Madballs in Babo Invasion: The DLC that could have been

I’m sure by now that you’ve spent some time checking out the trailers for Madballs in Babo Invasion, as well as Hamza’s hands-on preview of the game. Yes, we know that the game is a rather… non sequitur… of an IP, as the Madballs IP hasn’t been the most active brand since, well, before I was born. Thankfully the team at Playbrains is very “in” on this oddity, and they know that they have to work with the pros and cons of this IP as much as possible.

Interestingly, most of the characters in the game are brand new creations, with only two, Oculus Orbus and Horn Head, being original Madballs. This brought up an interesting conversation with Scott Simpson, President and CEO of Playbrains. Madballs in Babo Invasion, being based on a toy line, could offer a lot in crossover appeal. Could we see game characters crossover to become toys in the Madballs line? Or what about the marketing opportunities to offer free DLC for the game with Madballs toy purchases?

Unfortunately for those looking a Webkinz-like experience, buying Madballs toys to get Madballs game content, it looks like this has all been considered by Playbrains, Microsoft, Madballs IP owner American Greeting, and Madballs licensee Basic Fun Inc. Simpson sums it up:

It was actually AG who suggested this “webkinz“-like model of putting codes on toys, and we thought it was a neat idea. They’re coming out with a Series 3 line later this year and they thought it’d be cool to put the codes on the toys so you can play your new toy in the game. Cool idea. Microsoft liked the idea as well, but there is a discussion (a whole lot of discussion) of how feasible it is to do this. Can you create DLC that’s code-exclusive and not available/visible to anyone else on the platform, or would you make it so that anyone could buy the skin as it’s own piece of DLC if they didn’t buy the toy? And if you did do that, do you really want 12 pieces (or however many toys there are) of DLC listed with your title that are all these minimal-sized transactions?

Well there you go! Ultimately, I think this is a pretty interesting situation, as I’m sure more than Playbrains has struggled with dealing with the DLC situation for contemporary games. Would you purchase DLC if it came in a non-traditional package?

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Ben Perlee
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