Universal reborn as games powerhouse

Universal is producing a video game adaptation of its recent movie release Wanted – with more self-financed, cinema-based licences planned.

The studio – famous for creating movies such as Jaws, Jurassic Park and The Blues Brothers – is to ‘selectively finance its own games whilst still licensing out the majority of its [TV and cinema] titles’, according to Variety.

The move represents Universal’s second stab at success in video games, following the sale of its previous games division, Universal Interactive, which became part of Vivendi Games in 2000.

Universal digital platforms boss Bill Kispert said financing the firm’s own video games will help the studio expand and ‘devote more time to production on movie-based software by skipping negotiations with outside publishers’.

"We’re now running a hybrid model where we can license titles where that makes sense or kick off development earlier to put ourselves in a better position for success," he explained.

Wanted – the movie of which starred James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie – will be a big budget title for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

It is being targeted for release late this year or in early 2009.

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