Jago Studios Announces the End of GPK: The Game

Garbage Pail Kids: The Game is no more. Jago Studios, the company behind the GPK mobile game, announced today via their social channels that the game would be discontinued. The game was removed effective today from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The company announced current players would be able to continue to play the game until its final shutdown on 3/31/24.

The game garnered some excitement from collectors as it was the first licensed video game featuring GPKs. However, after launching in 2019, the company quickly stopped fixing bugs and updating the game. This led to the majority of original players to stop playing. The game however made a comeback one year later with a relaunch in 2020. The company has been continuing to launch new content within the game since then. The game was able to create a small but loyal following who’s dedicated players will miss.


iam8bit Announces Garbage Pail Kids NES Video Game

Wouldn’t it have been great to have a Garbage Pail Kids video game during the 80’s GPK craze? Well, iam8bit and Topps agree! Today the companies have announced the Garbage Pail Kids Mad Mike And the Quest for the Stale Gum video game for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Yes, you read the right, the NES, originally released in 1986. The company has developed a completely retro GPK game, complete with releasing it on a retro gaming console.

The game was made by game studio Retrotainment. The game is an old school side scrolling adventure that picks up right after the events of the Mad Mike Fury Load short videos by Adam F. Goldberg. Goldberg worked with the game studio on the game. NPCs and boss characters are all based on GPK cards. Card collecting and trading are part of the game which has 6 levels. Players can play as Max Mike, Luke Puke, Leaky Lindsay, and Patty Putty. They company has launched a dedicated website to promote the game, gpkgame.com. The website initially launched with a 24 hour countdown timer with Beth Death keeping watch.

iam8bit began promoting the game yesterday by releasing a short mockumentory. The video depicts a number of “gaming journalists” discussing unearthing this long lost video game. The video is fantastic, and plays off of a number of historical video game events. The game has been in development for quite some time. Topps licensing VP Ira Friedman first publicly mentioned, at a virtual Topps presentation in Sept. 2020, that Topps was working with a company on a new GPK game.

The PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC versions all launch on 8/25/22 ($9.99). The special collectors NES cartridge will launch in the first quarter of 2023. Collectors can join the list now to preorder the NES version. The cartridge is available for $79.99, and includes 1 cartridges (Either blue or the rarer pink version (1:8), instruction book, four 5×7 GPK cards, retro box, and a code for the Steam Windows version of the game.

Here is the company’s press release for the game:

The Garbage Pail Kids™ Are Back In An All-New NES Game

iam8bit Presents is publishing Retrotainment’s 8-bit romp on cartridge, along with a contemporary console and PC release

LOS ANGELES – October 4, 2022 – The Garbage Pail Kids are ready to party like it’s 1985 again. The gross-out icons are hopping off the trading cards and into your TV thanks to an all-new NES game – yes, you read that correctly – from iam8bit Presents and Retrotainment, in collaboration with and under license from Topps, the brand creator. Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum cartridges are now available for pre-order on iam8bit.com. The 8-bit platformer will also be available digitally on console and PC on October 25, supported by a suite of quality-of-life features and bonus content developed and curated in partnership with the team at Digital Eclipse.

“For years we’ve wanted to bring the Garbage Pail Kids to life in 8-bit form and we’re honored that Topps allowed us to give GPK the game it’s deserved for 30+ years,” says Tim Hartman, producer at Retrotainment.

Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum, created by lifelong GPK fans Retrotainment, is a rollicking and repulsive good time. Players control four unique Garbage Pail Kids throughout their time-traveling adventure, in a story written by Adam F. Goldberg and Retrotainment. Each Kid has their own nasty arsenal, including Mad Mike’s melee attacks; Leaky Lindsay’s snot rockets; Patty Putty’s diaper slams; and Luke Puke’s self-explanatory skillset.

Players can instantly swap between each kid depending on which challenges they’re facing at any given moment. Tricky side-scrolling levels including Egypt, Transylvania, and Hell will test the mettle of even the most hardcore old-school gamer. Players can collect and trade 8-bit versions of the official Garbage Pail Kids cards, including some that can be used in battle (Adam Bomb, anyone?). Minigames, including porta-potty fishing, round out Retrotainment’s loving tribute to Garbage Pail Kids and classic retro games.

Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum is the second game iam8bit is releasing under its iam8bit Presents publishing imprint, following Coin Crew’s acclaimed virtual escape room opus, Escape Academy.

“Looking back with fondness is fun, but our joy for publishing Garbage Pail Kids, as if an NES game resurrected from a bygone era, comes from a forward-looking place,” say iam8bit co-owners and co-creative directors Jon M. Gibson and Amanda White. “To make a game within the limitations of what’s possible while deploying NES development tools requires a lot of imagination. More than 35 years later, it’s pretty amazing how much more is possible, given the ingenuity of a dedicated fanbase to break and remake codebases. So that’s what the Garbage Pail Kids game is – a relic from the past, seen through the lens of the present and developed by the maestros of old-school themselves, Retrotainment Games. It’s a perfect fit for iam8bit Presents.”

The Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum NES cartridge ($79.99) comes in two randomly distributed color variants: Mad Mike Blue and the ultra-rare Stale Gum Pink. Both are packaged in a high-quality retro box and sleeve (complete with that new NES game smell!), with a premium full-color instruction booklet and four jumbo 5″x7″ trading cards featuring the cast of playable kids. Pre-orders also come with a download code for the digital edition at no additional cost. Cartridges are expected to ship Q1 2023.

The digital edition ($9.99) will be available for download October 25 on PlayStation 4 (PlayStation 5 via backward compatibility), Xbox One (Xbox Series X|S via backward compatibility), Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. It includes Retrotainment’s complete game and a full suite of extras carefully curated and proprietarily developed by Digital Eclipse, the team behind best-in-class, critically acclaimed retro collections including The Disney Afternoon Collection, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, and the upcoming Atari 50: the Anniversary Celebration.

Digital edition extras include:

  • Video Extras

    • Fury Load – Check out an exclusive supercut of Adam F. Goldberg’s Garbage Pail Kids – Mad Mike: Fury Load stop-motion animated shorts – which directly inspired Retrotainment’s game

    • The Quest for Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum documentary trailer – This video digs into the mystery behind Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum. Why wasn’t it released in the 8-bit era…?

  • Concept Art – Browse through these behind-the-scenes production images to see how Topps’ original card creations made the transformation from cardboard to silicon

  • Archival Card Scans – Did your parents toss out your trading-card collection? Want a quick refresher? Take a look at some of the most memorable Garbage Pail Kids in their original form through high-res scans

  • Music Player – Love a particular track? Play it ’til your speakers melt!

  • Gameplay Extras – Save states and rewinds help players who may be a little rusty; visual filters simulate a variety of old-school displays; and all-new screen borders fill the edges for those who aren’t playing on a 4:3 CRT.

For more information, please visit iam8bit.com.

About iam8bit Presents

iam8bit Presents is a new publishing label from the Los Angeles-based creative emporium iam8bit that aims to create meaningful experiences by bringing whimsical, soulful games to players everywhere. iam8bit Presents offers a soup-to-nuts approach from financing to publishing, and works to foster meaningful, supportive relationships with developers who share their attention to detail, obsession with aesthetics, and commitment to quality.

About Retrotainment

Retrotainment was born out of a love for the 8-bit era of gaming and retro culture. Being exposed to the golden age of gaming really left its mark on us in the early 1980s while growing up in suburbia. That love has carried through to today motivating us to start Retrotainment Games. Our dream was simple, we wanted to create an NES game that could be put onto a cartridge and played on the original hardware. With each new game release we do our best to improve mechanics, backgrounds, gameplay and music without compromising our vision and all while staying true to the NES’s complex hardware restrictions. https://retrotainmentgames.com/

About Digital Eclipse

Digital Eclipse is a game development studio founded in 1992 in Emeryville, California. Our focus is on the digital restoration of classic video games, keeping them available for current and future generations. Games are more than just playable code. They are snapshots of a certain time, a certain place. We work closely with our partners to present original concept art, packaging, advertisements, and development history whenever it’s available. And when it’s not… we find it. Learn more at http://digitaleclipse.com.

About Topps

Topps was initially founded as a family enterprise in 1938. Known for its confectionery business, including Bazooka bubble gum, and as the originators of modern-day baseball cards and other novelty cards and collectibles, the Company launched Garbage Pail Kids in 1985. The sticker cards created a bonafide craze spanning the world and translated into many languages. Today, in addition to ongoing card releases, licensed toys, books, comics, apparel, and games keep the Garbage Pail Kids franchise flourishing for passionate adult collectors and a new generation of fans. In January 2022, Fanatics Collectibles announced the acquisition of Topps, ensuring GPK’s long-standing legacy and popularity.

