with licenses in the video game industry can be a complex topic: a formidable
source of opportunities for some, a creativity brake for others. One could
agree that there are as many reasons to work with licenses as there are
existing brands and studios.
how does it work at Ludia? How do we work with our licenses? Do our artists
feel constrained in their creativity? A quick feedback from Philippe, artist on
Dragons: Titan Uprising.
Working hand in hand
studying art and animation, Philippe joined Ludia 4 years ago and has since
worked on exciting projects with Dreamworks, such as Kung Fu Panda and Dragons:
Titan Uprising: “I am responsible for the artistic design of the games and
visuals”, says Philippe.
does it work in practice?
for the Dragons: Titan Uprising game for example, the Ludia Game Designer may
need a new dragon. This is where Philippe comes in. His work consists in
imagining and drawing the dragon including the research phase, sketching,
adding texture, final drawing, colorimetry: everything is well thought through.
Philippe collaborates with Dreamworks throughout the whole process to bring
this unique universe, its dragons and characters to life. They share the visuals, make live comments and
are in constant touch until the final validation.
As Ludia’s Lead Game Designer on DreamWorks Dragons: Titan Uprising for nearly 3 years, I’ve seen first-hand how working with a beloved franchise empowers game development.
common misconception that working with established licenses stifles creativity
and results in mediocre products. While the early days of games are littered
with half-baked movie cash grabs, things have changed dramatically over the
years. From 2018’s Spider-Man on PS4
to Jurassic World: Alive on mobile,
gamers have more options than ever to dive deep into their favorite franchises.
Licensors now understand the value of high-quality titles supporting their
brands, and Ludia has become a mobile expert in licensed gaming.
You Already Have an Audience
Let’s face it—getting people excited about a mobile game and forming a community is really hard. There’s more competition every day, and mobile still carries a stigma with old-school gamers. Building around a known franchise not only helps with marketing, but you already have an answer to “who’s our audience?” Knowing your audience helps in all stages of game development, allowing the team to focus on what really matters to people who already care.
In the case
of How to Train Your Dragon (HTTYD),
I’m constantly amazed by the passion and civility of the fans. The inherent
optimism in the franchise attracts some wonderful people who treat others with
respect. Even when they find bugs, they often let us know with a tone of “I
want to help improve the game” instead of “the devs are terrible!” This creates
a collaborative atmosphere with the community and motivates teams to constantly