In the free-to-play mobile game, Dream City: Metropolis, players are free to construct and maintain the city that they’ve always wanted. Today, the game’s developer, Storm8 Studios, announced that Dream City will have deeper ties to the real world with a partnership with Regal Cinemas. For the first time, players are able to construct authentic Regal movie theaters in their virtual cities. Additionally, they are given the option to receive in-game rewards for watching branded content.

Terence Fung, chief strategy officer at Storm8, talks to [a]listdaily about the partnership with Regal Cinemas and how video games and the real world blend together.

Terence Fung, Storm8 chief strategy officer

What is Dream City: Metropolis about?

Dream City: Metropolis is a fresh take on the popular city-building game genre, where players have the freedom to imagine, build and grow the city of their dreams. We set out to create an endearing game that both city-building fans and casual players will love. Dream City brings:

  • Customization: players have the freedom to build their city how they want.
  • Approachability: friendly art style, state-of-the-art animations and engaging quests.
  • Discovery: diverse characters, storyline and landmarks to uncover.

How did the partnership with Regal Cinemas come into being?

We wanted to give players a sense of real world attachment in Dream City and knew that incorporating branded establishments was a great way to make the game come alive. And it would be hard for anyone to imagine their downtown without a movie theater. From there, the choice was easy: Regal Cinemas is one of the largest theater circuits in the US, attracting more than 219 million moviegoers every year. We reached out to Regal, and both parties were excited to quickly forge this unique partnership.

What made Regal Cinemas the ideal partner for this type of promotion?

Mobile devices are where most people are spending their time nowadays, whether accessing content or keeping in touch with their family and friends. After we reached out to Regal, it was clear that they are truly focused on creatively and effectively reaching the mobile audience. Regal quickly understood the value of partnering with Storm8; we have achieved over 1 billion mobile downloads since our founding in 2009.

At Storm8, our goal is to always create fun, approachable games and Regal Cinemas was a natural fit: the Regal theaters are easily recognizable and bring a truly authentic yet personal feel for our Dream City players.


What kind of Regal video content can players expect, and what are some of the rewards for watching?

Players will have the option to engage with the theater to watch brief videos to then receive in-game rewards. These rewards can then be used to expand the city’s population and grow out new businesses. The content will be anything from movie trailers to branded video ads that all reward the players.

Do players have to build an in-game Regal theater to watch the branded content? Does the structure require a lot of time and resources?

The partnership with Storm8 gives consumers a new way to discover and touch the Regal Cinemas brand on mobile while giving players the option to engage in a fun, rewarding fashion that in most other games would be a more disruptive experience for players. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to experience Regal Cinemas in the game. There’s no building, resource or timer requirements. All players can simply add the Regal-branded theater into their game board for free and enjoy the benefits.

Will Regal Cinemas be helping to promote Dream City: Metropolis?

Regal Cinemas has one of the most geographically diverse theater circuits in the US, operating more than 7,300 screens in 42 states, and extending to as far as Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. With this incredible audience, we’re excited to partner with them on digital marketing promotions reaching movie fans across web, email and social media. The fun part is we’re entering the summer blockbuster months so we’ll be working on some creative promotions as well.

How does a tie-in with a real world company like Regal help enhance the Dream City experience?

We’ve always focused on creating engaging experiences in our games. Nothing brings a game more to life for a player than seeing world-class brands that they would typically see as they walk around in their hometowns or while traveling. Adding an iconic movie theater at the center of people’s game boards brings a touch of the real world into Dream City. Additionally, the watch-to-earn feature on the Regal-branded screen mirrors fans’ movie-going experience and offers yet another optional incentive for players in a way that doesn’t distract from their core gameplay.