Marvel forms new games group
Spider-Man owners' gaming ambitions swing into action.
US comic publishing giant Marvel Enterprises has announced the formation of a new group within the company which will focus specifically on the development of video games based on its wide range of character franchises.
The new division will oversee the creation of all games based on Marvel licenses, including both the publishing agreements and the actual creative content of the titles in question.
It will be headed up by Ames Kirshen, who has been appointed to the new role of Manager of Game Development. Kirshen previously worked with Warner Bros and DC Comics, and was involved in the production of games including those based on the Batman and Superman licenses.
Marvel has several games in the pipeline over the coming years, with games based on Spider-Man and X-Men en route this year from Activision, while a title based on The Punisher is due in autumn from THQ, tying in with a movie of the same name.
2005 sees the launch of two more Activision titles, with Fantastic Four and Iron Man (both of which are in the works in movie form) hitting the shelves, while Vivendi will produce The Hulk 2 in the same year.
One of the most exciting products in the pipeline for the company, however, is another Vivendi title - a massively multiplayer game featuring a wide range of different elements from the "Marvel Universe" which encompasses the entire spectrum of the company's franchises. This game has yet to receive a date for its release.
"The multi-billion dollar video game industry continues to be a significant revenue opportunity for Marvel and a high-profile, powerful vehicle to build the awareness of Marvel's brands," enthused Marvel publishing president Gui Karyo. "Our appointment of Ames to serve as an in-house Executive Producer and creative liaison for our interactive licensees and game developers allows us to increase the quality, playability and marketing power of this influential product category, fueling higher licensing income and consumer exposure for Marvel."