Back in February, fresh off the back of getting my pal Dane hooked on Canabalt, we started eulogising ranting about the fact that some of the characters, environments and storylines starting their lives as iPhone games were going to start making the jump to becoming major movies and entertainment properties.
My basis for this? Firstly, that Canabalt has more character and atmosphere in one pixelated pinkie than a lot of movies do in their whole engorged and unsightly bodies. The synth-heavy score alone is enough to get you tapping your fingers, not to mention the fact that if you don’t, you’ll die. Really really quickly.
Secondly, you just have to look at the way mobile games are now planting new properties and IP in the collective consciousness of vast, global consumer audiences, then nurturing this into deep-rooted brand awareness through the interminably addictive gameplay characterising the most popular titles. Titles like Angry Birds.
I haven’t played Angry Birds – it’s release coincided with my conversion to HTC, and a more general putting away of childish things. You only have to look at the numbers though, as quoted in this essentially banal but suitably informative piece in Variety, to see that it clearly has that special something for a lot of people. An awful lot of people.
It follows Canabalt and, before that, Flight Control, as one of those runaway titles made possible by everything the iPhone and the Apple App Store have done to extend the meaningful reach of mobile gaming.
It will be interesting to see whether Rovio, the makers of the game, are successful in their plans to turn it into a major franchise. Even if they fail, I’m calling it as only a matter of time before the we’re looking at a major entertainment property with its origins in the imagination of a mobile game developer.
In the mean time, I guess we’ll have to use our imaginations.
I give you…