A New 'Avatar' Video Game Is In Development

Hey, it's time to start reminding everyone about Avatar again! James Cameron's science fiction epic became the biggest movie of all time back in 2009, but every year saw the sequels being delayed again and again and again. Soon, we learned why: because Cameron, a perfectionist if there ever was one, had decided to write a number of sequels at once and would only proceed when the road map for the entire franchise was done.

With filming reportedly set to begin later this year and Walt Disney World's Pandora: The World of Avatar theme park land set to open in May, 2017 is shaping up to be the year of "Hey, remember that you probably enjoyed Avatar?" And that will continue with a new video game from the creators of The Division.

The details of the game remain unknown, but we know (via Mashable) that Massive Entertainment will develop the game and Ubisoft will publish it. Some of you may remember that Ubisoft previously published Avatar: The Game back in 2009, which was developed in conjunction with the filmmakers and featured several actors from the movie. It was set two years before the events of the film. You could play as a human soldier or a Na'vi warrior. It was terrible.

However, the world of Avatar feels like an ideal sandbox for a video game. You have a massive and dramatic space full of nooks and crannies and things to explore. It's a land you can get lost in, a place where you can wander through a jungle and get distracted by a collectible, only for a giant monster to launch at you and kill you in one hit. This has to be a Skyrim-esque open world game, right?

With the military shooter The Division, Massive Entertainment built a large and terrifying post-terrorist attack Manhattan that offered plenty to see and do. With Pandora, they have a very different playground that could benefit from what they have already learned.

Beyond the combat and monsters and exploration, Avatar has the potential be actually comment on the very nature of video games. After all, we're talking about a film franchise where the main character inhabits another skin and falls in love with a body and a world that is not his own. I don't expect a new video game to actually explore this, but it's certainly something to think about.

Massive Entertainment is using the same engine as The Division to realize the game, which doesn't have a release window. These are early days yet. Maybe it'll be timed to release with Avatar 2?