Willy Wonka will attract a large audience to the cinema this month, but it’s unlikely that he will come close to the box office earnings of last year’s Christmas number one. Avatar: The Way Of Water earned an impressive $2.3 billion (£1.8 billion) after its highly anticipated release a year ago. It is only surpassed on the all-time list by its predecessor and the latest Avengers film. The film’s stunning visual effects, which were recognized with an Oscar win, were not surprising given the fantasy world of Pandora and the computer-generated Na’vi characters. Some parts of the film even utilized techniques commonly used in video games, as director James Cameron is known for embracing technology to enhance storytelling.
The success of Avatar puts pressure on the team behind the new Avatar story this year, but interestingly, it is being presented in the form of a video game. Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora is the latest blockbuster release in the gaming industry. Published by Ubisoft, the game is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. Magnus Jensen, the creative director at Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment studio in Sweden, acknowledges the high expectations for delivering a new entry in the Avatar series. The game features a completely new story, environments, and creatures, aiming to provide a thrilling and visually stunning experience.
Frontiers Of Pandora is an open-world game that allows players to create their own Na’vi character and explore the vast planet of Pandora at their own pace. Drawing inspiration from the visually rich environments of the films, players can traverse the plains on foot or soar through the skies on the backs of winged creatures. The game is primarily played from a first-person perspective, similar to the Call Of Duty series. Players may find themselves hunting creatures for survival and engaging in battles against the villainous RDA corporation, armed with powerful weapons and mechanical suits.
Jensen reveals that his team collaborated closely with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment throughout the game’s development, which began in 2017. The goal was to create an authentic Avatar experience that aligns with the films and expands on the lore and timeline of the universe. The convergence of the film and gaming industries presents a challenge for developers and filmmakers alike. Games like Hogwarts Legacy, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor strive to satisfy the dedicated fan bases of their respective franchises. Meanwhile, films like Super Mario and The Last Of Us adaptation demonstrate the influence and inspiration that games have on other forms of entertainment.
Jensen believes that the transformation of games from children’s entertainment to a medium for all ages is a testament to the industry’s growth. Games have become a significant form of entertainment, and it’s natural for films to draw inspiration from them, just as books and plays have influenced each other in the past. However, unlike films, open-world games offer players more narrative freedom and interactivity. Frontiers Of Pandora’s writing team has crafted a story that accommodates various player choices and exploration, allowing the game to be a unique and immersive experience.