Open to collaborations to produce a first video game in 2023, the company has also received an investment from the Indie Asylum incubator
MONTREAL, November 25, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Quebecin studio B Df’rent Games is now the exclusive worldwide licensee and long-term developer of software games based on the images, films, music and archival materials of the legendary actor, screenwriter and director Charlie Chaplin. The agreement with his heirs covers the rights to games for mobile phones, personal computers, consoles and any future interactive digital product.
Nearly 45 years after Chaplin’s death, the filmmaker’s estate has agreed to grant the rights to the game for the first time, a clear sign of his family’s trust in B Df’rent Games. “I’ve known the Chaplins for about 15 years and was even a neighbor of Geraldine – Charlie’s daughter – for about 10 years when I lived in Europe,” said Yves Durand, museologist and co-founder of B Df’rent Games. “Our bond of friendship, respect and trust that has developed over time is what made this agreement possible.”
The company’s co-founder added that the family is not focused on the business side of future Chaplin-related products. “When making a business decision, his children only think about whether their father would have agreed with the idea. The family focuses more on the moral and societal legacy of their father’s work. These are values that are also important to us and by demonstrating these shared values during our exchanges, we have made it possible to finalize this agreement after eight months of negotiations.”
This isn’t the first collaboration involving the work and life of Charlie Chaplinfrom 2000-2016 Yves Durand designed and co-founded the Chaplin’s world museum in Corsier-sur Switzerland on the site of the Manoir de Ban estate, where Chaplin and his large family lived from 1952 until his death in 1977.
A resolutely modern symbol
For Yves Durand, both the character of the Little Tramp and the themes of Chaplin’s films are more topical than ever. “In movies like The Great Dictator, The Kid, Modern Times, The Immigrant, Where The homeless man, Chaplin dealt with issues still relevant in 2022, such as dictatorship, immigration, poverty and war. Charlie Chaplin’s iconic Tramp is both a relevant and indispensable figure who can shed some light amid the gloom of current events. We must look through his eyes to laugh at our modern madness and our sense of futility.”
For its future productions, B Df’rent Games intends to respect the “subversive compassion” that it considers inherent in this character. “If The Little Tramp had just been an ordinary person, he wouldn’t have been so interesting. He became incredibly popular around the world because he was the ultimate ‘drifter’ who embodied a kind of Robin Hood who was marginalized by the well-meaning people of his time. He was both irreverent and very friendly. He owned nothing but wanted to share everything. In his own way, he was the very first influencer who fought for more brotherhood, justice and solidarity in the world.”
Many potential variations
Co-founder of B Df’rent Games Robert Young thinks Chaplin fits perfectly with the studio’s entertainment and education mission. “The Little Tramp was and remains an apolitical voice. His iconic stature gives him the power to deliver important messages through entertaining storytelling. We will follow in his footsteps to try to make our world a better place.”
The entrepreneur believes the character has immense potential for gaming. “Players are going to really enjoy it,” he says. “Although The Little Tramp is of course a character from the era of silent movies and black and white, there are many ways to introduce him to a whole new generation using gaming platforms. Internally, we often say “Chaplin is back”; a phrase that embodies our goals but also allows us to modernize the character and give him 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 10 who immediately saw the magic in him and embraced him. Chaplin is a bit like the circus: he brings together everyone, no matter what background or generation one comes from.”
A call to the whole sector
Inspired by the openness of 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 be at video games, what Hollywood is at the movies. Chaplin is such an iconic brand with endless potential, so we want to share the opportunities so that as many talented people as possible can work on a project with such a capacity for exponential success. Anyone wishing to contribute in any way is welcome.”
In this regard, Montreal-based independent asylum group has just invested in the project. “The fact that experts with a deep understanding and appreciation of game creation have committed to invest in our project speaks volumes about its business prospects,” said Robert Young. This collaboration will allow the organization to seek out the best tools, resources and knowledge.
Both investment fund and independent accelerator/incubator Quebec studios, Indie Asylum supports emerging studios so they can continue to compete with the biggest names in the industry. The organization brings together around ten studios and 150 professionals from the video game sector (developers, event organizers, marketing specialists, virtual and augmented reality experts, etc.). Each puts its strengths at the service of the member studios.
As the co-founder of Indie Asylum explains Pascal Nataf, the values underlying the missions of B Df’rent and Indie Asylum fit perfectly into Chaplin’s work, in which creativity, art and humor are used to build a better world. “For us, investing in B Df’rent was an obvious choice and an honor. Our mission is to bring stories to life that can change the world.” The specialist also believes that Chaplin’s work is fundamental for the creative and cultural industries. “We are very proud to be associated with this project and to contribute to it,” he says. “This initiative confirms that Montreal is now the Hollywood of video games. If Chaplin were alive, he would come and create games in Montreal.”
B Df’rent is moving forward and already working on ideas and concepts. B Df’rent is planning a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Spring 2023.
SOURCE Indie Asylum
For further information: Media Relations, Julie Gagnon Communications, 514-713-4381, [email protected]