Social game developer and publisher Funtactix has partnered with Lionsgate on The Hunger Games Adventures, extending the intellectual property of Suzanne Collins’ novels into yet another medium. The game launches on March 23, which unusually is the day the first movie opens in theaters rather than as part of pre-release marketing.
That could be a reflection of how much anticipation there already is for The Hunger Games, the first in a franchise based on Colllins’ original trilogy. Lionsgate tapped into that enthusiasm months ago with its viral campaign based at The Capitol, a website that purported to be an official online presence for the government of Panem (complete with top level domain .pn), the fictional world where the franchise is set. There’s also a YouTube channel in addition to other social outreach.
Funtactix specializes in entertainment brand extensions, so The Hunger Games Adventures game is designed as a companion to the three Lionsgate movies. Players set out on missions that lead them through adventures throughout The Capitol and each of the Districts that are so important to the story, encountering familiar characters along the way. The game will be the first place fans can see an official map of Panem, which will be gradually revealed through a steady stream of chapter expansions.
“What makes fans of The Hunger Games so amazing is the level of personal investment they have in the characters and the story,” said Lionsgate’s Joe Drake. “We chose Funtactix to create this game because they bring the level of authenticity and quality to their movie-based social games that is crucial to fans of The Hunger Games.”
Other recent games from Funtactix include Mission: Impossible The Game and Rango: The WORLD. Funtactix is backed by Jerusalem Venture Partners and headquartered in New York, with development studios in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.
“As a company that wants to align itself with the most beloved entertainment properties and passionate fans in the world, joining forces with Lionsgate on The Hunger Games was a very easy decision,” said Sam Glassenberg, CEO of Funtactix. “Suzanne Collins’ amazing novel delivers an unbelievably detailed world that completely immerses the reader. Fans want to enter this world, interact with the characters and truly become a part of it. That is the magic that The Hunger Games Adventures will provide to the millions of people who love the book series and watch the movie.”
The Hunger Games is set in a post-apocalyptic near future where the government ubiquitously monitors all of its citizens. The plot centers are the state’s requirement that each district selects two children who will be used as gladiators in the ultimate reality show – a televised fight to the death. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men First Class) with Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are Alright) and Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), with Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Oscar® nominee Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley and Toby Jones.
The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross, who co-wrote the script with Collins, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Lionsgate has slated Catching Fire, based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, for release on Nov. 22, 2013. The third, Mockingjay, has not yet been scheduled.