Cars is one of the biggest kids’ movie franchises in recent years.
The original 2006 film grossed hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, while a gargantuan $8bn was generated from retail and merchandise sales. This presents a huge opportunity for Cars games.
After acquiring the game rights from THQ, Disney Interactive last year released the Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales mini-game collection on Wii. It’s now following this up with multiformat combat racer Cars 2 to accompany the new film – which features the voice talent of Michael Caine, Owen Wilson and more – out on July 22nd.
Cars 2 is exactly what you’d expect from a Disney game – a fun to play family-friendly racer.
“The great thing about Cars 2 is it’s a racing game that anyone can pick up and play regardless of age or gender,” says Disney product manager Matthew Lombard.
“Cars is a bit of a phenomenon in terms of how successful it’s been. Kids really love the products, particularly boys, for whom this is one of the top brands.”
Cars 2 is an arcade-style racer based on the film’s car spy training academy, where players can use gadgets to take out other vehicles.
The title has been developed by Avalanche Studios which worked on the successful Toy Story 3 game that topped the GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 chart last summer.
Players have over 20 cars to choose from – including protagonist Lightning McQueen – across areas such as London’s Hyde Park.
Up to four users can play Cars 2 using the game’s split-screen mode. And the PS3 version is 3D compatible.
With its kids movie licence, ad campaign, range of modes and proven development studio, Cars 2 is ready to drive strong sales.
TV and online ads
Disney will be running advertisements on kids TV channels in the UK and Ireland, as well as pre-rolls ads in cinemas and on video-on-demand services in August. A website campaign will run from release and throughout the summer.
Shopping centre displays
Print and digital outdoor displays will come to life in shopping centres across the UK. Full-size Lightning McQueen and Finn McMissile characters will also make appearances in cities nationwide. Other outdoor racing events and activities will continue throughout August.
A PR campaign is already underway, with features appearing in News of the World, the Sunday Mirror, and children’s and parenting media.
Game and watch
Disney is releasing a range of video game and DVD movie bundles on Monday, June 27th, including a Cars box set. This features the Wii game Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales as well as the Cars Toon DVD and the original Cars movie.