Battle Bears Go to Hollywood: A Mobile Game Becomes a TV Show
SkyVu Entertainment, a small mobile games developer from Omaha, Neb., has formed a blockbuster partnership with a Los Angeles studio to bring its popular Battle Bears game to the TV screen.
Wildbrain Entertainment, the studio behind “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and other hit TV shows, has agreed to produce a full season of half-hour episodes based on the game. In addition, it intends on manufacturing a line of Battle Bears action figures and toys.
SkyVu is claiming this is the first time an original TV series has been based on a mobile game. Even if that’s true, some other games are getting close, as mobile applications become a part of people’s everyday lives, just like any other entertainment brand.
For instance, Disney is having some success with its mobile game Where’s My Water?, which stars Swampy the alligator. Based on the game, it has created an animated series for Disney.com and YouTube. Rovio’s Angry Birds also got pretty close to the silver screen when it teamed up with 20th Century Fox to create a version of its game based on the animated movie “Rio.”
SkyVu’s co-founder and CEO Ben Vu, who was previously an animator for the movie “Coraline,” envisioned creating a cross-platform brand since the company’s start, and as long as the pilot is a hit — and a network picks it up — the dream could become a reality in as little as a year.
I previously compared the Battle Bears games to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because it entertains with both violence and humor. When the bears slice off heads, rainbows — not blood — come pouring out. To add to the Ninja Turtle vibe, the bears talk like California surfers. The games have been downloaded 18 million times, which is a sizable chunk of the 9-to-15-year-old male demographic.
In a statement, Michael Polis, the president of Wildbrain said, “Between its built-in fan base and the expandable universe that lends itself to consumer products and character-driven extensions, Battle Bears has the potential to become the next big boys action comedy brand.”
The TV show’s plot is expected to follow the lives of six Battle Bears as they travel to a remote pink planet. The bears soon learn that the planet is home to some of the galaxy’s most dangerous threats. The bears will have to use their skills to save the day.