Vivendi buys Fox Video Games Licences
By John Gaudiosi
mercredi 12 mars 2003, par Webmaster
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Vivendi Universal Games struck an exclusive deal with Fox Interactive to publish and distribute at least 10 games that are based on Fox TV and film product, the companies said Monday.
VU Games will bring 10 titles from Fox’s TV and movie franchises, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer (news - Y ! TV) 2" for Xbox (news - web sites), "The X-Files (news - Y ! TV) : Resist or Serve" for Xbox and PlayStation 2 (news - web sites), a new driving game from the "Simpsons" franchise for consoles, "Die Hard : Vendetta" for PS2 and "The World’s Scariest Police Chases 2" for PS2. A "Futurama" video game also is in development and could be part of this deal, but details on all the titles will be announced later.
In addition to the specified titles, the agreement grants VU Games certain opportunities to take a first look at future Fox TV and movie properties through Fox’s licensing and merchandising department. The VU Games agreement also is expected to be extended down the line.
The Fox group will function as a separate development team within VU Games to oversee and manage the new titles.
Fox Interactive president Steve Bersch said the goal is to make Fox Interactive as much a part of Vivendi Universal’s infrastructure as possible to maximize the cross-promotional opportunities and awareness of the Fox properties.
"By working with Vivendi, we’re able to best combine our marketing efforts and our mainstream properties with their established infrastructure, strong PC games division and growing console business," Bersch said.
The deal expands an agreement between the companies forged in 2001 that saw the successful launch of the spy series "No One Lives Forever" on PS2 and "Aliens vs. Predator" on PC. Until now, Fox had worked with such other publishers as Electronic Arts ("The Simpsons (news - Y ! TV) Road Rage," "Aliens : Colonial Marines," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Activision ("The Simpsons Wrestling," "The World’s Scariest Police Chases") on separate distribution deals, divvying up the franchises.
"We used to parcel out our games, and that wasn’t the best thing for the properties," Bersch said. "It’s always easiest to establish one group for communication between the game division and the Fox promotional machine."
Fox Interactive joins VU Games’ existing portfolio of publishing labels, which includes Black Label Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Coktel, Knowledge Adventure, NDA Prods., Sierra Entertainment and Universal Interactive.
Fox Interactive’s 50 employees will move from Fox Plaza in Century City to Vivendi Uni’s office building in Los Angeles’ Howard Hughes (news) Entertainment Center.
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