With the success of Netflix’s new animated original series Castlevania. I think its time to ponder what other game series Netflix can use as the basis for an original animated series. They need a game that already has a large fan base, with plenty of lore and history to delve into, as well as one that is interesting with fun characters. A game series that matches these categories in spades would be Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts franchise.
The Kingdom Hearts franchise launched its first game back in 2002 on the Playstation 2. This game was unique as it was a blend of Final Fantasy and Disney characters in one game. I remember seeing the commercials and thinking it was a dumb idea. Nevertheless, I ended up borrowing a friend’s copy and fell in love. The game was a perfect blend of fun, action, and spectacle. I longed for more content from this series. Over the years Square Enix has released seven additional games in the series with an eighth due out in 2018. Each game has furthered the lore of the series and added interesting new characters and plot lines. This series doesn’t seem to be stopping in the near future.
Netflix Original shows tend to have shorter seasons than a normal cable television show. Netflix’s Castlevania only had four episodes in its first season. However, since it was so well received, the second season has been expanded to include eight episodes. A Kingdom Hearts series could do something similar. The show should start out small, with a short first season, to get a feel for how many viewers are interested in the show. From there, they can expand the number of episodes in each of the following seasons. With as much content as the Kingdom Hearts series has to offer, it would be no problem for Netflix to distribute multiple seasons.
The show could be marketed as an anthology series, animating different events from different games in no particular order. Or, it could follow the timeline of the games and go in chronological order starting with Kingdom Hearts χ. It is in Kingdom Hearts χ that the Kingdom Hearts series sets up the events of the Keyblade War. The Keyblade War is a very influential event in this universe, but it is also the most mysterious since we have so few details about it. This would allow the creators more wiggle room in expanding the lore of the Kingdom Hearts universe at that point in the timeline. It would be nice to see all of the events of that war unfold on screen, without having to spend the time playing through the different worlds as in the video games.
Currently, Netflix has a contract with Disney for the exclusive U.S. rights to Disney’s films. This includes not just films under the Disney brand, but also its Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar subsidiaries. It makes sense to extend this deal into Disney’s video game properties, as well, so that they can create new media for fans to enjoy. The studios have worked well together on the Marvel Netflix series, so it just makes sense for them to continue to work together on other properties.