Netflix will adapt the Bioshock game franchise into a feature film
One of the most distinctive and engrossing worlds in video games of the past 15 years, BioShockis now heading to Netflix for a feature film adaptation, the two companies announced this morning.
The original 2007 game in the BioShock series was created by Ken Levine and his team at what later became Irrational Games, along with another Take-Two subsidiary. It won numerous Game of the Year awards from various organizations and led to a series of spin-offs, sequels, remasters and adaptations to new platforms, collectively selling over 39 million copies.
As part of the deal announced today, the Take-Two 2K division and Vertigo Entertainment will produce a live-action adaptation of BioShock worlds.
“Set in multiple dystopian and visionary landscapes gone wrong, the series blends science fiction and horror to ask unique existential and societal questions that reshaped the way gaming stories could be told – all amidst… ‘Thrilling action gameplay that rewards precise shots, clever planning, and deadly improvisation,’ Netflix said in a short statement.
In the original game, players explore a richly detailed and sometimes terrifying underwater utopia created by a messianic libertarian tycoon named Andrew Ryan.
By the time the player arrives on the scene in 1960, the underwater city of Rapture and the society that lived there have crumbled into a barely functional, steam-punk-ish ruin. A material called ADAM can grant superhuman powers, but has also led to the decline of the city, as dangerous marauders and the drilling robots called Big Daddies roam the city in search of more.
A spin-off, Bioshock Infinitemoved the action above ground, relying on similar rich textures and tongue-in-cheek takes on libertarian tropes and sensibilities, among other things.
It marks another step into the gaming world for Netflix, though perhaps a lot more conventional by Hollywood standards.
Last summer, company executives launched a new video game division, led by a veteran industry executive, and launched its first set of mobile titles based on its hit video franchises such as Strange things.
Co-CEO Reed Hastings said the plan was to provide more value to subscribers, while giving them more reasons to stay on the website and engage with the service and its most popular brands.
The company has since released other mobile game titles and is expected to create more types of games, for more demanding platforms, as it gains more expertise in creating and marketing games.