Garbage Pail Kids is ™ & © The Topps Company, Inc. All rights reserved

GPK The Game Adds Nasty Nick, Launches Halloween Event

Over the last few months, Garbage Pail Kids The Game has made a comeback. After a slow start and a year of inactivity, Jago Studio has been releasing regular updates and launching events on a monthly basis. The company sent over the press release below to announce the addition of Nasty Nick to the character lineup. Players can finally add this most requested character to their party. Nick is just part of the Trick or Trash event running in the game throughout October. The free to play game is available to download on both iOS and Android devices.


80’s nostalgia meets mobile gaming – collect, train, and battle original GPK characters

LOS ANGELES — Friday, October 15, 2021— Jago Studios, creator of interactive social entertainment, in partnership with Topps is pleased to announce the addition of the first-ever GPK “Nasty Nick” to Garbage Pail Kids: The Game℠, now available for download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Boasting the dubious honor of card #1A in the beloved and proudly immature series, the baby-faced vampire joins classic Original Series GPKs such as Adam Bomb, Dead Ted and TeeVee Stevie in the wildly popular mobile game.

Garbage Pail Kids: The Game℠ is a card collecting and strategy role playing game for mobile devices, developed by Jago Studios under license from The Topps Company, Inc., the originator of the Garbage Pail Kids property. Since the launch of the game in 2019, avid players who grew up loving the iconic – and iconoclastic – trading card series have been clamoring to see the “OGPK” added to the game. “1A is a truly significant number to GPK fans – Nasty Nick was the monster who started this whole mess!” said Stuart Drexler, Jago Studios’ CEO. Game developers were even able to include Nick’s fashion doll “victim” as part of his mobile game attack, which for Drexler – who began his own career creating ads for Barbie™ dolls – felt fiendishly felicitous.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring our favorite undead GPK to life,” expresses Ira Friedman, Vice President of Global Licensing at Topps. “Nearly 37 years on from its original launch, affection for the Garbage Pail Kids continues to grow among original fans, as well as with a whole new generation who are discovering the appealing and appalling fun that is GPK.”

Garbage Pail Kids: The Game is free-to-play and available for download at get.gpkthegame.com. For more information and to receive updates on the game, visit gpkthegame.com or follow @gpkgame on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Garbage Pail Kids™, the mischievous and over-the-top 80’s icons, are back and ready to battle! Build a team of your favorite cards with original characters released by Topps in the 1980s and beyond. Fully animated like never before, these wacky kids will fight with everything they’ve got— lasers, spray paint, dance moves, nuclear weapons, and anything they can spit, spew, or hurl. Collect Your Favorite Cards Adam Bomb, Tee Vee Stevie, and (now the #1 requested character) Nasty Nick are just a few of the characters you remember, however, now they are ready to fight. Pick your favorites to build your strongest crew while balancing the chase of unlocking rare cards as you progress. Learn quirky skills, find bizarre gear, and level up your outrageous team…to VICTORY. Conquer The Arena, Worm Wars, Daily Events and Campaign Stages
Challenge other players and prove your skill in the PVP Arena – Chunderdome: Two players enter, one player heaves! Earn bonus daily rewards and climb the leaderboard to GPK glory. Dive in the dumpster, take out the trash, and come play in the wild and crazy Garbage Pail Kids universe!

GPK the Game Releases New Character Art

For the first time, the mobile game, GPK the Game released brand new character art. With today’s update 1.2.168, on both iPhone and Andriod, the character Christmas Carol was added to the game. The game developers also added new Christmas themed events, Jingle Junk Jamboree and Mean Gene’s Holiday Buffet.

The game has continued to be updated in recent week’s after nearly a year of inactivity by developers. The game also, launched on Android devices just a few weeks ago. Today’s update also promised some squashed bugs and changes to some existing characters.

GPK The Game Launches on Android

After rising from the dead just a few weeks ago, GPK The Game has fulfilled a promise to launch on Android mobile devices. Today the company announced the game is officially available to download via the Google Play store. The game is being distributed by UK game developer Reliance Big Entertainment.

