These days in Hollywood, the standards for creating genre entertainment are changing. Beyond transmedia storytelling, cross-film world building and interactive 3D whatevers, one of the continuing trends is content providers launching their own studios.
Today, video game giant Activision Blizzard joined that crowd with word that they're creating their own film and TV studio to help exploit properties like Call of Duty, Skylanders, Diablo and StarCraft. Former Disney executive Nick van Dyk will co-head the division with "a senior creative executive who will be announced soon" according to PR.
The first two projects in development will be a film series for the Call of Duty franchise whose latest installment – Black Ops III – is newly arrived on store shelves and a Skylanders animated series. That second project is further along in development with talent in place including former Futurama writer Eric Rogers serving as showrunner for Skylanders Academy while the voice cast will include Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks as Eruptor and Norm Macdonald as Glumshanks. Additional voices will be provided by Harland Williams and Richard Horvitz.
The news follows a recent spate of expansions for the company after it partnered with ESPN for a new series of sports games and purchased mobile gaming company King.