MTV: Music Television today announced the launch of its newest division, "MTV Games." Dedicated to developing, producing and promoting unique and creative gaming experiences that resonate with MTV's audience, MTV Games will work in-house through its newly created interactive entertainment studio, along with industry partners, to produce and market original video game titles. MTV Games will incubate original game franchises in partnership with independent game developers. In addition, the new division will forge strategic marketing partnerships with game publishers to connect with the MTV audience across multiple platforms. MTV will work closely with publishers, leveraging its unique brand and marketing capabilities to maximize the success of each MTV Games release.
"In 1996 we launched MTV Films with the hopes of discovering some risky and bold stories to tell. Nine years later, I'm ecstatic about what we have accomplished, and today we launch MTV Games with a similar objective — incubating breakthrough gaming concepts that embrace creative risk-taking, and push the boundaries of interactive entertainment," said Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music/Logo/Films Group.
"Technology, creativity and entertainment have continually adapted, expanded and melded together to create successful new industries," said Jeff Yapp, EVP, MTV Networks Music and Logo Enterprise Group. "MTV Games is an exciting new division with enormous possibilities within an ever-evolving industry. We are forging into new territory and are enthusiastic about this unique and exciting new way of working with game publishers and independent game developers."
As part of today's announcement, MTV Games unveiled a strategic relationship with Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment publisher and developer, to market, jointly sell in-game advertising, and collaborate on soundtrack development for three upcoming games. Under the deal, MTV and Midway will partner in a mutually beneficial royalty sharing structure. The first release from this partnership will be "L.A. RUSH," a high-octane, arcade racing game that allows users to fully embrace the car-tuning culture with creative design assistance from West Coast Customs, the automotive customization authority featured in the hit MTV series, "Pimp My Ride." MTV Games and Midway will announce the two other gaming titles to be released under the agreement at a later date.
MTV Games will also be a dedicated gaming laboratory and interactive studio for the creation, incubation, and development of new original game titles culturally relevant to MTV's audience. In addition, MTV will tap MTV Games as a new creative hub, extending game concepts into larger entertainment franchises that have the potential to transition into television, film and more.
In addition through strategic marketing partnerships, MTV Games will market a diverse slate of releases to core gamers and casual gamers alike, with unparalleled audience reach via broadcast platforms including MTV, MTV2, mtvU and others, online portals, wireless applications, outdoor platforms, MTV Films, and much more. MTV Games will also partner with publishers to sell in-game advertising, collaborate on game soundtrack development, and develop complementary television programming. In the coming months, MTV Games will announce additional publisher partnerships.
MTV Games is overseen by Jeff Yapp, EVP, MTV Networks Music and Logo Enterprise Group who reports to Rich Eigendorff, Chief Operating Officer of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group. Tony Calandra, Sr. Director of MTV Interactive Products, will manage the new division and Joseph Varet, Director MTV Business Development & Strategy will oversee MTV Games' business partnerships and strategic relationships. Jamie Leece (formerly President of Gotham Games, a division of Take Two) will serve as MTV Games' Executive Producer working with independent developers to identify new projects. Marc Nesbitt, Sr. Producer of MTV Games will oversee all project production and creative.