Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. will make an investment in SCi Entertainment Group plc, ('SCi' Epic code: SEG) the parent company of publishing label Eidos Interactive Ltd, representing 10.3 percent of the company's enlarged share capital. Additionally, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and SCi have entered into an agreement for licensing and distribution of games based on select Warner Bros. Entertainment properties. The investment, licensing and distribution agreements are all pending SCi shareholder approval.
A part of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has granted the licenses to SCi for the comic book version of Batman, the Looney Tunes, select titles from the Hanna-Barbera catalog and television properties The OC, Loonatics Unleashed and Legion of Super Heroes.
In addition, Eidos and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group have entered into a primary distribution agreement under which Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will provide warehousing, logistics, merchandising and media buying services in the United States to Eidos. Eidos will continue to run, through its US publishing office, all other aspects of its US operations including manufacturing, sales, marketing and PR.
"Investing in SCi further solidifies our commitment to the rapidly growing interactive and gaming space," said Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. "This deal is consistent with our core strategy of delivering high quality entertainment based on some of the world's best-loved brands for all formats and channels. We look forward to working with SCi to build games the fans of these brands will truly enjoy."
Jane Cavanagh, Chief Executive of SCi, said, "These agreements represent a further step in SCi's development as one of the world's leading publishers of interactive entertainment. The licensed properties extend and strengthen our product portfolio through globally recognized titles such as Batman, Looney Tunes including brands such as Bugs Bunny and the classic Hanna-Barbera catalogue including brands such as Tom and Jerry.
"The properties also include content with a broad demographic appeal. Significantly, the partnership with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group in the United States links us to the distribution network and buying power of one the world's largest media companies. The additional investment provides us with the firepower to accelerate growth initiatives such as increasing our development capacity and our new media and online strategies."
Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment has licensed the rights for selected intellectual properties to SCi. SCi's publishing label Eidos will develop videogames based on the properties. The licenses are:
- - Batman. The license enables Eidos to create games based the on comic book version of the DC Comics' renowned super hero.
- - Looney Tunes. Eidos will create games using the library of Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales and more, for handheld platforms.
- - Hanna-Barbera catalog. Eidos will develop up to twelve games based on a number of individual characters in the classic Hanna-Barbera catalogue including Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Wacky Races, Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.
- - The OC. The license is for the interactive rights to the long running global TV series The OC, based around the lives of teenagers in Orange County, California.
- - Other animated properties. Eidos has also signed license agreements relating to the children's animated TV programs, Loonatics Unleashed and Legion of Super Heroes.
About SCi Entertainment Group plc
SCi is one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software. Its publishing label is Eidos which consists of publishing operations across Europe and the US and several development studios including Crystal Dynamics, IO Interactive, Beautiful Game Studios, Eidos Studios Hungary, Eidos Sweden and Pivotal Games. The Group has a valuable combined portfolio of intellectual property including: Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex, Championship Manager, Carmageddon, the Conflict series and Just Cause.Some of the titles currently in development include: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, Crossfire, Battlestations: Midway, Chili Con Carnage and Highlander.
About Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is a fully integrated, broad-based entertainment company and the global leader in the creation, production, distribution, licensing and marketing of all forms of entertainment and their related businesses. A Time Warner Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature films to television, home video/DVD, animation, interactive entertainment and games, and product and brand licensing.
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