Developer and game publisher SGN launched its first collaboration with Fox Digital Entertainment, the mobile game release “Book of Life: Sugar Smash.”
The game is tied to the upcoming “Book of Life,” an animated feature produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez. The film’s voice cast includes Channing Tatum, Zoë Saldana, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Placido Domingo, and Christina Applegate, many of whom are also featured voices in the game. The game and film will both be available on Oct. 17.
If you’re addicted to mobile games like “Cookie Jam” or “Panda Pop,” blame Chris DeWolfe, who serves as CEO of SGN. Prior to SGN, he was one of the co-founders of MySpace and also served as its CEO.
“In the past, a lot of IP owners thought about games being an afterthought and would create a cheap game to go with it,” DeWolfe told TheWrap. “Now there’s the belief that the game might be a big contributor to the IP. I think that’s been a very recent a-ha moment.”
With the success of the game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” celebrities, agents and studios are all trying to get in on the money to be made with a branded mobile game that shoots to the top of the charts. Games are also of value when driving initial awareness to get audiences to watch a film or TV show, as well as keeping them engaged with the property long after it’s left the theater or television screen.
“I think a year ago people were starting to get it, but I think that everyone’s eyes are wide open right now,” said DeWolfe. “Now people ask ‘What’s your mobile gaming strategy for that IP?'”
The “Book of Life” feature film tells the story of Manolo, following him through three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears to reunite with his true love, Maria.
“After looking at 100 different IPs, this is the one that really fit our hypothesis; our notion of how the process should work,” DeWolfe said of his collaboration with Fox on the project. “We were quickly able to get a deal done and get involved with the creative process.”
The film’s distinctive artwork also attracted DeWolfe and his team to the game. “If you see something that catches your eye that’s a great piece of art,” said DeWolfe. “It helps you make the game faster.”