Ankama, the French entertainment company best known for its MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), has released its first feature film, Dofus—Book 1: Julith, in the United States onto the Steam game distribution platform. The film was released theatrically in France last February.
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Produced by Ankama Animations in co-production with France 3 Cinema, the film is based on the company’s Dofus MMORPG, which was also released this month on Steam for English-speaking audiences in the United States and Canada. The game, originally released in 2004, currently has over 2.5 million active players worldwide.
Here is the trailer for the feature directed by Anthony Roux and Jean-Jacques Denis:
The theatrical Dofus is deeply rooted in the mythology of the game universe, and though it can be understood by all audiences, will likely have more appeal to those who are already familiar with the game’s characters and universe. This is the official synopsis of the film:
In the majestic city of Bonta, 10 year old Joris leads a happy sheltered life in the magic shop of his adopted father, Kerub Crepin. Yet the day Joris defies Kerub and seeks out his idol, the great athlete Khan Karkass, a Gobbowl superstar, everything changes for the worst! Unfortunately, the terrifying vengeful witch Julith has returned to Bonta vowing to destroy the city, and she quickly seizes the opportunity to kidnap Joris. Only Julith knows that Joris has a Black Dragon soul hidden deep inside of him, as well as secret powers that will help her obtain all her evil desires.
The concept of using Steam as an animation distribution platform will take time to establish but it holds great promise, opening up the platform’s pop culture-savvy user base of over 125 million people to animated films that would otherwise not find wide distribution in the U.S.
Dofus is not the first animated feature to be released on Steam. Game maker Valve, which owns Steams, started making films available on the platform in 2015, and while the majority of those titles have been live-action to date, that has been changing recently, with some anime titles added, as well as the 2012 Korean CG feature Padak.
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Dofus—Book 1: Julith can currently be rented or purchased on the Steam web site.