Ubisoft's Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora's crossover future with the movies received an exciting update from its creative director.
The upcoming open-world game set in Pandora is expected to further expand the Avatar franchise. However, some are confused if whether or not this video game is canon to the world that filmmaker James Cameron created for the big screen.
During this month's Ubisoft Forward event, Cameron, via Screen Rant, confirmed that Frontiers of Pandora is canon, noting that it will "co-exist" with the movies while also bringing a "new corner" of Pandora to life.
Will the Avatar Game Crossover With the Movies?
In an interview with Press Start, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora creative director Magnus Jensen talked about their collaboration with James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment to ensure proper crossover between the game and the movies.
When asked if fans can expect any crossover at all, Jensen pointed out that the game's main focus is "the Western frontier," but he did note that the game's connection to the larger franchise was "worked out super early:"
"So primarily, we have really gone in wanting to do something completely different from the movie. And this is something that was worked out super early when we started discussions.
I was also super pleased to learn that Lightstorm [was] not interested in retreading or having a recreation of the movie, or its characters. Because Pandora’s a vast culture, a vast world, we went with all new characters, all new story, new everything.
It’s really about the Western frontier, that’s what it’s all about."
Press Start also asked Jensen if they were given "the freedom" to create the game's original story.
Frontiers of Pandora's creative director responded by saying that they had "enormous freedom," describing their partnership with Lightstorm as "a collaboration, a co-creation:"
"Oh, we had enormous freedom, but we wanted help from the best and the best are the people making these films.
It really is a collaboration, a co-creation. We work every day with the people from Lightstorm, and many of them are from New Zealand so the time zone shenanigans are enormous for us over in Sweden."
Jensen also made a rundown of which Avatar crew members they worked with through the development of the game, reflecting on how "they're so excited" with the collaboration:
"But we work with the story experts, the creature experts, the animation experts, the biome experts, and the costume experts. I don’t get starstruck very easily, or often, but these people we’re working with are super early on the film’s credits. And they’re so excited to be working on this because something they created might be visible for one frame in the film, but here you can go up, look at it, turn it around, and inspect it."
Aside from confirming the game being canon during the Ubisoft Forward event, Cameron said that the Western Frontier is filled with "new environments, new flora, and fauna, new characters:"
"We will be able to bring players to the Western Frontier with new environments, new flora, and fauna, new characters, and an original story that coexists with the events of the 'Avatar' films. We can’t wait for you to join this adventure, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the world of 'Avatar' once again.”
Will Avatar 3 Reference Frontiers of Pandora?
Magnus Jensen's exciting remarks about the close collaboration between Lightstorm and Frontiers of Pandora's creatives indicate that the game will tie in closely to what the movies already established.
This is important as it allows James Cameron's vision for Pandora to be consistent in other forms of media.
Given that the events of the game are canon to the films, there's a strong chance that future Avatar sequels, such as Avatar 3, will reference the Western Frontier at some point.
In the game's official reveal trailer, it was confirmed that Frontiers of Pandora's main protagonist is a Na'vi who was trained by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) and was put in cryosleep during the Battle of Hallelujah Mountains.
The said Na'vi then wakes up 15 years later, which is around the same time as the events of Avatar: The Way of Water.
James Cameron's tease that the Western Frontier will introduce new fauna could hint that it might somehow connect to the upcoming threequel. Interestingly, the director already teased that Avatar 3 could go to the desert, the mountains, the boreal forest, and even the polar region.
Given the vast world of Pandora, a sneaky reference to Frontiers of Pandora could be featured, thus further establishing its connection to the wider universe.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is set to be available for PS5, Xbox, PC, and Amazon Luna on December 7.