Earlier this month, Hasbro announced an agreement with Popcap’s parent EA to port its popular Bejeweled game to the offline world. Today, the company has signed a similar agreement, this time with The Tetris Company, which holds the license to the Tetris brand, in order to manufacture and distribute face-to-face games based on the Tetris brand.
Yes, games. As in multiple.
Hasbro says that it will launch two of these face-to-face games globally in August 2013, both based on Tetris. One will be the new Bop It! Tetris, which tests players to match traditional Tetris block shaped lights as challenges get harder. The other, Jenga Tetris, will combine both the Jenga stacking game with Tetris, using Tetris block shapes to build the Jenga tower.
Although some may only remember Tetris as the falling shapes game that sucked up much of our young lives, the brand has actually launched several titles over the years, and through EA, has long since found new life on mobile platforms, including iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android, as well as gaming consoles like the Wii, DS, PS3, and of course, Nintendo.
Tetris games are played in 95 percent of world, in over 185 companies, Hasbro noted in this morning’s announcement. Today, as many as 35 million Tetris games are played online every day, and over 1 billion games are played monthly.
For Hasbro, this deal, as well as the one made previously with EA Popcap for Bejeweled, is reflective of the potential gaming brands have as both online and offline franchises. The question now is whether or not bringing these somewhat aging titles into the real world will translate as well as modern hits that began their life as mobile-only games. After all, while kids (and some adults) may be eating up Rovio’s Angry Birds merchandise, which ranges from plush toys to t-shirts and more, Tetris and Bejeweled have almost a sense of nostalgia to them at this point in their life cycles.