NBCUniversal became the latest media outlet to dip a toe into interactive storytelling, with “Series: Your Story Universe,” a mobile game produced by Universal Games and Digital Platforms with Endless Entertainment. The team picked IPs not easily adapted for mobile games that allow users to interact with stories based on favorite TV shows and movies, including “Vanderpump Rules,” “Saved by the Bell,” “Law & Order,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Bridesmaids,” “Sixteen Candles” and “Xena: Warrior Princess.”
VentureBeat reports that “Series,” which is modeled after games like “Choice” and “Episode,” will also feature “original stories that introduce players to new characters and fiction, starting with Legacy & Love, which centers on an intriguing rags-to-riches tale.”
“Not every IP make sense as its own standalone game, but many work for the interactive storytelling genre,” said Universal Games and Digital Platforms executive vice president Chris Heatherly. “We have so much more IP to work with.” Universal’s 65-person game publishing team includes “veterans from Disney, Scopely, Jam City and others.” Series is now available as a free download in the App Store and Google Play.
With “Series,” players create their own avatar and then “star in new, authentic stories based on popular film and TV characters, and original stories … [as well as] make decisions that impact the narrative and personalize their journey.” To “celebrate the global launch” and entice players, stars such as Mario Lopez (of “Saved by the Bell”) will invite fans to play, and “Lisa Vanderpump, Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval from ‘Vanderpump Rules’ must make a critical decision to ‘Whine or Wine’.”
Similar titles have proven quite successful: Sensor Tower reported that “Episode” by Pocket Gems “has been downloaded by 139 million App Store and Google Play users worldwide … [and] players have spent approximately $256.3 million so far in the game.” Likewise, “Choices” has generated “approximately 63.5 million installs globally across both stores … [and] its players have spent approximately $231 million since launch.” In 2019 so far, combined spending in both games “has reached an estimated $60 million worldwide across both stores.”