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Video-game animated series: The new chapter of the animation industry

Cinematic adaptations of video games are an increasingly common feature of film culture. A rising number of animated films based on video games has come on the road and bloomed on screen in recent years. That trend of adapting video games to animated series promises to open a new bright future for the development of the animation industry in the next few years.

History of animated series based on video games

The first video game movie, Super Mario Bros, produced by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, was initially released in 1993. This event embarks the earliest efforts of Hollywood to highlight the popularity and commercial success of video games in the late ’80s and mid-’90s. It was also the milestone for the beginning of games to animated series that had not drawn much attention before.

Video game animated series

The first video game movie “Super Mario Bros” was released in 1993 (Source: Pinterest)

Since the introduction of the first movie based on video games, only a few movies or TV shows have succeeded in bringing the fun and excitement of gaming to the screen. There was a shortage in the number of catchy video game movies, especially animated ones. After many years of misfires and flops, critics suppose that the era of video-game movies in general and animated series based on video games, in particular, seems finished.

Video game animated series

The 2D animated series “Devil May Cry" on Netflix (Source:

Up to now, that trend might be changing. The surprisingly growing popularity of these adaptations in recent years has proved that it might be a new start. Many video game animated series have dominated the box office, TV, and streaming platforms from late 2019. Sonic the Hedgehog with $70 million in its opening weekend; a "Monster Hunter" film hit theaters in September 2020 or Netflix’s film “Devil may cry” and so on. After all, it may be that video game animated movies are not coming to an end but just going through some growing pains needed for breakthroughs in the future.

The potential of video-game animated series adaptation in the future

The billion-dollar gaming industry drives the growth of animated series

There are some reasons to believe that animated series can go further, especially with the push of the gaming industry. According to a released survey from Deloitte, the top entertainment activity of Gen Z - those aged 14-24 - is playing video games. This fact indicates there is an enormous demand for video games out of the various kinds of games.

Video game animated series

Playing video games is the top entertainment activity of teenagers (Source: Pinterest)

Last year, the global gaming market reached revenue of $150 billion. By 2030, that number can rise to $200 billion, Juniper Research estimates. In other words, the industry is scaling up, booming — and incredibly competitive.

That means adapting more video games to animated series to make them available for various kinds of audiences, when compared to animation-to-games adaptation is more profitable with a larger market.

Sign of a rising stature for video game adaptations

The number of hit animated series released sharply increases month-to-month. Hollywood is viewing video games as one of the ripest, richest veins of intellectual property. Big well-known production studios have poured money into animated series adapted from games, with the participation of famous directors and actors.

Video game animated series

Sony and PlayStation Productions is making a “Ghost of Tsushima'' animated movie (Source: Pinterest)

Another positive sign in this industry is the dynamic competition of animation production houses and streaming platforms. There will not be any shortage of animated series based on video games on the way to the public. Steven Spielberg-produced Halo series is about to release early this year on Paramount+. Sony and PlayStation Productions would produce an animated movie based on the hugely popular game “Ghost of Tsushima''. Netflix suggested it may invest more deeply in gaming, etc.

Top outstanding video-game animated series

Sonic the Hedgehog

Last year, Sonic the Hedgehog became the highest grosser animated film ever with $70 million in its opening weekend. Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2020 action-adventure animated film based on the video game published by Sega. The film follows Sonic the Hedgehog, a hedgehog who runs at supersonic speeds, teaming up with the local town sheriff to fight against the evil scientist named Dr. Robotnik, who seeks to use his superpowers to conquer the world.

Video game animated series

"Sonic the Hedgehog" had the highest-grossing box office debut of any video game adaptation (Source: Pinterest)

The first trailer for "Sonic" received mixed reviews from critics and outcry from fans. The producer decided to redesign its animated protagonist for the final release, but it has paid off.

The angry birds movie 2

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a 2019 computer-animated comedy film based on the famous video game series Angry Birds, produced by Sony Pictures Animation and Rovio Animation. In this movie, birds and pigs team up together when an advanced weapon threatens their islands. The partnership between the birds and pigs is the new idea for the film, which typically does not happen in most Angry Birds games.

Video game animated series

The angry birds 2 was the best-reviewed animated film on Rotten Tomatoes (Source: Pinterest)

The film was theatrically released in August 2019 in Ireland, England, and the United States. It has reached $152.8 million worldwide revenue and received mixed reviews. At the time of release, it was the best-reviewed animated film based on a video game on Rotten Tomatoes.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood

Dota: Dragon's Blood is an animated streaming television series based on a video game developed and published by Valve named Dota 2. It is considered one of the featured products for combining anime and Western animation styles.

Video game animated series

Dota: Dragon’s Blood - The must-watch animated series on Netflix (Source: Pinterest)

This 8-episode animated series was officially on the screen on March 25, 2021, on Netflix. It follows the story of Dragon Knight, Davion hunting dragons to make the world a better place.

DeeDee Animation Studio - award-winning Vietnamese animation house

DeeDee Animation Studio is one of the fastest-growing studios in Vietnam and the region. Over the years, DeeDee Animation Studio has developed our reputation within the media and animation industry with our outstanding animation production services. We have partnered with both local and international corporations, many of which are gaming companies. You can understand our capabilities in producing gaming animated series, gaming TVC commercials through impressive work. DeeDee Animation Studio is working on some other promising animation gaming projects that will be released soon.

DeeDee Animation Studio’s project for Garena Gaming

DeeDee Animation Studio can help you nail your animation projects. If you are looking forward to a top-quality animation house, don’t hesitate to visit our website, look into our portfolio or contact us via hotline for detailed information.

References:, From "Sonic the Hedgehog' to 'The Witcher' video game adaptations are dominating the screen in 2020. Here are 13 other video games being adapted into movies or TV shows., Digital media trends, 15th edition Courting the consumer in a world of choice, Is it finally game on for video game adaptations?


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