Unlikely alliance time: Jerry Bruckheimer has inked a deal with Viacom to launch a new video game development studio under the MTV Games brand. Viacom, who recently had a massive video game success with “Rock Band,” has dedicated $500 million towards investment in video games for 2008. According to MTV Networks Music & Logo Group prez Van Toffler:
Jerry Bruckheimer and his innate talent for developing wildly successful entertainment properties that range from action, reality, drama, sports, and comedy are the perfect complement to our vision for MTV Games and the experience our audiences truly crave […] There’s a huge intersection between the fans of Bruckheimer films, our audience and gamers, making the potential for this partnership to be as explosive as one of his blockbuster films.
Real world translation: MTV wants Bruckheimer’s juice for obtaining the rights to properties like CSI and to help with luring away film talent towards video game design. Bruckheimer will be involved in the hiring process for the new studio.
Official press release after the jump.
MTV Games, a division of Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks, today announced an exclusive deal with internationally renowned motion picture and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer to develop and create new and original video games, marking his first official foray into the gaming world. As part of this landmark agreement, Bruckheimer will build a game incubation studio with MTV Games, where a team of experienced video game experts, artists and storytellers will seek out and deliver new game concepts and intellectual property.
By joining MTV Games with Bruckheimer’s blockbuster track record for creating successful entertainment properties in film and television, both new and experienced gamers can expect what promises to be some of the most entertaining, challenging, and unique games.
“Video games represent a new and innovative medium for what we’ve always tried to do, which is to tell great stories. But this medium is unique in that it gives the player control over how those stories unfold,” said Jerry Bruckheimer. “I look forward to working with MTV Games to create new original game stories, always looking for ways to innovate the medium.”
“Jerry Bruckheimer and his innate talent for developing wildly successful entertainment properties that range from action, reality, drama, sports, and comedy are the perfect complement to our vision for MTV Games and the experience our audiences truly crave,” said Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. “There’s a huge intersection between the fans of Bruckheimer films, our audience and gamers, making the potential for this partnership to be as explosive as one of his blockbuster films.”
Executives from both MTV Games and Bruckheimer’s gaming studio will work together on all phases of development — from concept to platform — as well as on the production, distribution deals and marketing elements, with the potential that some of the game concepts could migrate to other entertainment media including film and TV. Jeff Yapp, Executive Vice President, Programming Enterprises and Bob Picunko, Vice President Electronic Games & Interactive Products will oversee the relationship for MTV Games.
MTV Networks will support this venture across all its broadcast and digital platforms including CMT, MTV, Spike and VH1. Gaming is a focal point of MTV Networks’ overall vertical entertainment strategy of super-serving its core audiences with engaging experiences across multiple platforms. In August of 2007, the company announced that it will invest more than $500 million over the next two years in the development and distribution of its Interactive Entertainment and Video Game business. MTV Games’ recently released Rock Band from developers, Harmonix, which MTV Networks acquired in 2006, an all-new platform that allows music fans and gamers to interact with their favorite music like never before and garnered universal critical acclaim including: “Best of Show” at this year’s Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2007, “Game of the Year for Teens” by USA Today, and called “this holiday season’s most awesome video game ever” by SPIN Magazine.
Jerry Bruckheimer holds an undisputed position as one of the most successful producers in both motion pictures and television. First in partnership with Don Simpson, and then as the chief of Jerry Bruckheimer Films, he has produced an unprecedented string of worldwide smashes, hugely impacting not only the industry, but mass culture as well. Bruckheimer’s films have included “American Gigolo,” “Flashdance,” “Bad Boys,” “Dangerous Minds,” “Crimson Tide,” “The Rock,” “Con Air,” “Armageddon,” “Enemy of the State,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Coyote Ugly,” “Remember the Titans,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Bad Boys II,” “Veronica Guerin,” “King Arthur,” “National Treasure,” “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” and the landmark trilogy, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
On television, Bruckheimer had an unprecedented 10 television series airing in the 2005-6 season, a record in the medium for an individual producer. JBTV’s series have included “C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation” and its spinoffs “C.S.I.: Miami” and “C.S.I.: NY,” and “Without A Trace,” “Cold Case” and “The Amazing Race.”
Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Television have been honored with 39 Academy Award(R) nominations, six Oscars(R), 69 Emmy(R) nominations, 16 Emmys(R), eight Grammy(R) Award nominations, five Grammys(R), 23 Golden Globe(R) nominations, four Golden Globes(R), 16 People’s Choice nominations, 11 People’s Choice Awards, numerous MTV Awards, including one for Best Picture of the Decade for “Beverly Hills Cop,” and 20 Teen Choice Awards.
The deal was negotiated by Creative Artists Agency on behalf of Jerry Bruckheimer. For MTV Games, the agreement was overseen by George Cheeks, EVP & General Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, MTV Networks.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom , is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 140 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services – MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 300 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.