This Week

Dragon Age anime coming to Netflix, Shadow and Bone game announced

Last week was Netflix’s Geeked Week, where the streaming service launched a barrage of updates so big that we’re still catching up days later. Each day of Geeked Week focused on a different aspect of Netflix’s business, such as Stranger Things day or animated series day, etc. To close out the week, the streaming platform revealed a last surprise project, as well as a big twist that might reveal how Netflix plans to bolster its flagging subscriber numbers.

First, the surprise project: Netflix is developing an animated series based on the highly acclaimed Dragon Age video game franchise from Bioware. They even released a teaser trailer:

Dragon Age: Absolution is heading to Netflix

Netflix is still keeping a lot of details about this series close to the chest. But what they have announced is enough to get fans excited. The show will be set in Tevinter, a nation that has been referenced quite a lot in the games but that we haven’t seen yet. It’s the home base of the Imperium, which is ruled by a powerful sect of mages.

This is all extra-exciting because the long-awaited fourth Dragon Age video game, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, is also going to be set in Tevinter. Given that Absolution is being made in collaboration with Bioware, a company known for its detailed storytelling, it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to expect the anime and the game to connect in some ways.

As for the characters, Netflix says the cast will be announced at a later date, though the streamer has teased that Dragon Age: Absolution “[f]eatures an ensemble of new characters inspired by, and authentic to, Dragon Age lore; including elves, mages, knights, Qunari, Red Templars, demons, and other special surprises.”

Netflix is making (lots and lots of) videos games

Okay, now to that streaming war thing I mentioned. It’s no secret that Netflix has been in a difficult spot these past few months. After reporting record subscriber losses earlier this year, the streamer laid off around 150 employees in the United States. There’s been quite a lot of speculation about how Netflix was going to proceed from here, with the possibility of a cheaper ad-based subscription, cracking down on password sharing, and all sorts of other ideas being floated by the platform.

Now we have a better idea of one of the ways Netflix is hoping to keep people hooked: by making lots and lots of mobile video games.

I’ll be the first to say I did not see this coming, but hey, maybe I should have. Netflix has been moving more and more into the video game space with TV series like ArcaneResident EvilCastlevania, and now Dragon Age: Absolution. Oh, and let’s not forget Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, a new Castlevania spinoff, and even an anime based on the long-running Tekken fighting games. It’s a lot, even by Netflix’s standards.

In November of last year, Netflix launched the gaming side of its business with a mere five titles that were playable on mobile devices. Now the streamer has committed to having more than 50 games available on its platform by the end of 2022, and gave first looks at a whole slew of them during Geeked Week.

Shadow and Bone video game coming to the Netflix app

From adventure games like Raji: An Ancient Epic to kid-friendly games like Poinpy and even games based on reality shows like Too Hot to Handle, Netflix is casting a wide net. For our purposes, the most intriguing of the newly announced games is Shadow and Bone: Destinies. Based on Netflix’s hit fantasy series, which is adapted from the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo, Destinies is a roleplaying game where you’ll be able to play as characters from the series. Netflix has already revealed Alina and Jasper as playable characters, and teased that there will be plenty of others.

“In the new game, you’ll be able to journey through the vast world of Shadow and Bone while making choices that influence your quest,” Netflix’s statement reads. “Collect abilities and items, and make your way across the Grishaverse with a party of your favorite characters. No word yet on whether you’ll be able to gamble at the Crow Club.”

Intriguing. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more info.

Whether video games are going to be the next new frontier for Netflix, who can say? But the streamer is certainly putting a lot of eggs in this basket, which at least means the streaming wars just got a bit more interesting.

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