Hollywood studios are in talks to create a Moshi Monsters movie.
Mind Candy, the company that created one of the fastest-growing children’s games on the web, is also in talks with UK producers about creating a feature film version of its internet phenomenon.
Michael Acton-Smith, CEO of Mind Candy, said that he is still undecided whether to go down the Hollywood route or whether to make a Moshi Monsters feature film himself. “I want to retain creative control and we have our own money in the bank,” Acton-Smith told Screen. “We’re undecided whether to spend years in development in Hollywood or do something more modest in-house.”
With more than 75 million registered users worldwide, Moshi Monsters has become one of the fastest growing social children’s games on the web. Children collect and train virtual monsters and run around solving puzzles in Monstro City. Founded in England in 2008, parent company Mind Candy has launched everything from tie-in Moshi Monsters music albums to birthday cakes and playing cards. Acton-Smith has talked about Mind Candy becoming the next Disney. The company is thought to be worth around $300 million.
Acton-Smith, speaking today in London during the UKTI’s Creative Content Day, said that digital hits such as Moshi Monsters provide an opportunity for Hollywood to place much smaller bets than they usually would adapting live-action TV shows.
“The bets you can make with online properties are much cheaper,” Acton-Smith said. “It’s much less expensive than creating, say, a John Carter.”
If the company against the Hollywood route, Mind Candy may use its own money to create a straight-to-DVD Moshi Monsters feature. US toy manufacturer Mattel, whose children’s properties include Thomas the Tank Engine and Barbie, makes its own straight-to-video cartoons.