‘Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Call of Duty,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Rank as Gamers’ Top Picks for Hollywood Adaptations, Survey Finds

Other titles fans want to see get film or TV treatments include “Fortnite,” “Minecraft,” “God of War” and “Final Fantasy”

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

As Hollywood looks to tap into video game IP to find its next TV or film hit, “The Legend of Zelda,” “Call of Duty” and “Grand Theft Auto” are among the top franchises that gamers are most interested in seeing on the big or small screen, a new survey finds.

Other titles that rounded out the top 10 in the National Research Group’s survey of 1,001 PC and console gamers include “Fortnite,” “Red Dead Redemption,” “The Sims,” “Minecraft,” “God of War,” Mass Effect,” and “Final Fantasy.” The survey utilized NRG’s Franchise IQ, which has tracked equity for more than 800 entertainment franchises over the last five years.

The survey comes after Nintendo revealed in November 2023 that it is producing and partially financing a live-action “Legend of Zelda” movie with Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sony is also developing a “God of War” television series for Prime Video.

Additionally, film and television adaptations of “Minecraft” are in the works at Warner Bros. and Netflix, respectively, and Margot Robbie is set to produce an adaptation “The Sims” via her LuckyChap production company.

“Gaming IP has languished in Hollywood for years, but recently storytellers seem to have cracked the code,” NRG research director Fergus Navaratnam-Blair said in a statement. “With superhero franchises increasingly struggling at the box office, many studio executives are looking to video games as their new knight in shining armor.”

Among the respondents surveyed, 72% said watching an adaptation of a game they’ve played would inspire them to go back and replay it, while 65% said that screen adaptations make it easier for them to share their love of franchises with friends and family. However, the report notes that video game adaptations are not without their pitfalls — 77% of gamers said they believe adaptations should be written and directed by people who have a genuine passion for the original games and 59% of gamers feel emotionally betrayed when a game is adapted by people who don’t respect the source material. 

Four recent screen adaptations that have given their source material a notable bump in awareness include “The Last of Us” (+15%), “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (+13%), “Fallout” (+6%) and “Twisted Metal” (+3%).

The top five fastest-growing gaming franchises based on total growth in 2023, which Franchise IQ based on both franchise popularity (awareness and affinity for franchises among the general public) and power (the franchise’s ability to move forward and grow, and the intensity of its fans), included “The Last of Us,” “Donkey Kong,” “Mario,” “Twisted Metal” and “Gran Turismo.”

Second seasons of HBO’s “The Last of Us,” Prime Video’s “Fallout” and Peacock’s “Twisted Metal” are also in the works, with the former expected to premiere in the first half of 2025.


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