It was obvious from the record-breaking Steam player counts that Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher was off to a decent start, although even that didn’t prepare us for how much of a knockout success it’s become.
Netflix has revealed its Q4 earnings report, within which they claim at least 76 million unique households have watch Season One of The Witcher. The methodology is a little bit shonky, mind. Netflix classifies a viewing as anyone who chose to watch The Witcher for at least two minutes. Apparently that’s long enough to determine that the choice to watch the show was intentional.
What it does mean is The Witcher is on course to be the biggest season one TV series in Netflix history. Well, in fact it probably is, at this point. The only thing that can likely come close is Season 1 of Stranger Things. As a point of comparison, The Crown is one of Netflix’s most popular shows and that’s just hit 73 million households over three entire seasons.
It all caused a bit of Witcher frenzy. The Witcher III enjoyed an all-time high of 103,329 players concurrently in December, almost double the 55,000 achieved at launch in 2015. Likewise, The Witcher books from Andrzej Sapkowski started flying off the shelves, selling out around the globe. Last week a new print run of half a million copies was ordered. Surely that means The Witcher 4 is on the cards by now?
What we witnessed here was sheer fan power in action. The reaction from critics to The Witcher was decidedly mixed, eventually settling on a score of 66% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to an audience score of 92%.
So for those of you who’ve watched it, do you think the success was justified? Could The Witcher become the next Game of Thrones-type cultural phenomenon? Let us know what you think!