During yesterday’s Nintendo Direct presentation, Mario Kart Live developer Velan Studios revealed its next game, Knockout City. But all I really care about is the spunky (and wholly unrelated) little princess that was used to market it.
Knockout City publisher EA decided to fill the multiplayer dodgeball game’s reveal trailer with clichéd CG characters that seemingly have no connection to the project. One character, however, stood out from the pack of generic dweebs: Princess Charm, a pixelated cutie with a penchant for swearing up a storm.
Princess Charm’s mixture of adorability and crass excitement made her an instant favourite on social media, with folks both gushing over her design and openly wondering why EA chose this particular strategy for presenting Knockout City to potential players for the first time. To say she stole the show would be an understatement.
It turns out that Princess Charm is the creation of freelance animators Anaïs Maamar and Martí Pinós Melo, who were apparently contracted by EA to contribute to the trailer with barely any knowledge of Knockout City itself. In a series of now-deleted tweets, Maamar seemed surprised to find out the trailer was shipped. I assume this is a common practice in the advertising world.
In any case, their hard work gave us a fun little character that, unfortunately for the people actually involved Knockout City, strikes me as far more appealing than the game she was created to promote.