Boat Rocker Media entices 'Orphan Black' fans with mobile game
- Boat Rocker Media, creator of the Canadian television series “Orphan Black," has released a mobile game based on the science-fiction thriller starring Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany, who embodies several identical clones with vastly different personalities, the company said in a press release.
- The game was developed in-house by Boat Rocker Media with assistance from gaming experts. In it, Sarah Manning, the principle protagonist in “Orphan Black,” and her clone sisters explore more than 80 levels spanning ten worlds, where they are challenged to escape various traps and dangerous situations while being pursued by nefarious elements.
- While the vast majority of mobile games are free — over 90% in some estimates — Boat Rocker Media is charging $4.99 for the“Orphan Black" game, which is available for iOS devices.
The “Orphan Black” mobile game brings fans another way to connect with their favorite show outside of the typical small-screen bounds. Viewers familiar with the atmospheric aesthetics of the show will recognize them in the eerie design of the game.
By charging for its “Orphan Black” game, Boat Rocker Media reduces the number of consumers likely to play its game. Most game producers chase high volumes of users and make games free in the hopes a tiny but engrossed percentage of them will watch ads or shell out for in-game rewards after downloading the game. As mobile media development firm Dogtown Media explained in a breakdown of the arguments for and against free apps, “500,000 users willing to pay a penny in the long run are worth much more than 100 users willing to pay a dollar in the short term.” However, Dogtown Media doesn’t contend paid apps are always bad ideas. It concludes they can do well if they provide a niche service or tap into a pre-existing audience as is the case for “Orphan Black.”
Boat Rocker Media is the latest company to ride the mobile game wave. Last year, mobile game revenue outpaced revenue from console and PC games for the first time, according to a study by Newzoo. This year, authorities in the mobile gaming field predict the rush of marketers into mobile games will swell. Steve Wadsworth, president and chief executive officer of TapJoy, told IAB that mobile games are being tested as vehicles to build awareness, favorability and recall. Media properties are looking at mobile games to extend engagement with their audiences.
Media entities and brands across various industries are faced with evaluating an array of strategies once they take the mobile-game plunge. Companies can produce their own games or insert ads and rewards into third-party games. They can offer free mobile game apps or charge for them. In-game advertising, although increasingly accepted by mobile game players, has a tendency to disrupt games that irks both game developers and users. But steering clear of advertising and producing a game isn’t cheap. Simple mobile games can cost tens of thousands of dollars, while the price tag for complex ones rises into the millions.
Boat Rocker Media’s decision to execute its own game was perhaps driven by a potentially lucrative bet that fans of “Orphan Black” are hungry to get their fingers on more products from the show. Also, the financial risk of the game was possibly muted for Boat Rocker Media by support from Ontario Media Development Corp. In addition, Bell Fund and Bell Media participated in the production of the game.