Scribblenauts franchise draws $100 million

5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka says indie studios have shot at posting "big numbers"; reveals a new iOS game is coming soon.


Scribblenauts hit the Nintendo DS in late 2009, delivering a game that called upon a player's creativity to solve puzzles, and a sequel dropped last year. The first game sold more than 1 million units in less than six months, and 5th Cell CEO and creative director Jeremiah Slaczka has now revealed that the series has crossed a notable financial milestone.

Doesn't matter who you are: A bazooka-wielding elephant is a $100 million idea.
Doesn't matter who you are: A bazooka-wielding elephant is a $100 million idea.

Speaking with Game Informer, Slaczka divulged that the Scribblenauts franchise has garnered the company close to $100 million to date in gross revenue. The statement came as Slaczka reacted to a question regarding the studio's independence.

"If you would have said $50 million, I would have easily said no, but wow…$500 million is a lot of money," he said. "5th Cell isn't currently worth $500 million, so it would be crazy for a publisher or anyone to offer something like that for us. It doesn't mean we won't be worth that in the future. One big original IP success and boom, there ya go! We've had multiple IP successes. The Scribblenauts franchise alone has generated close to $100,000,000 in gross revenue, so down the line, it's totally possible for a company like us to do really big numbers."

Slaczka spoke to the success of the Scribblenauts series, saying marketing and reviews played second seat to the ability of the games to capitalize on social factors. "Game sales are mainly dependent on one thing: word of mouth. This is true for all products; friends influence each other more than anything else," said Slaczka.

The developer is currently working on the 2012-bound third-person futuristic shooter Hybrid for the PC and Xbox Live Arcade. 5th Cell's $100 million franchise hit the iOS last month with Scribblenauts Remix, and Slaczka also revealed that the studio's next title is a "completely new iOS game that is launching in the next month or so." The studio also develops the Drawn to Life series for THQ.

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