The streaming giant Netflix has rapidly gone from being a by-the-numbers streaming service to a massively influential cultural behemoth. There are an estimated 167.1 million active Netflix accounts as of 2020, with some estimates claiming that as many as 37% of all internet users in countries like the US and UK use the service at least occasionally.
Studies have highlighted how Netflix’s original series now dominate the cultural conversation, replacing traditional mass media events with new series releases as the water-cooler topic of choice.
While Netflix’s ventures into TV and film have clearly been a runaway success, it’s tempting to wonder where the next frontier might be for the company. Whether Netflix might decide to branch into the world of video games, in the same way that its competitor Apple has done with Apple Arcade, is a question we don’t yet have the answer to.
However, it’s worth pondering which of Netflix’s hit TV shows they would adapt to video games, should they go down that route. Read on to see our roundup of the Netflix TV shows that would definitely make killer video games.
1. Stranger Things
Granted, a Stranger Things video game already exists in the form of a 64-bit mini-game available on Steam. However, this blockbuster sci-fi series featuring alternate universes and telekinetic powers would work brilliantly as a fully-fledged console game, combining elements of existing games that deal with similar themes such as Control, Beyond: Two Souls, and Portal. The game version could see you play through the plot of the series from the perspective of different characters, or it could focus solely on the role of Eleven as the protagonist. Thematically similar video games such as Alan Wake could also serve as inspiration for the developers.
Everybody’s favourite drug kingpin is the perfect material for a fleshed-out video game series. While there has already been a half-baked attempt at a game with Narco: Rise of the Cartels, which is essentially a point-and-click play-through of season 1, a more comprehensive game would certainly be a hit. Developers could take inspiration from the world of online casino games, where we find the immersive Narcos slot game. This and a range of other branded slots available at online casinos shows the proven record of that industry when it comes to developing around a theme. The Narcos slot itself features all of the main characters from the TV series and so offers a solid example of how the best elements of the show can be adapted for another purpose without simply copying the TV plot. In the hypothetical video game, this could combine with other forms of inspiration such as open-world crime RPGs like Rockstar Games’ classic Grand Theft Auto V, as well as Far Cry 3 from Ubisoft, which also centres around a god-like gang boss in a private tropical paradise.
Remember wrestling games? It has been years since we last had something from the WWE game empire to chew on. However, with the release of Netflix’s girl-powered wrestling series GLOW, we might finally have the material for a wrestling game fit for the 21st century. The colourful female wrestling characters in the series would all make great playable fighters, especially since they all have their own signature moves. The potential for character crossover appearances from similar shows and wrestling empires is also significant, and would likely be a big crowd-pleaser. A GLOW video game would likely work better as more of a Dead or Alive type fighting game than as an RPG, but it would certainly be a hit in a market that is starved of such games at the moment.
4. Marvel’s Daredevil
Perhaps surprisingly given the glut of Daredevil content we’ve had over the decades, the last time anyone actually attempted a video game based on the visually-challenged superhero was in 2003, with a critically-panned Game Boy Advance title. Given the runaway success of Netflix’s decidedly darker reprisal of Daredevil, it makes perfect sense to release a video game based on the exploits of Matt Murdock. For inspiration, developers need to look no further than the Batman Arkham series from WB, which takes the darkest elements from the comic book series and recent films to create a truly immersive and true-to-form in-game world.
These are the shows that Netflix should consider adapting as video games ASAP. Fingers crossed and watch this space to see what happens.