Minions, the prequel/spin-off of the Despicable Me franchise, hits theaters in less then three months. As expected, Illumination Entertainment is jumping on cross-marketing opprotunites well before the marketing campaign for the film itself begins in earnest. They are doing it with comic books and very soon, they will be doing it with video games.
Variety recently reported that the studio has signed a multi-year deal with Electronic Arts to develop video games based on their properties. These games are primarily being developed for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Illumination will collaborate with EA’s developers on the creative aspects of the games.
The first game under this deal, Minions Paradice, will bow this summer (to accompany the release of Minions, of course). The game is described as follows:
In the free-to-play title, players will create their own utopia. Playing as Phil, a brand-new character, they’ll help other Minions design, build and craft in a tropical environment.
EA won’t just be mining Despicable Me for ideas that translate to mobile gaming. The deal will also cover future films from Illumination. This will undoubtedly include original projects like The Secret Life of Pets and their untitled musical feature, as well as their adaptations of Ricky Gervais’ Flanimals books and the Uglydoll toy franchise.
“We strive to find unique ways to work with our partners and are excited that our filmmaking team is creating game content side by side with EA and Universal,” Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, said in a statement. “We want to bring the same level of care and creativity to these games that we bring to our films….‘Minions Paradise’ is a great way to start our new partnership with EA, and we look forward to sharing the game with fans all over the world this summer.”
EA has had success with licensed mobile content before (specifically content based on animated properties). In 2012, they released The Simpsons: Tapped Out for mobile platforms. Within eight months of its release, the game topped $100 million in real money spent on in-game items. To this day, it remains one of the highest-grossing titles in the iTunes App Store.
Combine that with the fact that mobile is one of EA’s fastest growing divisions, and one can immediately see why Illumination broke this deal on the onset of their newest film.
What do you think? Any thoughts on the news? Would you play these games?
Edited by: Morgan Stradling