Matt Groening's other successful animated series, Futurama, amassed a loyal fan base before ending in 2013 - and despite calls for the show to return to the small screen since then, Groening has so far resisted the temptation. Fans may be getting the next best thing, however, in the form of a mobile game that will see Futurama's original writers and cast reunite.
Mobile gaming is perhaps the most lucrative market in the video game industry at the moment, with titles such as Candy Crush and Pokemon GO! proving immensely popular. Another of Matt Groening's properties, The Simpsons, also saw success as a smartphone game with The Simpsons Tapped Out which allowed players to build their own version of Springfield Sim City-style.
Developers JamCity have now announced (via USA Today) the creation of Futurama: World of Tomorrow and the game is currently slated for a summer release as a freemium title, meaning the app itself is available at no cost but will contain a variety of in-app purchases that will no doubt make progressing in the game much easier. JamCity co-founder Josh Yguado states:
"Fans can't get Futurama on TV. This is the place to continue the story and interact with your favorite characters."
With regards to the game's premise and mechanics, Futurama co-developer David X. Cohen states that World of Tomorrow aims to recreate the original universe from the show and as such, familiar cast members such as Billy West (Fry, Zoidberg, Professor) and John DiMaggio (Bender) will be returning in addition to other familiar names and writers from the show's television run. Players will apparently be required to send Futurama characters on missions to other planets, where Cohen claims they'll battle other characters from the TV series.
Combining mobile gaming with a recognizable brand names such as Futurama has proved incredibly popular in the past and JamCity already have had success with apps based on The Avengers and Family Guy - and therefore, Futurama: World of Tomorrow appears to be in good hands. The fact the show has a ready-made audience hungry for new material from Fry and co. is likely to boost the game's popularity even further, certainly during its initial launch.
However, it is well documented that the vast majority of mobile games have a limited shelf life and tend to decline sharply in popularity, within the space of six months. Even juggernauts such as Pokemon GO! have suffered from dwindling player numbers recently. It remains to be seen whether Futurama: World of Tomorrow depends heavily on multi-player cooperation, but there's fair reason to think it will follow a similar downwards path.
Futurama: World of Tomorrow arrives Summer 2017.
Source: JamCity (via USA Today)