Paramount Joins The Game

Paramount recently became the second studio (after Warner Bros.) to pursue video game publisher ambitions. Yesterday in Variety, Sandi Isaacs, Paramount's senior vice president of interactive and mobile, and Matt Candler, Paramount's new vice president of interactive development, discussed the company's move into the interactive entertainment business: "We are entering into deals now where we will be publishing games this year," Isaacs said. "There's going to be a slate where in some cases we're publishing, in some cases we're co-publishing, or in others we're funding development and another publisher buys it. It's important for us to have a flexible model."

Initially, Paramount will be focusing on casual and mobile games, which will be titles with lower development costs and shorter development cycles. The studio will be well-positioned to take advantage of its stock of intellectual property and access to star talent, making the venture not entirely unlike Electronic Art's recently announced "Blueprint" group, which combines EA's IP library with Hollywood agency CAA's access to star power to develop new casual titles.



We can expect to see more movie studios moving into game publishing as video games continue to increase their influence on popular culture, and their share of leisure time. It's entirely possible that Paramount was spurred on in this endeavor by recent analyst predictions that their upcoming superhero flick, "Iron Man," may have its May 2 opening weekend torpedoed by the release of Grand Theft Auto 4, which drops only three days earlier on April 29.

It's not an unprecedented prediction. Back in October, studio execs blamed poor ticket sales for the last quarter of 2007 on the release of "Halo 3," which had nearly half of Xbox 360 owners glued to their TVs.

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