Fans went wild over the new Warcraft trailer, which debuted at BlizzCon 2015 today during the keynote presentation. However, the preceding Activision Blizzard Investor Day presentation revealed that this movie is just the beginning.
Activision Blizzard, publisher of popular games like Call of Duty and the forthcoming Overwatch, announced the formation of Activision Blizzard Studios, a division completely devoted to creating original films and TV shows based on its franchises. It’s completely separate from the partnership with Universal for Warcraft, but has similar goals: to bring popular game franchises to new mediums.
Nick Van Dyk,Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, reveals that one of the upcoming projects is to bring the Call of Duty franchise to movie screens. This includes forming a “robust cinematic universe,” and will include “a series of Call of Duty feature films as well as the possibility of television adaptations.” However, the studio will take its time with this franchise, and we won’t see the first release until at least 2018 or 2019. In the meantime, fans can have fun by playing Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which released today.
For more family-friendly entertainment, there’s Skylanders Academy, a new animated series based on the best-selling interactive toy and game series. The show is currently in production, although a broadcast partner hasn’t been revealed just yet. Futurama writer Eric Rogers is on board as the main show runner, and the cast features a number of superstars, including Justin Long as the iconic Spyro the Dragon, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elm and comedian Norm McDonald, as Glumshanks. The series is expected to debut sometime in mid-2016.
Only Nick Van Dyk, formerly a Disney executive, will lead Activision Blizzard Studios alongside another top creative executive who will be announced soon.
“Activision Blizzard is home to some of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, across any medium. With the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios, our engaged fans can now watch the games they love come to life across film and television,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Activision Blizzard Studios is yet another way we’re celebrating our players and fans, and we expect that our film and television productions will entertain and delight whole new audiences, as well. I’m excited that Nick and his team will be leading this important new growth opportunity for Activision Blizzard.
“We intend to approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development,” he added.
“Activision Blizzard Studios has the unique advantage of starting with a library of world-class intellectual property that includes some of the largest franchises which have not yet been developed in film and television,” Van Dyk added. “Our library spans more than 30 years of global entertainment culture and, in the last 12 months alone, fans of Activision Blizzard properties have played and watched our games online for more than 13 billion hours. This gives us a huge, passionate and deeply-engaged audience that is hungry for more great content built from the universes they already know and love-and which are extremely broad in their appeal.”
This is another big announcement for Activision this week, as the company confirmed just a few days ago that it purchased mobile game publisher King for an estimated $5.9 billion. If the trailer for Warcraft, which can be seen below, is any sort of indicator, we can expect big things from Activision Blizzard Studios.