The Walking Cash Cow

With AMC’s breakout hit series The Walking Dead set to return this October, another slue of half cocked, poorly made games are also jumping into the gaming market looking to make a quick buck. Next Games and AMC have revealed a gameplay trailer and details for their new game The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, a new official The Walking Dead branded mobile action-strategy game. Could this finally be another great hit like Telltale’s take on the series, or just another nail in licensed gaming’s coffin?

Ever since the growing popularity of the comics turned into a risky show on AMC when it first started developing scripted television for the network, The Walking Dead has become a pop culture icon and naturally the market for it has rocked with it. Throughout its time in the limelight, The Walking Dead brand has generated eight spin-off games for the series. Now the ninth installment, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, will have players will try to survive in a antagonistic, post-apocalyptic world, fighting the walker threat and making difficult decisions about the fate of their own personal group.

Unfortunately. everything about the new mobile game screams of a cash grab, once again using Norman Reedus’s popularity both on the show and outside of it as a hook to get players to want to download this game on their mobile devices. His character Daryl Dixon is featured as the guide through the games tutorial, before the player heads out to slaughter walkers in different iconic locations spawned from the show. The trailer features an extremely bad voice over of Reedus who is grumbling generic buzzwords for a post-apocalyptic setting before he is cut out and we are introduced to “gameplay” which also features horrible sound effects.

The Walking Dead and its characters/actors likeness have been abused sense its growth in popularity throughout its run and the only brand that has had any success with the franchise is Telltale Games. Which is quite sad really, considering that out of the nine games they have pumped into the market (one being the yet to be released Overkill by Payday Creators), only one of them has had continual success with its audience. The even sadder realization is that this game will be downloaded millions of times by mobile gamers once it is released and generate enough of a buzz to put in development another crappy game in its place next year.

Even the promoters of the game have already laid claim of developing a game specifically for fans, “The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land is devotedly crafted for The Walking Dead fans. We are very excited about the momentous opportunity to bring one of the most adored TV shows into the mobile realm in collaboration with our partner AMC, the creators of the TV series, we combine IP, TV show talent and join forces with AMC in a never-seen-before way. This game is a big first step in Next Games’ strategy to become the premier partner for TV networks, movie studios and beyond who aspire to work with a veteran game studio in extending their IP into mobile games,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO at Next Games.

Based just by the comments made by the CEO of Next Games, it seems he either doesn’t care what the market is going to think about this poorly made mobile game or he hasn’t played it or watched any promotions of it himself. It’s not right to base a book off its cover, but when that book keeps using its fanbase for quick cash and not taking its job seriously, it is only fair. Each time a new announcement of a Walking Dead game occurs, the utter joy and excitement of it is slowly killed. At this point the only hope for a worthwhile virtual experience in this universe is through Telltale who almost always puts out quality entertainment even when it comes to licensed brands.