There's a new category at this year's The Game Awards in Best Adaptation. Host Geoff Keighley introduced the five contenders, all of which have been nominated since they're movies or TV shows based on video game worlds and characters. Two of the nominations immediately stood out.
The five contenders are: Arcane, Cyberpunk Edgerunners, The Cuphead Show!, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Uncharted. The last two of those are movies with an outside chance, one would assume, while the fact that the first three of those nominees are hosted on Netflix represents a win for the streamer. But favourites to take the award for Best Adaptation surely has to be between Arcane and Cyberpunk Edgerunners. The fans of these two shows certainly recognise it as a showdown.
Since Arcane released in November last year, the show has become a phenomenon. The widely acclaimed series is set in Riot's League of Legends universe, but like many successful adaptations it doesn't require prior knowledge of the game it's based on. Produced by French animation studio Fortiche with supervision by Riot Games, Arcane has already picked up three Emmy awards including Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.
But snapping at its heels is Cyberpunk Edgerunners. Produced by Japan-based Studio Trigger with supervision by CD Projekt Red this has been another unqualified success for Netflix. It's also been rather helpful to the game the anime is based on, with sales and player counts for Cyberpunk 2077 surging following the show's release.
The two shows have inspired plenty of tributes from fans with an avalance of fanart, fanfiction, memes, and discussions. For Arcane there has been rather a lot of shipping for Vi and Cait and pleasingly the show's team have been indulging the fans on this. Meanwhile, Cyberpunk Edgerunners has inspired plenty of fan-made mods while the anime is also feeding back into the game with official introduction of Edgerunners content into Cyberpunk 2077 by CDPR.
Over on the Cyberpunkgame subreddit there are many fans of Edgerunners as can be expected, but there is also much admiration for their seeming rival. "Edgerunners was excellent. Arcane was a masterpiece though," one commentor wrote. However, there is debate about the exact nature of adaptation with some claiming the Studio Trigger anime was the better one. "Edgerunners also adapted game mechanics, locations, and people organically. When talking about adaptation Edgerunners wins," wrote one.
The same meme (linked above) was also posted on the Arcane subreddit sparking another passionate discussion. Both groups seem to lean towards Arcane, with commentors calling it unique for its animation style and a masterpiece, with some noting that Arcane will be a multi season affair while Edgerunners was a limited series. However, the adaptation question crops up again with commentors noting that Edgerunners is a more authentic adaptation of the video game world it is based one.
As for which show takes the award, our bet is on Arcane. The League of Legends show has been a huge hit and has been widely praised for its writing, world building, art style, and characterisation from viewers and critics alike, drawing fans from outside the world of video games. It'll be a big surprise if Arcane doesn't take Best Adaptation, but we'll see when The Game Awards announces the winner on December 8.
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