Mobile games are the new tie-ins for Hollywood blockbusters. That’s why Disney is launching a mobile game based on director Gore Verbinski’s upcoming The Lone Ranger film.
For a time, social network games were the new “transmedia” tie-in opportunities for game-movie synergy. But social games have lost some of their luster, and mobile gaming is rising rapidly. So it’s only natural that Disney is releasing this as a free-to-play game on iOS and Android devices.
In the role-playing game, you saddle up and become The Lone Ranger. You have to save the town of Colby, Texas, and become a Western legend. You encounter allies, such as Tonto, and villains, including Butch Cavendish and his vicious gang. The game will get maximum exposure thanks to the July 3 release of the film in theaters.
The same risk for any transmedia game holds for this one. If the movie from Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films fails, so does the game. Of course, Disney has a pretty good track record when it comes to mobile games, with hits such as Temple Run: Brave, Where’s My Water?, and Temple Run: Oz. Most of its titles have hit No. 1 — sometimes based on marketing buzz alone. But how long they stay at No. 1 depends on whether the games are any good.