Universal asks ‘Doodle Jump’-maker for app

Lima Sky to create version of cell phone game for 'Hop' promotion

Just as Fox has paired up with “Angry Birds”-producer Rovio to promote “Rio,” Universal Pictures has inked a deal with “Doodle Jump”-maker Lima Sky to create a version of the cell phone game tied to Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming toon “Hop.”

“To have ‘Doodle Jump’ involved with the launch of a major motion picture demonstrates how influential apps have become in just a few short years,” said Igor Pusenjak, president and founder of Lima Sky.

As part of the deal, “Doodle Jump” users will be able to unlock a free Easter level within the game, starting in February, and play as the film’s Easter Bunny character (voiced by Russell Brand in the film).

“Hop” jumps into theaters April 1. It’s Illumination’s second film for U after “Despicable Me.”

To play “Doodle Jump,” gamers control a four-legged creature, known as “Doodler,” up a series of platforms without falling. Character is controlled by tilting the handset.

Pact should enable Universal to reach a large audience for “Hop,” considering “Doodle Jump” boasts 8.5 million users, according to Lima Sky.

Deal was brokered by Universal Partnerships and Licensing as its first film crossover with an iPhone app, and signals how studios are increasingly turning to popular mobile apps to reach an audience that is increasingly distracted by their cell phones and now tablets like the iPad and turn the small-screens into more of a promotional platform.

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