Inspired by the success of Netflix's Skylanders show, co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios suggests other franchises, such as Overwatch, could get the TV treatment.
Skylanders: Academy, a Netflix exclusive series that follows characters from the Skylanders video game, is opening the floodgates for more gaming and TV crossovers. Skylanders: Academy premiered just last Friday and its reception has been very positive -- likely due its already strong fanbase from the game trickling over. It was so well-received that Activision Blizzard Studios wants to do the same thing with other games they control, such as Starcraft and Overwatch.
Sitting down with Newsbeat, Stacey Sher, co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios, says the company is considering more franchises, but they're taking their time.
We’re going to do more but we’re going to move very carefully and thoughtfully.
We’re going to pick the best medium be it film, TV or shorts – the one that best serves each franchise individually.
The company is focused on quality, not rushing titles out the door, and that's encouraging. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, an Overwatch TV series is just an idea being batted around the studio, but it certainly has a strong chance of becoming a reality.
Overwatch the game is immensely popular, garnering great reviews across the board. There have already been several animated shorts that tie-in with the game and are also quite well-liked. The story of Overwatch isn't told in any traditional manner; in that it is barely present in the game at all. Instead, the story is chopped up into bits and sprinkled liberally throughout various media. Character bios and brief excerpts from the world's history can be found here and there, but the most popular means of storytelling is through beautifully produced computer animated shorts that present important moments in various characters' lives. Activision Blizzard has a history of beloved computer animated trailers and shorts, and Overwatch is no exception.
It would make perfect sense to take these wonderful shorts and broaden the scope. While a TV series is likely at the top of most fans' lists, a film could be just as good -- especially if it tells the story of Overwatch's history before the video game.
But Activision Blizzard owns the rights to a lot of games, and things under the Blizzard umbrella may take a back seat to other popular franchises. Gaming behemoth Call of Duty is already getting the film treatment and Sher made sure to mention this as an example of the studio's direction.
We've already announced that we're going to do Call of Duty as a big feature film and that's an example of matching the game to the medium.
Now that its out there, its hard not to already be anticipating seeing Overwatch in another medium. Judging by the copious amounts of heroes present, and those not yet revealed, the Overwatch universe is huge and most fans only know a fraction of its history. Watching those shorts, it's amazing to see what a few minutes of animation can do to immerse fans in that world. If the same talent and work went into a television series or film, just think of what could be done.