Game Boy: 'Nat Geo' Goes Video

National Geographic game Herod's Lost TombThe National Geographic Society, which distributed its first magazine in 1888, is entering the video games business, seeking to further expand its for-profit operations. National Geographic Games is launching with three products this month.

The games will bring National Geographic-type content to various devices, notably the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3. Partners in the venture include Sony and Namco Bandai Games, which produces games using Curious George and a modern version of Pac-Man. Nat Geo will also produce games in-house.

The initial launch in the Geographic line is "Herod's Lost Tomb," which is related to an article in the December issue of the famed magazine and a special on the National Geographic Channel.

Plans call for three releases this month--one in December and three so far for next year.



The new games unit will be housed under National Geographic Ventures, a for-profit unit that also manages the Society's shared interest with News Corp. in the National Geographic Channel.

Former Take2 Interactive--the company behind the "Grand Theft Auto" series--and Bethesda Softworks executive Chris Mate will serve as vice president and general manager of the games venture.

"National Geographic Games has brought authenticity to the kind of family gaming we're developing with them," said Andrew Lelchuk, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Namco Bandai Games.

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