With the recent release of Kena: Bridge of Spirits marking the gaming debut for animation studio Ember Lab, we started to think about other crossovers from the world of animation we'd like to see.
There are plenty of transferable skills, in terms of both designing and creating the cinematics, but also the movement and emotion which bring characters to life in-game. There are plenty of game developers who already do a great job of this in their own right – Insomniac in particular spring to mind – but which film and TV animation studios might have something to offer?
Rough Draft | Liam
Like James, one of the studios I’d be tempted to pick, Studio Ghibli, have already dabbled in the world of video games with the excellent Ni No Kuni, so I’ve instead opted for Rough Draft Studios, best known for The Simpsons and Futurama.
It’s the latter I’m interested in today, however, as I think a game set within New New York and beyond would be an absolute blast. Yes, I’m aware a Futurama game already came out in 2003, but the 3D shooter/platformer wasn’t anything to do with Rough Draft, as far as I know.
What I’d like to see is something like the two most recent South Park titles, The Stick of Truth and The Fractured but Whole, which leant into the style of the original material instead of pairing them with an ill-fitting game genre.
A Rough Draft Futurama game would also stay true to the source material, that is to say it’d be a 2D affair very much in keeping with the established cartoon style, with perhaps the odd 3D ship battle thrown in. While this would limit gameplay mechanics (I think a point and click title would work best) it would basically be a playable episode of Futurama, which sounds great to me.
Sony Pictures Imageworks | Sam
Having literally just beaten Kena: Bridge of Spirits before writing this, it’s safe to say that more animation studios should try their hands at game development; if Kena sets any kind of precedent, everyone could be in for a treat.
Sony Pictures Imageworks has a long filmography, the highlight of which is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That film’s visual style is second to none, oozing style (though not without substance) from every single frame. Into the Spider-Verse is the top animated feature on Rotten Tomatoes, but could the studio produce a classic game too?
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales features a skin that mimics the art and animations of the film. Equipping it makes for a unique and somewhat hypnotic gameplay experience - unfortunately, however, it only affects the title character. Seeing these rules applied across an entire game would no doubt make for something special.
It wouldn’t necessarily need to be a Spider-Man game, either. As part of PlayStation manufacturer Sony, Sony Pictures Imageworks could receive access to a variety of recognisable brands. While the art style might not suit the likes of The Last of Us, it could vibe with numerous other projects. Anyone for a Jak and Daxter or Sly Cooper revival on PS5?
Which animation studio would you like to see make a game? Let us know below.