LONDON– July 16, 2008– Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group (UPDPG) is creating a video game based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster action-thriller Wanted, starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie. The game will be published worldwide by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and is being developed by renowned game developer GRIN, best known for its work on the Tom Clancy: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter series and the upcoming Bionic Commando. The film, which was released on June 27, 2008, has earned $192 million in worldwide box office to date.
Based upon Mark Millar’s graphic novel series and helmed by stunning visualist director Timur Bekmambetov— creator of the most successful Russian film franchise in history— Wanted tells the tale of one apathetic nobody’s transformation as he is introduced to a new life and new powers that he never knew existed. With the film’s successful release, the world has been introduced to a hero for a new generation: Wesley Gibson.
“Wanted is a film with a fantastic visual style, an in-your-face attitude and edge-of-your-seat action sequences, and moviegoers around the world have resoundingly embraced it,” said Bill Kispert, Vice President and General Manager, Interactive, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group.“From the time we read the script and saw the film’s pre-visual material, it was clear that Wanted was a powerful property– one that was well poised to deliver an engaging gaming experience. We look forward to working closely with the film’s creative team to extend Wanted’s mythology and to expand the story behind the Fraternity of Assassins.”
The Wanted video game will feature intense third-person action, taking combat to a new level with iconic moves— such as“curving bullets” and“Assassin Time”— drawn directly from the film, as well as an innovative, multi-layered cover mechanic. The storyline of the game will pick up where the movie leaves off, providing fans with another chapter to explore both Wesley’s journey into becoming anüberassassin and the epic fiction of the Fraternity.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will publish the Wanted video game, utilizing its premiere sales, marketing and distribution capabilities to deliver the title to gamers worldwide.
“Wanted is a striking property with gripping action, which presents strong gaming possibilities,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.“Publishing the Wanted game is an excellent opportunity for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to team with Universal on a global property with terrific cross-platform potential. Players will get to immerse themselves in the Wanted universe with a stunning visual experience and engaging gameplay.”
The project also re-teams UPDPG with executive game producer Pete Wanat, who has previously collaborated with the film studio on critically acclaimed movie-based games The Thing, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and Scarface: The World is Yours.
“The team at GRIN has a proven track record of creating action games that push the envelope in terms of gameplay and combat,” said Mr. Wanat.“With the Wanted video game, GRIN is creating entirely new gameplay mechanics and an experience that pulls no punches. Gamers and fans of the film alike will be blown away by the ability to curve bullets, pull off amazing combat sequences and literally conduct a symphony orchestra of action with the arsenal available to the most powerful assassins in the world.”
The Wanted game, in development since early 2007, will be available later this year for consoles and personal computer. For more information on the film and franchise, please visit www.wantedmovie.com.
GRIN was founded in 1997 by brothers Bo and Ulf Andersson with the goal to develop games that take advantage of the very latest in technology. GRIN’s first title, Ballistics, was among the first games to ever ship using pixel shader technology– it sold nearly 2 million units and was also developed into an Arcade Machine. The next GRIN title was Bandits– Phoenix Rising for the PC followed by the stand alone PC version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Fighter.
The latest released title in 2007 was the stand alone PC version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Fighter 2. GRIN is currently developing Bionic Commando (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC) and Bionic Commando Rearmed (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC). Today, GRIN has 220 employees and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. GRIN also has offices in Barcelona, Spain, Jakarta, Indonesia and Gothenburg, Sweden. www.grin.se
About Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group
Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group (UPDPG) is responsible for global digital product development, production, licensing, distribution, and growth strategy for the extensive catalogue of Universal’s properties across new and emerging digital platforms, including mobile, video game consoles, personal computers, and other portable devices. With a worldwide mandate to help shape the digital future of Universal Pictures, the Group has offices in Universal City, California; London, England; and Tokyo, Japan.
Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group is a unit of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Universal Pictures is a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.
About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.
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