Netflix is launching an animated TV series and mobile game based on the quirky hit card game Exploding Kittens, the streaming giant announced on Monday.
Exploding Kittens – The Game, an exclusive version of the existing mobile game, will launch on Netflix in May, and will be followed by an adult comedy series in 2023. The voice cast for the animated series will include Tom Ellis, Abraham Lim, Lucy Liu, Ally Maki, Mark Proksch and Sasheer Zamata.
“The co-development of a game and animated series breaks new ground for Netflix,” said Mike Moon, Netflix head of adult animation, in a statement. “And we couldn’t think of a better game to build a universe around than Exploding Kittens, one of the most inventive, iconic and original games of this century! Netflix is the perfect place to explore this growing franchise and we are so fortunate to be working with this incredible team!”
“Netflix is the only service that could bring Exploding Kittens to life in both a series and a game,” said Matthew Inman, Exploding Kittens chief creative officer, in the statement. “We actually launched Exploding Kittens on Kickstarter as a weekend project, but our community has been the heart and soul of the company over the past six years. The new series and game will give our fans new ways to connect and interact with the franchise.”
Exploding Kittens was founded in 2015 by former Xbox designer Elan Lee and Inman (creator of the webcomic and humor website The Oatmeal) and became what Insider called the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date in 2021, raising more than $8.7 million.
The company has described Exploding Kittens — which to date has sold more than 10 million games at $19.99 each — as “a card game for people who are into kittens, explosions, laser beams and sometimes goats.”
“Our goal is to offer our members great entertainment they’ll love in whatever format they may enjoy – whether it be a game or an animated series,” said Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s head of external games. “As we expand our mobile games catalog, we’re excited to partner with the Exploding Kittens digital team to bring this enjoyable game to all age groups, including a few exciting updates exclusively for our members.”
Exploding Kittens – The Game retains the same gameplay where players draw cards aiming to avoid the Exploding Kitten and adds two new exclusive cards: Radar, which reveals to players the position of the Exploding Kitten closest to the top of the card deck, and Flip Flop, which reverses the order of the cards in the deck. The game will be available to Netflix members without additional fees or in-app purchases.
According to the press release, in “Exploding Kittens” the animated series, “the eternal conflict between Heaven and Hell reaches epic proportions when both God and the Devil are sent to earth — in the bodies of two chunky housecats.”
The series comes from showrunners Shane Kosakowski and Inman; executive producers Mike Judge, Greg Daniels and Dustin Davis of Bandera Entertainment; executive producers Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping for the Chernin Entertainment Group; and executive producers and creators of the Exploding Kittens franchise Lee and Inman.
The L.A.-based Exploding Kittens company has created additional games including Bears vs. Babies, You’ve Got Crabs and Throw Throw Burrito, a card game that also gives players the opportunity to hurl two cuddly foam burrito characters at each other.