Fans of the “The Hunger Games” will soon be able to play along.
Kabam, the San Francisco-based developer that has scored with mobile and social games based on film franchises like “The Godfather,” “Fast & Furious” and “The Hobbit,” has been tapped by Lionsgate to produce a “Hunger Games” role playing, card collection title for smartphones and tablets.
In the game, players will assume the identity of District members sent on a mission in order to build their alliance, liberate their District, and rebuild Panem, the fictional world in Suzanne Collins’ books and movies.
As is the case with Kabam’s other titles, the “Hunger Games” mobile game will embrace a free-to-play model when launched. That means players will be able to buy new levels or upgrade characters or abilities through microtransactions, where these types of titles typically generate their revenue.
Studios see such games as a low-cost way to keep fans interested in a franchise either in between film releases or long after they’ve left the multiplex, while also creating a new revenue stream from the properties.
Kabam’s “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth” went on to generate more than $100 million in revenue during its first year for Warner Bros., while Paramount also had a hit with web-based title “The Godfather: Five Families.” Universal revved up a lucrative business around “Fast & Furious” with a Kabam game around the sixth installment of the film franchise, with one also planned for “Fast & Furious 7.”
Kabam’s homegrown franchises “Kingdoms of Camelot” and “Dragons of Atlantis” are also earning more than $100 million each.
Warner Bros. and MGM are investors in the company.
The company will produce “The Hunger Games” game through its studio in China, where “Kingdoms of Middle-earth” was also developed.
The goal for Kabam “is to build a mobile game that’s as much fun to play the movie is to watch,” according to Kent Wakeford, Kabam’s chief operating officer.
While a release date has not yet been disclosed, Kabam and Lionsgate expect to release their game around “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –- Part 1,” which bows Nov. 21, followed by “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -– Part 2,” on Nov. 20. Kabam distributes its titles through a dedicated channel in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and online on Facebook, Yahoo, Kabam.com and other platforms.
Lionsgate announced the deal with Kabam during its fourth quarter earnings call early Friday morning.
“We are so pleased to be working with Kabam to give the fans an experience like they have never had before,” said Danielle DePalma, Lionsgate’s executive VP of Digital Media. “Being able to role-play with the mentors straight from the world of ‘The Hunger Games’ will let fans feel as if they are in the middle of the action.”