One of the most successful franchises in the world, The Hunger Games is no longer content with thrilling teenagers (and barely exciting adults) through Suzanne Collins’ novels and big budget feature films. Lionsgate has announced they’re bringing The Hunger Games to cities across the country, looking for teenagers willing to sacrifice their lives to…wait, no. This will actually just be an interactive trip through the different locations of the film, with as small a body count as possible. Speaking of non-fatal experiences, the studio also announced they’re teaming up with game maker Kabam for a mobile role playing game set within the story’s universe. And you thought sleeping in a tree was the best way to pretend you’re a part of the movie.
Let’s tackle this exhibition business first. Lionsgate—which refers to itself in press releases as “the premier next generation global content leader”—is working with the amusement park design and production company Thinkwell Group for this project. The studio even hired Thinkwell exec Jenefer Brown as their in-house Senior Vice President of Branded Attractions. Lionsgate obviously wants The Hunger Games in theme parks and anywhere else where it seems even remotely suitable. This seems to be the big new revenue stream for franchises. Star Trek and The Walking Dead both already have their own versions.
The exhibition will launch some months before The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2 hits theaters on November 20, 2015, and will head to museums and institutions all over the country. Visitors will have access to a largely interactive exhibit filled with “artifacts” and props from the first three films, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how the movies were made. I don’t think they’ll actually be building Panem or anything, but it still sounds pretty interesting. Lionsgate’s Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen also stated that the exhibits will go hand-in-hand with local school curricula, though no further details were added.
Onto the mobile game, which is described as a role playing, card collection game that delivers the action of the movies as players take on the roles of District members who go out on missions to build alliances, liberate their homes, and rebuild Panem. So, it doesn’t sound like the Games themselves will have anything to do with it. I mean, why wouldn’t they want to promote a YA game where the point is murdering other people? That’s just crazy. Kabam is a highly successful company, and this game will be developed in the same Chinese studio where the $100 million-earning The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth was designed. If only part of the game was creating make-up and fashion schemes for Effie Trinket, I might be more interested.
Hunger Games fans only have to wait six months before Mockingjay—Part 1 is released on November 21.