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Aardman Digital Creates Companion App for ‘The Hobbit’

As part of HarperCollins’ ongoing product strategy to create “living and breathing” experiences for consumers, the publisher taps Aardman Digital to create The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion App, an app designed to accompany the film experience of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

LONDON -- As part of HarperCollins’ ongoing product strategy to create “living and breathing” experiences for consumers, the publisher tapped Aardman Digital to create The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion App, an app designed to accompany the film experience of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson. A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened worldwide December 13.

The app, produced in association with Warner Bros., was developed by Aardman Digital, whose understanding of HarperCollins’ product vision, along with their delivery record, made them the ideal creative partner. Building on the publisher’s enduring relationship with Tolkien fans, the app aims to engage with book and film fans on a digital and interactive platform, and is packed with content from the The Hobbit Trilogy, including details and images of the characters and a beautifully rendered 3D map.

“This is the first step towards HarperCollins’ vision for persistent storytelling worlds that will act as a hub for fans of The Hobbit worldwide,” said Nick Perrett, Group Director of Strategy & Digital at HarperCollins. “This exciting new experience brings The Hobbit universe alive and will, over time, develop as a platform for discovering the world of Middle-Earth.”

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to team up with HarperCollins and share in the adventure and excitement of The Hobbit Trilogy,” said Jake Manion, Creative Director at Aardman Digital. “We really believe that the more fans understand the huge world that Tolkien created, the more enjoyable the films and books become, and that’s exactly what we hope this fantastic app will achieve!”

Created using the Unity engine – more typically used by game developers than book publishers – The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion App is designed to enrich users’ experience of the films, enabling them to navigate a map of Middle-Earth in its entirety, while discovering facts about the characters, locations and artefacts recognizable from the films and book. The app also features interactive trivia, allowing users to unlock additional app features. The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion App will be updated with a rolling schedule of content for the next two years, including cast interviews, content for younger users and more immersive experiences around Middle-Earth.

HarperCollins are the custodians of the publishing estate of JRR Tolkien, and the official publisher of film tie-in books for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion App is available from Samsung’s Apps Hub and Apple’s App Store.

Source: Aardman Animations