Game based on Weinstein's Igor movie comes to market via outside financer

Hollywood’s new model for game development?

Variety reports that new cartoon movie Igor, produced by the Weinstein Company, has been licenced out for a video game. So far, so by the book, but the funding model which is bringing the game to market is different to normal tie-in titles.

The game is being produced by an established publisher but is being financed by a third-party, a new firm headed by former Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais called Interactive Game Group.

Under the deal, I2G gets the rights to making a DS, Wii and PC (retail, downloadable, online), contracting Legacy – which has worked on other tie-ins such as the Law & Order and The Apprenctice games – for publishing. The pair have already signed up a developer, Mistic, for the DS title but haven’t yet signed studios for the other games. IGG still has not selected publishing partners for the release of the games outside of North America.

It’s the first deal for Chesnais’ new IGG operation, which he hopes will slot in between the gap between Hollywood and the games industry. Presumably, the licensing deal is more favourable to the Weinstein Company than other Hollywood/publisher deals – something which the likes of Warner Bros and Disney have cited as reasons for their more aggressive games activity.

"We handle financing, find the publishers and basically facilitate the whole transaction," Chesnais told Variety. In the official announcement of the deal, he commented: "This project is exactly why I have created I2G, to bring talented people together and facilitate the creation and distribution of interactive entertainment."

The game is a casual and family oriented game, hence its choice of platforms – as all involved want the game to arrive day and date with the movie, they won’t be developing for PS3, PS2 or 360 due to time constraints. The film is due out in October 2008 in the US.

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