They also announced a new update for the iOS version of the game. For the first time, new characters were added to the game. Gassy Gus, Phil Grim, and Sal Monella, all with a holiday theme, were added in the new update. In addition there is a special Thanksgiving event running in the events section of the game. The update also brings two new packs to purchase in the store, and bug fixes to the event arena.

GPK The Game Lives, Android Version Coming Soon

Just when you thought GPK The Game was dead… The mobile game originally launched on the iPhone back in May 2019. The game garnered a small but loyal following. However, after the first few months developers stopped updating the game and fixing bugs. This led to a steady drop of players and posts from players the the game’s community forums. Developers stopped updating players on those same forums almost a year ago. To everyone’s surprise there was an update to the game a little over two weeks ago. According to the release notes, there were a number of bug fixes along with updates the the types of packs available in the game store. This was the first significant update in 10 months.

In further developments the company updated their website and posted on their social channels that the Android version of the game would be releasing soon. When the game first released the company had promised the Android version was coming, but most players had given up hope. No released date has been announced for the Android version, but the game is listed on the Google Play Store as coming soon. The Google Play Store shows the game is being released on Android by UK game company Reliance Big Entertainment.

GPKNews has reached out to Jago Studios for comment on the game’s current and future status. If they respond, this article will be updated. Here’s hoping the developers are able to relaunch the game and continue updates to entice new players.

Jago Studios Advertises Exclusive Insert Card for Upcoming GPK Set

The company behind the mobile game, GPK the Game, today sent out an email to their subscriber list advertising a new exclusive card based on the game. According to Jago Studios, the card will be inserted into packs of the upcoming 2019 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids Revenge of Oh the Horror-ible set. The company also said the character would appear on packs and boxes of the set.

The card titled, Mo Bile, features artwork done by artist Joe Simko. The back was written by an employee at Jago, and features the logo for GPK The Game. There was no mention from Jago how the card will be distributed in packs. The checklist, released earlier this week by Topps, does not include the card, and honestly doesn’t fit into any of the subsets or insert sets on the checklist. Strangely enough the character also doesn’t appear in the mobile game. Check back with GPKNews next week for info on where to find the card once the set releases.

In the email Jago also mentioned they are still working on the Android version of the game, and hope to have it released later this year.

Jago Studios Officially Launches GPK the Game

364 days ago Jago Studios and Topps announced a partnership to create the first Garbage Pail Kids mobile video game. Almost one year later the game has been officially released. Today Jago Studios officially announced that GPK the Game has been released to the public. The company originally was shooting for a late 2018 launch. Last October the company held a contest that allowed a handful of people to test the game out. Since then they’ve been fine tuning and making some game play changes over the past few months.  Just this past weekend the company released a brand new 15 second trailer of the game showcasing new characters, graphics, and game play.

According to the press release, the card collecting and strategy role playing game, is being launched exclusively on the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPad. When first announced, Jago said the game would also be available for Android devices.Jago tells GPKNews that they are working on an Android version of the game, but no release date is available yet. The game is currently on version 1.0.1 in the App Store. The game works on iPhones or iPads running iOS 11 or higher. The game is free to download and play. While you don’t have to purchase anything to play the game, there are options to spend real money in the game. Card packs range from $4.99 -$12.99, while you can also buy extra coins and gems.

As is the case with Apple launches, the game might not be available at launch in your region. You will need to be patient as Apple propagates the game across all regions. See below for the press release, pictures of game play, and the trailer that was recently released.

Fans of the irreverent 80s cards can now collect, train, and battle characters

LOS ANGELES — TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019Jago Studios, creator of interactive social entertainment, today announced the launch of Garbage Pail Kids: The Game℠, a card collecting and strategy role playing mobile game which is now available exclusively on the App Store. The game was developed by Jago Studios under license from The Topps Company, Inc., the originator of the Garbage Pail Kids property. The Game features many memorable characters originally seen in the original Topps cards from the 1980s, as well as characters appearing on cards released more recently.

“An entire generation grew up with the outrageous and satirical character art of the Garbage Pail Kids, imagining what the cards would look like if they were to come to life,” said Stuart Drexler, Jago Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to bring these 80’s icons to mobile and offer GPK fans entertaining new ways to interact with their favorite characters— now fully animated.”

