Marketing budget for Chima runs into millions
This week, the Legends of Chima microsite launched, and very nice it is too. As well as all the the designer videos, promotional videos, Speedorz tutorials and so on, it has a cool selection of desktop wallpapers and posters, although why they insist on only producing the wallpapers in 4:3 format when surely everyone now has widescreen 16:9 monitors is a mystery.
Also this week, three video games were announced: a mini game for LEGO.com and iOS, one for Nintendo 3DS and PSP Vita, and a free-to-play online game. You can read the press release at Model Building Secrets.
Furthermore, according to that site, the TV series will be starting on Cartoon Network on 16th January (in the USA, in the UK we won't get to see it). View the trailer at LEGO.com. And that's not all. There's even a music video (which is not to my taste at all) but which must have cost a few bob to pull together.
Anyway, back to the video games. I downloaded the iOS game Speedorz yesterday. I was expecting great things but I was disappointed.
It's a pretty standard pick-things-up-while-racing game, and it looks good enough but unfortunately the steering is accomplished by pressing the left and right arrows on the screen! This makes it pretty much unbearable to play given every other racing game uses tilt-to-steer. You can give the vehicle a boost by swiping down on the rip-cord on the right, but it's difficult to do so while steering. So great concept, but poorly executed.
I haven't tried the online version as it needs a hefty plug-in to play it by the looks of things.
The other thing of interest in the video games press release, is that one of the games is going to be a MMOG:. "In autumn 2013, LEGO Legends of Chima Online, a free-to-play, online world developed by WB Games Montréal, will provide kids with a safe and incredibly immersive connected game experience. Players will be able to build and customize their kingdom in the world of Chima, explore massive environments like the Falling Leaves Forest, take on missions to help Laval and his friends, uncover hidden secrets and treasures, earn rewards, and use LEGO bricks to build weapons, gadgets, and more!"
Do you get a sense of deja vu reading that? Let's hope the lessons learnt from the failure of LEGO Universe have been applied to this and that it doesn't end up being another expensive flop. I can see one lesson has been addressed already: it's free to play...
So, what do you make of all this? Way over the top, or money well spent?