Not to dash your hopes, this isn’t the long-awaited Warcraft film yet. Not even a trailer. Though we expect the film to arrive in glorious stereo 3D or even VR when it does screen next year, the Warcraft being shown around at San Diego Comic Con is but an appetizer and perhaps even a distraction. Legendary Pictures and Google have teamed up to bring some fancy new content to VR via the Cardboard project. It also happens to be a smart strategy to advertise Legendary’s upcoming films.
Imagine yourself riding on the back of a Gryphon, soaring above the land of Azeroth. Or maybe see yourself in the shoes of someone desperately trying to escape the confines of a horrifying mansion. Or see what it is like to pilot a giant robot to fend off attacks of inter-dimensional monsters. These are the experiences that Legendary is trying to sell in its new Legendary VR app. Of course, it is also trying to sell its films indirectly.
This isn’t Legendary’s first marketing gimmick that involved the budding hype of virtual reality. Last year, it went with Oculus Rift to give the same Jaeger Pilot experience to promote Pacific Rim. This year, however, it went for Google Cardboard. No, it’s not going broke, but it’s much cheaper to hand out hundreds of these than lend a sweaty Rift. Indeed, Legendary is expected to give out 50,000 Cardboards on the SDCC floor. That’s a lot of cardboard.
Sadly, there is actually solid news about the Warcraft film. Instead, Warcraft: The Skies of Azeroth is meant simply to be the ultimate fan service for those attending the convention. Director Duncan Jones does have a panel this weekend, though, so who knows what gifts he might be giving geeks then.