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Activision is getting into the TV and movie-making business

Activision is getting into the TV and movie-making business

November 6, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

Hot on the heels of buying Candy Crush Saga creator King, Activision Blizzard is making a show of getting deeper into the entertainment business by unveiling a new film and TV production studio led (in part) by former Disney exec Nick van Dyk.

The newly-formed Activision Blizzard Studios has a remit to create "original content" based on the company's video game franchises, starting with an animated Skylanders TV series called "Skylanders Academy" and eventually expanding to "a robust cinematic universe" based on the Call of Duty games.

It all sounds much akin to what Microsoft sought to do in 2012, when it hired CBS exec Nancy Tellem to help lead its L.A.-based Xbox Entertainment production studio. Everyone involved was reportedly laid off two years later as the venture was shut down.

Van Dyk seems to believe Activision Blizzard Studios will fare better, in part because it has access to what it believes to be "some of the largest franchises which have not yet been developed in film and television."

That quote comes from a press release which also mentions franchises like Diablo, Hearthstone and StarCraft -- but not World of Warcraft, which has already been licensed to Legendary Pictures for a film that's currently expected to release next summer.  

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