Upcoming 2023 Games, Movies, and Series We're Excited ForDec 28, 2022
From adaptations to originals, here are the biggest 2023 releases we can't wait to play and binge.
As we head towards the new year, we look forward to seeing how animators and FX artists everywhere push the boundaries of what we thought was possible. Whether it's for video game design or feature films, the future looks bright for this industry as the bar continues to be raised for what animation can be. Here are some video games and feature films that have us really excited for the upcoming year!
Let's check out the games, movies, and shows we are all excited about based on the anticipated release schedule. Here we go!
The Last of Us (Series)
Kicking off the new year is the highly anticipated The Last of Us adaptation from HBO. The series is said to be the biggest television production ever filmed in Canada. Based on the PlayStation games, the first season will consist of nine episodes. The show is produced and written by Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin. Druckmann was the writer and creative director for the first game, co-writer for the second. Mazin is the Emmy-award winning writer and director behind HBO's Chernobyl. In addition, the games composer Gustavo Santaolalla returns to score the series.
Release Date: January 15, 2023
Forspoken is an original debut project from Luminous Productions, a company composed for former Final Fantasy XV employees. The action role-playing game will be released on PS5 and PC. The game follows the journey of Frey, a young New Yorker transported to the beautiful and cruel land of Athia. In search of a way home, Frey must use her newfound magical abilities to traverse sprawling landscapes and battle monstrous creatures.
The game features ray tracing for greatly enhanced lighting effects, and procedural generation for the creation of large-scale locations. Director Takeshi Aramaki says the gameplay focuses on terrain traversal speed and fluidity.
Release Date: January 24, 2023
Survival horror continues to make its comeback with the remake to 2008’s instantly iconic space adventure masterpiece, Dead Space. The best part? Its coming soon and we couldn’t be more excited. If this version is anything like the original, we can expect to be traumatized even more by the sheer terror that comes with exploring a cold, dark ship in the emptiness of space.
One of the most exciting aspects of the remake renaissance is the ability to change how users experience the gameplay compared to the first time. In an interview with IGN, the Dead Space Remake Creative Director, Roman Campos-Oriola explained how they were changing the experience through textures and physics improvements: “If you think about the original Alien, when they enter that big room with all the eggs hidden in the fog, the fog is more than ambience, it's part of hiding,” he continues. “Well now, we have real dynamic physical fog. So yeah, we could hide creatures in them. You could actually lose an enemy inside the fog. You could follow his track and how he splits open the fog and how the fog closes behind him.”
Release Date: January 27th 2023
Since the first trailer premiered over two years ago, Harry Potter fans have held their breath with anticipation for the upcoming open-world, wizarding action adventure RPG game Hogwarts Legacy. Made by Avalanche Software, this expansive take on one of the most successful franchises of all time is sure to be a massive hit amongst gamers of all platforms. The gameplay footage looks outstanding and could possibly be one of the biggest games of the year.
The game has been delayed a few times, and most recently the last gen (PS4, Xbox One) were pushed back to April 2023, and the Nintendo Switch version to July 2023. PC, PS5 and Xbox Series consoles are expected to gain access as early as February 7th for those who purchase Deluxe editions.
Release Date: February 10, 2023
Given most of the titles on this list are either sequels or remakes, that doesn’t make these releases any less exciting. The first of the series, Jedi Fallen Order, wowed gamers everywhere when the third-person action adventure epic was unleashed upon Star Wars fans.
It was one of the most pleasant Star Wars surprises in years. From the looks of the Jedi Survivor trailer, it looks like the team at Respawn Entertainment has done it again and then some. The gameplay looks even better than before with a variety of new environments, characters, and moves from our hero. March can’t get here soon enough!
Release Date: March 17, 2023
UPDATED RELEASE: April 28, 2023
What If...? (Season 2)
Delayed from 2022, the next season of What If...? is expected to premiere on Disney+ in early 2023. The anthology series looks at past Marvel Cinematic Universe films and reimagines if moments had gone differently.
If you are a big fan of behind-the-scenes documentaries, check out the entire Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of What If…? episode on Disney+.
Release Date: TBA, Early 2023
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
You’ve almost definitely seen the trailer (or the memes), but whether you like it or not - the Mario Bros. animated movie is coming out this Spring and it looks to be a visual feast for the eyes. Illumination Studios are behind the film, so you can expect to see bright, colorful, beautifully textured characters and locations throughout the film. What more is there to say, it's Super Mario!
Also, just some fun on the side, check out this shot-for-shot trailer recreation but if the graphics were from the Nintendo 64 console in all of its low-poly glory!
Release Date: April 7, 2023
Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
What more is there to say other than the release to the follow up to your favorite game of all time is right around the corner. While I’m sure everyone is holding their “breath”, we can’t help but be overly optimistic that Tears of the Kingdom exceeds its predecessor with even more impressive world building and freedom.
Nintendo raised the bar with Breath of the Wild and based on the brief trailers we’ve been shown over the course of the past year - I’d say we’re in good hands… I hope. No pressure, right?
