Sit down. Let me explain one of the wonders of nature to you. You see, when an audience loves a mobile game very much, the two hug each other very hard. And eventually, months later, a transmedia merchandising campaign is born.
That’s what is happening with Temple Run. Developer Imangi Studios is entering an agreement with Egmont Publishing that will see the release of a Temple Run fiction series and activity books aimed at children. The endless-runner game for iOS and Android has an Indiana Jones style about it, and that could translate well to novelization.
This is the latest example of how mobile developers are reaching into other media and merchandising segments to generate additional revenue streams. Angry Birds developer Rovio has toys, books, and more tied into its game franchise — the company is even working on a feature film for 2016. Imangi, meanwhile, has previously released a board game version of Temple Run.
Angry Birds and Temple Run are also both examples of hit mobile games that no longer compete with the top games on iOS and Android. While Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans generate hundreds of millions of dollars from in-app purchases, Temple Run no longer appears in the top 100 for downloads or grossing on iPhone. Instead, Angry Birds and Temple Run have shifted to capitalize on their brand appeal.
While Temple Run isn’t as popular as it once was on iPhone and Android, the game recently crossed 1 billion downloads worldwide. That number means that a lot of people will recognize its logo if they saw it on a retail shelf.
“Playing Temple Run is an exhilarating experience, and our formats and content are as cool, fast-paced, and exciting as the game itself,” Egmont publishing director for licensed character books Sarah Bates said in a statement. “Our publishing offers a fantastic opportunity for fans to delve deeper into the world and characters of Temple Run.”
The first two entries in the fiction series, Run for Your Life!, will debut this August. The U.K. and U.S. will also get a Temple Run activity book that month both in print and as an interactive download. In November, Egmont will follow up with two more entries in the fiction series.
The Run for Your Life! books are choose-your-own adventures, which actually makes sense for this property as that format mimics the gameplay of swiping left or right to choose a path in Temple Run proper.
“We’re thrilled that Temple Run will feature in our new ‘Downloaded’ activity book range, and we’ve already had an amazing response to our Run for Your Life fiction series, which is perfect for readers aged 7+,” said Bates. “We couldn’t think of a better format for the Temple Run game than putting all the choices in the readers’ hands!”
Egmont has previously published books based on the Angry Birds and Minecraft brands.