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Truly anything can be made into television: Netflix is launching an animated TV series and mobile game based on the indie card game sensation Exploding Kittens.

Exploding Kittens – The Game, a new version of an existing mobile game, will launch on Netflix in May, and will be followed by an adult comedy series in 2023. This is a first for the streaming giant, both a game and a series together. This may be the future for entertainment, creating a multi-screen experience where every aspect works together.

“The co-development of a game and animated series breaks new ground for Netflix,” said Mike Moon, Netflix head of adult animation, in a statement. “And we couldn’t think of a better game to build a universe around than Exploding Kittens, one of the most inventive, iconic and original games of this century! Netflix is the perfect place to explore this growing franchise and we are so fortunate to be working with this incredible team!”

Tom Ellis (Lucifer), Abraham Lim (The Boys), Lucy Liu (Elementary), Ally Maki (Wrecked), Mark Proksch (What We Do in the Shadows) and Sasheer Zamata (Woke) are providing the voices for the animated series, which is set to launch next year.

“Netflix is the only service that could bring Exploding Kittens to life in both a series and a game,” said Matthew Inman, Exploding Kittens chief creative officer and creator of The Oatmeal, in the statement. My friend Orren Merton is an original backer of the card game, and says: “…years ago in his subscriber newsletter he mentioned the reason he was writing less webcomics was because he was working on an animated series.” Maybe that series is this one?

Exploding Kittens was founded in 2015 by former Xbox designer Elan Lee and Inman and became what Insider called the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date in 2021, raising more than $8.7 million. Though the all-time kickstarter record is $20.8 million for Brandon Sanderson’s campaign to publish a series of “secret novels”, set this year.

Although Netflix today offers multiple Stranger Things mobile games for members that are developed from its original series, these games were adapted from the TV series. Exploding Kittens will be adapted into a TV series. Netflix says the game will retain the classic gameplay from the original card game, where players draw cards aiming to avoid the Exploding Kitten.

Netflix has previously adapted existing video games into series, most notably Cuphead, expanding on the game’s over-the-top retro hand animated style.

Netflix says in a statement that new cards and game mechanics will be added to the game and be themed around the animated series as episodes are released. Like all of Netflix’s mobile games, the Exploding Kittens game will be free with a Netflix membership, will be ad-free and won’t include in-app purchases.

The service also launched a “Trivia Quest” interactive show (which is more like a streaming game for TV viewers), but Netflix doesn’t publish the Trivia Crack mobile game that the show is based on — that’s published by Etermax.

Showrunners Shane Kosakowski and Matthew Inman will lead the series, which is exec produced by Mike Judge, Greg Daniels and Dustin Davis of Bandera Entertainment, Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping for the Chernin Entertainment Group, and the creators of the Exploding Kittens franchise, Elan Lee and The Oatmeal’s Inman.

Here’s a link on how to play games on the Netflix streaming service.

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David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.

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