The Witcher’s TV Show, Anime, Console and Mobile Games: The Franchise Is Hitting Multiple Avenues
If you haven’t heard of the Witcher franchise, then where have you been over the past decade? This dark fantasy series has been taking the world by storm, enthralling readers, watchers, and gamers alike. The main storyline follows Geralt of Rivia, the eponymous Witcher, as he battles supernatural beasts and fulfills his destiny.
Characterized by its gritty portrayal of medieval fantasy, this franchise has attracted millions of fans from across the world and has been adapted into several different forms. So, in honor of the Witcher season 2 trailer being dropped by Netflix earlier this month, we thought we would take a deep dive into the series, exploring its origins, adaptations, and more. If you love this epic fantasy franchise as much as we do, then make sure to keep reading!
Let’s start at the beginning. The first iteration of the Witcher was a short story published by Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish author. Sapkowski entered his original short story into a competition for Fantastyka magazine in 1985, when he was 38 and a travelling fur salesperson. After waiting a year, Sapkowski learned his story came in third place. Despite there being contempt for the fantasy genre at the time (with critics saying it was for children), the story had already gained a dedicated following. Due to the high demand, Sapkowski then went on to expand the universe. In total, there are 6 novels and 15 short stories in the canon Witcher series.
The Witcher series quickly gained a cult following in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries. This sparked the interest of video game developer CD Projekt Red, so much so that the company collective decided to create a series of action role-playing fantasy games based on the books. The first instalment in the franchise was released in 2007, simply titled ‘The Witcher.’
After this game received a positive reception, two sequels were also published: ‘The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings’ in 2011 and ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015. Wild Hunt has subsequently been named one of the best video games of all time, winning multiple accolades and selling over 30 million copies.
Following on from this, Projekt Red decided to commission a number of board games, card games, and mobile games based on the Witcher series. Even online slots have been inspired by the franchise. Next time you go to play the Witcher slots games, be sure to read this guide on how to get casino comps on mobile devices. This could help improve upon your online gaming experience, as well as tide you over whilst anxiously waiting for news on the Witcher 4 video game.
As a result of its immense popularity, the Witcher novel series was adapted into a Polish fantasy film called ‘The Hexer’. Unfortunately, this iteration of the Witcher performed poorly at the box office, was panned by critics, and received negative reception from the fans. However, in 2002, a year after the failure of the film, a television series for ‘The Hexer’ was developed. Once again, this 13-episode series was a flop, and efforts to adapt the Witcher for silver screens were ceased.
But then, 15 years later, Netflix announced that development for another Witcher television adaption had begun, with Lauren Schmidt Hissrich serving as showrunner. After news broke in 2018 that the Hollywood superstar Henry Cavill had been cast as Geralt of Rivia, the buzz around the Netflix adaptation became a frenzy. Finally, the first season of the new TV series Witcher debuted on December 20th, 2019 to a relatively warm reception.
One of the most recent adaptations of the fantasy franchise is The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. Commissioned by Netflix, this anime is supposed to be a spin-off of the 2019 Witcher television series. The storyline focuses on Vesemir, another witcher and Geralt’s mentor. Rendered in 2D, this anime is uncharted territory for the franchise. The closest thing fans currently have to it is the graphic novel series.
The anime was developed by Studio Mir, a Korean animation studio based in Seoul. Fans caught their first glimpse of The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf when a date announcement teaser trailer was dropped for the July 2021 WitcherCon. After a painstakingly long wait, the 81-minute film will finally debut on August 23rd, 2021.
The Witcher franchise is hitting multiple avenues with its television, video game, mobile, anime, and film adaptations. Whilst we’re excited for the release of the anime and season 2 of Netflix’s television series, we’re still most hyped for news about the Witcher 4!