Cast your mind back, dear reader, to the turn of the previous decade. The year is 2011, and you simply cannot press a remote control or head to an online game library without encountering vampires, vampires, and more vampires.
This is the heady years of vampire-mania when the unexpected success of the Twilight franchise in previous years led to the entire entertainment industry going all-in on the supernatural subgenre.
As a result, the world was given some of the most popular shows, films, books, and games of the 21st century, including The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Vampire Academy, Only Lovers Left Alive, A Girl Walks Home at Night, and The Originals, to name just a few.
But now? It seems vampires are nowhere to be seen, save for a few outliers. So, has the content mine been sucked dry, and the coffin closed for good on the vampire genre?
Blood in the water
The signs that vampires were on their way out have been a long time coming. Two of the main standout success stories of the vampire TV era, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, spent three or four of their final years in rating hell, attracting critical vitriol as their fanbases dwindled to naught. The top talent all jumped ship, and the shows were unceremoniously canceled in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
Nonetheless, Hollywood was keen to see if it could squeeze out some vestiges of value from the genre yet. Shortly after came the star-studded, bug budget slasher film Dracula Untold, which sought to re-tell the original Stoker parable. Of course, you probably don’t know what we’re talking about, since nobody went to see it and it was panned by the critics.
The last gasp of the genre may well have come as late as 2020, when the Netflix sci-fi drama V Wars hit the screens, depicting – you guessed it – a dystopian future in which vampires rule the world. Unsurprisingly, the show ran for one season and was canceled with barely so much as a press release.
The outlier: vampire games
There seems to be one outlier that has managed the weather the cultural storm and continue to attract critical and commercial success within the vampire genre. We’re talking, of course, about vampire games.
There are hugely successful video games of recent years, such as Vampyr and Code Vein – two hugely successful titles. Then there is the Vampire: Masquerade series which has garnered a huge fanbase in the past couple of years, many of whom are desperately awaiting news of the next installment, due sometime next year.
On a smaller scale, the genre has found runaway success in the online gaming realm, particularly within online casino games. A quick glance at the hottest online casino slots that are trending right now will quickly reveal a huge number of vampire-themed titles, with names such as Vampire Hunters, Vampire: Prince of Darkness, and Vampires vs Wolves. It seems that there is hope for the genre yet.
So, where next for the vamps? While the genre still seems to be a safe bet in the gaming world, Hollywood wants nothing to do with it. Only time will tell whether the vampire genre is truly dead in the water.