Now that video games are an important part of popular culture, two industry veterans are teaming up to launch GameBridge, a new agency that licenses characters from popular video games for use in advertising content and ad campaigns.
“We’re set up to make it much easier and more efficient for both advertisers and game publishers to connect their respective characters and brands,” says founder Billy Bell. “Our experience and knowledge enables us to forge agreements that will simultaneously maintain the integrity of a game’s image with its all-important fan base while ensuring a high level of ROI for participating advertisers.”
GameBridge will act as an agent for its licensing partners, negotiating deals between advertisers, their agencies and the IP holders of the respective video game characters. The New York-based shop debuts with two clients, Sega and Capcom, representing characters that include Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter characters Ryu and Chun-Li and characters from Resident Evil.
GameBridge will also partner strategically with Sumthing Else to provide music licensing services to its clients.
GameBridge's leadership team includes co-founders Andy Uterano and Billy Bell. Both are veterans of the music sales and licensing industry and have worked with video game publishers on their music needs. They are joined by Creative Director Glenn H. Mason and Strategic Media Partner Steven Horton. Mason will be responsible for developing and executing GameBridge’s creative strategy, while Horton also serves as the founder and executive producer of the production company Grand Large.
Horton's Grand Large will function as the production arm of GameBridge on a non-exclusive basis, providing its advertiser clients and publisher licensees with access to a full range of film and video production and post-production resources. Also, GameBridge clients will have access to the European animation and effects studio MacGuff and to Prologue Films, a producer of broadcast design and identity packages, opening title sequences, gaming characters and visual effects. Both studios will partner with GameBridge clients on game-driven ad content.
"Our goal in founding GameBridge is to leverage these opportunities and pair our licensed characters with familiar consumer brands,” says Uterano. They selected the name GameBridge because it serves as a ‘bridge’ for brands to get into gaming characters, and vice versa.