Movie IP firm founds own game production team in order to "control our own destiny"

Terminator rights holder opens new game studio

LA-based The Halcyon Company, which owns the rights to the Terminator franchise, has opened its own development studio.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move comes so that Halcyon can more closely control the property, which has had a number of videogame outings in the past 20 years.

The firm is already working on a new Terminator movie, called Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins – and the games studio will be making a next-gen, PC and mobile title in conjunction with it. The two are due in summer 2009.

Halcyon co-CEOs Victor Kebicek and Derek Anderson will become co-chairmen of the games division while a former Disney exec Peter Levin is to be acting CEO. The senior management have also nabbed another exec familiar with the world of movie/game crossovers, with Cos Lazouras from Vin Diesel’s game production house Tigon Studios moving over as VP of production.

Levin told the Hollywood Reporter that the firm formed its own game division rather than licence out the Terminator brand "to control our own destiny."

He said: "When you own the intellectual property and have the creative control, you can make sure you’re publishing a top-tier video game that will satisfy the needs of the marketplace."

The game has been in development for several months, with close collaboration with the movie production team based in Budapest from the first day of shooting.

"We don’t want the game to be the stepchild to the film," Anderson added. "They’re of equal importance, and we want both to be of the same quality and be the same compelling experience."

A number of the bigger movie studios have expressed similar sentiments of late – Warner Bros’ and Disney’s recent return to the games industry has been punctuated by comments that they can better implement their own IP in the games space rather than let a third-party publisher turn it into interactive entertainment.

In time, it’s expected that Halcyon will develop other titles, too. The firm has a first-look deal on the works of author Philip K Dick, and plans to create original properties too. Halcyon is also planning to find a distribution partner to get the games it makes out with consumers.

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