The free-to-play game — “Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow” — was developed by Jam City and its game studio TinyCo, in collaboration with 21st Century Fox’s FoxNext Games, Groening and executive producer David X. Cohen.
The podcast version of “Futurama” was the brainchild of Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick, who said he’d gotten in touch with Cohen with an idea about rebooting the show: “What if you took out the expensive animation part out, and we did this kind of radio-play version as a podcast?”
That was well-received by Groening and Cohen. Ultimately JamCity and TinyCo backed the podcast — which is based on the new storyline in “Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow” by Groening, Cohen, and the “Futurama” writers — as a vehicle to promote the game.
“’Futurama’ has set off a strangely sci-fi-ish paradox where the episodes inspired the ‘Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow’ game, and now the game is inspiring new episodes,” said David X. Cohen in a statement. “Hooray for infinite loops!”
As part of creating the game content, producers brought back the show’s original cast, including Billy West (the show’s hero, Phillip J. Fry), Katey Sagal (cyclops Leela), John DiMaggio (the robot Bender), Tress MacNeille (Mom), and Phil LaMarr (Hermes). They’re featured in the new podcast, too, along with Chris Hardwick as the voice of the villainous Klaxxon.
In the “Futurama” podcast episode, which runs 42 minutes, the Space Express crew is on a routine mission to Junkleon 7 when it encounters Klaxxon — a nefarious life form composed entirely of soundwaves from 21st-century podcasts. The question is: Can the crew save Earth from Klaxxon’s harmful soundwaves?
The mobile game already features original content from the podcast, including a space mission to Junkleon 7, the “deleted-file planet.” The Klaxxon character also is in “Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow,” portrayed as a disembodied head in a jar.
The “Futurama” podcast is available on Nerdist, SoundCloud, Spotify and YouTube (listen to it below):