Netflix cancels mega-budget sci-fi show before it's even started

Netflix's Horizon game-to-screen adaptation isn't happening... but it might not be all bad news

Horizon Forbidden West burning shores
(Image credit: Sony)

PlayStation may have just been dealt a pretty major blow to its forthcoming TV plans, with a major gaming adaptation seemingly cancelled at Netflix. 

A really messy situation appears to be unfolding at the streaming giant, with allegations surfacing that one of its showrunners, The Umbrella Academy's Steve Blackman, is accused of running a toxic workplace. With Netflix reacting to the report, it looks like the Horizon: Zero Dawn show that Blackman was working on is no longer happening... at Netflix, anyway.

These are very early days, and multiple entertainment outlets have mentioned that the show could well be revived either at a different network or indeed under different leadership, but it's certainly not a positive outlook at this point in time. 

Back when the series was announced, Blackman was quoted as saying: "Horizon: Zero Dawn is an exceptionally well-crafted game with wonderful characters not often seen in the rank-and-file of the gaming world. Guerrilla Games has created an incredibly lush and vivid world of man and machine who find themselves on a collision course to oblivion."

Very little was yet known about how Netflix was planning to adapt Horizon – other than the fact that it would feature Aloy's story from the distant post-apocalyptic games rather than embarking on a new tale in the universe. It was clear that the series was intended to play a big part in further cementing Horizon's role as a flagship franchise in PlayStation's arsenal. 

This process has seen it branch out with VR adaptations and a forthcoming Lego game that will also arrive on Switch, so it looks a lot like Aloy is reaching full-on mascot status for Sony's gaming arm.

After the huge success of The Last of Us, it's also becoming clear that gaming adaptations are in vogue. Any platform hoping to compete to be the best streaming service now needs to have some gaming projects in the pipeline. So, in that light, it'll be fascinating to see whether Horizon resurfaces again soon, or if it has to change hands for that to happen. 

Neither Netflix or PlayStation has yet said anything official about this report, though, so we'll have to wait to hear what the official line is... here's hoping there's some good news for fans at the end of it all. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.