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VU Games signs Radical for six games

Aww, but I wanted a peanut! (Six games can buy many peanuts.)

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Kristan didn't like The Simpsons: Hit & Run in the end, but after tons of people called it "The Best Simpsons Game Ever", I decided to take the plunge this weekend as one of the show's most forgiving fans. I bought the PS2 version, and probably spent five or six hours just racing around Springfield on Saturday and Sunday, absorbing all the sight gags, catchphrases, soundbites and atmosphere of the place. And it turns out the pro-Hit & Run brigade were right. It is the best Simpsons game ever. It also turns out Kristan was right, too. It gets very boring when you realise that it's effectively just amusingly book-ended mini races, and this happens way too early on.

Still, that hasn't stopped Vivendi-Universal Games coughing up to ink a deal with developer Radical Entertainment for their next six games. VU even has the option to purchase Radical during the contract's term. Given the success of Hit & Run - one of the biggest-selling games of 2003, shipping more than 1.8m units worldwide so far, and a recurrent fixture at the top of the seasonal ChartTrack Top 40 listings - and Radical's previous title The Hulk, Vivendi no doubt regards the developer as highly bankable, even if we'd have to call into question VU's description of the studio as "the industry's leading developer of Triple-A games". Have they even played The Hulk? Or were they just sucking on an all-syrup Super Squishy?

So what of these six multi-platform titles? Well, they'll be based on new and existing franchises, it says 'ere, and during the course of the contract VU Games will also have a royalty-free license to use Radical's proprietary game development technologies. Throw in the aforementioned buyout option and it's a potentially lucrative deal for Vivendi, and Radical seem pretty chuffed with it too. Expect to see a Radically tainted VU stand at this year's E3 trade show. If we take a picture of it.

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