Israelis Adapt “The Hunger Games” to Facebook Video Game
Funtactix draws one million active users in a month
Funtactix, an Israeli company, has developed a Facebook version of the popular “Hunger Games” series which allows Facebook users to play a video game adapted from the movie, according to Ynet.
Along with Lionsgate and “Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins, Funtactix became the first company to release a Facebook game on the same date as the movie on which it is based, the JTA reported.
Titled, “The Hunger Games Adventures,” players aim to survive harsh times in District 12 with help from the heroine, Katniss. In its first month, the game drew one million active users, 150,000 of whom being active daily players.
According to the JTA, this video game is just one of many that Funtactix has created based on popular films.
Last year, the company reportedly partnered with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. to create Facebook games based on “Mission: Impossible,” “Rango” and “New Boyz.”
Founded in 2006 by Yaron Leifenberg as a startup in Tel Aviv, the original goal was to create three-dimensional multi-player games for a new audience. Funtactix now has a staff of 20 people spread between offices in New York, Jerusalem and Los Angeles.
“Traditional console-based movie games reached only those hard-core gamer movie fans that both loved the film and owned a specific gaming console,” Sam Glassenberg, CEO of the company, told the JTA.
“With social games there is no barrier to entry, no expensive game console required.”
The advantage of “The Hunger Games Adventures” is its simplicity. It is based on repeated actions designed to attract the player to spend a little money to save waiting or effort.
“Funtactix’ implementation of console-quality graphics within Flash is not a lone effort,” Ron Weaver, a faculty member at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, told the JTA.
“Kudos to Funtactix for helping to lead the charge, but fortunately they are not alone.”
Glassenberg, a former Microsoft employee, said he was eager to join Funtactix in 2008 so he could help build the gaming industry in Israel.
“From personal experience, I know that Israel has the potential to make a huge contribution to the global games industry,” he said.
“Funtactix is just scratching the surface. We have established a reputation in Hollywood for Israeli game development. We hope this will serve as a catalyst for a much larger games ecosystem in Israel.”