The Simpsons aren't just hitting the big screen -- in The Simpson's Movie July 27 -- they are diversifying digitally. The Simpsons Game (Electronic Arts, due Oct. 30, for Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 2 and 3, plus PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Wii) satirizes the game industry just as the TV show takes potshots at pop culture. Its premise finds The Simpsons trapped in a video game and trying to escape. They realize that not only are they captive, but also their intellectual property rights have been violated as they aren't getting paid for use of their likenesses.
As Bartman, Bart can fly; Lisa plays a powerful saxophone that dispatches enemies and can go into a "hand of Buddha mode" that gives her God-like powers.
Several levels have the feel of certain genres of video games, including platformers, World War II combat games, and, of course, Grand Theft Auto sandbox games. In one level, a new Grand Theft Scratchy game is released in Springfield, which causes Marge to incite the populace against video game violence. "We're trying to make fun of the industry in a very, very fun way," says creative director Jonathan Knight. "We're going to take on EA (Electronic Arts) at the end of the game in a big, big way I can tell you that."
Matt Groening is supervising the artistic look, the TV series' actors provide voices and the writers have written more than 8,000 lines of dialogue for the game.
Going mobile: Just out for cellphones from Jamster is "The Yellow Plan" subscription for Simpsons mobile content. For $9.99 monthly, subscribers get six credits toward new ringtones, voicetones, wallpapers, screensavers and a new mobile game called Minutes to Meltdown.