Filipino celebrities share their experience in creating their own video games.
Local Filipino celebrities that became part of Xeleb Inc. share their thoughts regarding their own mobile game titles.
Casual mobile games that are themed or feature celebrities have started to take off in both the iOS App Store and the Android market with notable examples include Hollywood stars such as Jason Statham and Lindsay Lohan, together with other popular personalities like Gordon Ramsay, Kanye West, and of course Kim Kardashian.
The Philippine mobile game market will not be without its share of celebrity themed mobile games, as one company, named Xeleb Technologies Inc. has launched a lineup of game titles that feature local stars; Isabelle Daza, Erwan Heussaff, Aljandro “Kuya Kim” Atienza, Sarah Geronimo and Anne Curtis-Smith. Perhaps upping things a bit and rather than just plainly becoming the inspirations behind their respective video game adaptations, Xeleb Technologies Inc., or Xeleb, has also named these said stars as “Managing Directors” keeping them really involved in the whole process of development and production rather than just being templates for their characters.
So how deep does are the actual stars involved in the creation process? As the games are initially targeted towards the fans of the stars themselves, a lot of the decision making in regards to the design inputs are being made by them with. Isabelle Daza, model and actress, describes the part of the task as checking assets and approving or declining them to be implemented in the game, such assets, according to Isabelle include “color, story, the pallette, the font” and every other meticulous detail that make up her game. Anne Curtis-Smith, who is largely known for her hosting acts at the Philippine noontime TV variety show “It’s Showtime”, adds the “fan factor” to the decision making process by saying “is it something that our followers would enjoy?”.
When asked if they find it weird that they are using their personas or characters modeled after them when playing their own games, Anne Curtis-Smith simply describes the experience as being more “kilig” rather than weird. She also adds that the whole experience has been “totally educational” as they were able to witness and take direct part in the whole creation process. Raymond Racaza, CEO of Xeleb, even adds that it was Anne herself who chose the genre for her mobile title, Anne Galing, which is a match-3 puzzle. Her fellow celebrity, and also one of Xeleb’s managing directors, aside from having his own mobile game that is also under Xeleb, Erwan Heussaff describes the whole affair as “a really cool process to go through” as he states “You are your own director like in real life, you tell yourself what to do then you create the strategy of the game, and the concept of the game.”
More celebrities and future plans
While Xeleb’s titles are picking up the phase in the Google PlayStore, the company already plans to bring more celebrities to their lineup with future announcements to happen soon. CEO Raymond Racaza also states that there would be more than celebrity themed video games coming out from Xeleb as they also plan to venture into products outside of games and even more content.
So which video game do they want to be part of?
As a wrap-up to their Q&A panel during GMGC Manila 2017, we sneaked in and asked the celebrities regarding which popular or existing video game franchise do they want to be part of given the chance, Anne Curtis-Smith who proved to be a fan of Ariana Grande quickly blurted out that she wants to follow in the Pop sensation’s footsteps who just recently revealed that she will be part of a Final Fantasy game title, Isabelle Daza on the other hand expressed her admiration for Kim Kardashian’s Kim Kardashian: Hollywood while Erwan Heussaff simply says: “I wish I was the creator of Minecraft”.
Xeleb’s video game titles are available for download on Android through the Google Play Store.