One of Australia's largest independent game developers has received an offer it couldn't refuse from Hollywood.
Hot on the heels of its March deal to make a Legally Blonde mobile video game for MGM, Melbourne's PlaySide Studios (ASX: PLY) has now struck a deal with ViacomCBS to develop mobile games based on The Godfather series on behalf of Paramount Pictures.
PLY shares were up 5 per cent at 31.5 cents each at the time of writing - still down on their heights above 45 cents in February, but well above last December's initial public offering (IPO) at 20 cents each in which it raised $15 million to expand its team, bolster sales and marketing, license brands, develop titles and pursue growth opportunities.
PlaySide is known for its partnerships with major Hollywood studios and game developers including Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon and Universal Pictures, taking end-to-end ownership of development, marketing and management of mobile games for globally recognised brands.
The company's stable already includes iconic names in entertainment such as The Walking Dead, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, Spongebob, Jumanji and Nitro Games.
Based on the book of the same name by Mario Puzo, The Godfather film directed by Francis Ford Coppola was released in 1972 and at one point became the highest-grossing film in history.
The cult classic mafia crime film series was a launchpad for the careers of actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and also starred Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton and Robert Duvall.
"The Godfather is the quintessential crime movie and to be able to secure this license is testament to the highly respected brand we have built over the past nine years," says PlaySide co-founder and CEO Gerry Sakkas, who has retained 21.6 per cent of the listed company with his shares currently worth $24.9 million.
"To be trusted with this license, PlaySide has again demonstrated the confidence leading global movie studios have in us to deliver a high-quality product.
"As an avid Godfather fan, I am eager to show the world a true Godfather experience on mobile that we believe will appeal to audiences across multiple generations, we look forward to making fans an "offer they can't refuse"."
PlaySide will receive several licence payments during the development of the title, followed by a profit-sharing agreement between the parties' post-release of the game and for the duration of the agreement. It will be free-to-play on iOS and Android, but
The multi-year agreement will provide PlaySide with a license to incorporate the movie themes and branding from The Godfather into a mobile title that PlaySide will develop.
Under the multi-year agreement, PlaySide is responsible for development of the title and publishing it globally on both iOS and Android mobile platforms. The game will however be free-to-play, and the announcement did not clarify whether its release would be monetised by advertising or in-game currencies.
Today's announcement comes just over a week after PlaySide put out its third quarter results, showing a 71 per cent increase in revenue to $2.73 million, surpassing FY20 sales within a nine-month period.
In early April the company launched the mobile game World of Pets in partnership with Norris Nuts, achieving the number one ranking on iPhone in Australia and the UK, as well as first place on the iPad charts in Canada and a third-place position in the US.
Age of Darkness, a real-time strategy (RTS) PC title is also in the latter stages of development towards its early access launch in Q1 FY22.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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