INTERVIEW - Brash

Ben Parfitt
INTERVIEW - Brash
Brash might not be the biggest name in games publishing at the moment, but the new outfit has some big ideas and even bigger aspirations.

Founded last June, Brash is unique in that rather than simply dedicating a large portion of its business to licensed games, it’s devoting its entire business to them. This has been its intention since the outset, and its core team has been structured purely around this concept.

Co-founder, chairman and CEO Mitch Davis recognises that whilst this approach should spell immediate success in the mainstream, it faces an uphill battle to win over traditional gamers – a demographic that typically views licensed titles with much disdain.

“There are certain movie-based games that have produced over the years than have been excellent, that have good review scores, plenty of time in development and really strong IP for a game – that’s really what we’re looking for,” says Davis.

“We’re really just about signing the right IP and making really good games. A part of that is partnering quality developers with properties and building an organisation that can bring those products to market.

“There is a strong sense in Hollywood and film producers globally that games are a very important part of the film mix and as an extension of the franchise and the creative content. So if you take the film idea and extend that out in a non-linear way within a game, they want the person that goes to the cinema to play the game. There is a strong sense that film and games are tied together, so creative partnerships become very important in that regard.”

In the last nine months Brash has been focusing on forming close ties with both Hollywood and the global games industry, and currently enjoys partnerships with major film studios such as 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers. It’s also currently working with popular development outfits: Factor 5 (of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Lair fame) and Game Republic.

“We’re very proud to have an excellent relationship with Warner Bros, Fox, Lionsgate, Universal and several others,” Davis adds. “So we really have a breadth and depth of portfolio. What’s exciting is that we are not only working on properties for 2009 and 2010, but even further forward.”

Currently the publisher boasts more than 40 licenses, the first of which to hit the shelves being 20th Century Fox tie-in Alvin and the Chipmunks. It’s second release, in conjunction with the same movie studio, was Jumper. Upcoming licenses include CGI movie tie-in Space Chimps, and the controversial horror franchise Saw.

“We do have targets for the scale of portfolio – we’ll have seven games out this year and we’ll have ten properties out in 2009, and more in 2010,” explains Davis. “This is a very very big market that continues to grow at a pretty significant rate – there’s growth in consoles, PC, MMOs and the mobile market, so we think there’s room for more high quality products in the marketplace.”

BRASH - THE TEAM

Mitch Davis
(Founder – chairman and CEO)
Former developer of in-game ad firm Massive Incorporated.

Nicholas Longano
(Founder – president and COO):
Also a former developer of in-game ad firm Massive Incorporated.

Thomas Tull
(Founder - chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures)
Responsible for Brash’s financial structure.

Bert Ellis
(Founder – president and CEO of Ellis Communications).
Ellis is a leading media and technology entrepreneur.

Bill Chardavoyne
(Chief financial officer)
An entertainment industry veteran with former roles at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Viacom/MTV Networks. Also served as CFO of Activision for six years.

Yasmin Naboa

(Executive VP of sales and marketing)
Formerly a top exec at Ubisoft.

Larry Shapiro
(Chief creative officer)
Named one of most influential people in the video game industry in the Wall Street Journal in 2006.

Tiffany Spencer
(VP of communications)
Tiffany has more than twelve years of game industry experience, most recently at EA and Ubisoft. She has also worked for the likes of Microsoft and Viacom.

Jonathan Eubanks
(Executive producer)
Leads the internal production team and oversees external game production. Has formerly worked for Activision, Vivendi and Warner Interactive.

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