Universal Film Mogul is a hidden object game being co-published by Large Animal and Ubisoft, part of a licensing agreement with Universal Partnerships and Licensing. Like other games in this genre, Universal Film Mogul combines hidden object gameplay along with light sim management. Players search through scenes from iconic Universal movies like Back To The Future, The Breakfast Club and Field of Dreams; using the soft currency rewards to decorate studio backlots.
New scenes and backlot items are unlocked by filming and releasing movies. Players hire their friends to star in these films (which are produced in their virtual backlot) or can spend energy and hard/soft currency to hire in-game actors, each with different amounts of earning potential. When the movie’s released, players are rewarded with experience and currency to be invested elsewhere. Users are also able to visit their friends’ own backlots for experience and energy rewards.
Universal Film Mogul is an interesting entry into the social games genre for a number of reasons. Not only does it combine a number of major movie properties (all under the Universal label), but it’s the first new social game Ubisoft’s published since CSI Miami: Heat Wave and canceled Loot Drop’s Ghost Recon Commander.
Both Large Animal Games and Ubisoft have a fair amount of experience adapting Hollywood properties into social games. Large Animal Games was responsible for Spartacus: The Game and Spartacus: Vengeance (both of which were published by 6waves), while Ubisoft worked on adaptations of CSI, The Smurfs and House, M.D. Universal has been stepping up its presence in the world of video games, with recent entries like Telltale Games’ Jurassic Park and Back To The Future titles being critically hailed.