This morning, EA Mobile announced a deal with Illumination Entertainment to develop and publish a set of Minions-inspired mobile games, the first of which launches this summer. “Minions," of course, are the bright yellow ovoid urchins from Illumination’s surprisingly popular Despicable Me movies. The first project to come out of the new deal will be Minions Paradise, a town-building game about designing and crafting a tropical Minion resort, starring a new, not-from-the-movies character named Phil.
In a post on EA Mobile’s corporate blog, Executive Vice President Frank Gibeau notes that EA’s designers are working closely with Illumination’s artists, writers, animators, and directors to create the new project. (He then goes on to make a truly appalling pun on the main character’s name, noting that the deal will “give mobile gamers their ‘Phil’ of the Minions." Come on, Frank!)
“This incredible partnership will help us bring players an unforgettable way to build the ultimate playground for their Minions, with an engaging story and deep and varied gameplay,” Gibeau said in a separate statement sent out this morning.
Despicable Me-branded games have proven popular (and profitable) on the App Store: Gameloft’s Despicable Me: Minion Rush is a solid auto-runner that has been near the top of the free-to-play charts since its release in June 2013. Think Gaming, an App Store marketing firm, estimates that Minion Rush rakes in a cool $18 thousand or so in daily revenue.
Incidentally, I’m sure Gameloft is bummed about losing such a valuable licensing opportunity.
In any case, Minions Paradise will be a free download when it launches worldwide this summer, presumably to coincide with the theatrical release of Minions, a spin-off prequel to the Despicable Me series, in July.