Magazine article Variety

'Warcraft' Fights to Stay Relevant as Movie Looms

Magazine article Variety

'Warcraft' Fights to Stay Relevant as Movie Looms

Article excerpt

When legendary Entertainment in 2006 announced plans to produce a movie based on Blizzard Entertainment's "Warcraft," the fantasy videogame franchise had completed a successful platform shift to the massively multiplayer online "World of Warcraft," introduced in 2004, from its 1994 PC-based origins. "Warcraft" became one of the most popular and profitable role-playing games in history.

A decade later, Blizzard has been watching millions of players turn to other properties, many of them recently to freeto-play titles on mobile devices. At its peak in 2010, "World of Warcraft" had 12 million subscribers paying $15 a month. That's been falling ever since, to 6.8 million at the end of June. And millions more could leave for so-called fremium mobile games before Legendary's film - directed by Duncan Jones, and with a cast that includes Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper and Paula Patton - is released by Universal Pictures on March 11, 2016.

Blizzard and its parent, Activision, expected to lose subscribers; a decade is a long time to commit to one game, let alone two. But they believe a film could help attract new gamers to the franchise, which revolves around a human faction known as the Alliance battling the Horde, an army of ores, in the world of Azeroth.

Until then, however, they're relying on new expansion packs, like this fall's "Warlords of Draenor," the game's fifth, to stop the hemorrhaging.

For the "Warcraft" movie to succeed, Legendary knows it will have to make the film attractive to more than just the game's core fans. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.