FASA, WizKids and 42 Entertainment founder Jordan Weisman has announced, via the website of his newest venture-backed startup Smith & Tinker, that he has licensed the 'electronic entertainment' rights to his MechWarrior, Shadowrun and Crimson Skies properties back from Microsoft.
The recently founded Smith & Tinker, named after two minor characters from the Land Of Oz books, describe themselves as "...a venture-backed company that builds intellectual property across a wide spectrum of interactive products, weaving games, toys and publishing into immersive transmedia experiences."
Weisman is a serial entrepreneur, and is best known in the video game industry for forming MechWarrior and Crimson Skies game developer FASA Interactive, sold to Microsoft in 1999 and closed down in September 2007.
But his work pioneering 'Alternate Reality Games' such as the Microsoft-backed 'The Beast' and 'ilovebees', latterly at 42 Entertainment is also notable. A recent announcement from 42 revealed that Weisman, billed as Chief Creative Advisor, will "...spin off a new company called Smith & Tinker to develop transmedia connected toys and entertainment, some of which are based upon intellectual property created by 42 Entertainment."
It is unclear as of yet what form Weisman's plans for these franchises might take. But given the transmedia nature of his recent ventures, and job advertisements asking for experts with Web 2.0 and online game expertise, online world/MMO elements to the company's projects seem likely.
The full announcement of the license, from the company's website, is as follows: "Smith & Tinker is pleased to announce that it has licensed from Microsoft the electronic entertainment rights for Mr. Weisman's previous creations of MechWarrior, Shadowrun, Crimson Skies and the other properties of the FASA catalog.
We’re not quite ready to announce our plans for each property, but please be assured that our goal is to surprise and delight old fans, while welcoming new fans to these fantastic worlds."
[Chris Dahlen also contributed to this news story.]