Activision Blizzard Starts Television and Movie Studio

In another bid to marry the mediums of video games and film, the California video game giant, Activision Blizzard, has launched a television and movie studio branch to bring its video game franchises to the big screen. Owner of popular franchises such as Skylanders, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, Activision Blizzard is the world’s fifth-largest video game maker by sales.

While most video game franchises fail when given the Hollywood treatment, Activision Blizzard is counting on the passion of its fan base to make its expansion profitable.

“Film and TV — they are not simply stand-alone, profitable businesses, they also amplify and extend the tremendous success of our core business,” Nick Van Dyk, former senior executive of Disney and head of the new division, told analysts and media the day after the announcement.

"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, in a press release. "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.”

Similar stunts have been tried before by other video game companies. Ubisoft, a French game maker with its own movie studio, will be releasing a film based on “Assassin’s Creed”, a popular video game franchis. A-lister Michael Fassbender will be playing the lead character in the project.

Other video game studios have been less lucky. At one time, Microsoft looked to capitalize on the success of its video game franchises by launching Xbox Entertainment Studios in 2012. The studio failed less than two years later.

While video games have been working to blur the line between media since gaining mainstream credence, this renewed bid may have potential affects for jobs in the entertainment industry as the trend gains momentum.

While voice actors have already been adding talent to video games for years, the sophistication of the technology has created openings for those usually looking for film jobs. Quantum Break, a 2016 spring release, has a Hollywood cast driving the time-traveling plot. Top names include Shawn Ashmore and Dominic Monaghan. Last year’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare featured a digital Kevin Spacey giving a performance.

It may not be long before movies based on video games and video games based on movies start to share the same creative teams and actors. An early example is 2003’s Enter the Matrix, which included live-action scenes featuring Jada Pinkett Smith and her digital avatar gunning down agents.

In order to get a jump on the trend, job seekers may want to consider expanding their skill sets for both video games and television. While most TV jobs won’t be incorporating coding in their daily duties just yet, being cognizant of the evolving trends of jobs in the entertainment industry will be a positive as studios continue to blur the lines between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

Activision Blizzard’s first major release will be a children’s animated TV series called “Skylanders Academy” based on the toys-to-life video game, Skylanders, released in 2011. It will feature the voices of Justin Long, Ashley Tisdale, Jonathan Banks and Norm McDonald.

A potential “Call of Duty” movie is slated for a 2018 release, and a related television series is also being discussed.

"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," Van Dyk said.

For more openings in both film and video games, check out today to find jobs in both industries.

Keywords: Film jobs, television jobs, jobs in the entertainment industry

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