ViacomCBS announced earlier this year the creation of Avatar Studios, which will develop new television series and feature films set within the universe of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” It was a smart decision given just how passionate “Last Airbender” fans remain for new content over 16 years after the animated series first debuted on Nickelodeon. A Kickstarter campaign for “Avatar Legends,” an officially licensed tabletop roleplaying game (think “Dungeons and Dragons”), launched this week and reached its $50,000 crowdfunding goal in 16 minutes (via Collider). That number broke through the $1 million mark in just a single day. The campaign has now exceeded $1.5 million and is well on its way past the $2 million mark.
Per the official Kickstarter campaign: “‘Avatar Legends: The RPG’ is a heroic fantasy game set in the universe of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and ‘The Legend of Korra’ in which you and your friends take on the role of young heroes from across the Four Nations who have joined together to make the world a better place. It’s a game for people of all ages who want to look at the world beyond the scope of the existing stories and explore the meaningful actions heroes take for the good of others.”
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” experienced a boom in popularity last year during the pandemic when all three seasons became available to stream on Netflix starting May 15, 2020. It was this Netflix-created surge in “Last Airbender” interest that drove ViacomCBS and Nickelodeon to go all in on the franchise expansion and create Avatar Studios.
“‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ was a series that ran for three seasons on Nickelodeon and was never a huge show, but had an amazing following. We licensed that show to Netflix and it exploded,” Nickelodeon president and CEO Brian Robbins recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “Then we put this spinoff of ‘Avatar,’ ‘The Legend of Korra,’ on Paramount+, and it crushed it. That led us to our new relationship and bringing the creators of ‘Avatar’ back to Nickelodeon to form Avatar Studios. We are now on our way to a full-fledged franchise strategy, creating films and spinoffs out of ‘Avatar.’”
Production on Avatar Studios’ first animated feature film is set to begin this year.