Avatar Mobile Game before Avatar itself

The planned mobile Avatar game is moving forward with FoxNext with a target roll out before James Cameron’s sequel is released. FoxNext, the recently formed gaming, virtual reality and theme parks division of 21st Century Fox, acquired mobile-game developer Aftershock (the entity spun off from Kabam last December in a deal reportedly worth up to $800 million). The acquisition will have Aftershock operating as a sub-department of the FoxNext Games division.

Aftershock currently has three titles in development – one that’s most hyped about is a massively multiplayer mobile strategy game for James Cameron’s “Avatar” franchise, in partnership with Cameron’s own Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox.

Salil Mehta, president of FoxNext, said the Aftershock deal made sense for a variety of reasons. Fox had already developed a close working relationship with the company on Avatar. “When they came on the block, we jumped at the opportunity,” he said. The team behind Aftershock “is well known for its creativity and innovative storytelling skills.” Mehta plans to use this as a launchpad for other movies that have the potential to turn into a game franchise. He noted, ““We see this interactive storytelling as a way to potentially launch new franchises, as well as expand existing Fox properties. We have a lot of IP we are looking to bring to Aftershock. Technology is moving incredibly rapidly, and we are trying to stay on top of it and be able to exploit it and bring opportunities to creative storytellers.”

Aftershock — which is FoxNext’s first acquisition — will be led by Aaron Loeb, who joins as president of studios for FoxNext Games, reporting to Mehta.

In addition to the games arm, FoxNext comprises FoxNext VR Studio (Planet of the Apes-themed experience in connection with release of War for the Planet of the Apes) and FoxNext Destinations, which is developing 20th Century Fox World theme park in Malaysia.