Movie Company Lionsgate Getting Into Games with New Division
The entertainment company behind films such as The Hunger Games, The Hurt Locker and Kick-Ass is looking to create video games as well.
Lionsgate, best known for its movie production work, announced today it is starting a games division, with former Nerdist Industries Chief Executive Officer Peter Levin leading the initiative.
The division will have the ability to either invest in games or create their own, and those could be either existing franchises or new intellectual property developed by the Lionsgate. The interactive entertainment division also will have access to Lionsgate’s existing IP from its movie business, as well, and Lionsgate has plenty from which it could draw, including Divergent, The Expendables, and, of course, The Hunger Games.
Before working at Nerdist, which he co-founded, Levin spent time as an adviser to entertainment companies including Creative Artists Agency (better known as CAA) and Japanese media company Yoshimoto Kogyo, and also worked at Disney.
“Peter is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurial culture, and he is ideally qualified to lead the continued growth of our content business into the video game space and other interactive digital ventures,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer in a statement. “Gaming has become one of the most explosive growth areas of the content business, and Peter’s mandate will be to build a portfolio of premium digital properties as we expand our leadership in films and television programming into digital content as well.”
Lionsgate certainly isn’t the first movie company to try to break into games, and movie companies have had mixed success in the space. One of the biggest stories is that of Disney Interactive, which has invested heavily into the mobile space and into Disney: Infinity, a video game-toy hybrid competitor with Activision’s Skylanders franchise. Disney announced today that Marvel characters would begin appearing in the next iteration of Disney: Infinity. The company also recently cut some 700 jobs.
Also toiling away in the space is Warner Bros., which had big hits in the Batman: Arkham franchise, and has published a number of titles in the Lord of the Rings franchise.
This isn’t Lionsgate’s only foray into what could be considered some version of the gaming space, either. Earlier this month, the company announced a deal with Rocket Jump Studios, YouTube video-making company co-founded by Freddie Wong. The deal is to create “film, television and digital content.”
As VentureBeat reports, Levin and Lionsgate see too much money in the games industry not to take a stab at getting some of it. Two moves toward the gaming space don’t necessarily equal a trend, but it seems possible Lionsgate is trying to tap the games-related segment of culture, which could actually be pretty cool.
We’ll have to wait and see what the company actually turns out when it comes to games, but more competition is at least good news.