Promoting the movie in advance of the theatrical release, THQ, an interactive entertainment software developer, on Tuesday began shipping the Wall•E video game to retail stores in an effort to promote Disney/Pixar's Friday movie release.
In the green-theme theatrical release, humans trash the Earth and a little robot called Wall-E--which stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class--is left to clean up the mess. The Earth was covered with so much trash that humans had to leave the planet, putting the burden on robots left behind to clean it up and make Earth habitable again.
The game allows fans to become familiar with characters prior to seeing the movie, and to relive the movie's most thrilling moments long after having seen it. Scenes in the game allow players to delve into more than nine action-filled adventure sequences, along with head-to-head multiplayer challenges.
Consumers can play the game on Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable (PSP), as well as Games for Windows, Mac and mobile phones.
The video game also ties in with a scene on Disney.com wherein the lovable robot greets all who come to the site.
Studios look for marketing or advertising strategies that promote the movie title and prompt consumers to buy tickets for theatrical releases, but not all promotions work. The movie "Speed Racer," for example, flopped at the box office.
"Even if a video game was introduced in advance, for some reason the public wasn't interested in seeing the movie and no amount of trailers, ads or video games would have made a difference," says Marty Shindler, CEO at entertainment consulting firm The Shindler Perspective, Los Angeles. "'The Love Guru' with Mike Myers opened in fourth place last weekend, and I'm not sure it would have made a difference if they had promoted it with a video game first."
Consumers still buy into Pixar's brand, although Disney acquired the company in 2006 for $7.4 billion. Shindler says it's because Pixar maintains an independent name linked to "Cars," "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles"--blockbuster movies to which consumers relate.
Developed by Heavy Iron Studios, the Wall•E game will ship during the coming months to the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Australia. Wall•E is rated E for everyone. The suggested retail price ranges from $19.99 to $49.99.
Players will recognize the story line, characters and key locations from the Wall•E film as they carry out missions, dodge dangerous enemies and navigate through a futuristic world. In addition, the game contains new story lines and environments that moviegoers will not see in theaters. Players can download a free demo of the Wall•E video game at wallevideogame.com.