MTV, Bruckheimer to launch game studio

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:21am EST
 
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By Kenneth Li

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Viacom Inc's MTV and award-winning television and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer will launch a video game development studio, marrying Hollywood and technology in what has been historically an uneasy alliance.

Bruckheimer, producer of Walt Disney Co's wildly successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise among a long list of film and TV hits like "CSI," said he plans to do for video games what he has done for other well-defined genres of content.

"It's no different than what we did with movies," he said in a phone interview. "We did 'Top Gun' when everyone said you couldn't do an aviation movie because they all failed. We did a pirate movie when they said pirate movies aren't going to work."

Bruckheimer added, "We approach gaming the same way. We see things a little differently, that maybe other people wouldn't see."

MTV Networks earmarked over $500 million earlier this year to invest in video games, including this venture, for its more than 300 Web sites and on game systems of Sony Corp, Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd's.

Its success with the recently launched "Rock Band" music-based game has inspired MTV to explore other new categories untapped by the $30 billion global video games market.

Rather than shoehorn Bruckheimer into creating games for existing genres, such as shooters or extreme sports, the new studio aims to break new ground in interactive storytelling on the Internet, computers and video game systems, said Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks' Music and Logo Group.

The teaming up of Hollywood and the games industry has met with mixed success in the past.   Continued...

 
<p>Jerry Bruckheimer poses for pictures in Beverly Hills, California May 16, 2007. Viacom Inc's MTV and award-winning television and film producer Bruckheimer will launch a video game development studio, marrying Hollywood and technology in what has been historically an uneasy alliance. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>