“When GPK was originally launched back in the day, mobile games or mobile phones did not exist,” says Ira Friedman, Vice President of Global Licensing at Topps. “Thanks to the giant leaps in technology since those early times, our fans can now experience the fun, the thrills, and the visual audaciousness of the Garbage Pail Kids property through their phones— whenever they want.”

Garbage Pail Kids: The Game is free-to-play and available exclusively on the App Store at [VANITY URL]. For more information and to receive updates on the game, visit gpkthegame.com or follow @gpkgame on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Garbage Pail Kids™, the mischievous and over-the-top 80’s icons, are back and ready to battle! Build a team of your favorite cards with original characters released by Topps in the 1980s and beyond. Fully animated like never before, these wacky kids will fight with everything they’ve got— lasers, spray paint, dance moves, nuclear weapons, and anything they can spit, spew, or hurl.

Collect Your Favorite Cards

Adam Bomb, Tee Vee Stevie, Smelly Sally and the characters you remember are ready to fight. Pick your favorites to build your crew and unlock rare cards as you progress. Learn quirky skills, find bizarre gear, and level up your outrageous team.

Battle Till You Barf

Create the best team of Brawlers, Tanks, and Support to be victorious. Face off against rival squads in turn-based RPG combat. Deploy attacks and abilities like Roy Bot’s Crazy Cannon, Hot Scott’s Piercing Poke, or Brainy Janie’s Mind Meltdown to take out your enemies.

Master Your Strategy

Manage your resources and decide when and how to train your crew. Tactically equip your team and unlock new skills to enhance their power. Bring your strongest squad to battle and upgrade your characters to win as challenges get tougher.

Earn Tons Of Junk

Get a veritable cornuCRAPia of loot when you win fights! Collect junk like the lovely Scumbrella, the slippery Hypodermic Noodle, and the ever-trusty Slap Stick to increase your power. Train and equip your team to become the baddest kids on the block.

Conquer The Arena

Challenge other players and prove your skill in the PVP Chunderdome: Two players enter, one player heaves!  Earn bonus daily rewards and climb the leaderboard to GPK glory.

Dive in the dumpster, take out the trash, and come play in the wild and crazy Garbage Pail Kids universe!

Founded in 2017, Jago Studioscreates interactive social entertainment oozing with irreverence and virality. Their core team of game and brand veterans have decades of experience developing high profile, influential entertainment licenses and intellectual properties. Jago Studios invents, designs, and launches compelling play experiences made for mobile-first lifestyles, tickling the funny bone and strengthening meaningful social connections as people play together and laugh together. Visit jagostudios.comfor more information.


Founded in 1938, The Topps Company, Inc.is the preeminent creator and brand marketer of physical and digital sports cards, entertainment cards and collectibles, and distinctive confectionery products. Topps’ leading sports and entertainment products include Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, Indian Premier League, Star Wars, WWE, UFC, Wacky Packages®, Garbage Pail Kids®, Mars Attacks® and other trading cards, sticker album collections and collectibles.  Topps’ app portfolio, including Topps BUNT®, Topps NFL HUDDLE®, TOPPS KICK® and Topps® Star Wars℠: Card Trader, has been a hit with millions of fans around the world. Topps’ confectionery brands include Ring Pop®, Push Pop®, Baby Bottle Pop®, Juicy Drop® Pop, and Bazooka® bubble gum. Topps was acquired by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners in October 2007.  For additional information, visit Topps.comand Candymania.com.

℠ & © The Topps Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Garbage Pail Kids and GPK are registered trademarks of The Topps Company, Inc. and is Officially Licensed by The Topps Company, Inc.

Interview With GPK the Game Executive Producer & Jago Studios CEO Stuart Drexler

Stuart Drexler is the founder and CEO of Jago Studios. They are the gaming studio behind the upcoming mobile game, GPK the Game. Garbage Pail Kids collectors have been eagerly awaiting the game since it was first announced last year. In addition to running the company, Stuart is also the Executive Producer of the game. He attended this year’s Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. Stuart spoke briefly prior to the artist’s panel, and was busy the rest of the time talking to collectors and handing out some GPK the Game stickers. I was able to sit down with Stuart for an interview at the show. In the interview we discuss why Jago choose the GPK brand for its first game, how they are using and incorporating the original artwork in the game, some of what collectors can expect when the game launches, and finally a little bit about release dates.

