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Activision Blizzard launches its own film and TV studio

Looks like Activision Blizzard has some big plans for its iconic franchises, as the video game publisher is going Hollywood in a big way.

Screen above is from Skylanders SuperChargers

 No small thing by any means whatsoever, Activision Blizzard is officially launching its own TV and movie studio in order to produce content based on its stable of properties.

“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.”

Kotick added, “We intend to approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development.”

And as you might imagine, there are some projects on the drawing board already. There’s already a Warcraft film in the works (seen the teaser yet?), but Activision Blizzard also tossed about some other big names today, including Call of Duty, Skylanders, Diablo, Hearthstone, and StarCraft (yay!).

As to what’s slated right now, you need only look to the first two names on that list. A Skylanders cartoon show is being worked on as you read this and a Call of Duty film universe (similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in scope, I assume) is also on the way.

While CoD might be a ways off though, Skylanders is coming up in short order, with a voice cast already in place. Produced under the watchful gaze of showrunner Eric Rodgers from the long-running fan-favorite show Futurama, you can expect to hear the voices of actors like “Justin Long (“Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Ask Me Anything”) as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale (“Phineas and Ferb,” “High School Musical”) as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks (“Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul”) as Eruptor and Norm Macdonald (“Saturday Night Live”) as Glumshanks”. And on top of all those talented folk, Harland Williams and Rachel Horvitz will also be lending vocals to the show.

Heading all this up by the way, will be Nick van Dyk, who’s fresh off a long stint with the Walt Disney Company as a senior exec. Van Dyk will be basically in charge of everything at the new studio, and that’s a good thing as this guy knows his stuff. The man was instrumental in acquiring Pixar, Marvel, and even Lucasfilm for Disney; so, you know, he’s no slouch.

“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,” said van Dyk. “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.”
Van Dyk added, “Activision Blizzard Studios is not just an exciting new business for our company, it is a synergistic complement to our core business. Our movies and shows will benefit from the remarkable IP created in our games and will further increase the awareness of, engagement with and passion for our franchises.”

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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