- Game maker Jam City partnered with Cloudco Entertainment to offer exclusive Care Bears content in its bubble shooter mobile game "Panda Pop," which has been downloaded more than 140 million times. The company will release the exclusive Unity Bear character in the game on Sept. 3, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Unity Bear has a motto of "together, we are stronger," as reflected in the artwork on its belly of three bear paws clasped together in a triangle. Unity Bear will appear in the leadup to #ShareYourCareDay on Sept. 9 to urge players "to participate in acts of kindness on screen — and in their real world communities."
- "We have seen increased digital engagement amongst our fans, as they turn to digital expression to share how they are 'sharing and caring' during this time," Robert Prinzo, head of global licensing at Cloudco, said in the announcement.
Jam City's partnership with Cloudco to create exclusive content for hit game "Panda Pop" comes as a sign of how traditional children's brands like the Care Bears are leveraging their popularity for an audience of mobile gamers. Jam City's games have included characters licensed from TV, film and toy brands, its website notes.
The creation of the exclusive Unity Bear following the addition of Care Bears imagery aims to build excitement for the hypercasual bubble shooter game. The Care Bears this week started appearing in "Panda Pop," inviting players to "unlock the magic" of the characters by "blasting, matching, and popping bubbles to level up and receive surprises," per the announcement.
For Cloudco, the inclusion of Care Bears in "Panda Pop" is its second recent licensing deal. In June, it licensed the Care Bears to online retailer Irregular Choice for an accessories collection, License Global reported. The 34-piece collection is inspired by different Care Bears, each of which has a distinctive marking on its belly to reflect a different personality. The Care Bears were introduced in 1982 by greeting card maker American Greetings, whose licensing arm was spun off as Cloudco two years ago.
The addition of Care Bears content to "Panda Pop" follows the surge in mobile gaming activity during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic as homebound consumers looked for entertainment during lockdowns. Mobile game downloads hit a record of more than 1.2 billion worldwide in Q2's first week, and were up 20% from a year earlier to an average of more than 1 billion a week for the remainder of the quarter, researcher App Annie found.
The surge in mobile gaming has boosted attention around hypercasual games like "Panda Pop." Mobile game developer Zynga this week agreed to buy Rollic, an Istanbul-based developer whose hypercasual games have been downloaded more than 250 million times.