Inside the business of children's digital media

HarperCollins and Aardman launch Hobbit app


HarperCollins Children’s Books UK has released a visual companion app developed by Aardman Digital and produced in association with Warner Bros. to accompany The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, director Peter Jackson’s second feature in the planned film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic book The Hobbit.

The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion App is now available in premium and light versions from the Apple App Store and on Samsung’s Apps Hub for web and mobile devices.

The app experience includes content from the entire Hobbit film trilogy and features character details, facts and images, a 3D-rendered map of Middle Earth, location and artifact information, as well as interactive trivia.

New updates to the app are also expected to roll out over the next two years featuring more immersive experiences, cast interviews, and content for younger users.

To help boost the app’s capabilities and design, its creators used Unity, an engine used more often by game developers than book publishers.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug from New Line Cinema and MGM opened globally on December 13.

HarperCollins manages the publishing estate of Tolkien and is the official publisher of tie-in books for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Here is a behind-the-scenes video clip on the making of the app:

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