Want a zombie on your underwear? Good, because soon, you will have that opportunity. Today, there comes more proof that mobile gaming is the entertainment franchise opp of the future as EA-owned PopCap, makers of Plants vs. Zombies and the “Bejeweled” series of games, announced a number of new partnership deals that will see its game brands turned into merchandise – much like Rovio’s Angry Birds has already done to great success. The company has six new partnerships on tap which will see its properties featured as everything from plush toys to branded headphones. And yeah, boxers, too.
According to PopCap, the deals are the first brand licensing partnerships to emerge in the company’s 12-year history, and they’ll kick off with top game Plants vs. Zombies to start. Bejeweled will then follow, followed by other games, and the merchandise will arrive in early 2013.
The partnerships include those with Bioworld Merchandising for apparel, headwear, bags and accessories; Jazwares for plush toys, figures and electronics, like headphones, USBs, speakers and device cases; Walls360 for wall graphics; Funko! will produce Plants vs. Zombies vinyl figurines; MjC will do adult sleepwear and boxers; and Trends International will do calendars and posters.
While Rovio has seen success with its likable (and kid-friendly) Angry Birds series of games, it’s unclear how well that type of success can translate to less huggable brands…like Bejeweled. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve wasted as many brain cells on that game as everyone else has, but Bejeweled hats and bags? I mean, that Tetris bag of mine is kind of old but still…it never really went with my outfits.
PopCap also has Zuma, Peggle and Bookworm to bring into the merchandise play, but again, none are as standout-ish as Angry Birds.
EA acquired PopCap back in 2011, and now has a worldwide staff of over 600 with offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, B.C., Dublin, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. Its games have been downloaded over 1.5 billion times, with Bejeweled alone selling over 50 million units.