Walking Dead zom­bie game seeks Poké­mon- style suc­cess

Business World - - WEEKENDER -

HELSINKI — Fin­nish game stu­dio Next Games said last week that it will launch a new aug­mented re­al­ity smart­phone game in the com­ing months based on AMC Net­works’ hit TV show Walking Dead.

The game, in which play­ers fight zom­bies that are su­per­im­posed onto the real world on smart­phone screens, is tap­ping into the trend of aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) which gained mass adop­tion last year with the re­lease of Niantic Inc.’s Poké­mon GO. Next Games said the Walking Dead:

Our World game, which it hopes will mir­ror Poké­mon GO’s suc­cess, will be avail­able for test users on Ap­ple’s App Store and Google Play in se­lected re­gions by Jan­uary be­fore a wider re­lease later next year.

The TV show tells the story of a world over­run by zom­bies, and the new game will use AR tech­nol­ogy to let play­ers bat­tle the zom­bie char­ac­ters in real world en­vi­ron­ments.

Based on the same show, Next Games has pre­vi­ously de­vel­oped a mo­bile strat­egy game which has been down­loaded by more than 16 mil­lion users.

“I have an op­ti­mistic view on (the new game‘s) po­ten­tial. I ex­pect this game to reach sim­i­lar lev­els of rev­enue to their pre­vi­ous game,” said an­a­lyst Jerker Salokivi at Evli bro­ker­age, with a “hold” rat­ing on the stock.

Shares in the com­pany, which was listed in March, jumped more than 100% in Au­gust after the com­pany re­leased its first video trailer of the up­com­ing game.

The stock fell more than 7% last Fri­day as the com­pany re­ported a loss from the first nine months of the year due to in­vest­ments in game de­vel­op­ment.

Its sales from Jan­uary to Septem­ber rose 30% from a year ago to around €26 mil­lion ($30 mil­lion).

This year, Google and Ap­ple have both re­leased aug­mented re­al­ity ap­pli­ca­tions for their de­vices to com­pete for the at­ten­tion of cus­tomers and soft­ware de­vel­op­ers build­ing such games.

Poké­mon GO, which has play­ers walking around real life neigh­bor­hoods to catch and train crea­tures, has more than 750 mil­lion down­loads.

“AR games... need to give the player a rea­son to look through their cam­eras, to change their sur­round­ings into some­thing else. With zom­bies, you don’t luck­ily get to do it any other way,” Next Games CEO Teemu Hu­uh­ta­nen told Reuters in Septem­ber.

In an­other re­cent AR ini­tia­tive, Mat­tel and tech com­pany Osmo launched an aug­mented re­al­ity ver­sion for the Hotwheels toy car game. — Reuters PRINTED AND DIS­TRIB­UTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY COPY­RIGHT AND PRO­TECTED BY AP­PLI­CA­BLE LAW

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.