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Sabine Adds the conclusion of this present console life cycle must present excellent opportunities to Hollywood, particularly as the PlayStation 2 demographic continues to expand with low hardware and software cost factors. One Major change this year is both Hollywood major-studio operators--Warners and the Walt Disney Co.--are taking more active roles in the creation of video games. Along with licensing large movie and TV properties to publishers like Electronic Arts, THQ and Midway Games, Warner Bros.. Interactive Entertainment and Buena Vista Games today possess game-development studios and are creating licensed content while overseeing development of as well as dispersing and co-distributing other titles.

"The Video game market fits in with that which film studios do, which is tell terrific stories," WBIE senior vp Jason Hall says. "The game industry has proceeded from a significant part of a movie's revenue into its own company with unique needs and its own audience." WBIE, Which financed and oversaw creation of"The Matrix Online" for 2 years then purchased its match studio Monolith Prods., has an assortment of significant movie possessions in development, including a"Dirty Harry" game franchise starring Clint Eastwood that's set to ship the next year to get next-generation consoles.

As Studios have started their vaults for DVD rereleases, mature film properties such as"Harry" also are gaining new life through interactive amusement. A couple of the greatest Hollywood-licensed games place to hit shops in the autumn are based on films that played in theatres decades past: EA's"The Godfather: The Game," a growth of the film franchise which stars an electronic Marion Brando, Robert Duvall and James Caan, and Vivendi Universal Games'"Scarface," a sequel to the 1983 film that features the likeness of both Al Pacino, will go head-to-head on retail shelves.

In This summer will watch Majesco's"Jaws Unleashed" game commemorate that movie's 30th anniversary, also yet another potential EA fall blockbuster,"From Russia With Love," celebrities a virtual teaser Connery (since he looks from the 1964 U.S. movie release) as James Bond. THQ also is set to unleash a brand new"Evil Dead" narrative in game type.

TV Programming also is gaining traction within the video game sector. Legacy Interactive, a pioneer in the category with PC titles according to NBC's"Law & Order" franchise and"ER," recently included NBC's"The Apprentice" and CBS'"Without a Trace." "Since Our matches up to this stage have been around for the PC, in place of the games platforms, we have appealed more to an older, predominantly female customer who enjoys a rich story line and profound, complicated characters," Legacy Interactive president and CEO Ariella Lehrer states.

Even though Youth-oriented shows such as Cartoon Network's"Teen Titans" historically have been ripe for video games, more primetime TV programs are heading to consoles late. Japanese writer Sammy Studios has launched a game based on FX's"The Shield," and also 2K Games is set to bring Fox's"24" to consoles in the fall and also to debut a game following year based on that network's"Family Guy." "Consumers Do not want to play a match that just mirrors the movie or TV series they love... they want to feel that they are immersed in an experience that takes them deep in this familiar fictional world but with new and different story elements," 2K Games senior vp publishing Christoph Hartmann says.

Another Growing field of interest is the model THQ and Nickelodeon devised several years ago with"Tak and the Power of Juju," which started as a video game and is being turned into a TV series. With sales of more than two million units, the"Tak" games have proved that a multiplatform franchise no further have to begin with linear entertainment. THQ also offers nabbed rights to create games based on MGA's Bratz dolls, which form the cornerstone of forthcoming movie and TV projects from Fox.

BVG Senior vp and general manager Graham Hopper liked"Tak" along with the THQ-Nick model so much that he recently bought"Tak" creator Avalanche Software in hope of replicating that model at Disney. In the same way, Activision has found gaming success with Marvel Comics possessions and films including Sow's"Spider-Man" franchise, in addition to family fare such as"Madagascar" and DreamWorks'"Shrek" franchise.

"Family Entertainment licenses are of particular interest to interactive gambling firms as the movie demographic tends to match that of their gaming market," Activision senior licensing manager Lori Plager says. "When we search for a license that we believe will be prosperous, first and foremost it has to make a excellent match; secondarily, it needs to be franchise-able, and it must have a huge quantity of preawarcncss."

Together Those fines, Midway Games has entered into a deal to create games based on three top Cartoon Network programs:"Ed, Edd n Eddy,""The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy" and"Dexter's Laboratory" Licensed Video games also can help movie studios expand franchises, especially for computer-generated features like Buena Vista's"The Incredibles," for which THQ is intended to release a game sequel at the fall.

"The Follow-up property provides customers the opportunity to interact with Mr. Incredible and other figures from'The Incredibles' world in a completely different experience," THQ executive vp business and legal affairs Jim Kennedy says. "Video game sequels will help maintain awareness and excitement for a film house, providing new experiences which keep the new in the minds of customers." Activision's Fighting game"Shrek: Super Slam," a projected autumn release that introduces new characters and settings to the"Shrek" world, also helps bridge such a difference:"Shrek 3" is not set to hit theaters until May 2007.

"Video Games can expand a film franchise by going places and experiencing adventures that weren't from the film," states Universal Studios Consumer Products Group vp interactive Bill Kispert, whose branch recently accredited the aforementioned"Scarface" and"Jaws" games in addition to some"King Kong" game title.

In Flip, more Hollywood filmmakers are becoming involved in game development since they also play. Kispert notes Peter Jackson handpicked Ubisoft to make the"King Kong" Companion because he connects with the psychological amount of games generated by the corporation's Michel Ancel.

"Matrix" Directors Larry and Andy Wachowski also continue to function the gambling world: They are editing an hourlong director's cut of footage from all three films and helming an additional hour of cinematics for Atari's Shiny Entertainment match"The Matrix: Path of Neo."

"The Wachowskis are hard-core gamers who play video games all of the way to the end," states Shiny president Dave Perry, noting the brothers'"Enter the Matrix" game has sold nearly 6 million units globally. "They want their fans to find an authentic experience that goes beyond the reach of the three films and comes with a first (computer-generated imagery) finish they directed and wrote." Actors Are also getting in on game creation: Vin Diesel's Tigon Studios produced the bestselling, critically acclaimed game prequel"The Chronicles of Riddick" last year and is operating to a PlayStation Portable game plus a full sequel; the"Batman Begins" throw supplies voices and likenesses to an EA game which ships day-and-date together with the projected June movie release; along with Majesco's"Aeon Flux" game, a prequel to that film, features the voice and likeness of celebrity Charlize Theron.

Jim Ward, president of LucasArts and vp marketing and distribution at Lucasfilm, notes that"Sith" stunt coordinator Nick Gillard and celebrity Hayden Christensen worked with developers to guarantee that the movie's game company features real light-saber battles. "Hollywood Studios and agents are playing more hardball in negotiating game-licensing prices, and film contracts now cover obligations on both sides for using celebrities' images and voices in matches," states Billy Pidgeon, a video game analyst in Go Play Research.

Adds Nielsen Interactive Entertainment general director Michael Dowling:"Motion picture studios are better-positioned today than they've ever been to succeed in the games business: By combining the studios' track record of successfully driving mass-market appeal with all the knowledge and imagination of experienced developers, video games are very likely to become a much more mainstream and potent entertainment proposition. The threat, and it's a huge one, isn't balancing high-quality game performance with the more-familiar regions of marketing and distribution."

Next-generation Game consoles and applications figure only to increase such convergence because Actors will emote virtually and graphics will closely replicate TV and Film sets. Simultaneously, as the U.S. gaming population swells beyond its own Present estimated tally of 168 million, Hollywood can play an essential role in Introducing mass audiences to brand new sport technology.

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