Whether you’re a collector of figures or a keen watcher from afar, there’s no doubting the impact the Funko Pop! range has had on the gaming community. And so news of a virtual adventure starring these figures is always going to be of huge interest.
It’s 10:10 Games who are hoping to cash in on the interest with the release of Funko Fusion in 2024, with a stellar developmental line up behind them.
We sat down with 10:10’s co-founder and Design Director, Arthur Parsons, in hope of finding out more about Funko Fusion, what it takes to create a new Pop! culture and how the franchise will look to embed itself into the gaming world.
Hi, please could you introduce yourself. What is your role at 10:10 Games and on the upcoming Funko Fusion?
AP: I’m Arthur Parsons, I’m the Design Director at 10:10 Games and one of the co-founders of the studio along with Jon Burton (CEO/Creative Director) and Paul Flanagan (Studio Director). As Design Director my role is to work closely with Jon on the core design of Funko Fusion, and then work with the team to add the design detail as well as working day to day to create the magic of the game in tandem with the amazing team that we have assembled here.
Can you give us a brief description of the premise behind Funko Fusion?
Funko Fusion is a 3rd person videogame that celebrates fandom, we are bringing together over 20 amazing properties together in partnership with NBCUniversal into one action-adventure game that allows up to four players to play together online. We know that gamers love great games and that they also love different things, so with Funko Fusion we want to enable gamers to play together and still be able to celebrate the different movies and TV shows that they are passionate about.
Funko Fusion is uniquely poised to deliver on IP authenticity, as well as celebrating fandoms with the mashup in the game, allowing gamers everywhere to extend their engagement with the licenses that they love. The team here at 10:10 Games are pouring their creativity into the game to ensure that there is a surprise around every corner and that the game is full of deep-cut IP easter eggs.
While Funko Fusion is your debut title, there’s a lot of experience within 10:10 Games. Is that why you decided to go straight in with an IP as big as Funko? What drew you to the Funko universe and did your previous involvement with the brick-based behemoth help?
When we first started the studio back in July 2021 we knew that we wanted to work together with our incredible partners at Funko, for us it was a perfect fit as our senior team’s previous experience is working with the world’s best IP, and Funko are known for celebrating IP Fandom.
Funko’s motto is that everyone is a fan of something, which is right, but lots of the things that gamers are fans of don’t always get screentime in videogames, so we wanted to use our experiences of delivering fun and authentic videogames to translate Funko’s high octane energy into an amazing videogame, and our recently released teaser trailer shows just how fantastic Funko Fusion will be. Our goal is to deliver a game that appeals to as broad an audience as possible of people that just want a fun and engaging experience that celebrates fandom.
There are many franchises under the Funko umbrella, even just looking at those that fall into the NBCUniversal category. Which iconic characters and settings can we expect to see? Are there any that were off-the-table?
For our debut title we wanted to appeal to the broadest spectrum of gamers, and as such we wanted to make sure that there were IP featured that scratched that gaming itch for everyone, so NBCUniversal were the natural fit to partner with. Their breadth of IP brings in multiple generations, whether it is those like me that grew up watching Master of the Universe in the 1980s, or whether it is those gamers that are entertained by the big blockbuster movies like Jurassic World, and everything in between, there is certainly something for everyone. With cult classic movies like The Thing featuring, as well as Shaun of the Dead, the incredible TV show that is The Umbrella Academy.
We’ve so far only shown a glimpse of what will be in the game, but rest assured we have plenty more up our game development sleeves.
Can we expect to see your own spin being put on some of the famous stories being retold in Funko Fusion?
The team here at 10:10 Games are definitely putting lots of attention into IP authenticity, but at the same time we are featuring a huge variety of IP, we are celebrating those memorable moments, adding in those fan-favourite deep cuts, and doing all we can to deliver something truly surprising. We like to think of the game as being a celebration of the various IP that we feature rather than a story retelling, and as we show more of the game everyone will get to see just how much love and attention is being spent on fan service.
How many playable characters, roughly, will make up the Funko Fusion roster? Will there be variants and jumbo versions to unlock along the way?
I’d love to give you an accurate figure of how many characters will feature in the Funko Fusion roster, however, we still haven’t tied everything down. There will be playable characters from every IP that is featured in the game, and we will be making sure that we breathe life into those characters in a way that only we can, all done with a unique Funko spin.
In terms of character variants, we know what is at the core of Funko’s DNA, so we are planning lots of fantastic surprises to make sure that Funko Fusion delivers both on the NBCUniversal IP front, but also on the Funko front. Funko Fusion is a videogame developed by an awesome team of Funko fans as well as fans of the IP that we are featuring, and we are working hard to deliver something that will really take gamers’ breath away.
Are you able to tell us a bit more about the gameplay and how the adventure plays out within the different universes?
We haven’t shared any details yet about how the game is knitted together, and how the adventure unfurls, but we will do in the upcoming months. Rest assured that the fabulous assortment of diverse IP are brought together in a coherent way.
In terms of actual gameplay the game is a 3rd person action-adventure game which is a combination of puzzle solving and combat as players get to explore the wonderful worlds the team are creating. Being a four-player game there is a large amount of team interplay, but we are also enabling players of different playstyles to come together to enjoy what we are developing. Stay tuned for more specifics in the coming months as we lift the lid some more on Funko Fusion.
What’s the thought process behind focusing on the multiplayer aspect? Will players be able to enjoy the offerings solo as well?
100% players can play Funko Fusion in single-player, as well as in combination up to four players. We are making a game that is designed to bring gamers together, a game that will be their hangout game of choice where they can experience amazing content and celebrate the IPs they love, but at the same time gamers that want to play solo will also have an amazing time.
What’s the long-term plan for Funko Fusion? Could other franchises be on the cards?
Our goal with Funko Fusion is to bring gamers together like never before, extend players’ engagement with the IP that they love, introduce them to IP that they may not know, but more importantly deliver an incredibly fun gaming experience. We will definitely be looking to engage with the community that will come and play Funko Fusion and could other franchises be on the cards? Let’s wait and see… we still haven’t revealed all of our cards yet, but nothing is impossible.
And finally, what’s your favourite Funko POP! from your own collection?
From my own Funko Pop! collection, I have lots that I am very fond of, I am incredibly proud of my Masters of the Universe Pop collection, I don’t quite have them all, but I do have over 70 just from that franchise, but I think my ultimate favourite would definitely be my super rare flocked Tony the Tiger Funko Pop!.
I’ve too many that I love to be fair, but that is the amazing thing about Funko Pops to me; they enable me to celebrate the things that I love, the things that I grew up with, and the things that get me energised.
Huge thanks go out to Arthur for giving us some of his time on the back of the Funko Fusion announcement as 10:10 Games look to create a new Pop! culture.
We’ll keep you in the loop as to how this one moves, as we build up to the release of Funko Fusion on PC and console in 2024. Your best bet for now is to take in the announcement trailer and/or give 10:10 a follow on Twitter.