GPKNews – Thanks for talking with us Stuart! You’re the founder of Jago Studios and GPK the Game is the studio’s first game. Why did you guys decide on GPK?

Stuart Drexler – So I grew up as a Wacky Packages kid. Mad Magazine, that really inspired me, and twisted my head a little bit as a kid. That was my entry into the world of satire. I was a little older when GPK came around, so I wasn’t one of the targets in that age range. I always knew how big it was, and it was phenomenal to see what it became.

GPKNews – How aware of GPK were you? Did you collect GPK when you were a kid?

SD – Again, I’m not going to say my age, but I was just older than the target audience would have been. I was a teenager when they came out, so it wasn’t for me. I looked at them and said, wow. I went into the kids industry. So when I started my career after college most of what I did, for however many years, was around kids brands; Barbie, Elmo, Sesame Street characters, Polly Pocket,  Action Man, Harry Potter, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, and so forth. I’ve had a great privilege to work with these great brands. Come to the point when I wanted to form my own company the inspiration really was if you were going to bring a new brand out today. Let me turn it around, there hasn’t been anything like this, since. We had Mad Magazine, Wacky Packages, and GPK. You look at the other card brands that have come out since, Pokemon, Yugioh, Magic the Gathering. Those are all in the card game genre, but they are all fantasy sci-fi, there’s no humor. Really for us it was this opportunity to bring together card, gaming, and humor. Jago Studios is committed to creating social mobile games with beloved humor brands. That’s what we are all about.

GPKNews – In a previous life you’ve been in charge of some major toy brands like Polly Pocket and some large online MMOs, like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin. Those were new brands. With GPK you are taking on a brand from the past. Is that different in any way?

SD – Its always easier to take a brand, something brand new, because the gloves are off you can go in any direction. When you work with a brand that’s existed for some time there’s some inbuilt knowledge, history, legacy that you have to honor. I’ve had that privilege of working with some fantastic brands and refreshing them and bringing them onto new platforms. Whether it was taking Barbie into a board game, or Sesame Street characters into DVDs or other gaming experiences. I’m experienced at transitioning brands across different platforms. It’s a real treat to be able to work with a brand that has that much love and passion from its fans. As much as sometimes I know it will be difficult, and fans won’t love everything that we do, bring it on is my attitude. Its about being part of the community. Built into community is communication so I look forward to that conversation and wherever that takes us

GPKNews – How has being partners with Topps on the project been?

SD – They’ve been fantastic. I’ll be honest going in it was a little bit of a concern, corporate if you will, larger company. How are they going to be, or how tight are they going to be. Like it was said at the artist panel, they’ve really been fantastic partners. They are thrilled at having us involved in this. They’ve been great.

GPKNews – Topps has a number of mobile apps/games where collecting digital cards is the main focus. With this game it’s a card collecting/battling RPG, which I think surprised a lot of collectors when it was announced. Why did you choose these game mechanics for a GPK mobile game?

SD – The cards are already being collected, the physical market, there’s a huge audience. Its got 30 years of backstory. We didn’t want to replicate that. We wanted to add something new to the universe. There are, how many thousands of, ardent collectors over the years who are still involved and passionate about this. But there are millions of people who grew up with GPK as kids, may even still have their cards. In fact, I’ve talked to quite a few of them, “My 6th grade girlfriend took some of my cards.” Other ones, “My mom has them.” I’ve had two of my closer friends give me their cards. They said I want you to have these, I hope they inspire you. The point of all that is, there are millions of fans of the brand that may not even realize they can have a chance to get involved with GPK again. We really want the game to be accessible, wether or not you’re a collector. So there’s a lighter collection aspect within the game, we’re not going have thousands of cards in the game. Start with tens and ultimately grow into hundreds. Its of the more traditional model of a roll playing game where you get a few characters to being with, you level them up, you unlock new characters, you choose which characters you want to go after, and chase cards that will be great at building your strongest teams. There’s a lot of strategy involved in figuring out which characters go well together and make the best teams against other teams of characters.

GPKNews – During development how hard has it been to incorporate GPK characters into the game?