Release Date: May 12, 2023
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
This might be our most-anticipated movie of 2023 here at VFX-A, the sequel to one of the best superhero movies of all time is released this upcoming fall and we couldn’t be more ready for it. If you’re looking for pure animation and VFX inspiration, look no further than this. According to an interview with Empire Magazine, producer Phil Lord says there are six animation styles for the anticipated sequel… yes you read that right… six! He explained:
“We’re taking those tools, adding all the things we learned on The Mitchells vs The Machines and then growing them further to accommodate the ambition of this movie. Which is to wow you every time you enter a new environment, and also to make sure that the style of the movie reflect the story, and that the images are driven by feelings, as opposed to some egg-headed art project. Which it also is, by the way!”
Side Note: If you haven’t already watched The Mitchells Vs The Machines, get on it.
Release Date: June 2, 2023
A film practically synonymous with our YouTube channel at this point, as the dozens of daily comments flood our notifications with love for our decade-old short film, Alight.
Elemental is the latest animated film from Pixar. In a city where fire, water, land and air residents live together, a fiery young woman and a go-with-the-flow guy are about to discover something elemental: how much they actually have in common. We still don't know much beyond that description from Disney/Pixar, so expect to learn more about the film as we near its release.
As a team passionate about the elements and FX, we can wait to see what the artists at Pixar put together. If fire and water characters are something you love, check out our tutorials on drawing your own stylized flames and liquid FX.
Release Date: June 16, 2023
Final Fantasy XVI
Square Enix is set to release the next Final Fantasy installment for the PlayStation 5 and we are ready! After the 2020 remake of Final Fantasy VII, we’re pretty much excited for anything Final Fantasy related. More Final Fantasy, always and forever.
Release Date: June 22, 2023
Wayfinder is a new character-based online RPG from Airship Syndicate & Digital Extremes. The World of Evenor is shattered. You must become a Wayfinder to Control the Chaos that has overrun your world. Join forces with friends online to strengthen your powers and control your action-packed, endless adventures with vast customization modifiers when exploring the immersive world, collecting and crafting.
"Led by the distinct art and style of acclaimed games and comic book artist Joe Madureira, Wayfinder is our take on an online world that encourages exploring, collecting and sharing with friends. You are one of the last champions of a dying world. Thieves and looters fight over the scraps that have been left behind. You are an Echo of a fallen hero, but you have survived the Gloom that is consuming the world and returned with the power to fight it. Along with your fellow Wayfinders, you must use your newfound powers and mystical tech to defend your people. You must venture into the regions lost to the Gloom and chart a path through the darkness."
Release Date: Fall 2023 (Closed Beta Open Now)
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (Season 4)
One of Jason Keyser's personal favorites for the fantastic 2D FX, we are still waiting on an official announcement from Netflix for a fourth season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. By the power of Grayskull, give us more episodes! The series is a reimagining of the original 1983 series, and the first three seasons are available to stream now on Netflix.
Release Date: Unconfirmed, Expected August 2023.
This film is still relatively unknown. The end-of-year release from Disney Animation blends a "timeless watercolor style with contemporary 3D CG animation" that are a direct homage to watercolor illustrations that had once inspired Walt Disney. Wish follows 17-year-old Asha and centers on the legend of the wishing star. She makes an impassioned plea to the sky, which is answered by a ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star work to save her community.
More movies with FX as a characters? Sign us up!
Release Date: November 22, 2023
Sometime in 2023 or Beyond
The following releases have been announced, but as of now do not have confirmed release dates. It could be in 2023, or likely even later. That said, we're still excited from them!
Arcane (Season 2)
Already confirmed to be in production, the next season of Arcane is absolutely highly-anticipated by all. The Netflix series become of the most popular new shows, becoming the first video game series and streaming series to win an Emmy. It also took home the Best Adaptation award at The Game Awards.
While we sit in anticipation, check out our interview with Arcane FX artist Tom De Vis.
ARK: The Animated Series
First announced in 2020, ARK: The Animated Series just dropped a teaser trailer with a stellar cast lineup. Based on the 2015 game, the series has yet to announce a release date or distributor. With nearly half a million view since the trailer dropped days ago, the anticipation sure does seem to be there.
The animated series cpmes from the video game creators, Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak. Episodes are directed by Jay Oliva, who previously helmed Justice League Dark, Batman: Assault on Arkham, and The Invincible Iron Man.
Release Date: Unknown
Love, Death + Robots (Volume 4)
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Another announced to be currently in production, the latest volume of Love, Death + Robots. The animated anthology season has already won a dozen Emmy's since it's first season. You never know what you are going to get with each episode, and it makes for an absolute delight as you journey thought different stories and animation styles.
Release Date: Unknown
God of War (Series)
Definitely not premiering in 2023, this just announce adaptation is heading to Amazon as a live-action series. That said, we look forward to a year of rumors, production news, and cast announcements. We can’t help but feel excited about one of the best running video game franchises getting the live-action treatment. But who is going to be our live-action Kratos, and how well do they say "Boy!"?
Release Date: Unknown
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