Avenged Sevenfold, the Huntington Beach rock band whose music has appeared in the bestselling video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2," is developing an animated series with online gamer channel Machinima.
The six-episode series, "Hail to the King," will premiere this fall on Machinima's Happy Hour channel and feature music from the band's forthcoming album of the same title.
Warner Bros. Records approached Machinima with the concept for the animated series, written by lead vocalist M. Shadows and Avenged Sevenfold. The label had hoped to use the series to promote the album -- scheduled for release Aug. 27 -- and a related mobile game to YouTube's young, male audience.
Machinima recruited Jon Schnepp to direct the new "Hail to the King" series, which will explore the fictional story of the band's winged skull logo, known as the "Death Bat." Schnepp previously produced and directed "Metalocalypse," a Cartoon Network animated TV series about the over-the-top exploits of a death metal band.
Animation has been especially popular with Machinima's core demographic -- guys ages 18 to 34. In fact, it's been a consistent draw on its main YouTube channel, even before the launch of its animation-focused Happy Hour channel in November 2012.
Machinima has struck deals for other original series, including "Space Adventure Legend Quest," by Chris Voigt, and "Action Faction," from Jon Etheridge and Tony Schnur.