Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Where's My Mickey Mouse? Disney Launches New Mickey Mouse Initiative Game

There’s a new transmedia take on Mickey Mouse underway at the Walt Disney Company. Disney Mobile is releasing the latest iteration of its bestselling Where’s My Water? franchise on June 20 and the first to feature Mickey Mouse. Where’s My Mickey? introduces gamers to brand new physics-based puzzles featuring Mickey (60 unique puzzles) and Goofy (40 original puzzles). Bart Decrem, senior vice president and general manager for the Disney Mobile Games Group, told me that additional classic characters will be added over time to introduce more puzzles to the mix.

The game launches with five chapters, which feature Mickey and Goofy dealing with water-based physics puzzles that have players cutting through dirt and navigating other obstacles to accomplish things like watering flowers or moving water through clouds. The gameplay is wrapped around interactive stories. In addition to the game, players can watch the new Disney Animation Mickey shorts, which are also running on Disney Channel and Disney online portals over the summer.

“There’s a series of initiatives going on around Mickey, the center of which is really a new series of Mickey shorts that are showing up on television over the next few weeks,” said Decrem. “We’re taking the art style and the world of humor from the new Mickey series and bringing that to this world of Where’s My Water?”

Developed by the internal Disney Mobile team Creature Feep in 2011, Where’s My Water? has been played by over 200 million people to date on Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets. Like Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds, the franchise has also spawned merchandise like stuffed animals, electronic games and Halloween costumes around Swampy the alligator.

In the near future, Swampy, one of the newest Disney characters, and Mickey, Walt Disney’s second creation (gamers who played Epic Mickey know Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the first) will be meeting for the first time virtually.

“We’re interconnecting these game worlds,” said Decrem. “We’ve done a game with Phineas and Ferb characters calls Where’s My Perry and we had crossover levels where those characters come together with Swampy and the gang.  We’re going to do more of that as we create these platforms, where the characters can cross-pollinate and connect with each other.”

Mickey doesn’t always correlate to success in the video game space. Disney recently closed Junction Point Studios after its cross-platfrm Disney Epic Mickey 2 failed to connect with gamers last Christmas. The original Wii-exclusive game introduced a brand new Mickey to fans and told the story of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (Walt’s first cartoon character, which was owned by Universal).

Mickey seemed to be everywhere at E3 2013. Sega debuted a remastered of Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse for Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC, which will ship this summer. The original launched in 1990 on Sega Genesis. Square Enix and Disney Interactive are working on Kingdom Hearts 3 for Sony PlayStation 4, the latest adventure in the series that blends Mickey and his friends with Final Fantasy characters and Disney movie worlds like The Little Mermaid, TRON and Beauty and the Beast. Square Enix also had Kingdom Hearts HD Remix 1.5 on PlayStation 3 on display at its booth. That game will be released on September 10.

And there’s certainly potential, down the line, for Mickey Mouse and classic characters to invade Disney Infinity, the new gaming platform that took up the majority of Disney’s E3 booth. That platform has been designed for new movies like The Lone Ranger and Monsters University to get original interactive adventures. Disney and Avalanche Software also allow characters to cross-pollinate in Toy Box mode, where Cars can play with TRON vehicles and Pirates of the Caribbean characters. Mickey would be the perfect fit for that.

Source... http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2013/06/18/wheres-my-mickey-mobile-game-launches-new-transmedia-mickey-mouse-initiative-at-disney/?partner=yahootix

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