Just in time for the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas (May 24-26 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas) we caught up with Bruno Danzel d’Aumont, VP of international licensing and marketing at Paris-based animation powerhouse Cyber Group Studios. In this insightful interview, he tells us about the studio’s latest licensing campaigns and key 2022 animation tentpoles.
Animation Magazine: Can you tell us a little bit about what Cyber Group will be focusing on at the Licensing Expo in May?
Bruno Denzel d’Aumont: The Licensing Expo is a global show, and since Cyber Group Studios is selling its series all over the world, it is a great opportunity to meet with our existing partners and potential future ones to share the company’s latest updates. For example, we’ve recently invested in real-time animation, a new technology that allows us to produce high-quality content using live actors at a fraction of the cost of traditional animation. Also, as part of its ongoing international expansion plan, Cyber Group Studios has acquired a majority stake in Bristol-based animation studio A Productions, the multi-award-winning Italian animation studio Graphilm Entertainment and the Singapore-based studio Scrawl Animation.
What are some of the new shows you will be bringing to the event?
At the Licensing Expo, we will, of course, continue to promote our global preschool property Gigantosaurus, with new content to come internationally. It will be a great opportunity to share our upcoming plans with our licensees, agents, and new partners. Additionally, our most recently developed shows — Digital Girl, The McFire Family, Press Start! and Final Fantasy IX — will be presented for the first time. These four new series have a strong licensing appeal for different age targets.
Where are some of the new areas of focus for the studio and how do you see these areas will evolve and grow in 2022 and beyond?
On the licensing side, Gigantosaurus will continue its expansion around the world, opening new product categories not only in 2022, but also in the coming years. The new series that we will present at the Licensing Show will also contribute to our growth in the coming years. Our recent technology developments such as real-time animation will also be an area of focus for the coming years.
What do you think are some of the most impactful trends in the world of animation and licensing?
One of the biggest trends is the direct access to the consumer: not only is the content directly accessible by the consumer through the various platforms, but so are licensed products sold through the digital retail network. This trend requires extreme agility and targeted communication through products’ corresponding content towards stakeholders and consumers.
Cyber Group has been an active player in the gaming arena in recent years. Can you talk about some of your exciting initiatives?
We released our first video game in March 2020, an action-adventure game on console and PC called Gigantosaurus the Game that targeted kids and families. This game does include a cooperative multiplayer option, enabling kids to play their favorite characters with their friends or relatives. It is still selling very well across the world. It was followed in June 2021 by The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom, an action-adventure-RTS game on console and PC. On Android/iOS we released Taffy: Feed the Kitty and Sadie Sparks: Magical Match.
More games are in production on either console/PC or Android/iOS, and some will release this year! All Cyber Group Studios games are family-friendly and provide a safe and fun environment for our young audience. They enable the fans of our TV series to further immerse themselves in their favorite shows.
What kind of advice would you give an animation start-up who would like to dip their toes in the challenging world of modern licensing?
I think that the key phrases are good storytelling, appealing characters and access to the various media with long-term perspectives. A high quality of animation and creativity are also required. Finally, content must be accessible to consumers globally through the various media platforms. Lastly, the licensing business is driven by good partnerships and compelling products.
For more information about the studio and its properties, visit cybergroupstudios.com.
Licensing Expo 2022 takes place Live and Online from Tues., May 24 to Thurs., May 26. Register for free at licensingexpo.com.