Isbit GamesZlatan Ibrahimovic doing some voice overs for ‘Zlatan Legends’.
“Zlatan Legends” is a retro arcade game for mobile
- Video games have been a life-long passion for Ibrahimovic
- The former Manchester United star co-owns the Swedish games studio that has developed the game
- Ibrahimovic has a net worth of £110 million
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the charismatic Swedish striker who left Manchester United earlier this summer, has launched a new mobile game called “Zlatan Legends”.
The arcade-style game — which went live on the Apple App Store on Thursday and is due to launch on the Google Play Store at an unknown future date — has been created in collaboration with Swedish studio Isbit Games, which Ibrahimovic co-owns. It has been developed over the last two years at an unspecified cost.
Targeted at people of all ages, the free gaming app allows users to take control of a virtual Zlatan as he plays a new “sport” in space called “Driftball” in an Iron Man style suit.
In the pinball-like game, players get a customisable Zlatan to kick a ball-shaped object through a series of levels. But there’s more to it than that, according to Ibrahimovic.
“You’re a super hero and you’re saving a planet,” Ibrahimovic told Business Insider in Manchester ahead of the launch. “But not one. You go from planet to planet to planet. [You save it from] other superheroes that want to save it. And who will be the saviour is up to you. He who has the best skills, the best everything, he will save it. Everybody would like to be a superhero … so let’s see who it will be. I believe it will be me.”
Isbit Games CEO Markus Koos said he and Ibrahimovic shared the same vision for the game from the start. “We had the same ambition from day one,” he said. We didn’t want to copy/paste anything. We wanted to create something new. We wanted it to feel and look Zlatan.”
Koos added: “It’s a modern, retro kind of game where skill is important but we know that it needs to be accessible for everyone as well so it’s sort of fun.”
Ibrahimovic, who has also played for Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, said he was very impressed with how realistic the Zlatan character has turned out to be.
“I think the character is exactly like me in real life because he’s full of confidence,” he said. “In the story board you can see one popping out from the other one and saying I am the one that will save the world — it’s basically what I say when I come to a team. I will save you guys and I will take care of it. This is the same thing.”
Ibrahimovic has been playing video games since he was a child
Ibrahimovic admitted that the character seems a bit stronger than him, adding: “I will have to go to the gym and make myself stronger.”
Video games have been a passion of Ibrahimovic’s since he was a child, with games such as “Call of Duty” and “BioShock” among his current favourites.
“I’m a huge fan [of video games],” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of hours, a lot of years on games. And now I have the opportunity to make my own. To work with a fantastic team, involving Isbit also, for me, this is a small dream come true.”
While “Zlatan Legends” is free, users can make in app purchases for a fee. A “starter pack” that contains exchangeable gems, credits, and tokens costs £4.99, for example.
Ibrahimovic said he hasn’t done the game for financial reasons: “I will survive even without the video game”
However, 35-year-old Ibrahimovic is the third richest footballer in the world and any revenues from Zlatan Legends are unlikely to have much of an impact on his £110 million personal fortune.
“I will survive even without the video game,” said Ibrahimovic, who has been tipped for a new Manchester United coaching role.
However, Ibrahimovic is keen for his teammates at Isbit to get something out of the game.
“They work for the company and the thing has to go around, of course,” he said. “Everything what we do, what the team do, is not for free. It has a cost.”
As for Isbit Games, he’s optimistic about the company’s future. “It’s a small group but it will get bigger. It will take over the world, absolutely. And they are from Sweden also. That is somewhere I’m proud to be from and we want to show what we can do. We did it already in the football world. And now we will do it in the video game world. We’re here to take over.”
Ibrahimovic, who had his first book published in September 2013 called “I am Zlatan,” hinted that he has a number of other projects in the pipeline.
“There is projects coming but you know how it is, it’s secret,” he said. “At the moment now, it’s the game, that we have been working on for two years. Even my future of football is not on focus now, the game is on focus. That is how serious I am with my things.”