Israeli game studio Toya has teamed up with Zag Games to create a new game for Roblox: Miraculous Ladybug & Cat Noir.
The game is based on the animated TV series Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, which targets girls ages six to 12 as well as boys ages four to seven.
Zag produces the show (along with On Kids & Family) and it will co-develop the game with publisher and developer Toya, a Tel Aviv-based game company that targets games for girls on the Roblox platform, which has more than 150 million monthly active users. Roblox itself is teed up for a public offering, as it recently raised $520 million on a $29.5 billion valuation.
The story is about two typical teens with secret identities, Marinette and Adrien, who can transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir when evil threatens Paris.
Miraculous taps into girls’ affinity for tales of first love, secret identities, teamwork, empowerment, friends, family, compassion, fashion, and is an illustration of the “girl power” phenomenon: strong girls who don’t back down and make their way in the world.
The show has more than 15 million subscribers and 22 billion views on YouTube, and it is available on broadcast in 120 countries. Fans have collectively viewed more than 300 million hours of content. Zag is also making a movie based on the TV show.
Crazy Labs did a casual mobile game based on the title in 2018, and that game has been downloaded 130 million times, said Anat Shperling, CEO of Toya, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“The TV show is all about girl empowerment,” Shperling said. “It’s all about giving power to girls and boys from around the world, giving them tools, giving them some inspiration, showing them how they can do good in small things.”
Toya now has 50 employees, and it has a couple of more games in the pipeline. Toya’s released games have generated more than 12 million downloads in the past 12 months.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to bring a TV series to Roblox players,” Shperling said. “Players can choose whatever role they want to be.”
Elinor Schops, vice president of Zag Games and Interactive Experience, said in an interview that Zag, an animation studio, set up its Zag Games division in October.
Schops is based in Israel and formerly worked at Crazy Labs. She was able to meet with Shperling and asked her to get involved in the women in gaming community in Israel. They talked about what they could do and found a lot of common ground. Schops noted that she was pleased to establish a relationship with another Israeli company at a time when the country’s game industry is booming, as evidenced by Playtika’s initial public offering last week.
For the most part, Toya has been making its own original games. But Shperling saw the rare chance to work together because the content and the agenda behind the property was a fit for Toya’s own mission of creating female-led games. Toya has a team of 15 and it is expanding.
“We have many opportunities and we have surprises up our sleeves,” Shperling said.
The Toya game will launch in April to coincide with the global premiere of Miraculous World — Shanghai — Lady Dragon on the Disney Channel and Disney+.
Fans can expect to meet new characters, enter new environments, and engage with new villains. Zag and Toya are planning to engage with fans during this project through an inclusive global game development process that integrates their feedback on ideas and concepts design artwork before the game is officially released to the public, Shperling said.
The announcement comes after news last month that Miraculous is now available on TikTok. Shperling said that Toya will include elements like cinematics and music from the TV series that will appeal to the “metaverse” aspects of Roblox, which is adding features that go beyond typical gameplay. You can, for instance, stage a birthday party on a private server and get access to things like a sneak peek at new characters on the Roblox platform.
“These are things you could only do on Roblox,” Shperling said.
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