The Nuttery Entertainment has licensed Bandai Namco Entertainment’s classic Galaga arcade game for linear entertainment. The plan is to expand the 35-year-old brand across multiple platforms, including an animated series titled Galaga Chronicles.
Magnus Jansson, co-founder of The Nuttery, told AListDaily that the team they’re putting together for Galaga Chronicles have all had tremendous experience and success with creating extensions off of existing major brands.
“While The Nuttery is a new company, both myself and co-founder Erik Ohrner have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world across numerous projects,” Jansson explained. “Sometimes it’s been a great experience, other times it can be a bit harder. You’re essentially borrowing someone’s baby and you need to take the absolute best care of it.”
Galaga is the latest video game adaptation in Hollywood, which is also working on a Tomb Raider movie reboot, and films based on Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy’s The Division and an Assassin’s Creed sequel. Like the animated Sly Cooper TV series and Rabbids feature film, Jansson believes Galaga Chronicles has an advantage over live action.
“The biggest advantage is that animation/CGI is closer to what the audience is familiar with—you’re not straying too far from the source in terms of the medium,” Jansson said. “Things you can do in a game can seem far-fetched or even ludicrous in a filmed version, whereas monsters or magic or bug aliens seem totally legit when animated.”
Growing up in Sweden, Jansson logged a lot of hours playing Galaga alongside Kung Fu Master in his local bowling alley.
“It was a big part of my childhood and the same is true for a lot of people,” Jansson explained. “There is so much legacy and awesomeness in the name Galaga alone. We just want to have that feeling back, and hopefully, we won’t screw it up.”
Playing hours and hours of Galaga was a fun jumping-off point for creating a story around the IP.
“We tried to break down the core of the game—mechanics that are familiar and fun—elements that made Galaga unique,” Jansson said. “We also looked at the release and how and when people played it. We found a great core and essence that we’re now using as the kernel to build the story around. The story and the characters will be everything, no matter how great the visuals, and we’re very happy with what we have so far.”
Thus far, Bandai Namco has fully supported this vision. The Japanese game giant has previously worked with Hollywood in big-screen films like Pixels as well as the animated TV series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.
“We just have to be aware that we’re working with a brand—with and for an audience that has a relationship with it,” Jansson said. “So within those parameters, we have enough freedom to be able to craft something amazing with Galaga Chronicles. We have a close relationship with Bandai Namco and they’re definitely part of the process during the development.”
Jansson believes the global Galaga brand stands nostalgia and the childhood memories that are wrapped around it.
“It carries with it the feeling of simpler and fun time,” Jansson explained. “In today’s world, this is more true than ever—especially with the wave of the ’80s and ‘90s IPs being resurrected. The outpouring of love for the game from fans and gamers, and in some cases in terms of ‘please don’t [mess] this up,’ since announcing this project has been incredible. Galaga is truly a game that touched a lot of people.”
Jansson said the first installment in Galaga Chronicles will target gamers and original fans of the game.
“At the same time, it will be a kickass, standalone animated sci-fi series that everyone can enjoy,” Jansson said. “For players, and even those just familiar with the iconic ship—we want this series to be the backstory players of Galaga always imagined was behind those magical 112 pixels of space ship awesomeness.”
The Nuttery Entertainment is still finalizing the platforms and partners for this project, but Jansson said the company is taking a digital-first approach with online platforms.
“We also looked at Twitch and other emerging platforms as we’re putting together the best rollout for the project,” Jansson explained. “We have some partnerships that will give an idea of the multi-platform approach we’re taking that we’ll be able to announce shortly.”
Bandai Namco created a new game after Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures became a CGI television hit. Jansson said The Nuttery is definitely looking at those kinds of possibilities, but it needs to feel very natural.