Published On: Mon, Nov 9th, 2015

Videogame maker Activision Blizzard launches film studio

Activision Blizzard Studios' first production will be Skylanders Academy, an animated TV series based on the company's toys-to-life video game Skylanders.

world-of-warcraft Activision Blizzard Robert Kotick

 

Activision Blizzard Inc has launched a film and Television studio to create original content based on its popular videogame franchises such as Call of Duty, Hearthstone Skylanders, Diablo and StarCraft, in its push to expand beyond console-based games.

Activision Blizzard Studios’ first production will be Skylanders Academy, an animated TV series based on the company’s toys-to-life video game Skylanders, the company said in a statement.

Skylanders Academy will feature the voices of Justin Long (“Alvin and the Chipmunks, “) as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale (“High School Musical”) as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks (“Breaking Bad, “) as Eruptor and Norm Macdonald (“Saturday Night Live”) as Glumshanks.
The award-winning, $3 billion Skylanders franchise has sold through more than 250 million toys since pioneering the toys-to-life category in 2011.

Another near-term initiative for Activision Blizzard Studios will be the development of a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare remains the number one-selling title on next-generation consolesii and today marks the launch of the highly-anticipated new Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
The company said it would also consider adapting Call of Duty feature films as well as the possibility of television adaptations.

Warcraft, Activision’s other well-known game franchise, is already being made into a film through a partnership between its Blizzard Entertainment unit and Legendary Pictures, and is slated for a 2016 release.

“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.
Nick van Dyk, formerly a long-time Walt Disney Company senior executive, will serve as Activision Blizzard Studios’ Co-President, alongside a top creative executive who will be announced soon.
The founding of Activision Blizzard Studios follows the company’s announcement on Oct. 22 of a new esports division headed by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and Major League Gaming co-founder and president Mike Sepso.

The esports division will build on the company’s competitive gaming leadership by creating all-new ways to deliver the best-in-class fan experience across games, platforms and geographies, furthering the development of its world-leading esports ecosystem.

Last week, Activision agreed to buy Candy Crush creator King Digital Entertainment Plc for $5.9 billion to sharpen its focus on mobile games.

 

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