After massive success stories of video game adaptations like Cyberpunk Edgerunners, League of Legends: Arcane, and The Witcher, Microsoft seems poised to go all-in on the big screen.
Microsoft and Netflix have just revealed Gears of War movies and TV shows at the time of writing, and I think it’s time to take a look back at all the upcoming Xbox projects Microsoft is adapting to TV.
Microsoft was definitely ahead in this area. The company actually created a division called Xbox Entertainment in 2012. It is designed for the in-house adaptation and production of film content for games and franchises. Quantum Break’s in-game live-action TV show was one of the only projects to see the light of day from that effort, and it was pretty good in my opinion. It saw an extensive refocus, cutting Xbox Entertainment entirely.
To this day, streaming services have become very large. We’ve seen various video game adaptations bring huge benefits to existing games (as long as the show is good)offering Microsoft a compelling opportunity to bring games to a new mainstream audience.
Below are all of Microsoft’s ongoing projects, featuring some of the biggest franchises from the upcoming Xbox console and PC games.
gears of war movie
Announced on November 7, 2022, Netflix has revealed that it will partner with Xbox, Microsoft and Gears of War developers The Coalition to adapt the storied franchise to TV.
The first project the streaming giant mentioned was the Gears of War movie, which has long been rumored and requested by fans and even Hollywood actors. Famously, Dave Bautista of Guardians of the Galaxy fame expressed interest in making a Gears of War movie, so much so that he ran to play the series’ protagonist Marcus Fenix. Of course it is possible.
Gears of War was released 16 years ago today. To mark the occasion, Netflix has partnered with The Coalition to adapt the @GearsofWar video game saga into a live-action feature film, followed by an adult animated series. follow! pic.twitter.com/3zInFSnUu4November 7, 2022
Gears of War Animated “For Adults” Show
Alongside the Gears of War movies, Netflix has revealed that it is also producing an “adult” TV adaptation of the Gears universe. Unsurprisingly, little is known about the TV shows and movies, including Timeline, but Netflix has had a lot of success with its adult-oriented animated features in recent years.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners, Castlevania, and other animated video game adaptations have completely blown up certain franchises. It’s one of those shows, and fans should be looking forward to it if they can give Gears the same treatment.
fallout tv show
The long-running Amazon Prime TV has finally unveiled the first images of the Fallout TV show to mark the franchise’s 25th anniversary, giving fans a (blurry) glimpse into the apocalyptic adaptation.
Fallout is about the future of an alternate world where the Cold War heats up so much that it leads to nuclear war and, by extension, nuclear winter. Survivors hiding in Vault-Tec bunkers emerge into a vastly altered land filled with radioactive mutants, warring raiders, and maniacal robots.
Happy 25th birthday! I made something special for this occasion. #Fallout #Fallout25 @BethesdaStudios @Bethesda @Fallout @Kilter_Films pic.twitter.com/eFg7t5O8WaOctober 25, 2022
Not much is known about the direction of the Fallout TV show, but given the hyper-violent and mature themes of the game franchise, we expect the TV show to follow suit.
Some photos were leaked from the production, and fans were momentarily optimistic given the authentic feel of the set.
Leaked from the set of Amazon’s Fallout TV show, this image has a strong Fallout 3 vibe. I’m actually excited to see more… pic.twitter.com/IHj5LpwCKIAugust 17, 2022
Today I drove past Hylan’s old shop lights and in the light thought ‘Damn it went downhill faster’. Turns out they filmed the Fallout TV series there, and unlike all other strip malls on Staten Island, it’s intentionally corrupt. pic.twitter.com/yUjKSQF4atJuly 16, 2022
terrestrial tv show
In another victory for Netflix, Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with the streaming giant on the TV version of Grounded.
Grounded is a sci-fi survival adventure about four teens shrunk to the size of an ant. Similar to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, survivors are tasked with building shelters, scavenging for supplies, and avoiding giant predatory bugs roaming the undergrowth.
Not much is known about the direction of the Grounded TV show, but it seems likely that it will be kid-friendly, albeit dark-edged (just like games, these spiders are serious business). The successful Star Wars: The Clone Wars show is behind the adaptation, so it’s natural to expect a similar level of quality.
Halo TV Show (Season 2)
Arguably the most controversial video game adaptation in recent years, Paramount+’s Halo TV show is getting its second season.
The Halo TV show is a “reimagining” of the iconic sci-fi shooter franchise and has nothing to do with the more recent Halo Infinite in the Xbox game series. Halo sees humanity in the future overrun by a crazed religious civilization known as the Covenant. Using ancient technology, the Covenant aims to activate the mysterious Halo his ring, cause the destruction of the universe, and travel to the afterlife they interpret.
The show was criticized by fans for deviating too much from the source material, but it seems to have been a hit for Paramount+ and is popular with people who aren’t necessarily into the game itself. It remains to be seen whether the production team will take a closer look at the source material this time around to appease the fans, as it has been so successful.
The Minecraft movie has been in development for a long time and is distributed by Warner Bros., but given the upheaval at the movie studio, it could be a while before we see it emerge from the depths of the Nether.
First announced in 2016, the film was originally targeted for a 2019 release. But apparently it didn’t. According to the latest update, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ director Jared Hess is in the process of adapting the film, and ‘Aquaman’ fame Jason Momoa is in talks to star. With little more solid information out there, it’s difficult to confirm if this film actually still exists.
The official announcement of its 2022 incarnation has been removed from the official Minecraft blog. I contacted Microsoft to see if this project still exists.
No doubt more Xbox TV shows are on the way
Microsoft has a vast arsenal of potential intellectual property that can be adapted for both big and small screens. Fallout, Gears, Halo, Minecraft, and Grounded are obviously franchises making the leap to a wide range of media, but we have to assume that other games are equally good candidates.
We could see Microsoft adapting the upcoming Hellblade franchise to TV, and with Activision Blizzard landing, adapting Warcraft, Starcraft, or Diablo 4 would also be obvious candidates.Perfect Dark A thriller based on could be a great partnership with an upcoming game, or even a big Starfield movie with a space opera vibe.
The above list certainly isn’t the only movie or TV show Microsoft is considering developing. After the hugely successful Edgerunners spin-offs such as Cyberpunk 2077, I suspect there will be more cinematic video game franchises now, and in the future, that will take advantage of this kind of mainstream exposure.