MIPJUNIOR: Power Rangers owner Saban Brands is developing a kids show based on the popular mobile game ZombieFarm, following its takeover of games studio Playforge in August.
Speaking to C21, Saban Brands president Elie Dekel said the TV spin-off was still early in the development stage, but he hopes to bring it to Mipcom next year. He added that ZombieFarm has a “strong comedy sensibility” and that Saban is looking to develop the series in that direction.
“We are working with Playforge on the development of a much broader slate of games and getting them to think about translating their ideas to television, to consumer products, in the hope that when a successful game hits, we have an established audience, we have proof of concept and we can go to market with other media,” said Dekel.
The Playforge deal was part of a string of recent activity by Saban Brands, which in recent weeks has acquired the rights outside of Asia for the Japanese animé property Digimon and bought kids game and video website Zui.
In the digital space, Saban also recently launched a site called MyVortexx to support its Saturday morning block on US network The CW, and plans to release a new Power Rangers iOS game and an interactive Xbox Kinect Power Rangers title next month.
“Presently, Saban Brands is largely weighted towards kids media properties, in terms of our portfolio, but we continue to also look for properties that have global appeal, a media application and also have a consumer products opportunity,” said Dekel, describing the firm’s growth ambitions.
“As we expand our business, we increasingly see the importance of the digital landscape to all content, both as a distribution outlet, but increasingly as also a place for the creation of new IP and new ideas.”
ZombieFarm, Playforge’s best-known title, was the third-highest grossing iOS app in 2011 and a top 10 grossing game for nearly two years, accounting for more than 37 million downloads. Saban Brands was set up in 2010 as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group to acquire and develop IP.