Research: Most games’ IP adaptations are animation
June 8, 2023
Research from Omdia reveals the majority of movies and series adaptations originating from games IP are animation. Japan has maximised opportunities from cross-media IP for decades, with Pokémon being the highest-profile global success. Some three quarters (72 per cent) of video-game adaptations since 1982 were from animation, with 65 per cent of these adaptations coming from Japanese anime series.
“Many successful Japanese IP tend to be envisioned as cross-media from the beginning,” advises James McWhirter, Senior Analyst at Omdia. “Investors on anime production committees reveal this multimedia breadth, where record labels, games publishers and TV broadcasters come together to fund new series. This reveals the interdependence between an anime’s success and each funder’s own form of media within the same IP.”
The fruits of this multimedia-first approach are clear, suggest Omdia. 2021’s bestselling anime series from Cygames’ Uma Musume IP helped drive earnings of accompanying mobile game Uma Musume: Pretty Derby to over $1.2 billion (€1.12bn) in net revenue across 11 million players. It was accompanied by the release of over 30 drama and music CDs, and multiple manga series.
While anime in cinemas has been a slow burn driven by a handful of titles over many years in North America, things are changing. Box office takings climbed in 2022, with five major titles already slated for release in 2023. Larger anime titles used to receive a limited theatrical release. However, the release strategy is changing as popularity increases. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train saw a record box office performance for anime in North America, followed up by hits such as Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
“Global streaming services have changed the risk profile for anime, opening it to new audiences,” notes David Hancock, Chief Analyst, in Omdia’s media and entertainment practice. “Niche streamer Crunchyroll is also expanding its subscriber base after being acquired by Sony in 2021. With 10 million subscribers, the platform offers access to more than 40,000 episodes and has become the driving force behind an anime upsurge in the US. Anime is also fundamental to Netflix’s competitive positioning against other streamers”.