Danish developer SYBO has signed Daytime Emmy Award-winning producer Sander Schwartz to develop and produce animated content based on its smash hit mobile game, Subway Surfers. Schwartz is charged with taking the colorful urban adventure property to TV, film and other platforms.
“With over 1.5 billion downloads around the world, Subway Surfers is well on the way to becoming a strong brand with evergreen potential. This initiative marks one of the very first to migrate an app-based mobile game to longform animation, and it is a trend we will see more of in the future,” said Schwartz, who will be splitting his time between the creative team in Copenhagen and content development in Hollywood.”
“An important aspect of the project will be to live and breath the special atmosphere of SYBO in its birthplace, and to bring the creative community in Hollywood into that world. Starting with short subjects, which begin production soon, our goal is to have a full-fledged longform series ready to go by the end of the year. Conversations are already well underway with potential distribution partners.”
Schwartz, a former president of Warner Bros. Animation, Sony Pictures Family Entertainment Group and FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment, recently oversaw the development and production of the popular Skylanders Academy series for Activision/Blizzard Film & TV Group and Netflix, and has advised various IP owners on the process of taking game-based properties to other media and for exploitation across multiple platforms.
“As creatives, we thrive from our crazy ideas and love when we come up with truly innovative concepts. Having an industry veteran like Sander on our team really grounds us, and the exchanges between us help us make a show that has the best of both worlds. We have been waiting for the right moment to take the game back to animation, but we wanted to make sure we preserved the depth of the characters and the creative universe in which they live. This will be a very exciting journey,” said Bodie Jahn-Mulliner, Co-founder of SYBO.
SYBO has also brought in Star Wars Rebels and Clone Wars writer Brent Friedman to script a series of shorts and a long-form series.
“With both Sander and Brent on board, we have fortified our position as universe-builders and brand-makers way beyond the mobile screen,” said Mathias Gredal Nørvig, Managing Director, SYBO.
Originally conceived as an animation property, Subway Surfers‘ characters and universe were created and developed by SYBO, and released as a mobile game together with Kiloo in 2012. The game is now played on every fourth smartphone in the world, making it the most popular and played mobile app game to date.