon and Bethesda are working together to create a live-action Fallout series based on the popular post-apocalyptic RPG franchise. According to a recent Deadline report, the show is entering production sometime this year. We don’t know what the storyline of the show will be or when it will be set in relation to past Fallout games, but we do know that Walter Goggins will be in at as-yet-unnamed Ghoul.
Where: Amazon, reportedly
Bioware and EA have been trying to make a Mass Effect film for over a decade, but while that never happened, it appears that an Amazon-developed TV show is now in the works. This has yet to be confirmed by either EA or Amazon, but Deadline reported in November 2021 that Amazon was “nearing a deal to develop a series” based on the popular space RPGs. Beyond that, we don’t know much, so it will likely be a few years before this one ever sees the light of day.
Cyberpunk 2077 wasn’t as good as some folks wanted it to be, it launched in a terrible state on consoles and it had a messy and frustrating development cycle. But the universe it is set in, based on the original Cyberpunk 2020 TTRPG, is still interesting and worth exploring. So, luckily for folks who want more Cyberpunk action, Netflix is teaming up with Trigger for a new animated show, Edgerunners, connected to the game. It’s out later this year.
God of War
Where: Amazon, reportedly
Officially, this hasn’t been announced, but Deadline reported earlier this month that Amazon was in negotiations with PlayStation Studios and Sony to create a live-action TV show based on the popular God of War franchise. The show is reportedly being headlined by The Expanse creators and executive producers, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. No word on actors, release date, or storyline, but I expect Kratos will be angry and kill stuff in it. That’s like his thing.
And a bunch of other adaptations!
Hopefully, some of these will be good! One can dream.