Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gameloft To Create Mobile Games Based On Highly Anticipated Avatar

James Cameron's "Avatar", which 20th Century Fox is releasing in the US on December 18th, is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2009. Buzz about it is off the meter on every meaningful market indicator... particularly as more imagery is revealed (in the form of theatrical trailers) teasing the film's revolutionary, immersive 3D experience. There's also a lot of film industry speculation about whether Cameron, who hasn't directed a non-documentary feature film since the ultimate blockbuster "Titanic" in 1997, can pull another boxoffice rabbit out of his hat. Considering that the film’s budget is said to be well over $200 million, Fox is betting on it. Btw - From what I've seen the film looks pretty cool.

Today Fox Mobile Entertainment and Gameloft announced that the French mobile games titan has signed a license agreement to develop, publish and distribute games based on "Avatar". Given Gameloft's extensive experience creating high-quality film-based games (e.g. King Kong), unparalleled worldwide distribution capability, and considering sister company Ubisoft has been involved with title on the console side since mid-2007, I think this is a wise/natural choice for this crown jewel title. The mobile games will release in conjunction with the film at the end of the year...so my guess (hope) is that Gameloft is already pretty far along in the development process. The release doesn't go into any detail about the style of gameplay, storyline or if Gameloft is giving any special consideration to 3D in light of its importance to the film. It's also not specific about whether they have rights for all mobile platforms... specifically iPhone. I'll do some digging... In the meantime, any thoughts on what this license may have cost Gameloft? Will "Avatar" have to be the "Titanic" of mobile games for them to recoup?

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