You’ve probably seen the merchandise Angry Birds T-shirts, sweatshirts, stuffed animals, keychains, bags, covers for iPhone, even sandals. Now, manufacturers of Cut the Rope, the fourth most popular paid app for iPhone, seeks to do the same with Om Nom, the little green mascot game.
The game reached 100 million downloads in February, including paid and free version of the title on all platforms. Its gameplay strategically involves cutting a rope to throw a piece of candy into the open mouth of Om Nom.
Om Nom and is a constant character on YouTube, where its parent company, ZeptoLab, released a series of cartoon officers last year. Now, the Russian company plans to Om Nom to the next level, in part through an agreement with Mattel.
“The whole thing comes down to design,” says Misha Lyalin, CEO of ZeptoLab. “If people love the design and appearance of something, you can make all kinds of things.”
The first result of the agreement with Mattel is an interactive board game similar to the game Mattel $ 20 Knock on Wood , which is based on the franchise Angry Birds . (This article was ranked number one in the category of table games at Amazon.com).
Another product of the association with ZeptoLab Mattel is creating a picture of Om Nom with three touch points that is mounted on an iPad to improve the gaming experience. This is achieved through what Mattel calls “Apptivity ‘, which allows physical toys are moved around the screen to achieve the goals in a game. Mattel has also made these figures for people of other popular applications such as Fruit Ninja .
The actual participation of ZeptoLab in creating these products is minimal, says Lyalin. “I let the toy companies do what they will do,” he says, leaning back in his chair with a smile. “They may worry about how many toys they sell and who they are going to sell. I want to worry about if my game is great, if experience is stellar.”
The company has also signed an agreement with a second well-known toy manufacturer. It has licensed the trademark Om Nom character in conjunction with Hasbro, which will use the green animal classic board games like Connect Four. And through another company, ZeptoLab’ll create a plug that can connect to the analog audio/video on a TV. The game maker JAKKS Pacific will develop an independent check mark Cut the Rope . This company has manufactured similar products for major brands like Disney Pixar studio.
In addition, the company continues to release new versions of the game itself. Cut the Rope recently issued an update for your game Cut the Rope: Experiments , called Bath Time . And continue to offer new editions, similar to Seasons of Angry Birds- but Lyalin knows there must be a balance in terms of new releases or additional functions as the figure attachable to the iPad. “When you sell a game for 99 cents, basically, you have to reach out to everyone,” he says. “The way to do is make sure you do not distance to large chunks of your audience by adding a new feature that does not make sense for them.”
In his quest to make Om Nom is as recognizable as those birds and those fat pigs spherical green ZeptoLab also place your character clothing franchise. The agreement was signed with LF USA clothing company and bear fruit later in 2012.
Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush games, notes that Angry Birds did not invent the idea of marketing a game character: “Traditionally you look at rather than when they make a movie from a game like Resident Evil,” he says. But that was a console game, and it’s hard not to think of Angry Birds—which remains the most popular iPhone application—as the source when considering application-specific games and game characters recognizable. (The studios also have had a long and lucrative relationship with characters that can become money machines through licenses).
In fact, Leigh Alexander, editor of the website Gamasutra game developer, points directly to Angry Birds as the leader of a new trend. “I think they (ZeptoLab) saw what he was doing Angry Birds and thought: ‘How can we exploit this brand across different media? And I anticipate that most games are now designed with a view to producing an iconic character that can be converted into a figure. That character of Cut the Rope was developed carefully and in a way calculated, with the intention of marketing it in the long term. ”
By introducing Om Nom on clothes, toys, goods, and many other items that are not games, the company runs the risk of overexposure. Although Pachter does not believe that Cut the Rope runs the risk, says: “Angry Birds do. are in ads for pistachios, had a river with a film version, are everywhere. These guys do not. ”
Alexander, meanwhile, said that people could possibly feel fastidiadas to see the character everywhere probably do not care. “People who play games will not be affected seriously by the good people,” he says,” as the type of people who are obsessed with the applications of this type, go for it. General audiences love that crap. Think of all those people who dressed up in Halloween Angry Bird.”
When asked if Angry Birds is a role model because the process they have started, Lyalin is cautious. “Yes and no,” he says. “Not all mobile games do the same. Each one is different. And people tell us all the time: ‘Hey, why not just do what you did Angry Birds ‘, but why we would do exactly the same products that those guys did? We have a different brand.” Certainly have a different brand and a different game.
But it certainly seems that many of the associations that are doing similar. And that could be a very wise move.