‘Overwatch’ is taking over the video game world with consummate ease. With over $1 billion dollars in sales, and 30 million players as of April 2017, it is undoubtedly a titan of the gaming world. The game attracts with its huge roster of diverse and memorable characters and its simple, but competitive, gameplay. Its lack of a campaign mode is made up for with its digital comics, and alluring animated shorts, which have been critically acclaimed by players and non-players alike.
With the game growing every day, what better way is there to promote the game then by making a movie based on it? I know, video game movies never work out, regularly disappointing fans and the general audience, but hear me out. If you hire a director who is familiar with the source material, and stay true to the vividly, Pixar-esque animation style, this movie could work.
Overwatch’s story takes place in the future, where the titular team of soldiers, doctors, and scientists fight against evil robots called Omnics. After an internal crisis, Overwatch was brought down, and any heroic activity was banned. The game takes place as former agents band together as another war appears to be looming.
Most of the video game movies to have flopped and been shown on the big screen are live-action. They cast big name actors like Michael Fassbender or Jake Gyllenhaal to get the general audience into seats, and with a roster of 25 and growing, Blizzard could definitely cast huge stars, but they simply don’t need to. Overwatch’s charm comes from it’s artistic style, and with live-action adaptations starting to flop at the box office, maybe it’s best for Overwatch to stick with that charm.
The animated shorts have no issues delving deep into the history and lore of Overwatch’s world. Each one showcases a different character, their personality, and their motivations. ‘Overwatch’ currently has 25 characters, and after a year and 5 months, only 8 of them have starred in their own short. With a feature-length film, the characters can really get their time to shine.
Another thing Overwatch succeeds at is is something still somewhat lacking in the film industry, and that is diversity. The cast features a wide range of race, species, and gender, unlike anything we’ve really seen before in a video game. Diverse films are smashing it at the box office, but animated films seem to lack in this department, so adapting Overwatch to film would be groundbreaking to see when it comes to character variety.
There doesn’t even have to be just one movie. As previously said, the game has a lot of lore under its skin, and a lot of characters to pack into one film, so we could potentially even start a cinematic universe. There could be a film about the fall of Overwatch, the Omnic Crisis, or even an extended version of ‘Dragons’, the most popular animated short with 19 million views.
Dealing with video game movies is a rocky road, I know, but Blizzard has the opportunity to compete with big names like Dreamworks with ‘Overwatch’. It has everything fans would want, the cartoony style, the iconic characters, and the mysterious story that still hasn’t fully been uncovered yet.
Written by: Jeremy Wilkerson – @JeremyRalphael on Twitter