x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Shah Rukh Khan announces RA.One video game release

The actor Shah Rukh Khan has announced that RA.One will be the first Bollywood film to also be released with a video game tie-in.

RA.One, a forthcoming Hindi sci-fi film, will be released in cinemas at the end of October, but the video game will be available for the Sony PlayStation in September.
RA.One, a forthcoming Hindi sci-fi film, will be released in cinemas at the end of October, but the video game will be available for the Sony PlayStation in September.

The actor Shah Rukh Khan has announced that RA.One will be the first Bollywood film to also be released with a video game tie-in.

The sci-fi action film will be released in cinemas at the end of October, but in September the video game to the movie will be released for the Sony PlayStation.

Khan said: "It has been a dream since childhood to be somehow involved in video-game designing or making them, as all kids dream of. So now, many years down the line, the dream is fulfilled!"

The game is scheduled to be available for download from September 11. Atindriya Bose, the India country manager for PlayStation, said: "We have always wanted to bring Bollywood IPs on PlayStation platform as the way of connecting to the Indian audience. RA.One has the right mix of action, environment and imagination that is required to make a good PlayStation game, and with Shah Rukh Khan's immense passion and understanding of PlayStation games, we have chanced upon a very unique opportunity for a great game."

Red Chillies Entertainment, the production company owned by Khan, has developed the sci-fi film. The actor himself wrote the video-game story and says the game can be considered a prequel to what happens in the film.

When releasing the first image from the game on his Twitter account, the actor articulated his excitement: "Sorry to go on and on about the Sony ps3 game, but I am so taken by it. Yippee my own personal video game ... though the hair is a little pointy ... will put up shots of other actors soon."

The game will feature characters from the movie, including Khan's G.One and Arjun Rapai's R.One. The rumour mill is suggesting that the avatar of Kareena Kapoor will be based upon Lara Croft. The main cast of RA.One have also provided the voice-overs for their respective characters.

Players will get to choose to be either R.One or G.One during the adventure, in which they rely on various superpowers to get through the 20-game play environments from the RA.One universe.

RA.One stands for Random Access: Version One, as well as the mythological character Ravana. The film will be released in 3D. The Indian broadcasting rights to the film have already been sold to Star India for a record sum, as the movie has set up a marketing strategy based on a Hollywood tent-pole release.

It's very rare for a big-budget Hollywood film to be released without a computer game tie-in. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Thor and Captain America have all been released with video game tie-ins. So it's no surprise, really, that Bollywood, with companies such as Reliance Big increasingly having a stake in Hollywood movies as well as domestic products, would start taking advantage of the ancillary markets that come with the release of a major motion picture, from toys and games to soundtracks, books and even costumes.

Movie tie-in video games have come a long way since the commercial failure of ET: The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 in 1982. Made in just five weeks instead of the usual six months, the game was rushed and then panned - and was one of the biggest commercial failures in video gaming history. Atari lost millions and fell into bankruptcy the following year.

It became clear that gamers would not purchase a movie tie-in game if the product doesn't measure up. And moviemakers don't want their film's name on a below-par product. Now, however, advances in technology mean that games and movies are able to cross over, with games looking more and more like movie blockbusters.

It's no surprise that those behind RA.One have waited so long to announce the release of the gaming-console version, as precautions against piracy ensure that game developers work under a shroud of secrecy while movie studios send over clips and plot details.

Because of the need to meet deadlines imposed with movie release dates, movie tie-ins have a reputation for being bad, as the games are often rush-released. But recently, when two multibillion-dollar industries come together, the results have been more mutually beneficial.