4 PR lessons we can learn from Blizzard’s ‘Warcraft’ movie
Blizzard and Legendary Pictures released the trailer for their upcoming “Warcraft” movie at the 2015 BlizzCon event, which is based off of the developer’s real time strategy game, “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.” While many fans of the 21-year-old series were excited to see that there would be a movie adaptation, Blizzard has been dealing with problems that PR professionals can learn from.
1) Learn from the mistakes of others
After the trailer was released in November, some were disappointed to see that the movie was made up of both real and CGI characters. While this doesn’t seem like an issue, it caused a lot of outrage among “The Lord of the Rings” fans when “The Hobbit” movie had CGI orcs. Had they looked to the mistakes of other big names movies, they could have helped avoid this problem.
If they would have made the decision to use real actors to play both the human and orc roles in “Warcraft,” then it could have given the movie a more consistent look. They also could have made the movie with only CGI characters, as it would look more like a video game.
2) React to leaks
A low resolution “Warcraft” trailer was leaked online in early September, causing some to believe that the movie’s quality was going to be poor. Rather than releasing the high quality trailer in response to the leak, Legendary Pictures waited until November’s BlizzCon to unveil the better trailer.
Both Blizzard and Legendary Pictures had little to say about the leak at the time, which didn’t help their situation. However, the movie’s director, Duncan Jones, responded to tweets that called out the trailer’s low quality. While this didn’t have as big of an impact as a statement from the film studio could have had, it helped put some concerns to rest.
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) September 1, 2015
3) Reassure your audience
“Warcraft” has been given a release date of June 10, 2016, but some are skeptical to trust that this date won’t change. The movie finished production in 2014, and has had its release date pushed back twice. Blizzard games have a history of changed release dates, so it doesn’t come to a surprise that their movie is following a similar pattern. Now that they have released the official trailer, this is the time for Blizzard to make an announcement to reassure “Warcraft” fans that they will stay true to a June release.
4) Show confidence
Blizzard’s senior vice president, Chris Metzen, discussed the “Warcraft” movie at BlizzCon after they released the trailer. This was his chance to speak well of the movie to increase the movie’s hype. Metzen brought the discussion to a rocky start, after he talked about the risk this movie posed.
“The truth is, it’s kind of risky,” said Metzen. “Why would you risk doing a film? The game has been really loved for a very long time by the Warcraft player base. We at Blizzard still don’t quite get our heads around how sacred that is to our player base.”
While his statement wasn’t the most reassuring, he turned the conversation around by explaining that Jones was the director that this movie needed. Metzen told convention goers that Jones “has lived Warcraft. He gets the details. He appreciates the nuances.”
Will Blizzard’s ‘Warcraft’ movie end up a successes, or is it doomed to fail? What can Blizzard do to help get ‘Warcraft’ fans audience back on their side? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.