Netflix has announced The Cuphead Show!, a new animated series based on the popular 2017 indie video game Cuphead. The game follows the misadventures of Cuphead and his brother Mugman, two anthropomorphic cups on a quest to win back their souls after a bad deal with the devil. The game, which took indie-developer StudioMDHR over two years to develop, has sold over 4 million copies worldwide and, despite its notorious difficulty, has been lauded for combining 1980s arcade-style run-and-gun gameplay with hand-drawn animation inspired by Max Fleischer cartoons of the 1930s.
Cuphead’s arresting visual style is the product of 50,000 frames of unique hand-drawn animation running smoothly at 24 frames per second, where most modern animation is animated at 12 fps as a cost-cutting measure. Fittingly, Netflix has announced that the series will be produced in collaboration with King Features Syndicate—whose animation and comic book arm, King Comics, is home to the likes of Felix the Cat, Popeye, Betty Boop, and other 1930s animation mainstays that have served as Cuphead’s aesthetic source text. Hopefully the series will be able to match the game’s dedication to the visual and musical styles of the early 20th century.
The Cuphead Show! is only the latest in series of overtures that Netflix has made toward gamers in recent months, hot on the heels of revealing new details about the company’s Witcher series and only days after releasing its first game based on Stranger Things. The company also had a heightened presence at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, where it announced plans with Nintendo for a new role-playing game based on The Dark Crystal. Between releasing games based on shows and new shows based on games, Netflix seems to be doing everything it can to ensure its cup runneth over with gaming content. Well, everything except actually streaming games, for now.