A fourth Expendables run may quietly be in motion with Terry “Hulk” Hogan and Hong Kong legend Jackie Chan among the names being stirred in the hype pot. There’s no telling when that might happen, but now it appears that Lionsgate is taking the blockbuster action franchise into gaming territory for mobile users.
The latest announcement in Hong Kong came this week on Wednesday and you may read it below:
As part of its continued expansion into the game space, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, has partnered with producer Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films and Hong Kong-based mobile game developer and publisher Fifth Journey to create an Expendables mobile game, the companies announced today. The Expendables game, based on the star-studded action hero franchise whose first three installments grossed nearly $800 million at the global box office, will be released on mobile phones and tablets in late 2016.
“We’re delighted to partner with the incredibly talented and successful Avi Lerner of Millennium Films and the innovative Eric Tan of Fifth Journey to expand the universe of The Expendables,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “Combining a powerful brand, a global fan base stretching from North America to China and cutting edge technology, The Expendables is the perfect cross-platform property to build into an action-packed mobile game loaded with state-of-the-art features. We’re joining forces with a digital entrepreneur who knows the world of gamers inside and out and is ideally qualified to create a game that will captivate the franchise’s current legions of action fans while introducing it to a whole new digital audience as well.”
“Mobile games are the next logical world for the action heroes of The Expendables to conquer and the fastest-growing segment of the entertainment industry today,” said Mr. Lerner. “With Lionsgate’s tremendous marketing prowess and Fifth Journey’s game development and publishing savvy, we’re fortunate to have innovative and visionary partners who know how to take The Expendables to a new level with a ground-breaking game that will thrill old and new audiences alike.”
“The Expendables has all the ingredients to build its success as an iconic global film franchise into an equally successful game,” said Mr. Tan. “I’m very excited by the opportunity to work with the teams at Lionsgate and Millennium Films to extend this incredibly popular and celebrated brand into a property that will resonate with gamers here in China and around the world.”
Mr. Tan is the CEO and founder of Fifth Journey, which he formed last year after 15 years’ experience with Gameloft China, Electronic Arts Mobile China and Universal Digital Interactive. While serving as China Managing Director for Gameloft, he helped publish and localize games including Ice Age Village, Iron Man 3, Order & Chaos, Thor 2, Spider-Man Unlimited, Dungeon Hunter 4 and Despicable Me 2, which went on to become the company’s biggest seller of all time.
Mr. Lerner, founder, Chairman and CEO of Millennium Films and Nu Image Inc., is one of the most successful and prolific independent filmmakers ever, producing and distributing over 300 films worldwide in the past 20 years between his Nu Image and Millennium Films labels. The Expendables franchise, starring a Who’s Who of action heroes including Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronda Rousey, is one of his most beloved and successful ever. The Expendables films have achieved surging box office popularity in China where Expendables 3 ranked as one of the top-grossing Hollywood films last year.
Lionsgate has launched a number of recent initiatives in the game space, investing in Telltale Games and Finnish gaming platform Next Games, partnering with Starbreeze Studios on exclusive downloadable John Wick content that contributed to the film’s highly successful launch and developing television shows based on iconic properties Candy Crush and Titanfall.