Gamification of a Bollywood movie is not a new phenomenon. But what is new, is the concept of releasing the game version well-ahead of the movie itself.
Shahrukh Khan’s movie Don2 followed the game’s release of the same name. It was released on multiple platforms, for the PS2 and for PC. Shahrukh’s next – Ra One received the same treatment. Needless to say (and defying all logic) both movies were massive hits.
While releasing game versions or even comics of movies is not new, and has time-and-time gain proved profitable, why does one decide to release a game before the movie? We had a few thoughts.
1. Creating a buzz
A well-storied, interactive game gets the audience anxious. They can’t stop talking about how good the movie ‘will’ be. They get engrossed and start discussing it on Twitter, Facebook, mailtrails etc. The build-up can sometimes even go viral. A cleverly-supported incentives campaign may even boost visitor participation – Get to the next level and get 15% off on your movie ticket.
2. Getting hooked
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind – video games are addictive. So why not offer the audience something that will keep them engaged for more than just the duration of the movie? Kids & adults alike may not recall a movie’s name after about a month from its release, but, if the game is good, it will not only be played for a longer duration, it will be talked about much more. It’s the ideal ‘positive publicity tool’ and ensures a top-of-mind brand recall.
3. There’s money to be made
While the main idea is publicity, there is a fair amount of profitability involved as well. Do you remember the Playstation version of Mission Impossible, when Ethan Hunt had pop a sleeping pill into a can of Pepsi before serving it? Cleverly placed brand advertisements within the game help bring down the development costs & revenue sharing can actually make the efforts to design & launch a game a very lucrative venture. Some insiders reveal, game publishers can monetize anywhere between Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 50 lakhs in a year!
Here are a few more movie-based games that made an impact.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (ZNMD) lets users participate in the La Tomatina festival. You play as Arun (played by Hrithik Roshan), Imran (Farhan Akhtar) or Kabir (Abhay Deol) and throw tomatoes at other characters to score points. Negative points for lobbing tomatoes at women.
The smash hit ‘Singham’ used a movie-themed mobile game to promote itself. Featuring action and racing, the game has you, Bajirao Singham shooting enemies while driving vehicles ranging from a Motorcycle to a SUV on the streets of Goa in several missions and environments.
Ghajini’s game version was India’s first 3D PC action game based on a Bollywood movie. The Third Person Action game recreated movie locations, scenes and visual content from the movie for an authentic gaming experience. And, as Sanjay (dubbed by Aamir Khan), you got to kill people!