Warner Bros. Makes Move Into Game Development

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Anonymous Jan 15, 2004 at 06:10

BURBANK, Calif. - Signaling an increased commitment to the fast-growing interactive gaming world, Warner Bros. Entertainment has created Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. (WBIE) and has named Jason Hall to head its operations as Senior Vice President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The announcement was made today by Kevin Tsujihara, Executive Vice President, Corporate Business Development & Strategy, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Dan Romanelli, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products. WBIE will have a dual reporting relationship to Tsujihara and to Romanelli.

WBIE will be responsible for creating, managing and monetizing the Studio's long-term interactive gaming goals and business objectives and leveraging its world-class brands across all current and future platforms (including console, MMPOG, PC-based gaming and wireless applications like N-Gage). The new entity's mandate is to not only grow the strong business partnerships already in place in the gaming industry, but also to identify and establish new business opportunities and partnerships. Within WBIE will be a division called Warner Bros. Games, which will focus on the creation, development, production and distribution of games that will be marketed to consumers under the Warner Bros. Games brand.

"Although we have enjoyed success in the gaming world, we have barely scratched the surface," said Tsujihara. "By creating Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros. Games and putting a well-rounded gaming and tech executive like Jason at the helm, we will be well-positioned to coordinate and maximize our company-wide resources and approach the burgeoning interactive gaming business as a long-term strategy."

"Historically, gaming for the Studio has been licensing driven," said Romanelli. "We have developed relationships with the best interactive gaming partners in the world and, together, we have taken the license model to new levels with the blockbuster successes of 'Harry Potter' and 'Enter the Matrix.' We now have the opportunity to broaden our point-of-view, diversify our business approach, bring added value to our partners that will increase our mutual successes and with Warner Bros. Games create a brand with consumers in the gaming world that is synonymous with the excellence behind the Warner Bros. Shield."

Hall joins WBIE from premier game developer Monolith Productions, Inc., a company that he co-founded in 1994 and served as its Chief Executive Officer. Focused on independent, multi-million dollar AAA game development, Monolith established itself as a leader in its field and has been working with Warner Bros. Studios on the development of the massively multiplayer online video game (MMPG) based on the hugely successful "The Matrix" franchise.

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