Andamiro Honors SpongeBob Creator Stephen Hillenburg's Memory

Posted On: 11/29/2018

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GARDENA, CA — Andamiro USA Corp. has paid tribute to the late Stephen Hillenburg, whose beloved SpongeBob animated cartoon character has inspired a surprisingly large number of games. Hillenburg, who created SpongeBob for Nickelodeon in the late '90s, died on Nov. 27.

In a tweet, Andamiro USA's president of sales and marketing Drew Maniscalco hailed Hillenburg's positive impact on the design of licensed games. "Reflecting on my many years in the industry, I can't think of any other licensed character that has inspired as many arcade games as SpongeBob SquarePants," the Andamiro executive said. "They'll be an important part of the industry's tapestry of games for many years to come."

Hillenburg was a marine biology teacher in California who wrote and illustrated stories to use as classroom learning aids. He became interested in cartooning, studied animation and created the fantasy world of Bikini Bottom and its inhabitants, including the iconic metazoan. Nickelodeon premiered the SpongeBob television series in 1999.

Hillenburg also wrote, produced and directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released in 2004, which grossed more than $140 million worldwide. He followed up with a sequel, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, released in 2015. SpongeBob also went to Broadway with Tony Award-winning  SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical.

Maniscalco, who has been intimately involved in developing half a dozen SpongeBob-themed games, noted that Andamiro presently markets three popular SpongeBob arcade pieces in partnership with Nickelodeon: SpongeBob Pineapple Arcade (2015), SpongeBob Soccer Stars (2017) and SpongeBob Order Up.

The amusement industry veteran recalled that he has been closely involved in the development of a half dozen SpongeBob-themed games. Some eight major titles from leading manufacturers, including Sega and Chicago Gaming as well as Andamiro, still operate in entertainment destinations around the world.

"Hillenburg's characters now have mass appeal to players of all ages," the Andamiro executive said. "They are wholesome and offer tremendous crossover. In all my years in coin-op entertainment, the opportunity to work on SpongeBob products was among the most enjoyable time I've spent."