Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones Ventures Into Social Gaming With Zynga's Adventure World

Courtesy of Zynga

The whip-carrying hero will be weaved into the story of the Facebook game, which will be renamed Indiana Jones Adventure World, and featured in a new chapter.

NEW YORK - Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones is coming to social gaming giant Zynga's Adventure World in a big way on Tuesday in what is Indy's first venture into the social game space. 

As part of a collaboration between the companies that has been in the works for a while, the Facebook game will be renamed Indiana Jones Adventure World, and the whip-carrying hero will be weaved into the game's story, according to Zynga. 

Plus, the company will on Tuesday launch a new chapter of the game called Indiana Jones: And the Calendar of the Sun, in which players team up with Indy in search of a lost treasure. While they do not control the hero played on the big screen by Harrison Ford, he shows up regularly, gives players advice and helps them collect points.

Zynga, which has a filed for an IPO that is expected by year's end, has previously worked with film studios, such as Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, and music stars, such as Lady Gaga and Enrique Iglesias, to offer short-term integrations that promoted new film or album releases and the like. But the Indy partnership is Zynga’s first long-term arrangement with an entertainment partner.

Zynga had in September said that Indy would come to Adventure World, but hadn't shared detailed plans.

"Our Adventure World players have seen Indy in messages before, but this is the first time they can interact with him," Toby Ragaini, executive producer of the game, told The Hollywood Reporter. "And we worked hard with Lucasfilm to get the character right. For example, he is afraid of snakes - just like in the films."

The companies didn't disclose financial details of the licensing agreement and partnership. Adventure World has 1.5 million daily and 9.2 million monthly active players, according to AppData. Zynga executives wouldn't say how many incremental players the addition of Indiana Jones could draw to the game.

"It felt like a good marriage," Nabeel Hyatt, general manager, Zynga Boston, told The Hollywood Reporter. "This is not a short-term, but long-term relationship, which is new for Zynga. We talked very early on, but it took this long to get it right in partnership with Lucasfilm."

Indiana Jones: And the Calendar of the Sun sees Indy join players on their adventure as they trek across the jungle to find the Calendar of the Sun, while a competing group has a head start. 

The story takes place prior to the Indiana Jones films, around 1934, and includes Forrestal, a rival adventurer mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as some items from the films.

In future releases of the game, players will also get access to some of Indiana Jones gear and gadgets, including snake bait, a bear trap and outfits.

Why do players not get to play Indy himself? "We take additions to a game very seriously," said Ragaini. "Players wanted to play alongside Indy rather than becoming him, because each player has their own character that is created. Our goal was to allow them to interact with Indiana Jones like in a social experience."

Twitter: @georgszalai