Game Characters Are Confused By The Real World In WoW Trailer

Kudos to INGO editor writer Philip Frendberg and Bacon director Bart Timmer for crafting an immersive and utterly satisfying 90 seconds that vividly encapsulate the WoW proposition through pointed conversation (with a hint of unsheathed swordplay à la end).

The satire hits home, no expensive effects required, with pleasingly understated performances from Ade Dimberline and Judita DaSilva as warrior and priest.

Here is another salient exchange:

  • Priest: “Do they fly on the backs of dragons?…Travel the world in search of legendary artifacts?…Is there any wonder in this world?”
  • Warrior: “The only wondrous objects in this world are tiny dark portals that they carry around with them everywhere. They look at them to find a home and…a scroll.”
  • Priest: “What a waste of time!”

Luckily, Blizzard recently released a free mobile game, Arclight Rumble, so those portals won’t seem so empty anymore.

“We tried to find the humor in thinking about our world through the eyes of video game characters, so it was fun to make them a little boomer as far as phones go,” says Frendberg. “WoW is definitely more fun than scrolling. They’d probably have fun with Arclight Rumble if someone taught them how to play.”

Below, Frendberg explains how he approached the case and discusses the attention to detail and abundant Easter eggs in “The Tavern.”

Muse: Warrior and Priest are generic WoW types, not playable personalities, right?

Philip Frendberg: They are not specific characters since we wanted to create our own story. There’s also something interesting about focusing on peripheral personalities who are just trying to live their lives in Azeroth.

Are you targeting beginners, casual fans or hardcore audiences?

We talk to players who have heard of WoW but haven’t played it yet. We were trying to find ways to tackle some of their barriers to entry. We tried different ways to compare the game to real life, but it all came together when we flipped it and let the game reflect our world instead.

Well you do a great job of conveying the atmosphere of WoW.

We’ve worked with artisans to create accessories and wardrobe that are true to the game without necessarily being exact replicas. I played a lot of World of Warcraft and the love of fantasy in general, so I had a sense of the tone early on. But we also had an amazing collaboration with Blizzard, and we worked together to get the details right. This is the real world of our characters, so even though the premise and dialogue are humorous, our characters are very serious. I think this approach also honors the game.

So many Easter eggs…

We thought we were very subtle, but of course it took the internet about three seconds to find them. We have…

  • Pepe the bird. It is a popular creature that sometimes climbs on people’s heads. You can catch him clinging to the top of the stall in the first hit. Blink and you will miss him.
  • The poster one of the adventurers snatches refers to a quest where you kill an enemy and return their claw (which the adventurer is carrying). It’s not very difficult, which is why the people in the tavern aren’t that impressed with the feat.
  • And I spent a lot of time working with our graphic designer Kalle Garmark to perfect a portrait of Anduin Wrynn, the king of Stormwind, the city you see in the background in the opening. If you squint and turn up the brightness, you can barely see it hanging on the wall 13 seconds into the movie.
Any special significance to the tavern itself?

There are many taverns in the game. And the musical piece in the movie is called “Taverns” and can also be heard in the game. But the reason we chose a tavern for the movie is that it is a way natural to introduce many different characters and introduce the game.

How was the filming?

We filmed in Budapest on this incredible backlot built like a medieval town. Azeroth isn’t really medieval, so we had to do some work to make it look good. The tavern was built inside one of the buildings there.

There was a heat wave, but the discomfort we felt was quickly forgotten when we saw the actors walking around in those heavy armors and clothes all day. And on top of that, we were shooting in a tavern filled with candles and a roaring fireplace. But I never heard anyone complain.

To make sure the community was represented, we had three cosplayers starring in the film: Osanguine, Cinderys, and Dancing Fox. They brought their own costumes, which they make themselves, and we were all blown away by their craftsmanship. And pleasantly surprised by their acting!


Client: Activision Blizzard
VP Marketing EMEA: Daniel Green
EMEA Consumer Marketing Manager: Tom Read
Vice President of Warcraft Franchise Management: Aleksander Olszowka
Warcraft Franchise Director: Rafael Zuana
Warcraft Marketing Manager: Michael Vousden

Marketing Director: Fernando Machado
Creative Director: Pelle Sjönell

Agency: INGO Stockholm
CCO: Björn Stahl
Editor: Philip Frendberg
Project Manager: Rickard Allstrin
Production Manager: Klara Jonssons
Technical Director: Stefan Kindgren
Graphic designer: Kalle Garmark

Production Company: Bacon
Director: Bart Timmer
Executive Producer: Sam Cantor
Producer: Henrik Berthelsen
Assistant director: Mate Boegi
Cinematographer: Sebastian Blenkov
Publisher: Robin Siwe
Communications Manager: Lasse Cato

Post-production: Colony Post
VFX Supervisor: Joel Bringmark
Sound design: Quint Starky

Agency production: Colony
Agency Producer: Markus Ahlm

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