Take-Two signs with Cartoon Network

New focus on six to eleven year olds for US publisher.

Publisher Take-Two Interactive has signed a contract with Cartoon Network giving it "first look" rights to create games based on all new Cartoon Network branded properties, with one new title already licensed under the deal.

The first Cartoon Network title to be licensed is Codename: Kids Next Door, which along with the rest of the properties covered by the deal, is aimed squarely at the six to eleven year old demographic.

This is new ground for Take-Two, which is more commonly associated with games for older players - sometimes controversially so - through its brands such as Gathering (Max Payne and Mafia) and Rockstar (Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt).

However, a move into the kids and family market has been widely predicted for the company since it acquired TDK Mediactive, a smaller publisher which has a fairly wide range aimed at the children's market, in a deal late last year.

"We are extremely pleased to work with Cartoon Network and form such a significant relationship with an established and well respected children's entertainment enterprise," commented Take-Two Licensing manager Bill Gross. "Cartoon Network is an ideal partner for Take-Two and we appreciate their commitment to our strategy to expand our product offerings of children's interactive entertainment."

"This partnership will harness the strengths of both companies to build on existing brands and create new ones," explained Cartoon Network senior VP John Friend. "Ultimately, we hope to see the simultaneous launch of a new series with a multi-platform video game."

Cartoon Network has previously worked with now-struggling publisher BAM! Entertainment on a number of titles based on key franchises such as Dexters Laboratory and the Powerpuff Girls.

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