March 06, 2014 7:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
AMC's 'Walking Dead' Gets Mobile Game Treatment
AMC is expanding The Walking Dead's universe.
The cable network is teaming with Next Games to create what it says is the first mobile game based on the popular zombie drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Developed for smartphones and tablets, AMC and Next Games are preparing to launch the as-yet untitled Walking Dead game timed to the show's fifth-season premiere in October. The mobile game is said to be global in sale, with distribution and marketing across continents.
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Details of the plot of the game are being kept under wraps, but the Finnish game developer vowed that it would have the same tone and tension of the AMC drama.
"Our take on the undead survival franchise will match the against-all-odds action and moment-to-moment tension of the TV series. We want to find that sweet spot where gameplay and narrative inform and reinforce one another,” said Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen. "Like AMC’s The Walking Dead itself, we’re not giving away too many details right out the gate, but I can confidently state it’s unlike anything we’ve seen from The Walking Dead franchise on home or mobile gaming hardware before."
The Finnish game developer was founded by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell and Disney and is focused on crafting narrative-driven titles with engaging free-to-play mechanics.
"We chose to team up with Next Games because of their outstanding creative and technical talent, as well as a willingness to reimagine the unique and compelling world of The Walking Dead, which has built a significant and passionate global fan community,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. "We’re thrilled to be part of this next wave of games innovation and participating in a project that -- like the show itself -- is in service of the fans.”
The AMC game marks the latest mobile project tied to the comics franchise created by Robert Kirkman, who executive produces the series starring Andrew Lincoln as a beleaguered father and former sheriff fighting for survival in a zombie-infested world. In addition to the upcoming title, U.K.-based Gamagio created The Walking Dead: Assault and Telltale Games has The Walking Dead, both of which are inspired by Kirkman's Image Comics title. Beyond those, there's also a Facebook interactive Walking Dead Social Game, first-person shooter The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct -- which follows brothers Merle and Daryl Dixon on their way to Atlanta at the onset of the outbreak; online interactive game The Walking Dead: Dead Reckoning, which follows Shane; and Facebook game The Walking Dead: Left Behind, in addition to console-based titles.
AMC's The Walking Dead ranks as the No. 1 show among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and a global franchise that regularly ranks in the top spot in several countries worldwide. The comic, currently on its 123rd issue, is distributed all over the world and in multiple languages. Additional details about the new mobile game will be announced in the coming months.
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Meanwhile, independent game developers MegaGigaOmniCorp and Top8Magic have launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Walking Dead: The Prison -- Board Game. The board game features characters and artwork from The Walking Dead comic series. The game is supported by Skybound -- Kirkman's Image Comics-based imprint -- and is being developed by Keith Tralins and Matt Wang,who have both worked on board games for Lost and the first The Walking Dead Board Game, respectively. Those interested in contributing can head to the game's Kickstarter page for additional details.
The Walking Dead airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. A formal premiere date for season five has not yet been determined.