Sony Pictures is set to release two major films in the coming weeks, a Charlie’s Angels reboot, and the sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, and has partnered with Israeli mobile game developer TabTale to release mobile versions based on the highly-anticipated movies.
The mobile games were made under TabTale’s CrazyLabs label and are Free to Play (F2P). They will be released simultaneously with the films: Charlie’s Angels directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin this year) will debut in the US later this month, and Jumanji: The Next Level starring Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black, will be released in December 2019.
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The Charlie’s Angels running game will allow players to “leap into action with simple, fluid, and intuitive controls to start catching crooks, busting bosses, performing high-speed car chases, and fending off enemies,” TabTale said in a statement, while the Jumanji game “will feature innovative action-adventure game mechanics” as players fight “for their lives against enemies, climbing up the steepest cliffs, free-falling off waterfalls, and escaping from a horde of furious hyenas.”
“Players can play as their favorite characters, featuring fun, stylized likenesses of the stars of the movie,” the company added.
Each game has new, innovative features not-before-seen in this mobile gaming genre, TabTale CEO and co-founder Sagi Schliesser tells NoCamels in a phone interview.
“In the Jumanji game, there is four-directional running, so backward, forward, up and down, when in the ‘runners’ genre it is always one-directional,” he explains. And in the Charlie’s Angels game, there is “side-scrolling running” but players can “run and shoot [bad guys] at the same time.”
“No other game developer has successfully deployed these features,” says Schliesser.
He tells NoCamels the TabTale team spent close to a year developing the games, working closely with Sony on nearly every aspect and sticking to a strict timeline.
The pressure, he says, was expected. “We launch around 50 games per year, and as a company, we deal with pressure every day.”
The real adventure begins once the games are launched to the world, he explains, adding that feedback from players involved in the soft launch of the Jumanji game, for example, “has been amazing; the players are very engaged, they identify with the characters, the enthusiasm is high, and they love the new [running] features.”
Founded in 2010, TabTale is a top 10 mobile games publisher, according to analytics firm AppAnnie, and has developed over 500 original and licensed games previously under four publisher names: TabTale, Crazy Labs, Sunstorm, and Coco Play, according to the type of game and intended audience. With over 2.6 billion downloads across games, the company is considered a leading developer of casual and hyper-casual games development, distribution, and innovation.
Schliesser tells NoCamels the company is shifting focus and will officially adopt the name CrazyLabs, “cutting the cord” with TabTale as of this week.
“CrazyLabs was specifically created for this line of business (lifestyle games, hyper-casual, and casual IPs) and it is the only thing we are doing right now, so to avoid confusion, we’ll be going by that name,” he explains.
The Tel Aviv-based company, which has offices in China, Serbia, and Bulgaria, has “over 80 million active users every month concentrated in between 20-30 games.”
The company’s immensely popular game for iOS, Run Sausage Run, logged more than 21 million downloads in its first two months and over 90 million downloads to date. The game appeared as the number one casual game in 20 different countries upon release in 2017.
TabTale/CrazyLabs previously collaborated with Sony Pictures on a mobile game for the Hotel Transylvania TV series which had more than 21 million downloads after its debuts in 2018.
It also collaborated with Nickelodeon to create a game version of Miraculous Ladybug, based on the popular, French animated series.
Schliesser says the Jumanji and Charlie’s Angels games are the company’s first based on movies.
“Prolonging the fun and excitement you experience while watching a movie is gradually becoming a must,” Schliesser said in the statement. “We are proud to launch the official games for the movies that will dominate the box office this holiday season.”
“We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with TabTale on extending Sony Pictures’ brands into mobile game platforms given their massive, immediate audience network,” said Jamie Stevens, Executive Vice President Global Consumer Products at Sony Pictures, in a statement.
“The new games will be the perfect complement to our upcoming franchise titles releasing in theaters later this year,” he added.