A Popular Racing Game Is Becoming A Reality Show

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By Douglas Helm
| Published

Radar Pictures and N4XT Experience teamed up with a focus on developing more video game IPs and adapting video games for TV and film. Now, it looks like that venture is starting to come to fruition, as they’ve announced their first video game project based on Asphalt. Asphalt is a driving franchise with multiple games on mobile platforms as well as portable game devices like the PS Vita and Nintendo DS. The most recent entry to the franchise Asphalt 9: Legends is playable on Android, iOS, Windows, XBOX, and Nintendo Switch.

The interesting thing about the Asphalt adaptation is that it will be a non-scripted reality competition. Fittingly, it will be a driving competition. The contestants will compete to earn a spot on the track. They’ll have to demonstrate their skills and face challenges at the Asphalt Driving Academy. Finalists will compete in real-life races, with the last one standing behind dubbed the Asphalt Legend.

Video game TV and movie adaptations have become more popular than ever, so it’s no surprise to see studios pursuing ventures like these. Radar Pictures and N4XT Experience are certainly kicking off their endeavors with an intriguing experiment. While most video game adaptations are scripted TV series or movies, it’s rare that they’re adapted as a reality competition show. It’s also rare to see a racing game adaptation, so maybe the reality format is the way to go. The last big racing video game adaptation was 2014’s Need for Speed movie, which was met with pretty poor reviews.

In fact, video game adaptations often fall pretty flat. Until recent years, the video game adaptation was dreaded, with fans having little hope their favorite characters and the tone of their video games would be captured on screen. Some movies, like the Sonic the Hedgehog films, have proved to be critical and commercial successes. Then there are the middling successes like Halo, which are well-produced but make missteps that displease the long-time fans of the series. Then there are shows like Arcane, that make everyone happy. For a game like Asphalt, it seems like a reality competition will be a safe bet. While Asphalt certainly has its fans, it doesn’t really have characters that people are in love with. This might be an easier property to adapt since fans aren’t likely to be let down by the format.

Asphalt isn’t the only upcoming racing/car video game adaptation that fans can look forward to. There’s also the upcoming adaptation of Twisted Metal, which will premiere on Peacock. Unlike Asphalt, Twisted Metal will be a scripted series, roughly following the games and bringing in beloved characters like the psycho clown Sweet Tooth. The adaptation is also bringing along big-name actors like Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Thomas Haden Church, Samoa Joe, Will Arnett, Neve Campell, Richard Cabral, Rob Delaney, and Domhnall Gleeson. With Radar Pictures and N4XT Experience officially dipping their toes into the video game adaptation world, it’ll be interesting to see how their plans pan out and how it compares to the other video game adaptations out there.