Tony Montana Lives in New ‘Scarface’ Mobile Game
Brian De Palma’s gangster classic, Scarface, continues to mesmerize new audiences. After a successful videogame sequel from Vivendi Games back in 2006, Scarface: The World Is Yours, Tony Montana returns in a brand new iOS game for iPhone, iPod and iPad. Publisher Fuse Powered and developer HotHead Games have unleashed a free-to-play Scarface game. Al Pacino is featured in the new game through audio taken straight from the Universal Pictures film as well as his likeness. John Walsh, CEO of Fuse Powered, talks about the new game and how his company is capitalizing on classic movies and turning them into game franchises in this exclusive interview.
The Hollywood Reporter: We've seen Scarface on consoles before, what separates this new mobile game from past interactive incarnations?
John Walsh: Everyone at Fuse were big fans of the console game, but we knew that we wanted to take a very different approach on mobile. Essentially, we wanted a game that would really appeal to mobile gamers that would be easy to play, have a great interface with simple controls, but also offer all of the challenges you’d expect when attempting to build Tony’s empire. Fortunately, many members of the team have worked on previous installments of the game and felt the same way, so we have the best of both worlds. ... We feel like we really nailed it.
THR: How did you work with actors from the film?
John Walsh: We really wanted this to be a very authentic Scarface experience on mobile devices and Universal was on board from the start. As a result we have many likenesses in the game, including Tony Montana, Manny, Elvira and many other iconic characters from the film. We also have many of Tony’s most iconic lines with Al Pacino’s original voice recordings right from the film, which sound great: “Say hello to my little friend.”
Scarface: The World Is Yours served as a virtual sequel to the film. What story is this mobile game taking?
The mobile game starts the player off right at the beginning of the movie at the restaurant. From there the game loosely follows the narrative of the film, starting with small missions and eventually lets players build their criminal empire, eliminating the competition along the way of course. Players will also go above and beyond Tony’s ultimate downfall in the film to create their own empire without limits, including re-building their own version of Tony’s mansion and building and upgrading a wide variety of businesses.
What role do Hollywood licenses play in the crowded mobile gaming space today?
Hollywood licenses can have the advantage of instant awareness in the crowded mobile game space, but you have to do it right. Fan expectations around iconic brands are usually rightfully very high and you have to deliver. We won’t take on any license unless we feel it can be a great mobile game.
What do you feel you're bringing new to Scarface with this game?
We’re bringing the ability for fans to really live the Montana lifestyle – virtually of course, which includes doing whatever it takes to get to the top and stay there.
Considering a virtual sequel was already made with Tony not dying at the end of the original movie, are you designing this game as a potential franchise?
Definitely. The advantage of mobile games is that we’re no longer constrained by physical media so that these games can evolve and grow in a live environment. Our intention is to continue to expand the features and content in the game as long as players want it. We’re already working on a major new addition to the game that lets players take on other real players that will be available a short time after launch. The game itself is potentially limitless, which is what great franchises are made of.
What other Hollywood licenses are you working with?
We have already released several very successful Hollywood branded games including Jaws, Jaws Revenge and Dawn of the Dead and have several other games in development.
THR: What are the advantages of working with catalogue films versus brand new movies?
John Walsh: Catalogue films can be less risky as their commercial success and fan following are already established. New film productions generally have more stakeholders involved given the huge financial investment in a major movie, which can result in higher budgets, and have longer development/approval processes. We have found that there is more risk given the uncertain outcome of new movies.