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GoD Interview: Glu CEO Ballard Talks Transformers

As Glu Mobile open a new Beijing, China studio and launch a mobile game based on Transformers, one of the summer's most anticipated (and debated) films, Games On Deck
July 06, 2007
As Glu Mobile open a new Beijing, China studio and launch a mobile game based on Transformers, one of the summer's most anticipated (and debated) films, Games On Deck talks with Glu Mobile CEO Greg Ballard to learn more about these events and the company in general. Ballard explains of the movie-inspired title itself: “We're really pleased about how it turned out. The thing about Transformers that is a little bit different about any other brand that you can imagine, is that it's got an almost, and I say this a positive fashion, "cultish" fanbase. Their standards for anything Transformers related are so high that we had a lot of concern to create a product that delivered to their sensibilities and on their expectations. From what I've seen of the movie it seems to be exceeding expectations of the fans too, so that bodes really well. What we liked about the game, movie and the brand is that it's a brand that's larger than a movie, the movie is just an event as part of brand. It's not Mr. And Mrs. Smith which we did last year which was just a one-off movie. So, we're quite excited about the product. In my mind it's as good an execution of a launch as any product we've been involved with.” He also comments on some of the challenges faced by Glu Mobile in selecting an appropriate license for the mobile market: “At Glu we've done a lot of research on this, and we were convinced that Transformers, for example, would be a huge brand. There's no one single formula for doing it, but it does involve a lot of rigour. There's a lot of data out there from third-party sources about what categories are working and which brands perform best, what's selling, what isn't, and we have people that spend a lot of time looking at that data.” You can now read the full GamesOnDeck feature on the subject, including further comments from Ballard on how Transformers was brought to 3D life on cellphones, as well as additional insight into the company's plans for original IP (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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