South Park long ago put to rest notions of an imminent end with a three-season renewal through 2019, but it bears thought if video games like The Stick of Truth or The Fractured But Whole represent an enduring step for the franchise. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker wonder this as well, pointing to games as a potential “future of South Park,” noting they’ve still kicked around a few movie ideas.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly of the new superhero-skewering South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the acclaimed duo noted their efforts to maintain quality control over the games ended up taking precedence over a new movie to follow 1999's Bigger, Longer and Uncut. “We’re gamers, and gaming is such a big part of South Park,” said Parker. “That’s why we treat this seriously. We treat this like a movie. We could have done a movie, instead of this, but we chose to do it as a game instead.”

As to whether the series itself might wrap up after its 2019 renewal, as many had once thought imminent after the meta-fatigued “You’re Getting Old,” both wondered if gaming might eventually end up the full brand of South Park:

PARKER: We kind of [thought "You're Getting Old" was the end] too, for a little bit.

STONE: I think we’ll probably do semi-serialization for the rest of it. Cat’s out of the bag. We can’t go back. If it’s the right thing for the end of the story, we let some things hang.

PARKER: We also know that this [he points at the video game] might be the future of South Park. This might be where things are going.

STONE: I think in 20 years, 10 years, people will be playing more. That convergence of entertainment, whether it’s VR or a more immersive thing. The more you get in it, the more you watch Pew Die Pie, and people watch Pew Die Pie play, and you watch E-sports. You watch young people, and the way they engage with something – sh–, maybe that is the future of South Park.

In the meantime, South Park has already set a Season 20 premiere date for September 14, 2016, while you can watch the full Fractured But Whole (will never not be fun to say) trailer below.

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