Film and Games Convergence Boosts Success of The Witcher

    The Witcher season 2 The Witcher season 2

    WARSAW: Netflix is ready to start production on the third season of the hit show The Witcher, based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski and heavily inspired by an internationally acclaimed computer game produced by the Polish company CD PROJEKT.

    Netflix is gearing up to launch the shoot for the third season of The Witcher in Slovenia, Croatia and Italy by the end of March 2022. The Witcher is currently one of the highest-earning brands in pop culture, and the premiere of the series only helped with that. The universe created in the 1980s is said to be worth millions of EUR. The major success of the Netflix series and the CD PROJEKT game showcase the ever developing convergence of themes in the world of film and gaming. 

    The first season of the show, produced by Netflix, Czech Stillking Films and the Polish company Platige Image with a budget of approximately 73 m EUR, premiered in December 2019 to major success.

    The second season of the fantasy epic, which blends the genres of horror, action, romance, drama and occasionally comedy, has joined the streamer's most-viewed TV shows of all time list, amassing 462.5 million hours of view-time ever since it premiered on 17 December 2021.

    While the first season met with several praises, fans of the novels had several issues with the second instalment of the show, which proved to be an ever bigger ratings success. An often remark was that the series producers drew heavily from the video game style for the second season of the show. While this aggravated some critics, it was very well received by the younger audiences, from whom the experience of film and gaming is a much more of a fusion of the two genres. 

    Academy Award nominated Polish director, animator and executive producer of the second season Tomasz Bagiński said: "The younger the audience, the less important is logic, [...] we're going away from a typical book-type storytelling, [...] the younger people grew up with games, TikTok and YouTube, where they jump from video to video".

    The links between the game and series lie not only in its visual storytelling style, but also in the marketing efforts. According to the analytical company NDP Group, the sales of games and books about the Witcher jumped by over 500% percent after the premiere of the 1st season of the Netflix show in December 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.

    The Witcher 3 game, approaching its fifth year on the market, still successively guaranteed its creators an income, but after the explosion of popularity, the team could celebrate quite a success. The sales results were 554% better, supported by the release of the game on Nintendo Switch consoles, because it guaranteed the greatest growth; versions for existing platforms recorded a jump of “only” 63 %. The premiere on a new platform was timed to coincide with the Netflix show premiere, so that the marketing efforts of both companies would bring even more profit.

    It is worth mentioning that Netflix announced in July 2021 that it will be entering the market of video games and basing them on its own original productions. “We are in the early stage of further expansion into games, building on our previous efforts with interactive content (eg Black Mirror Bandersnatch) and Stranger Things games. We see games as another new content category, similar to our expansion into original films, animations and TV without scripts. The games will be subscribed to Netflix at no extra cost, as will films and series. Initially, we will focus primarily on games for mobile devices", stated the company in an open letter to its shareholders.