Love it or hate it, Hollywood does not seem to have any plans to leave beloved game characters alone. However, something good may come from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s live-action comedy, Pixels, in the form of a tower defense mobile game that will bring old school icons like PAC-MAN, Frogger, and Q*bert together for the first time.
Movie makers in Tinseltown are not unaware of the icons they are dealing with. Mark Caplan, Sony Pictures’ Vice President, Consumer Products, has also gone on record in a statement to the press acknowledging the gravity of game icons like PAC-MAN in a film like Pixels.
“Pixels wouldn’t be possible without the enduring power of historic gaming figures like PAC-MAN, and we’re proud to team up with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment to bring that joy back to the medium that inspired it with this new game.”
Bandai Namco Entertainment America is developing the movie tie-in mobile game. The basic premise is synchronous with the film, the world is under attack by aliens who use arcade video games as their weapons of mass destruction. It is up to a group of geeky, arcade-loving heroes played by Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad to save the day. When it comes to the game’s development, PAC-MAN Producer Ben Acevedo gives a high level overview of the approach the dev team is taking with the Pixels mobile game to provide an enjoyable gameplay experience that also successfully ties in with the film.
“With the Pixels mobile game, our goal is to capture the spirit of the movie and provide a new take on the popular tower defense genre of games. We have worked hard to reference some of the great action set pieces from the movie casting players in the role of the movie’s heroes, the Arcaders.”
With all of the reassurance from both Sony Pictures and Bandai Namco, it is quite possible the Pixels film and mobile game could turn out to be a hit like 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph. Disney’s tie-in app for Wreck-It Ralph was a success at launch and hit the top of the paid app charts, according to PocketGamer.biz. The visibility on the mobile app stores serves as a marketing gimmick to remind the masses to go see the movie, while simultaneously serving as a digital movie merchandise. Unlike the Wreck-It Ralph mobile app that contained three mini-mobile games for a small fee, the Pixels game will be free-to-play. The inclusion of optional in-app purchases is also likely, but no official word on any form of monetization has been indicated or revealed.
The Pixels game does not yet have an official release date; however, Bandai Namco confirms in a recent press release the mobile app is scheduled to debut on both smartphones and tablets before the film’s wide theatrical release on July 24, 2015.
[Images courtesy Bandai Namco]