Inside Move: U makes ‘Hulk’ a green machine

Pic to see hype with games, Net

Yes, the Hulk is big, and yes, his much-awaited movie should open really big.

But just in case, Universal is working several new angles — including an unusual deal with Yahoo! and tight integration with the Hulk vidgame — to make the big, green meanie even bigger.

Corporate cousin VU Games has been working with filmmakers for two years to tie together the film and vidgame so fans will watch more closely, and buy both.

“You may see a license plate in the movie and that will be a code to open up areas in the game,” says VU Games topper Luc Vanhal.

Game “cheat” codes in the film unlock “making-of” videos, key gameplay elements and more.

One “supercode” even unlocks a gray Hulk, the character’s original Marvel Comics color. That supercode also unlocks new game levels.

“It allowed us to create a much richer experience,” says Jim Wilson, VU Games’ exec VP for product development. “And it extends franchises.”

U also cut a first-ever deal with Yahoo! to take over all the ad space on the online service’s front page and other key sections.

What Yahoo! bills as a Web “takeover” starts June 16, and it’s expected reach an estimated 10 million people in its first day. With many fans already using the Net to learn about films, find showtimes and buy tickets, the deal should only increase the size of the Hulk’s marketing muscle.