Gaming and esports culture is penetrating every area of entertainment. Already one of the most popular types of content on YouTube and Twitch, gaming-related shows on Netflix are on the rise after the streaming behemoth’s successful runs of Castlevania, The Witcher, High Score, and more. Joining live-action series for Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed, and animated shows for Resident Evil and Cyberpunk, Netflix has revealed that it’s working on a new animated series based on Valve’s popular Dota franchise. Dota: Dragon’s Blood is slated to debut on the platform on March 25th.
The show is in good hands, as it’s being developed by Studio MIR, which is the same talented group that created The Legend of Korra and Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender – both popular with the gaming demographic. The continued investment by Netflix into gaming content should come as no surprise, as management acknowledged two years ago that it views the rise of mega popular games like Fortnite as more of a competitive threat than other streaming platforms.
Ultimately, Netflix is vying for the attention of a massive, mostly younger, audience that spends hours upon hours playing and increasingly tuning into Epic Games’ huge crossover events within Fortnite. Netflix competitors, such as HBO Max, have come to the same conclusion – which is why HBO is working towards the much-anticipated release of The Last of Us, based on the critically acclaimed Naughty Dog action-adventure franchise.
Game publishers and Hollywood executives have both come to recognize that universe building is the key to success – if an IP can be stretched across movies, games, shows, merchandise, and more, there are far greater opportunities to reach and continually engage consumers. Valve’s Dota isn’t the only major esport IP getting the anime treatment either; Riot Games is working towards an animated series based on League of Legends called Arcane.
The good news for Valve and Netflix is that there’s a good chance their newest anime will be well received. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®: Global Profiles™, 41% of the global Dota player base watches anime, and 56% also report watching Netflix.