SD – This has been one of the most gratifying elements frankly. We explored early on reimagining the characters into 3D. Its been done with a number of other brands, I won’t name names. Sometimes more successfully than others. It just came across to us that was going to be a challenge to do, and do really, really well. The inbuilt love and instant recognizability of the actual 2d artwork, that those artists have done, is really the biggest equity in the brand. So we stopped running away from that, and really leaned in and embraced it. We used animation tools that has allowed us to take the actual card artwork and bring it to life. The characters in the game animate from the characters everyone instantly recognizes.

GPKNews – Who do you see as the target audience for GPK the Game? Kids? Adults? GPK collectors? Everyone?

SD – Well I can say everyone, and untimely we hope it’s everyone. Our initial target audience is those people that know the brand from their childhood. So its 35 years old and up. We are seeing in our early marketing its 25+, and the majority of the people signing up on our Facebook lists are 30 and older. Not surprising whatsoever, that’s also where the roll playing game audience is. That said, there is a lot of hand me down that happens. Those folks now have kids of their own, so there’s going to be a lot of hand me down that way. We hope that other people will discover the brand for the first time, and say what the heck is this crazy thing and fall in love with it.

GPKNews – You guys are animating these characters. It will be the first time collectors see their favorites animated, even if the animations are short. Again how are you striving to stay true to the original artwork, while making entertaining animations?

SD – We’ve done our best to stay true to the character and bring out the essence of what each character would have and would draw upon. We are actually right now working on bringing some voiceover and enhancing the sound effects in the game to bring that to the next level. We haven’t had a lot of feedback specifically about what we’ve done so far. But the general feedback we gotten from individuals we’ve spoken to, from people that have played the game, is they love seeing the characters brought to life. That’s one of the most magical and charming moments in the game and they want to see more of that.

GPKNews – I know a lot of the details haven’t been released about the game yet, but let’s give these questions a shot anyway. Once the game is released will there be ongoing support, game updates, new characters, etc?

SD – We will launch with an initial set of characters that we’ve already built. We know what our next 6 or so characters that we will build and add to the game. Once we are live and launched globally then we will be adding new characters on a regular basis. The cadence of that has yet to be determined. Monthly there will be new content in the game. I don’t want to say too much yet about the other elements that will be part of our live operation plan. What I will say at a high level is, the beauty of this brand is that it is satire, it’s a spoof. That’s one of the things that drew me to the brand, even though I didn’t grow up as a GPK kid. It fits right into that Wacky Packs, Mad Magazine sarcasm. I grew up with Monty Python, Benny Hill, wit, sarcasm, irony and the fact that you watch over time what Topps has done on a regular basis. Lampooning whether its pop stars, or sports figures, or political figures. The opportunity to keep this topical and to bring the brand to almost a weekly relevance. We have the opportunity to, not just with the cards, but other content that can surface in the game experience that gives you a laugh. That makes you hold the phone up to someone and say holy you know what, you’ve got to check this out, look what they’ve done. In the same way that when you open those card packs that you say, oh my God that’s crazy. That only happens with printed sets so many times a year. We see this as an opportunity to be doing it on a much more regular basis with fans of the brand. And again expand the market, the appeal, the potential for GPK that isn’t just physical cards.

GPKNews – How will Jago pick and choose what characters appear in the future? Are all GPKs fair game from OS, ANS, all the way to today’s sets? Do you have any plans for original characters to appear in the game first?

SD – We’ve gone back to series 1 and 2 because, as I’ve said earlier, we’re appealing not just to the core card collectors but to a much larger fan base. They’re the most recognizable. That said, we’ve peppered in cards that are much more recent, some with pop references, and others we just love the look of and they’re going to be really fun and would be a great card to battle within the game. There are some functional considerations we have. There are thousands of characters, and we’ve gone through quite a few of them to come up with the list we have. There are times when something won’t visually work as well in a game situation, so we’ve steered clear of those. Others where the scale difference, some cards are torso up, some are just the face, others are full head to toe, others are where there’s a whole scene of multiple characters in a card so that becomes a little more problematic. A lot of factors that come in to play. Simple answer is, Topps has given us carte blanche to all of the content they’ve created. They’ve also said, as and where appropriate, we can create new characters for the game. That could launch just in the game, and if they like it well enough and it fits into some of their plans then it could become a physical card. There are things afoot there that I can’t really talk about.

GPKNews – Will GPK the Game be a Freemimum game at launch?

