Outfit 7 to roll out Talking Tom branded location based entertainment (LBE) in malls, and is looking for a European amusement park venue.
The company hopes retailtainment will be the next move for the virtual pet cat app that remains one of the most successful mobile franchises in the iTunes App Store.
Talking Tom is the virtual pet cat that stole hearts worldwide when the app launched in 2010. The original app has been downloaded more than eight billion times and Talking Tom is still one of the most successful franchises in the App Store. There are now 19 apps, across a wide cast of characters, with 350 million monthly users.
The CGI animated series, Talking Tom and Friends began as shorts and game trailers on YouTube before it ballooned into a full series with more than 23 billion views. The show runs on Netflix and in over 160 territories on television.
It all started as a fun game with a funny cat,” said Žiga Vavpotič, chairman of Outfit7, in an interview with Newsweek. “[The creators] saw its potential of awakening the inner child in people. We managed to create something that’s universal, a fun friend that you bring in your pocket wherever you go.”
Outfit7’s new owner, Zhigang Zhu, wants to broaden the company’s reach into the real world. The company has started by setting up FECs within shopping malls. “Under the vision of Mr. Zhu, we are trying to create a place where families can bond,” said Vavpotič . “What better place to bring Talking Tom to life than a forum of play areas and amusement parks around the globe?”
Seeking European amusement park venue
The first areas have opened in shopping malls in Shaoxing, Zhejiang and three more are planned for other locations in China by the end of the year. The company is also looking at options for a European venue – described as a “215,000-square-foot Talking Tom amusement park.”
“With the world becoming a complex place, who knows how many smiles Talking Tom can create in the real world?” said Vavpotič. “It sounds optimistic, but we’re up for the challenge.”
IP driven location based entertainment has been in the news recently with the announcement that Merlin Entertainments has formed a new global partnership with Entertainment One to develop new Peppa Pig attractions worldwide.