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Sony Pictures joins in on the movie-game disruption trend

A few weeks back, we reported on a trend of many Hollywood studios forgoing traditional movie-licensed games in favor of mobile apps based on established iPhone and Android properties. Titles like Temple Run: Brave and Angry Birds Rio do an excellent job of promoting the movies they’re attached to as well as the games they’re based on.

Now, Sony Pictures is getting in on the action with the help of Hotel Dash developer PlayFirst. The two companies announced a deal in which the mobile-app dev would produce a game based on the upcoming film Hotel Transylvania.

Hotel Transylvania plus Hotel Dash equals Hotel Transylvania Dash. It’s a match made in Hollywood.

“This deal with Sony, along with others that we have delivered on, continues to demonstrate the unique appeal of PlayFirst mobile games when combined with top content and major media brands,” said PlayFirst president and chief executive Marco DeMiroz.

Hotel Transylvania is a 3D-animated comedy from Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky that stars Adam Sandler as Dracula, the owner of the titular inn. PlayFirst will take that narrative and apply it to the basic framework it established in its series of Dash games (Diner Dash, Garden Dash, and Soap Opera Dash), which have attracted a fan base of over 600 million players.

“For the Hotel Transylvania mobile game, we wanted a licensee who could uniquely deliver the high-quality game experience and fun on par with our movie,” said Mark Caplan, a Sony Pictures Entertainment vice president. “PlayFirst delivers a proven, immersive game mechanic and a worldwide recognized brand with both the ability to develop a great game and market it globally to an existing and growing fan base.”

It’s particularly telling that Caplan mentioned the gameplay mechanics as an important aspect in the decision to go with PlayFirst. That is not the usual type of language we heard from executives during the years of mediocre movie-licensed games on consoles.

PlayFirst will release Hotel Transylvania Dash for the Apple App Store on September 20. The Hotel Transylvania film will hit theaters a little more than week later on September 28.


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