Why a game studio is using TikTok’s Michael Le to host ‘Ashfall’ – The Hollywood Reporter

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The timeline for a successful video game franchise usually goes like this: the game comes out and soon becomes popular with gamers. Avid fans start creating content inspired by the game and their favorite characters, helping bring that intellectual property into pop culture. There may be a film or television adaptation. And as more people are introduced to the world of the game, more fans are created, leading to more demand for spin-off content. Etcetera etcetera.

But the leaders of Liithos, a multimedia games studio run by former PlayStation execs, are about to do things a little differently with their first studio IP, ash fall, which is set in a post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest ravaged by climate change, civil strife, and mutations caused by dark energy. The series follows Ash Naranjo, a character who was born without arms and receives cyborg-like implants to help him save his family and homeland from him.

Instead of waiting for the ash fall comic book series or video game to be released first, the studio hopes to spark interest and build an early fan base using the talents of Michael Le, a TikTok star known as @justmaiko who has more than 52 million followers.

Starting on January 29, Le will star in a five-episode series, released every Sunday on his TikTok account, in which the creator will enter the ash fall universe in disguise as its main character for a story involving Le saving his younger brother Jonathan. The series will also feature Slider Jesus, another digital creator known for his elaborate zombie and monster costumes, as the main villain.

“People normally make videos based on things that [the audience] You already know or you like it. For me, I love making animated videos, so I make things with naruto characters or things that people already understand,” said Le The Hollywood Reporter. “This is like using the same concept but creating our own intellectual property, and I think that’s something that nobody has ever done, especially for a game company of this scale. It’s really cool to be able to be a part of something like this.”

Michael Le in disguise filming the TikTok series inspired by ‘Ashfall’

michael mumbauer

He shot the TikTok series for him at Willow Studios in downtown Los Angeles and brought in his VFX team to provide continuity for his other effects-heavy videos. Following the premiere of each episode, Liithos will also release a set of five NFTs inspired by each of the episodes and in the style of a comic book cover by Marvel and DC artists like Coran Stone (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1), Fico Osio (There’s no one left to fight, Spiderman), John Cassaday (Planetary, amazing x men), Dave Wilkins (Masters of the Universe: Revelation #3, Star Wars – Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison), Karl Kerschl (superman adventures, Majestic) and Tom Raney (Annihilation: Conquest, Ultimate X Men).

The digital collectibles will be available for free, plus a processing fee, on CoinZoom for one week after each episode launches, with the collectibles giving holders an early preview of the ash fall comic series, which will be released in March and is created by past days writer and vice president of Liithos, John Garvin. Viewers who have collected all five will also have access to a sixth digital collectible.

Michael Mumbauer, CEO and founder of Liithos, who co-developed The last of us Y Unexplored as a studio executive at PlayStation, said he sees the ash fall launch as a “fascinating experiment” given the seemingly reversed timeline and the challenges of presenting a new world in a short form for TikTok. Although the game’s official release is still “several years” away, Mumbauer said he hopes the TikTok series offers something unusual to help captivate fans and reward them for getting into the game. ash fall early universe.

“I don’t think there’s a more charismatic person on TikTok than Michael, to be honest. And not just because of his ability to dance and tell stories, but honestly, it’s amazing to see his natural acting ability,” Mumbauer said.. “The new Hollywood is TikTok, and Michael is riding that wave.”

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