The best-selling game of all time is coming to Netflix as a new series – and I'm torn

Netflix is making a Minecraft series – but how will that work?

Minecraft Animated Series
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix made a really intriguing announcement at the end of May, in the form of a brand-new animated series it has in the works based on the best-selling videogame of all time. 

And, no, it's not Tetris (which has some unprovable sales off the books that put it top of sales records). I'm actually talking about Minecraft, believe it or not – the game has shifted more than 300 million copies in its long life on the market. 

The show version doesn't have a release date or a cast list yet, but it's known to be coming thanks to a very brief teaser confirming the news – but I'm completely torn about it. 

On the one hand, I can't wait – this is a sleeping giant of a franchise, with sales that defy belief and a huge, passionate fanbase of all ages. 

On the other hand, however, there are so many unknowns about how the series will look, what its tone will be, and more besides. Even if we're in a new mini golden age of videogame adaptations that don't suck, from my perspective it's still hard to get too hopeful. 

What is known, thanks to Netflix's own blog post about the announcement, is that the series will come from WildBrain, the studio that has already made Sonic Prime, Ninjago: Dragons Rising, and Carmen Sandiego for Netflix. 

That makes it pretty clear (as if it was ever in doubt) that this will be a really family-friendly series, and it'll try to bring the magic of Minecraft's blocky, randomly-generated worlds to life. It also underlines that Netflix is still fighting to take the throne as the best streaming service for families. 

Of course, this does still raise the question of what sort of story the series will tell, as it will be fully original and feature all-new characters.

Almost anyone who loves Minecraft will agree that its story isn't really the reason to play – it's far more about the narratives you create yourself as your adventures unfold.

Minecraft Animated Series

(Image credit: Netflix)

This means I'm basically saying you shouldn't necessarily expect a simple story of a mute, nameless hero slowly building up a base to survive the long nights in an unpredictable world, which would stick to the game but potentially not be the best viewing experience. 

Still, the good news is that there is a track record of people managing to tell stories in Minecraft's world, despite its lack of a powerful single-player narrative in the base game. 

For one thing, there was Minecraft: Story Mode – a point-and-click adventure made by the masters of the genre at Telltale Games in partnership with Netflix itself – which will doubtless have taught the streamer a lot about how to adapt the game. 

This episodic story was fully voiced and might well serve as the perfect example of how you can inject engaging personalities into the game's universe without too much trouble. 

That came out all the way back in 2015, but even since then Minecraft Legends has shown that you can get some character into its world with a sprightly script and voice acting. Still, there's no doubt it's a little surprising that Minecraft hasn't already had a movie or TV show in its name, given how wildly popular the game is. 

For now I'll just have to wait and see what unfolds. It could be the perfect family caper. I might have outgrown it before it even launches. Or, who knows, maybe it'll be my new favourite show...

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.