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‘Happy New Year’ game is our biggest marketing tool: Shah Rukh Khan

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MUMBAI: With Farah Khan’s Happy New Year already breaking records at the box office, the cast and crew has another reason to celebrate.

Known for his marketing skills, the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan along with Vroovy (a joint venture between Hungama and game service company Gameshastra) launched the official Happy New Year game on iOS, Android and Facebook two days before the release of the film to enthrall the fans on the mobile devices.

A week after its launch, the cast and crew on the movie along with Hungama Digital Media MD and CEO Neeraj Roy announced that the game witnessed more than 1.6 million game sessions in just a week and will soon cross the 50 million mark.

Currently with eight levels in the game, it has six playable characters. The characters are meticulously modelled after the real life actors from the movie – SRK (Charlie), Deepika Padukone (Mohini), Sonu Sood (Jag), Boman Irani (Tammy), Abhishek Bachchan (Nandu) and Vivaan Shah (Rohan).

The goal of the game is to complete a heist successfully by navigating through a barrage of obstacles in eight different environments such as the bank, the dockyard, the streets of Dubai etc. The obstacles come in the form of guards, mercenaries, flamethrowers, flaming barrels etc. The final level takes place in the Atlantis hotel where the heist will take place.

The mobile game encapsulates the essence of the film, which allows gamers to play as Champion Charlie, Marvelous Mohini, Notorious Nandu, Juggernaut Jag, Terrific Tammy or Rowdy Rohan and gear up for an action-packed adventure where they have to unlock doors, break walls, hack alarm systems, and outmaneuver guards.

According to Roy, the game employs a one of a kind tag team format in which the player can switch between characters within a level.

“Besides the single player story mode, there is also a real time multiplayer mode in which you can invite your friend through Facebook and race against them or duel with a random opponent if you wish”, he added.

Talking about the extent in which the game was helpful in marketing the movie, superstar Shah Rukh Khan said, “The game is making a huge effect. It is the biggest marketing tool for us currently in the country. People in India are a little more bent towards online video games. The attempt is to entice the younger generation which loves games.”

“Social media’s reach is not as much as you would like it to be in India, but internationally social media helps a lot in the promotion and marketing of the films,” he added expressing his views on social media’s effect on movies’ reach.

Adding to that, Roy opined, “In India, the gaming sector is growing significantly. There are over a 100 million smart phones in the country, even where people don’t have computers they use phones and hence, moves like giving a miss call for the trailer or launching the game will reach more audiences even in the most interior parts of the country increasing the reach of the film.”

Commenting on expanding the game in future, Roy revealed that they will release a new version of the game in a couple of months. They are also planning to increase the number of levels.

“The game is available for free download currently but add-ons and more levels will cost the user a bit extra,” he added.

Happy and content with the game gaining popularity, the director of the movie said, “The game appeals to audiences of all age group like the movie. It is easy to play, user friendly and most of all, it is not bloody which makes it suitable for children to play.”

From launching the trailer on Whatsapp to initiating the SLAM tour and a dance reality show, the team has also promoted the film on popular television shows like ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’. King Khan certainly did not leave any stone unturned when it came to promotions and marketing of Happy New Year.

Happy New Year, which released in the theatres on 24 October has already collected Rs 108.86 crore in the opening weekend. The movie stars Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah and Jackie Shroff. Directed by Farah Khan, the movie has been produced by Red Chillies. 

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