Skip to main content

Blizzard’s animated short films could lead to a full-length ‘Overwatch’ movie

Overwatch Animated Shorts Teaser
The robotic heroes of Blizzard Entertainment’s futuristic online shooter may soon be the stars of an Overwatch movie, thanks to the success of the popular animated short films. The game itself doesn’t offer much in the way of storytelling or character exposition, so Blizzard has filled in some of the gaps with a series of origin stories detailing the various heroes’ rise to power.

The production and direction of the Overwatch animated shorts has always been top-notch, and the gorgeous animation rivals that of Pixar. Eight shorts have been released so far, and they are truly a labor of love for the studio. Some of the clips even played in theaters across the country as part of the game’s launch events.

“The animated shorts are probably the thing that we have the most fun making,” director Jeff Kaplan told Polygon earlier this year. “We really love working with our animation group and digging out the stories not tied to any constraints of gameplay — we can tell any stories we want.” You can check out more behind-the-scenes info in a short “making of” documentary about the Rise and Shine episode.

There’s no doubt the studio has the talent and expertise for a full-length animated film, something fans have been clamoring for since the first cinematic trailer was released. Now, a representative from Blizzard has confirmed that they’re fully in support of the idea too.

“We would like that very much,” Tim Kilpin of Activision said to MCVUK in a recent interview. “These franchises exist across multiple platforms, so it’s not just the game as a driver, but it’s linear content [movies and TV] as a way to expand the audience.”

With more than 35 million players, an Overwatch movie would certainly have worldwide appeal, considering the popularity of the game in huge markets like China. Hit video games rarely translate into box-office success, however, as Blizzard’s own venture with their live-action Warcraft movie illustrated.

In the more immediate future, Activision is currently exploring the possibilities for a Call of Duty film. “Anytime you take a franchise as storied as this, with this kind of legacy, and expand it into a new form factor you have to be really careful,” Kilpin cautioned. “So frankly, if the script and the story isn’t right, we won’t do it.”

While a full-length movie may be years away, several more origin features are planned to round out the second season of the animated shorts. With more than 20 appealing characters to draw from, it’s a sure bet they won’t run out of story ideas any time soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Austin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mark’s first encounter with high-tech was a TRS-80. He spent 20 years working for Nintendo and Xbox as a writer and…
Overwatch 2 removes Mei for at least 2 weeks due to ice wall exploit
Overwatch movie

Blizzard confirmed that it is temporarily removing Mei from Overwatch 2 until November 15 due to a bug discovered related to her Ice Wall ability.

Read more
Overwatch 2’s item prices are the scariest part of its Halloween event
Overwatch 2's Witch Kiriko posing with a broom.

Like many live-service games, Overwatch 2 is dressing up for the holidays. Special events tied to real holidays are common today, as they can bring some fun, limited-time flair to a game. This month, plenty of games are going orange and black for the season, bringing pumpkin spice and scares into players' favorite experiences. It's a cause for celebration, especially for those who particularly vibe with the whole October spooky season aesthetic.

Overwatch 2 Halloween Terror Seasonal Event Trailer 2022

Read more
Bastion and Torbjörn temporarily removed from Overwatch 2 due to exploits
Bastion and Torbjorn sitting in the workshop in Overwatch 2.

As if the already troubled launch of Overwatch 2 wasn't stressful enough, Blizzard has temporarily removed Bastion and Torbjörn from the hero roster for emergency maintenance on the serious glitches they've been causing.

According to a post made on the Overwatch Twitter account and in the status update last night, Bastion has been completely disabled from the game while Torbjörn has been removed from every game mode except Quick Play. "Both of these heroes are experiencing bugs that heavily impact gameplay, and we’ll share an update on them soon," Blizzard said.

Read more