May 27, 2022

Overwatch Cartoon And Diablo Anime Seemingly Being Developed

overwatch animated

Overwatch and Diablo seem set to join the ranks of The Witcher and Castlevania in getting TV series adaptations.

Though not yet announced in an official capacity, a LinkedIn profile of an Activision Blizzard employee delivers pretty strong evidence.

President of Film and TV at Blizzard Activision, Nick van Dyk, recently updated his experience to include the unannounced projects.

Nick van Dyk is also responsible for Netflix’s Skylanders Academy, an adaptation of the Skylanders games. His name is also attached to the upcoming Call of Duty cinematic universe.

It isn’t hugely surprising that Blizzard are adapting Overwatch into a series, given the massive success of its animated shorts. The official Overwatch YouTube channel, PlayOverwatch, frequently posts 6-10 minute long animated shorts spotlighting the different playable characters. These shorts have amassed millions of views, and are largely responsible for setting up the lore to the multiplayer-only game.

Overwatch solely explores its story through extended media, such as animated shorts and comic books. The Team Fortress-esque hero-shooter only hints at story elements through environments and character quips. This animated series makes perfect sense for expanding the world of Overwatch, likely tying directly into the recently announced sequel.

Rebuilding Diablo‘s Reputation

The Diablo series is perhaps a little more out of the left field. Blizzard somewhat neglected the franchise after the release of Diablo III in 2012. The controversial announcement of the iOS-only title Diablo: Immortal in 2018 only angered fans further.

However, with the reveal of Diablo IV last year, it seems Blizzard is keen to inject new life into the franchise. An animated series would be an ideal way to reinvigorate audience affection, after the success of Netflix’s Castlevania series. It seems Diablo will follow Castlevania‘s lead in rendering in “anime style”, as well as distributing via Netflix.

Castlevania, a franchise that hasn’t found mainstream success since the SNES era, found meteoric success with its Netflix animated series, with a third season releasing soon.

As for the Overwatch series, the LinkedIn profile gave very little information away. It’s unlikely that the series will be animated by Blizzard’s in-house animation studio, given that it takes 6-8 months to produce the 8-minute shorts.

The development of these series’ is likely being lining up with each franchise’s latest entries. Blizzcon 2019 saw the announcement of sequels for both Diablo and Overwatch. Neither title received release dates other than confirming they were in development for the current generation of consoles. However, the official Playstation Brazil Twitter account did let slip that Overwatch 2 would release in 2020, before swiftly deleting the tweet.

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