Hello Kitty has gone from being a small emblem on a purse to complete world domination – but now it’s time for another star to rise.
Angel Cat Sugar – from Kitty’s creator Yuko Shimizu – is venturing beyond her traditional remit of merchandising and into the realms of video games, courtesy of Rising Star Games.
“Considering the nature of the game and its target audience, we expect Angel Cat Sugar for DS to not only perform strongly from its release and during the Christmas period, but also to carry on with steady sales throughout 2010,” says product marketing assistant Yen Hau. “We expect this cat will have a very long tail. Angel Cat Sugar isn’t governed by the typical games lifecycle. It is a game that is targeted at pre-teens, those who many have just been bought their first DS by their parents.
“It is not a group where graphics or storyline are defining features and as such, considering the age range, an enjoyable playing experience is essential. We feel that Angel Cat Sugar has exactly what it takes to be a success for this target audience, especially when you consider the strong ethical issues prevalent throughout the game and the appeal to young parents.”
The release sees players taking on the role of the titular feline, who is the princess of Angel Land. Exploring her kingdom with her friends, Sugar spends her time seeking out people with problems and helping them with her power to heal hurt feelings.
SWEET AS SUGAR
There are also a variety of puzzles and mini-games to enjoy centred around the young Angel’s favourite pastimes, as well as secrets to discover in the forests and rivers of Angel Land.
Most, if not all, activities will hold a valuable ethical lesson for young children, and as a result, Rising
Star is gearing the marketing efforts towards parents.
“Angel Cat Sugar is in a unique position in that it will probably be parents who are the main purchasers and not the eventual player,” says Hau.
“In this respect, retailers in traditional family sectors such as supermarkets should see a high uptake leading up to Christmas.
“Of course, this doesn’t mean that games retailers will not see any sales. If you’re a parent buying a new DS for your child this Christmas then Angel Cat Sugar should be high on your add-on sales list, especially considering its competitive RRP.”
The publisher has a comprehensive PR campaign already under way, which has been running for the past month and will continue to do so until November. The focus of this campaign will be on children’s media as well as over both parenting and fashion sectors, promoting the brand as much as the game itself.
“The key here is to establish the brand as an identity in its own right, to introduce the UK market to this phenomenon that is spreading across Europe and to reinforce the core ideals of both the brand and the game,” says Hau.
“Interest has been extremely positive so far with coverage slated for several publications and many of the national newspapers.
“With all these publications showing genuine excitement for the brand, it really has galvanised the feeling here that this can and will be a success in the UK. This coverage has a provided us with a few months of ‘media blitz’ while will do much more to inform parents about the game and brand than an advertisement can.”