Activision Blizzard Inc. announced the launch of a film and television studio Friday, a step which further expands the videogame maker’s influence across platforms.
The Santa Monica company’s first productions will be an animated TV series based on the toy-to-life videogame “Skylanders Academy.” The company also said it’s aiming to adapat its hugely popular “Call of Duty” franchise for both the big and small screen. Over 175 million copies of Call of Duty, a first-person shooter game, have been sold since the game debuted.
Activision Chief Executive Robert Kotick said that the studio launch would allow fans to watch the games they love come to life.
“We intend to approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development,” Kotick said in a statement.
The company tapped Nick van Dyk, a Walt Disney Co. senior executive to lead the studio.
“Our library spans more than 30 years of global entertainment culture and, in the last 12 months alone, fans of Activision Blizzard properties have played and watched our games online for more than 13 billion hours,” van Dyk said in a statement. “This gives us a huge, passionate and deeply engaged audience that is hungry for more great content built from the universes they already know and love.”
The founding of the studio follows the company’s announcement on Oct. 22 of the formation of an e-sports division spearheaded by former ESPN Chief Executive Steve Bornstein and Major League Gaming co-founder Mike Sepso.
Earlier this week, the videogame maker also agreed to purchase King Digital Entertainment, the creator of "Candy Crush Saga," for $5.9 billion.
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