Tech company N3TWORK, developer of mobile games such as Legendary: Game of Heroes and the upcoming Tetris Royale, has acquired the rights to upcoming mobile title Funko Pop! Blitz from Universal Games and its recently restructured game publishing division Digital Platforms.
The puzzle game — announced in September and developed by Burbank-based Tic Toc Games, the studio behind Jam City’s Panda Pop — features Funko Pop! versions of characters from Universal franchises such as Back to the Future, E.T. and Jurassic World, among others, as well as familiar faces from DreamWorks Animation and Funko’s line of vinyl figurines. The company also plans to introduce characters from other film, television, toys, comics and video game IP in the future.
“I think that the Funko Pop property is a pretty unique canvas for mobile games,” N3TWORK CEO Neil Young tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It has a huge following and it’s uniquely able to capture IP and utilize it for a game. Funko has over 600 IP licenses and, while we don’t have access to all of those, we certainly have access to a large swath of them.”
Young says Funko Pop! Blitz was already at a “very robust starting place” when his company acquired the rights. “We’ve been working through transition with NBCU and Tic Toc to move the game from the set of technologies that were being utilized on top of our scale platform, which powers our games,” he says. “That allows Funko Pop Blitz to take advantage of all of those technologies.”
To aid in the migration of the title from Universal Games and Digital Platforms to N3TWORK, a team of “five or six” key talent from the former division will be brought on board to N3TWORK’s Los Angeles studio to help “lead and direct” the project, says Young.
In November, N3TWORK secured a $40 million investment — which included investors such as Griffin Gaming Partners, a new venture firm co-founded by former Lionsgate exec Peter Levin — to aid in development of first-party games, its live games publishing platform and its media and audience network. In addition to the mobile games it currently has in development, the company hosts a partnership program for developers called Scale Platform and will launch a “community app” next year named The N3TWORK.
“Looking forward into 2020 on our first-party game side, we think we’re very well positioned to grow in that part of the business,” says Young.
Currently, N3TWORK has just over 100 employees spread across three locations. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in Los Angeles and Santiago, Chile.
Funko Pop! Blitz is set to launch sometime in 2020.