SD – Yeah, it’s a standard free play game, free to download no charge for that. You can play the game forever for free. There’s no requirement to purchase anything in the game. There’s no hard wall, I know some games have had a lot of flack for having a hard wall where you can’t progress if you don’t spend real money in the game. We’re not going to have that. There are opportunities to buy cards within the game as well as coins, and our funny money, toxic gems which speed your progress through the experience.

GPKNews – When first announced, the release time frame you guys were shooting for was Q4 2018, and the latest info you announced was Q2 2019. Why the reason for the delay? How confident are you that you will hit that Q2 time frame?

SD – When you’re creating a mobile game or any game, a game is a lot more complicated than just creating a piece of artwork for a card. I appreciate to the fans to give us the time to really get it right. We want to make the best possible game. We love this brand. We’re making this for the fans, and for everyone who grew up with the brand. We’ve done both quantitative and qualitative testing. We’ve got some fans in playing it. We are iterating all the time, taking feedback in, making some tweaks, making some changes, making improvements. In terms of timing, my marketing lead has sworn me that you never specify the release date until you are right there and 100% ready to release the game. I’m not going to specify a specific date. It will be later this year, we are shooting for summer. We are doing our best to hit those dates. At the end of the day if there’s something we feel we can tweak and improve, that’s really going to make a difference, that when we launch live people are thrilled and excited and understand why we spent that time and put all that love an energy in, then that’s what we are going to do.

GPKNews – Do you have any additional plans for doing anymore public beta testing?

SD – We are always beta testing with folks who are in the company and close to the company. We are thinking about it, we may do some more beta testing with fans, so stay tuned.

GPKNews – Can you give us any tidbits from the game that haven’t been released? Anything you want to reveal to GPK collectors?

SD – Right now one of the things we are working on is, I know this might sound trivial, but card borders. Originally, when we first designed we had reimagined the card borders for the benefits of what you can do in Unity and gaming interfaces, more bling and interesting. But that’s not what the fans wanted. That’s one the things we got back from fans was, this doesn’t look like my set of cards. It’s really interesting, we’re going back to old school with this. Returning to your traditional, starting with white, but you progress to different colors as you advance through the game. So you immediently know you have more powerful cards or you’re are up against a team that is more powerful through the color borders of cards.

GPKNews – Finally, what’s your favorite GPK character?

SD – Oh my God I don’t even know. I want to say Adam Bomb because its so iconic. Or the one named after me, I have to say, so we have not Savage Stuart, but the Mad Mike version in the game. I specifically didn’t want the card named after me, but we got the character in there, and he’s just damn lovable in the way we’ve brought him to life animated, its a lot of fun.

GPK the Game Mobile Game Update, Development Continues

In late December the team behind the upcoming mobile game, GPK the Game, sent out a newsletter to their mailing list to update fans on their progress. In the newsletter the company mentioned the successful community game testing that was a result of a contest they ran last October. They pointed out the feedback they received was fantastic and helped them learn more what fans want. In fact when reached for comment from GPKNews, they responded that, “The community testers offered helpful feedback and we are grateful for the time and energy they put into the game. Because it was so successful, we are hoping to open up another community testing session in the near future.” Keep your eyes open for a possible future announcement on community testing.

One bit of disappointing news for GPK fans coming from that newsletter was the announcement that the release window for the game has slipped to Q2 2019. When first announced, Jago was shooting for a late 2018 release. After a few months they starting mentioning a Q1 2019 release, and now after testing, are shooting for Q2 2019. This is common in the video game industry. Many times you’ll notice release dates slip on games. The good news is it appears Jago is using this time to improve the game. They told GPKNews, “As we stated in our monthly GPK newsletter, our focus is on creating the best experience possible for fans of the GPK brand, even if that takes a bit more time. We are currently testing the game in smaller territories before worldwide launch and, with each game update, our development team is learning more about what players want from the game. And, as any game developer will tell you, release dates are never guaranteed until the day the game is actually released.  We want to make sure it delivers on the promise. We are glad people are eager for the game and we look forward to launching it.”

The studio will also be asking fans their preference in various game dynamic such as characters, graphics, features, and effects. In their first monthly question the studio wants to know which pack of these three people like the most. You can head over to GPK the Game’s Facebook page now to vote.