The latest Disney-Maker Studios attempt at synergy: Disney Interactive’s “Star Wars: Commander” free mobile game app is adding gameplay video and other content created by members of Maker’s multichannel network.
The videos in “Star Wars: Commander” from Maker creators — marking the first time the MCN’s videos are launching within a game — will give players access to Disney-approved replays of the game featuring tips, tricks and more.
“We’ve learned that maintaining a healthy player community has become a critical part to running a live-operated game like ‘Star Wars: Commander,'” Chris Heatherly, senior VP and GM, Disney Mobile Games, wrote in a blog.
As effectively sponsored videos, the Maker content funneled into “Star Wars: Commander” shouldn’t be expected to overtly criticize the game. It’s worth noting that game-centric Machinima got into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission over videos it paid influencers on its MCN roster to create promoting Xbox One in 2013.
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When Disney bought Maker Studios last year in a deal worth at least $500 million, the Mouse House said it would integrate the MCN’s activities across multiple properties. So far, the initiatives launched so far seem more promotional than profit-driven. Those include Maker-produced unboxing videos for Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” product launch in September, and a partnership between Maker and Disney XD to scout for YouTube talent that could potentially land a TV show on the cable network.
The Maker-produced videos for “Star Wars: Commander” are now featured in the center of the mobile game’s community hub, the Commander Infonet, through a new “video” tab.
Since its August 2014 release, “Star Wars: Commander” has been downloaded more than 20 million times, with users engaging in more than 500 billion battles and deploying more than 5 billion Stormtroopers in battle.
“Star Wars: Commander” is available free to download via Apple’s App Store, Google Play and Windows App Store. The game has in-app purchases.
In the game, the Galactic War rages on — and players must choose to side with the Rebellion or the Empire. The game lets users battle in alliance with or against iconic characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, as well as use employ (or destroy) units like AT-AT Walkers, Speeder Bikes, Wookiee Warriors and Stormtroopers.