Monster Arts, Inc. has announced the launch of the Andy Ross Zombie Targets Game, which was displayed to the public at the Bowhunting Supershow, an archery tradeshow held this past weekend in Columbus, OH. The game, inspired by Andy Ross’s appreciation for the vast size of the Zombie paper targets market, by Andy’s highly enthusiastic fan base, and, more generally, by the huge all-ages consumer demand for “Zombie”-oriented entertainment and game products, actually simulates and is modeled after the now popular the Andy Ross Zombie Targets, which was launched last month.
To provide just a bit more historical context and background to what we see as the swelling size of the market for “zombie” goods, just consider the following: since as far back as the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, especially in North American and European folklore. In modern times, zombies became an increasingly popular subject in horror fiction, largely because of the success of George A. Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, and they have appeared as plot devices in various books, films (such as the recently released World War Z starring Brad Pitt, and even in zombie love stories such as the motion picture Warm Bodies, starring the teen-heartthrob, Nicholas Hoult), and television shows, such as AMC’s popular hit The Walking Dead.
Clearly, it is worth observing that not only are zombie-themed entertainment and consumer products now a sizeable sub-genre of pop-horror for adults, but also they are becoming increasing popular and “in-demand” among younger audiences, including teens and children, as shown for example by Nerf’s rollout of its complete line of apocalyptic “Zombie Strike” branded toys.
Exactly how big is the zombie market? In late 2011, 24/7 Wall St. conservatively estimated the size of the “zombie” economy to be $5.74 billion, with the size of the market broken up into sub-categories as follows: video games ($2.5 billion); movies ($2.5 billion); comic books, magazines and television ($50 million); Halloween costumes ($500 million); books and novels ($100 million); and other sub-categories including conventions, events and walks, merchandise, digital world, music and art ($90 million). Source (10/31/11 NBCNews.com article by Jon C. Ogg, “Zombies Worth Over $5 Billion to Economy.”).
“Monster Arts CEO Wayne Irving observed, “I found it very interesting to see how the children engaged with the game on the tablets we had at the show. It was a fantastic focus group that gave us lots of insight into what this age demographic enjoys in games built specifically for them. We are upgrading this version of the game immediately and have several other pre-school to 5th grade games in the design phase that will benefit from the feedback and observations in Columbus. This age group represents a significant portion of the revenues generated from app sales and we are excited to develop for it.”
With this in mind, the new Andy Ross Zombie Targets Game was especially designed for youth users in the 4 to 10 age range, where players simulate the use of Andy Ross’ new Ambush Bow in shooting at the same cartoon zombie targets that are also available for purchase on paper from Max Apps website. And since being released, , the Zombie Targets Game has by all accounts been a huge hit, with parents literally having to pull their children away from the bank of Amazon Kindle Fires being used at this past weekend’s Bowhunting Supershow to demonstrate and display the new game. Design for the game was supervised by Monster Arts consultant, Jennifer Salwender, a Child Development specialist and veteran Pre-School director from Orange County, California. Game design, which helps users juggle and manage a number of simultaneously occurring tasks and stimuli and rewards successful players for their efforts, encourages all the basic fundamentals for pre-school mind development including, hand-eye coordination, color identification, depth perception, and the growth of fine and gross motor-skills.
Commenting on the game, as well as her work and involvement in this project, Ms. Salwender noted, “The success of this very ‘age appropriate’ game – seeing children concentrate and make efforts to complete each task that is presented to them and through game levels with varying degrees of difficulty – is very encouraging. Over the past 10 years I’ve been able to work with educators and administrators in designing and supervising the educational curriculum for more than 10,000 preschoolers, and it is very gratifying to see how Monster Arts has utilized my experience and suggestion in their conception and design of this fabulous game. It is really fun to see how this technology can both capture a child’s attention and light the spark that triggers their desires to succeed and accomplish a set number of tasks in a sequential order.” Jennifer Salwender, Pre-School Director and Technology Advisor to Monster Arts.
Simultaneous with the Zombie Targets Game being demonstrated and downloaded to mom’s and dad’s iphones and android phones at the Bowhunting Supershow event, children and other game users in attendance participated in a Nerf gun shooting contest, where kids shot the popular Nerf “Zombie Strike” Crossbow at large velcro-faced zombie targets. Parents then had the opportunity to purchase packs of zombie targets for their children, along with a special edition, autographed Nerf Crossbow, signed by Andy Ross himself.
The Andy Ross Zombie Targets Game for Android and Amazon Kindle are available as free downloads from their respective markets located at Google Play and Amazon AppStore, and also are available for downloading at http://www.maxappsgames.com/.