The animated sci-fi comedy show, Futurama, developed a huge following before it officially went off the air in 2013. But as the saying goes, at least (and especially) in Futurama’s case, cancellation can’t keep a good show down. Created and produced by Matt Groening (who also created The Simpsons) along with executive producer, David X. Cohen, Futurama was named as one of the 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time. Now it’s making its long overdue entry into mobile gaming with Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, which was announced today and is expected to launch later this year.
Groening, Cohen and much of the team behind the beloved series are involved with the game, and it is developed by TinyCo (a Jam City company), the company behind Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff—which is similarly based on the animated show, Family Guy. So, there is little doubt that the game will capture the same sense of style and humor that helped propel the TV series to greatness.
Andrew Green, head of business operations at TinyCo (Jam City), spoke with [a]listdaily about how the game came together and the inevitable future of Futurama.
What inspired the creation of a Futurama mobile game?
Our love of Futurama. Our executive team, and all of the team leadership on down have seen every episode of Futurama multiple times. Some people have some downright encyclopedic knowledge of the show. We had an existing relationship with Fox, and when we had enough creative ideas for a game to show, they made an introduction to the creative partners and it all went from there!
What will the game be like?
We knew that in order to make an authentic Futurama experience we needed to build out space adventure to be a big part of the game. We aren’t talking about this new gameplay in-depth yet, but I can confirm space adventure outside of New New York is going to be a big part of the game. One system that has performed really well for TinyCo is how we integrate narrative into our games. That narrative integration will be similar to some of our other games, but the rest of the gameplay is going to be very different and focused on adventure throughout the galaxy.
How are Matt Groening and David X. Cohen involved with the development of the game?
David and some of the show’s original writers work every day with our writers to make sure the dialogue, quests, conceit and world are as authentic to the show as possible. David has also directed a bunch of the VO sessions with the original cast. Matt works a lot with David and has been providing a lot of great ideas and feedback over the course of development and making sure the overall quality of the milestones are up to par.
How will the game enhance appreciation for the show?
Matt and David wanted to make sure the game had the ability to flesh out more of the worlds and characters you might have only gotten glimpses of on the show. You will be just as likely to end up on Amazonia in the perils of Snu-Snu as you might end up getting more backstory on a character like Scruffy.
Why do you think Futurama fandom remains so strong even though the show has been off the air for over three years?
This is just my opinion as a fan and someone who’s had the privilege of working with some of the team—but I think Futurama created its own unique world, humor, lore and style of parodying our real world, and the creators and writers did it their way. I think they didn’t bend to fit in too much to what they thought would work, or what the mainstream TV audience or network executives would expect, and that created a real authenticity to its voice and humor. I think it then created a deep connection with the people that understood and wanted more of that voice. I also think that as it proliferated on digital, more people were able to connect with the show.
How will you be letting fans know about the game?