Mainframe Entertainment (TSX: MFE), a leading creator of computer generated (CG) animation, and WizKids Inc., makers of the popular Mage Knight, HeroClix, and MechWarrior collectable miniatures games (CMGs), have teamed up to create a feature-length direct-to-DVD 3D animated feature based on the tremendously popular MechWarrior series of adventure games, books and toys. Producer Gregory Little brought the project to Mainframe and will produce under his Machine Age banner. MechWarrior creator Jordan Weisman will produce for WizKids, along with Marc Sachnoff. The feature is slated for release in 2006. The film will introduce new characters and storylines, and will introduce innovative techniques in CG animation that will give a unique look and feel to the story.
"MechWarrior continues our move towards developing proprietary properties in animation that have already established themselves in the toy and gaming worlds as long-term brands," said Rick Mischel, CEO Mainframe Entertainment. "With this new action-packed DVD adventure, fans will be able to see MechWarrior come to life in a whole new way."
Little said, "The growing DVD-direct market is a great alternative to a theatrical feature when you have a brand like MechWarrior to drive sales. We got a deal done quickly and have a lot more creative freedom than we would have had if this was a $100 million studio feature." After working as Vice-President, Development for Mark Gordon, Little formed his company, Machine Age, in 2004 to focus on the DVD-direct feature market.
The story for the DVD feature picks up the MechWarrior far-future universe at a time when the old glory of the BattleMechs has passed. But now, with his home planet threatened by invasion, the story's young hero goes on a quest for a cache of lost Battlemechs that will turn the tide against the invaders. "The story will satisfy longtime Mech fans," said creator Weisman, "but also gives new fans a great point of entry by showing what the property is all about: big, powerful Battlemechs and the heroes who pilot them."
MechWarrior has a 20 year history as an interactive property and is still growing. It has proven successful in every platform in which it's been released including sales of over 13 million video games on PC and X-Box; the ongoing publication of 79 novels; and tens of millions of collectible game figures for WizKids MechWarrior: Age of Destruction tabletop game. Microsoft continues to release X-Box games under the MechAssault name, with the latest hitting shelves in early 2005.