"Hello Neighbor" "Hello Neighbor"

Hello Neighbor, the highly popular kids’ stealth game franchise, is set to get its own animated series. A pilot debuted on Youtube on April 17, and — surprise, surprise — it’s popular, having racked up more than 12 million views so far.

The six-minute video can be watched below:

To recap: Hello Neighbor, which is developed by Dynamic Pixels in Russia and published by Seattle’s Tinybuild, sees the player try to sneak into a neighbor’s house to uncover a secret. The twist: the game deploys artificial intelligence (ai) to memorize the player’s past moves and adapt the neighbor’s movements accordingly. Available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, and Ios, it has sold three million units and been downloaded on phones 25 million times.

The game was released in 2017, and has since spawned spinoffs and four bestselling storybooks by Carly Anne West, who is also writing the series. The expansion into books and animation reflects the philosophy of Tinybuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik:

We strongly believe that building a strong franchise and expanding it to multiple mediums is the way to go in this oversaturated video game world. Developers need to think about how to build long lasting relationships with fans through the power of intellectual property … The “indie publishing” business is dead. It’s a game of brands now.

For animation on the series, Tinybuild has partnered with Animasia Studio, a studio based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The producers are aiming to make an initial series of ten 20-minute episodes, and are currently seeking broadcast/streaming partners. The storyline will hew closely to the games, although it remains to be seen exactly how the script will compensate for the absence of the ai gimmick.

Animasia describes itself as the “biggest animation service provider in Malaysia.” On the pilot, it handled everything from designs to storyboarding, animation, and post-production. It is also the creator of the hit series Chuck Chicken, which has been picked up by Netflix. It’s still rare for a Malaysian IP to make it big globally. Last year, we wrote about a groundbreaking report on the animation sector in the country and across Southeast Asia.

Edmund Chan, Animasia’s managing director, said in a statement, “We are really thrilled to be able to work with Tinybuild in creating this animation spinoff for Hello Neighbor. The brand power is strong with ready fan base and audiences, and now we just need to find the best and most suitable networks to support the animated series. Based on the responses we are getting, the audiences are anticipating to watch more episodes.”