The company is open to collaborating to produce a first video game in 2023 and has also received an investment from incubator Indie Asylum
MONTREAL, November 25, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Quebec-based studio B Df’rent Games is now the exclusive worldwide licensee and longtime developer of software games based on the images, films, music and archival materials of the legendary actor, writer and director Charlie Chaplin. The agreement reached with his heirs covers the rights for games for mobile phones, PC, consoles and for all future interactive digital products.
Almost 45 years after Chaplin’s death, the filmmaker’s estate has agreed to grant game rights for the first time ever, a clear sign of his family’s trust in B Df’rent Games. “I’ve known the Chaplins for about 15 years and was actually a neighbor of Geraldine – Charlie’s daughter – for about 10 years when I lived there Europe,” said Yves Durand, museum designer and co-founder of B Df’rent Games. “Our bond of friendship, respect and trust that has grown over time made this agreement possible.”
The company’s co-founder added that the family is not focused on the commercial aspect of future Chaplin-related products. “When they make a business decision, all his kids think about is whether their father would have been on board with the idea. The family focuses more on the moral and social legacy of her father’s work. These are values that are also close to our hearts.” Demonstrating these shared values during our discussions has enabled this agreement to be finalized after eight months of negotiations.”
This isn’t the first collaboration that affects the work and life of Charlie Chaplinfrom 2000-2016 Yves Durand conceived and co-founded the Chaplin’s world Museum in Corsier-sur Vevey Switzerland on the grounds of the Manoir de Ban estate, where Chaplin and his large family lived from 1952 until his death in 1977.
A thoroughly modern icon
To the Yves Durand, both the character of The Little Tramp and the themes of Chaplin’s films are as relevant as ever. “In movies like The great dictator, the child, modern times, the immigrant, or The trampChaplin dealt with issues that will still be relevant in 2022, such as dictatorship, immigration, poverty and war. Charlie Chaplin’s iconic tramp is both a relevant and much-needed figure who can shed light on the darkness of current events. We have to look through his eyes to laugh at our modern stupidity and futility.”
For its future productions, B Df’rent Games intends to respect the “subversive compassion” that it believes is inherent in this character. “If The Little Tramp was just an ordinary person, he wouldn’t have been so interesting. He became incredibly popular worldwide because he was the ultimate ‘drifter’ who embodied a species Robin Hood marginalized by the self-righteous people of his day. He was both irreverent and very personable. He owned nothing but wanted to share everything. In his own way, he was the very first influencer to advocate for more brotherhood, justice and solidarity in the world.”
Many possible variations
B Df’rent Games co-founder Robert Young believes Chaplin is a perfect fit with the studio’s entertainment and educational mission. “The little tramp was and remains an apolitical voice. His iconic stature gives him the power to deliver important messages through fun storytelling. We will follow in his footsteps to try to make our world a better place.”
The entrepreneur believes the character has immense gaming potential. “Gamers will really love it,” he says. “While The Little Tramp is obviously a character from the silent and black-and-white film era, there are many ways gaming platforms could introduce him to a whole new generation. Internally we often say “Chaplin is Back”; a phrase that embodies our goals, but also allows us to modernize the character and give it some more contemporary traits.”
Yves Durand adds that he has no doubt that The Little Tramp will become popular with young people. “When we opened Chaplin’s World we held focus groups with children under the age of 10 who immediately saw the magic in him and hugged him. Chaplin is a bit like the circus: it brings everyone together, no matter what background or generation they come from.”
A call to the entire industry
Inspired by the openness of both the man and the character, and aware of the strong commercial potential of these exclusive worldwide rights, B Df’rent Games is open to collaborating with gaming professionals, studios and other companies interested in the Chaplin brand . “We want Montreal to be video games what Hollywood is for movies. Chaplin is such an iconic brand with endless potential so we want to share opportunities so we can bring as many talented people as possible to work on a project with such huge capacity for exponential success. Anyone who wants to get involved in any way is welcome.”
In this regard Montreal-based Indian Asylum group has just invested in the project. “The fact that experts with a deep understanding and appreciation for game development have committed themselves to investing in our project speaks volumes about its business prospects,” he said Robert Young. This collaboration will allow the organization to find the best tools, resources and knowledge.
Both a mutual fund and accelerator/incubator for independents Quebec Studios Indie Asylum supports emerging studios so they can compete with the biggest names in the industry. The organization includes around 10 studios and 150 video game industry professionals (developers, promoters, marketers, virtual and augmented reality experts, etc.). Each brings their strengths to the service of member studios.
As explained by the co-founder of Indie Asylum Pascal Nataf, the values underlying the missions of B Df’rent and Indie Asylum align perfectly with Chaplin’s work, which uses creativity, art and humor to build a better world. “For us, investing in B Df’rent was an obvious decision and an honor. Our mission is to bring stories to life that can change the world.” The expert also believes that Chaplin’s work is fundamental to the creative and cultural industries. “We are very proud to be involved in and contribute to this project,” he says. “This initiative confirms that Montreal is now the Hollywood from video games. If Chaplin were alive he would come to create games Montreal.”
B Df’rent is progressing and is already working on ideas and concepts. B Df’rent is planning a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Spring 2023.
SOURCE Indie Asylum
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2022/25/c6102.html