An arcade classic gets a Facebook makeover and crane kicks its way to cross-generational success

To promote Sony Pictures' Blu-ray release of the classic 1984 movie, The Karate Kid, we created a digital experience that would capture the interest of a wide demographic. Since our goal was to target long-time fans as well as new audiences, we blended the current trend of online games with the 80's mania of arcade gaming to create The Karate Kid Throwback Pinball for Facebook.

The Game

We created The Karate Kid Throwback Pinball for Facebook to take advantage of the full range of social tie-ins unique to the platform.

  • Gameplay

    Players could invite friends to join the game in addition to sharing their score and in-game achievements as posts. Throughout gameplay, players would unlock a range of power pinballs which offered different advantages for players. Power pinballs could be gifted to friends as well as used in player's own gameplay.

  • Leaderboard

    To track game scores, players were given two leaderboards: a global one that tallied the achievements of all players and another that simply displayed the scores between you and your friends. To foster competition between players even further, the game offered triumphant posts players could post to a friend's wall whenever they passed them on the leaderboard.

  • Design

    The look and sound of the game were designed to highlight thematic elements from the movie aimed at endearing players to the brand. Player actions unlocked memorable audio and video clips from the movie. Lost this round? You might hear Mister Miyagi lecturing: "Now use head for something other than target." Score another point? You may be rewarded with an inspiring video clip of Daniel accepting the championship trophy while a crowd cheers!

  • Media

    People loved playing virtual, social pinball on a colorful game board that displayed video and photo assets from the movie. The user response substantiated our marketing strategy — the game's stickiness was evident through extended gameplay and replays. We maximized advertising by capitalizing on the time spent during gameplay by placing a promotional banner above the game board that linked users to the Amazon purchase offer for The Karate Kid Blu-ray Disc. Additionally, we seized on the opportunity to cross-promote the upcoming remake of The Karate Kid by prominently placing the theatrical poster above the scoreboard.

The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid Throwback Pinball supported Blu-ray sales by creating an engaging user experience that connected fans to the inherent themes of the movie: challenge, persistence and reward.


Sony Pictures Interactive
9050 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232