Rejuvenated Empire signs Jackass deal

The news is the first major announcement from the Finchley-based publisher since its acquisition by NASDAQ-listed technology firm Silverstar late last year. And it marks the end of what has been a difficult – and quiet – period for Empire in recent times.

Developed by New Zealand studio Sidhe, the Jackass game is set for release as a full price title this September on PS2 and PSP, with other versions expected to be announced soon. The arrival of the game will coincide with a new Jackass DVD, plus a series of events planned by MTV Europe, giving Empire good crossover promotional opportunities.

“We’re really pleased with the deal; it shows that we’re very much back in business,” Empire CEO Ian Higgins told MCV. “The genesis of the deal was two of our new directors – Joe Abrams and Geoff Heath – talking to the US publisher and developer. We got involved from here by putting a strong marketing campaign together for them; really showing them what we could do. It was  largely a combination of those two things.”

Unsurprisingly, Empire is backing the release of the title with a major marketing campaign. According to Nielsen research, Jackass has an awareness with some 94 per cent of gamers, providing a great starting point for the publisher.

TV, outdoor and print ads are being lined up, while Empire is also looking to create a strong online community. “It’s probably fair to say that this is our biggest title for some time in Europe,” added Higgins. “In the US we’ve had some bigger hits with titles like Big Mother Truckers and Flatout. In Europe we’ve had some decent top ten titles, whereas with Jackass we really believe we have a number one title.”


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