Cartoon Network is planning to go beyond televised animation. As reported by Wired, chief content officer Rob Sorcher recently talked about how the channel was moving original content into other spaces, including video games:
We’re no longer just about creating TV series, we’re really about
creating animated worlds….And so we want the ability to unfold those
[worlds] onto any platform–and ultimately all platforms.
This announcement coincided with Cartoon Network releasing its original first game, OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo. Cartoon Network has had many games based on its popular IPs, like Adventure Time, published and Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s channel space sibling, has published original games such as Westerado: Double-barreled and Jazzpunk. However, this is the first time the company has released a game that wasn’t based on one of its series, though OK K.O.! certainly has an aesthetic similar to the likes of Steven Universe and Adventure Time.
According to Sorcher, OK K.O.! started as a pilot episode for a show (you can watch it here) but ended up becoming a mobile game instead. The game is a side-scrolling fighter that riffs off Streets of Rage pretty hard. You can watch more than 20 minutes of gameplay right here:
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OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo is available to download on the App Store for free.
That Cartoon Network is following Adult Swim’s lead and expanding its focus into other areas is certainly interesting. I wonder what original content we’ll see come out of this initiative as Cartoon Network’s pool of tremendous talent is pushed toward gaming.