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Blizzard Entertainment considers animated Overwatch film

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Following Illumination Entertainment and Nintendo announcing their pending deal to create a Super Mario Bros. movie, another gaming franchise is being considered for feature film treatment. Blizzard Entertainment has expressed support for a movie based on its wildly popular first-person online shooter Overwatch, which first launched in May of 2016.

The main driver behind a possible Overwatch movie is the success of the game’s animated short films, which further the story or offer character exposition in ways that can’t be done via gameplay. There have been eight shorts released thus far, all boasting high production values and animation that rivals that of Pixar. Several of the shorts have even played in theaters as part of game launch events.

Fans have been asking for a full Overwatch movie ever since the first cinematic trailer was released, and now Blizzard has confirmed it would like to make that a reality.

“We would like that very much,” Tim Kilpin, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard, told MCVUK in a recent interview. “These franchises exist across multiple platforms, so it’s not just the game as a driver, but it’s linear content [movies and TV] as a way to expand the audience.”

With more than 35 million players of the game, an animated Overwatch movie would certainly not be lacking an audience. However, the questionable quality of past video game-to-film adaptations – Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, etc. – may lead to some hesitation.

Before any work would begin on an Overwatch movie however, Activision is looking into a possible Call of Duty film, based on the first-person shooter of the same name. “Anytime you take a franchise as storied as this, with this kind of legacy, and expand it into a new form factor you have to be really careful,” said Kilpin. “So frankly, if the script and the story isn’t right, we won’t do it.” Fans can hope that the same philosophy would be applied to an Overwatch film if greenlit.

In the meantime, Blizzard still has several more Overwatch animated shorts planned for the near future, to further flesh out various characters’ origin stories. If these shorts continue to be successful, there may yet be a longer animated Overwatch story in our future.

Via Digital Trends.

What do you think about this possibility? Do you think an increase in video game-based animated films will ultimately help or hurt the industry?

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About Amber

Amber is an imaginative storyteller and visual artist whose greatest ambition is to tell meaningful stories that resonate with people. Since she was young, Amber has enjoyed escaping to faraway worlds through animation, and has continued to follow animation into adulthood because of its limitless storytelling possibilities. Picking favorites is nearly impossible, but Amber would say her top animated films include The Little Mermaid, The Incredibles, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Frozen. She graduated with a B.A. in Interactive Media/Graphic Design and a minor in Journalism, and is currently working as an advertising designer. When she’s not at her day job, Amber can be found working on digital illustrations and photo edits, drafting a new fiction story, or crafting a new cosplay. Send her a tweet at @amber_ld.
  • Sebastian

    This I want to happen. After I saw the first cinematic short I saw so much potential. It could be really good as animated feature film.

  • I quite enjoyed a few of the short films I saw. Especially the ones with the ice girl, the peaceful robot, and the gorilla. I’d definitely be interested in seeing a feature film. I don’t think it would make me want to play the game because I don’t enjoy shooters at all, but yeah at least they’d be getting an audience in other platforms.

    • Amber Dvorak

      Yeah, I’m not really a gamer myself, but a movie I would definitely be interested in. So I definitely see this as an opportunity to expand the audience, as you said.

  • Harith Sami

    The original Blizzard plans was an animated Overwatch movie (if Big hero 6 was actually reached its potential) but it was too expensive, so they made it a game instead.
    It seems after the massive success an animated film seems warranted.

    • Amber Dvorak

      Very interesting!

  • Jerrico

    My excitement for this is pretty much equal to my lack of any excitement for a Mario movie. I can’t imagine a character more bland than Mario. They’re already doing all those shorts for free, might as well do something longer and better for a price.

    They just need to stick with digital animation and avoid the live action mess that killed Warcraft. We like the digital Warcraft and Overwatch shorts. So don’t mess with them. Don’t add celebrities. Just use what you have.