It was announced earlier today that game publisher Paradox Interactive is going to develop its own unique story universe for both film and television platforms based on the World of Darkness TTRPG books. The original five games (Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Wraith: The Oblivion, and Changeling: The Dreaming) have been around since 1991. Paradox Interactive has owned the franchise since 2015, and they’re partnering up with some really big names in the entertainment industry in order to (hopefully) reap the same financial success with their gothic horror series that DC and Marvel have achieved bringing superhero comics to the big and the small screen.
Power couple Eric Heisserer and Christine Boylan – both successful writer-producers who are behind many successful franchises (Shadow and Bone, The Punisher, and Leverage, just to name a few) – are going to play a big part in the World of Darkness projects to come. Hivemind Productions (The Witcher, The Expanse) are also jumping on the bandwagon.
Compared to regular tabletop RPG rule sets like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, the rules for combat – along with the variety of dice players have to roll – are simplified in order to place more gameplay emphasis on world-building and roleplaying between characters. In essence, it means that World of Darkness is perfect for television and film adaptation given how much the fun revolves around the narrative. Popular roleplaying channels on YouTube and Twitch have already dabbled in making live shows (such as Geek & Sundry’s “L.A. by Night”) which are based on the Vampire: The Masquerade books. It’s likely that the cult success of these shows has paved the way for the major television and film adaptations that are coming down the pipeline.
As of right now, we don’t have any details about what the shows and movies will be about, which books they will be based on, or who will be placed in starring roles. But it’ll be interesting to see in the coming weeks and months what this epic partnership will give to aficionados of the World of Darkness universe. Based on all of the big names who are involved, though, it’s safe to say that fans won’t have to roll their eyes at another cinematic flop of a TTRPG adaptation (looking at you, 2000’s Dungeons & Dragons movie).