Dontnod Entertainment and Focus Home Interactive collectively released Vampyr earlier this year, which proved to be one of the biggest disappointments of 2018 so far. However, perhaps it was simply being released as the wrong form of media.
Critics and gamers alike seem to agree that Vampyr was very lackluster in terms of combat and story, two things that were supposed to be the highlights of the game. While it’s actually only Dontnod’s third game released, the success of Life Is Strange left many expecting more. If I were to throw my own thoughts into the ring, I’d say that the big problem comes from a business level. Although we didn’t have any true way of knowing this for quite some time, it seems obvious that Dontnod has been working on Vampyr, Life Is Strange 2, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, and Twin Mirror all in the past few years. We’ve already seen how abysmal the product can be when a studio is focusing their attention on just two projects at the same time with the flop of BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda. This all goes without mentioning that through this whole process, the company has been communicating with three different publishers at once.
It’s entirely possible that this was a contributing factor in the relatively poor performance of Vampyr. However, while most who’ve played the game seem to agree on its downfalls, there also appears to be a common appreciation for the concept. The idea is one that has not been tried this console generation or even last generation; it’s fresh. This has led to Fox 21 Television Studios striking a deal with Dontnod and Focus Home Interactive to create a TV show based on the game. This news comes just weeks after Disney finalized a deal to buy 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion.
Oskar Guilbert, CEO of Dontnod Entertainment, believes that Vampyr is “a fantastic premise for a television show.” He also said that the television show would be a great way for everyone to “enter and engage with Vampyr’s rich, deep story,” which is the part I personally am most excited about.
Also announced was the news that the project would be taken on by Wonderland Sound & Vision and DJ2 Entertainment. DJ2 specializes in transforming video games into movies. While their products far and few between still, they are plenty busy. While producing the show for Vampyr, they’ve already worked with Dontnod on making a live-action movie based on Life Is Strange. In addition, they’ve already picked up the rights to create a feature film based on We Happy Few. This still only scrapes the surface of what they have planned for the future.
Wonderland Sound & Vision has a bit more experience in the industry. While they don’t have much in the way of universally known and praised films (the closest they come is Terminator Salvation from 2009), they have worked with some serious talent in the past. Some of their films star the likes of Amy Schumer, Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Cameron Diaz, Drew Berrymore, Lucy Liu, and Chris Evans. Most of their films fall well below the standards of most critics, but experience says a lot, even if it’s lent itself to failure.
It will be interesting to see how this combination of studios attacks this new project. So far, the creative thinkers at each studio seem to be extremely excited about the idea and are eager to get started. This is definitely a story I will be following up on, as I was left with much to be desired after playing Vampyr.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.