The timeline for a profitable online game franchise often goes like this: The sport comes out and shortly turns into fashionable amongst gamers. Avid followers begin creating content material impressed by the sport and their favourite characters, serving to convey that IP into popular culture. There is likely to be a film or TV adaptation. And as extra individuals are launched to the sport’s world, extra followers are created, resulting in extra demand for by-product content material. Et cetera, et cetera.
However the leaders at Liithos, a multimedia gaming studio led by former PlayStation executives, are about to do issues just a little otherwise with their first studio IP, Ashfall, which is ready in a post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest ravaged by local weather change, civilian preventing and mutations brought on by a darkish vitality. The sequence follows Ash Naranjo, a personality who was born with out arms and is given cyborg-like implants to assist him save his household and homeland.
As an alternative of ready for the Ashfall comedian ebook sequence or online game to be launched first, the studio is hoping to drum up curiosity and construct an early fan base by utilizing the abilities of Michael Le, a TikTok star generally known as @justmaiko who has greater than 52 million followers.
Starting Jan. 29, Le will star in a five-episode sequence — launched every Sunday on his TikTok account — that may see the creator coming into the Ashfall universe cosplaying as its principal character for a storyline that entails Le saving his youthful brother Jonathan. The sequence will even function Slider Jesus, one other digital creator recognized for his elaborate zombie and monster costumes, as the principle villain.
“Folks sometimes make movies primarily based off of issues that [the audience] already know or like. For me, I like making animated movies, so I do stuff with Naruto characters or issues that individuals already perceive,” Le instructed The Hollywood Reporter. “That is sort of utilizing that very same idea however creating our personal IP, and I believe that’s one thing nobody’s ever actually finished, particularly for a sport firm on the scale of this one. It’s actually cool to have the ability to simply be part of one thing like this.”
Le filmed the TikTok sequence at Willow Studios in downtown L.A. and introduced on his VFX crew to supply continuity along with his different effects-heavy movies. After every episode premieres, Liithos will even launch a set of 5 NFTs impressed by every of the episodes and within the model of a comic book ebook cowl from Marvel and DC artists like Coran Stone (Batman: The Darkish Knight Returns, Half 1), Fico Ossio (No One Left to Struggle, Spider-Man), John Cassaday (Planetary, Astonishing X-Males), Dave Wilkins (Masters of the Universe: Revelation #3, Star Wars – Darth Vader and the Ghost Jail), Karl Kerschl (Adventures of Superman, Majestic) and Tom Raney (Annihilation: Conquest, Final X-Males).
The digital collectibles can be accessible totally free, apart from a processing payment, on CoinZoom for every week after every episode launch, and the collectibles supply holders an early preview to the Ashfall comedian sequence, which is ready to launch in March and is created by Days Gone author and Liithos vp John Garvin. Viewers who’ve collected all 5 will even be given entry to a sixth digital collectible.
Michael Mumbauer, the CEO and founding father of Liithos who co-developed The Final of Us and Uncharted as a studio government at PlayStation, mentioned he views the Ashfall rollout as a “fascinating experiment” given the seemingly reversed timeline and the challenges of introducing a brand new world in a brief format for TikTok. Although the online game remains to be “a number of years away” from an official launch, Mumbauer mentioned he hopes the TikTok sequence will supply one thing uncommon to assist captivate followers and reward them for coming into the Ashfall universe early.
“I don’t assume there’s a extra charismatic particular person on TikTok than Michael, to be sincere. And never simply from his potential to bounce and inform tales, however, actually, it’s simply unimaginable to see his pure appearing potential,” Mumbauer mentioned. “The brand new Hollywood is TikTok, and Michael is in that wave.”