'Paddington' sequel taps mobile game for movie promo
- Gameloft, a French app developer, announced it will debut a mobile game for “Paddington 2,” the sequel to the 2014 movie based on the popular children’s book, according to the company. Three companies owned by French media giant Vivendi are collaborating on the film and game: Gameloft, film producer Studiocanal and The Copyrights Group, which controls the Paddington brand.
- Gameloft, which developed the mobile game that accompanied the first film, plans to unveil “Paddington Run” this fall. The game lets players lead Paddington, the cartoon bear created by British author Michael Bond, in a frantic race through the streets of London, where the bear trades his signature duffel coat for other clothes as users unlock new levels. The mobile app will run on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
- The first “Paddington” movie grossed $268 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo, and the brand's books have sold more than 35 million copies, according to a New York Times obituary about Bond, who died in June at age 91.
Videogame tie-ins to movies have been around for ages, but studios are increasingly using games as a promotional tool before the film’s release date to boost anticipation and advertise the brand as a whole. Not only are mobile games easy to distribute with instant downloads from an app store, but they're also a way to reach younger audiences who are cutting back on other media like TV in favor of mobile devices.
Vivendi isn’t alone among studios in creating mobile-related promotions. Last month, Disney and Lucasfilm promoted the "Star Wars" movie franchise with a chance to participate in an augmented reality (AR) treasure hunt at 20,000 retailers in 30 countries. The campaign promoted the release of a new line of products tied to the release of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" this holiday season. Universal Pictures promoted its reboot of "The Mummy" with an AR treasure hunt delivered on the Seek platform, and Sony Pictures’ campaign for "Spider-Man: Homecoming" included AR tech and interactive digital billboards in New York City’s Times Square.
Vivendi, which acquired Gameloft last year, is interested in expanding its videogame business by taking over Ubisoft, which makes the “Assassin’s Creed” series of games. Vivendi has been locked in a battle with Guillemot Brothers SE, the founders of Ubisoft, for control of the company, but Guillemot Brothers was able to ward off Vivendi with a purchase of more Ubisoft stock this month.