The recent success of Skylanders: Academies on Netflix shows promise for more cross media storytelling in other franchises such as Overwatch.
BBC Newsbeat reports that Activision Blizzard execs are considering bringing more franchises to TV and film after the success of Skylanders: Academies on Netflix. Featuring characters from the 2011 game who work together to fight evil. The show stars Justin Long (Dodgeball) as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical, Phineas and Ferb) as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) as Eruptor and Norm MacDonald (Saturday Night Live) as Glumshanks. Guests on the show include Susan Sarandon, Daniel Wu, Parker Posey, and James Hetfield among others.
The show only premiered on October 28 however Activision Blizzard execs already seem very pleased with the process of bringing their characters to television. Stacey Sher, of Activision Blizzard, says there are already new projects in the works including a film tie in for Call of Duty but there is a possibility of other franchises as well. Sher suggested that both StarCraft and Overwatch could potentially be developed across mediums.
“The fans love these characters and want to engage more fully with them, they want to go beyond the storytelling capabilities of gaming. The way television engages you is different to the way games engage you.”
We have already heard from members of the Overwatch team at this year’s San Diego Comic Con Panel that they are taking a holistic approach to storytelling. The creative team on Overwatch already use multiple mediums including comics and digital shorts to expand their universe. A television show may be a viable possibility in the future as well.
Sher echoed similar thoughts from that July panel when she explained “We’re going to pick the best medium [for each title] be it film, TV or shorts – the one that best serves each franchise individually”. World building and good storytelling have long been key component of Blizzards success and being able to bring those strengths to new platforms could prove very lucrative. Fans are eager to consume as much content as they can and cross medium content gives fans new ways to interact and be invested.
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