There’s something rumbling in the world of Outright Games’ Jumanji: Wild Adventures, and it’s sounding a whole lot like Dwayne Johnson’s furrowed brow staggering in the tropical breeze of a cobra-infested canyon. That’s right, 2019’s Jumanji: The Video Game publisher Outright Games has, after four years of grasping the board and dice with trembling hands, rolled out another chapter in the family-friendly co-op series. And yes, it’s equally as bonkers as the original.
To celebrate the launch of Jumanji: Wild Adventures, I thought I’d catch up with Outright Games producer, Ester Zanón Fernández, to discuss the future of the franchise, as well as the studio’s plans to extend its reach across several new award-winning IPs.
First of all, congratulations on the release of Jumanji: Wild Adventures! Tell us, what was it like returning to the roots of the cult classic series?
Ester: Thank you! It was really exciting: working with childhood IPs is always a journey through your own memories, but also to find how the franchise resonates with younger audiences. And there is a sense of responsibility with the fans as well.
And what’s the story behind Jumanji: Wild Adventures? Is there anything we need to know before stepping back into the jungle and “beyond”?
Ester: Jumanji: Wild Adventures follows what is told to us in Jumanji: The Next Level, so there are direct references from the movie and the franchise, in general. However, the game stands alone in Jumanji’s storyline, so everyone can jump in and enjoy the game.
How would you describe Wild Adventures? Can fans of 2019’s Jumanji: The Video Game expect any recurring themes, characters, or locations?
Ester: Jumanji: Wild Adventures offers a completely different experience, focused on platforming, exploration and overtaking enemy waves. Players can choose between Bravestone, Ruby, Shelly and Mouse as in our previous title, though.
Speaking of gameplay elements, we understand that Wild Adventures also allows up to four players to join in. Is there a target demographic here, or can anyone jump right in and play?
Ester: Everyone can play! Actually, Cradle did a great job implementing a super-fast and easy to use “join” function to just grab a controller and jump into gameplay. There is no specific demographic here: playing with family and friends is funnier and everyone loves that.
Couch co-op games have made such an enormous impact on family households over the years. In your own words, why do you think indulging in local multiplayer is important for younger and older players?
Ester: That relationship between younger AND older audiences is the key: I believe that this is a feature that works since the very beginning of video games, sharing Arcade machines per levels or lives. I remember playing old NES titles like that when I was a kid as well. Playing video games is all about having experiences, and sharing them is always more enjoyable.
If you don’t mind me asking, what’s next for Outright Games? Has Jumanji played out its final game, or can we expect another roll of the dice in the future?
Ester: I’m afraid that the answer is like Jumanji’s Jewel: beyond my reach.
Outright Games is also responsible for the likes of Peppa Pig: World Adventures, Paw Patrol World, and The Grinch: Christmas Adventures. Are we likely to see more of these worlds at any point in the next several years?
Ester: OG is focused on making good video games focused on younger audiences' interests and what resonates with them, so I would just say to stay tuned on our social media channels to keep up with our future releases.
Any final words for our readers?
Ester: I hope that everyone who plays Jumanji: Wild Adventures enjoys the game as much as we did in the process of developing it. And that no one gets cursed and grabbed into Jumanji for real, because that would be a hell of a bug-fix.
Truer words have never been spoken. Thanks for your time, Ester!
Ready for more? You can pick up a copy of Jumanji: Wild Adventures on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, and PC today. For more updates on the latest installment, be sure to check in with Outright Games’ official social handle here.