Celestial Pictures Enters the Gaming Realm with 'My Kingdom' Tie-in

More games to come from Celestial's 760-title Shaw Brothers library.

HONG KONG –- Celestial Pictures charges into the gaming business with games apps for upcoming theatrical release My Kingdom and a planned game series based on iconic characters from Shaw Brothers film classics, Celestial CEO Ross Pollack told The Hollywood Reporter.

The game, available on Celestial Pictures’ official website and on iTunes for free download for iPhones and iPod Touches, is the first created for a Chinese-language movie. But the game has both Chinese and English versions, on which Celestial worked with Shanghai-based game developer Art Coding to produce. The company is hoping the game would introduce the movie around the world.

The casual rhythm-based game revolving around the main characters in My Kingdom’s world of Chinese opera, scheduled for theatrical released in September across Asia, marks Celestial’s debut into the gaming industry.

The decision to create a game for the film resulted from an interest in catering to fans of the youthful cast, including teen idols Wu Chun (14 Blades), formerly of Taiwan’s boy band Fahrenheit, and Han Geng, the Chinese pop singer who was a member of the South Korean boy band Super Junior. China’s immensely popular microblog service, Sina Weibo, which boasts 140 million members, is marketing the game.

It also serves as “something of value for exhibitors to stick to their websites,” said Pollack in an interview. “From a personal point of view, when I came onboard Celestial last year, the main new strategy for the company is to focus on new content creation in a trans-media 360 degrees approach to build a robust business. Game developing is an extension of this content creation strategy,” he adds. Celestial’s multi-channel content creation strategy will also include future remakes of its Shaw Brothers titles.

Next in line in game development for the company, which owns the 760-titled classic Shaw Brothers film library, is to develop a series of comic-book style games based on iconic Shaw Brothers characters. “With the character library, we can leverage through the games to introduce the Shaw Brothers characters to a new generation,” Pollack says. Celestial is open to producing promotional games for other Hong Kong studios, which the company worked with on distributing movie content through its pay-TV channel Celestial Movies. In addition to the free film promotional games, Pollack says the company is planning to develop its gaming business to produce revenue-generating titles. The game development department is now headed by vp Justin Weng.

The My Kingdom Game can be downloaded at www.celestialpictures.com/game/mykingdom.asp.