Activision: Family Guy fans will appreciate Back to the Multiverse

Lead producer on upcoming game based on Fox TV show talks difficulty of making a licensed game fans will enjoy, says new title will "feel" like Family Guy.

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Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
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Fans of the Fox TV show Family Guy are in for a treat with next month's Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse. That's according to Activision lead producer Andy Owen, who explained to the PlayStation Blog that making a strong licensed game is difficult, and that Activision did not cut any corners when developing the new game based on the wacky adventures of the Griffin family.

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"It wouldn’t matter how much effort we put into the graphics, or the level design, or the action. If it didn’t feel like Family Guy--if it wasn’t funny, or if Stewie shouted 'Blast!' and it was clear we’d just hired some actor to do a mediocre Stewie impression, fans would hate it. We would hate it," Owen said.

Back to the Multiverse is based on the Family Guy season 8 premiere episode titled Road to the Multiverse in which Stewie and Brian use a remote control to travel to parallel universes, including destinations inspired by Walt Disney, The Flintstones, and one where Christianity never existed.

According to Owen, Back to the Multiverse is stuffed with references, in-jokes, and tributes to the episode and to the series itself. The game even includes a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man in-game item, he confirmed.

Owen also added that what allowed Activision to create an authentic Family Guy experience in Back to the Multiverse was the company's "incredible amount of access" to the actual Family Guy production team. The show's writers Mike Desilets and Anthony Blasucci penned the game's script, and dialogue for the title was provided by creator Seth MacFarlane and the rest of the show's voice talent.

"This is unmistakably Family Guy, from top to bottom," he said.

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse will be the first console game set in the cartoon universe since the 2K Games-published Family Guy in 2006. That game was developed by High Voltage Software and shipped for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PSP. It featured the original voice cast of the TV series, including MacFarlane.

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse follows Family Guy Online, which is a free-to-play PC title currently in beta. Back to the Multiverse is currently in development at Heavy Iron Studios and will release for Xbox 360 and PlayStation in North America on November 20. A launch in Europe will follow on November 23.

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