Maybe the different divisions that make up Sony talk to one another, but it doesn’t always seem like it. Take this example: The television-production wing of Sony is making an original video game.
Sony Pictures Television has a new product. It’s not a game show or an unscripted dating program for network prime time. Instead, it is a free-to-play role-playing game with strategy elements for your smartphone called Suits and Swords. It’s available now for iOS and Android — and it’s a way for this media arm of the Japanese conglomerate to break into the multibillion-dollar mobile market.
The part of Sony that is responsible for Breaking Bad, Jeopardy!, and Community is now making its own original mobile games without Sony Computer Entertainment — the division that makes PlayStation. Previously, the TV company released gaming adaptations of its Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! shows, but this is the first time it has built something totally new for smartphones and tablets.
Suits and Swords is a fantasy-RPG that has players going on an adventure to save the Four Card Realms. The game uses playing card mechanics with heroes from the Heart Union, Diamond Empire, Club Kingdom, and Spade Nation teaming up to fight off the tyrannical Joker.
The game has players battling against enemies that include dragons and wolves. As Captain Black Jack, players engage in a variation on blackjack mechanics that have them trying to get as close to 21 without going over.
“Sony Pictures Television has built a successful track record of leveraging familiar franchises like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to create a variety of popular and engaging mobile games,” Sony Pictures Television senior vice president of digital networks Philip Lynch said in a statement. “As we look to expand our portfolio with free-to-consumer titles, we’re creating new game IP like ‘Suits and Swords’ to grow our audience base and reach a key marketable demographic.”
Mobile gaming is an expanding market. Analysts predict that smartphone and tablet games could push the whole industry to $100 billion in revenue by 2017. Young people are a big part of that, and it’s something that Sony Pictures Television wants to start experimenting with.