Pocket Gems Takes ‘Ugly Americans’ Interactive

/ Sep 4, 2014


By Steve Peterson

Pocket Gems is taking Comedy Central’s animated show about zombies, wizards and social workers to mobile devices using Pocket Gems’ Episode platform for interactive storytelling. These will be , created through a partnership between Pocket Gems and the creator and writers of the original “Ugly Americans” TV series. The stories have been created on Pocket Gems’ Episode platform, which, in the coimpany’s words, “redefines storytelling for the modern mobile audience.” The stories are part game and part animated comic with choices that shape the otucome, and are available now via the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

“We had such a blast creating this world and these characters for the TV show,” said the show’s creator, Devin Clark. “It has been a real pleasure revisiting them in this new format. Also, maybe now I won’t have to live in a cardboard box on the street.”

“Essentially, Episode enabled us to create a video game and comic book experience where fans can enjoy the ‘Ugly Americans’ humor and universe in a singular way,” said Dan Yang, executive vice president and general manager, consumer products.

“We’re incredibly thrilled to present ‘Ugly Americans’ in a new format that people haven’t seen before which still honors the spirit of the show,” said Daniel Terry, co-founder and chief creative officer of Pocket Gems. “We think that Episode will both connect ‘Ugly Americans’ with a brand new audience while giving existing fans of the show a chance to reconnect with it.”

The [a]listdaily spoke with Michael Dawson, vice president of business development for Pocket Gems, about the new interactive show.

[a]listdaily: What sort of marketing is planned for these interactive episodes? How will you reach fans of the animated show?

Michael Dawson: We believe the new “Ugly Americans” episodes will appeal to both people discovering the show for the first time and long-time fans. We’re working closely with Comedy Central, leveraging channels like their Facebook page, to combine their marketing with Pocket Gems’ mobile expertise.

[a]listdaily: Do you plan on a regular release schedule for new interactive episodes, or will it be depending on the pace of development and demand?

Michael Dawson: In general, we release new interactive episodes on a rolling basis to keep up with the huge demand for content we’ve seen so far. If you look at our new user interface, you can see the Episode audience has tons of stories to read across genres from romance to comedy. We’re currently working with both professional and community authors to ensure there will always be enough content to meet demand.

[a]listdaily: Are you looking for other properties to turn into interactive episodes, and if so, what criteria are you using to select such properties?

Michael Dawson: We’re talking to a lot of people currently and will have more IP deals to announce soon. Nothing to share just yet, though. Our only criteria is great stories, regardless of medium.

[a]listdaily: Can you share any information about the reception of Episode so far?

Michael Dawson: It’s exceeding our expectations on both writer sign-ups and audience engagement. So far we’ve seen over 250 million chapters read and over 700,000 author signups since launching.

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