D3Publisher has signed an agreement with DreamWorks Animation to develop games based on the movie studio's next three feature films: Madagascar 3, Rise of the Guardians, and The Croods.
The deal's announcement comes as troubled publisher THQ, which secured worldwide exclusive rights
to put out titles based on DreamWorks productions, is exiting the kids' licensed games business
to focus on "core" and digital projects.
THQ CEO Brian Farrell said pulling out of the licensed game market will help the company become "a more streamlined organization focused only on [its] strongest franchises," such as Saints Row
and Warhammer 40,000
, instead of on games tied to animated properties like SpongeBob SquarePants.
While kids games for consoles were once goldmines for publishers, they haven't been big sellers for a while now
, as evidenced by THQ's financial difficulties lately
. Some publishers have also predicted the market's collapse, like former Take-Two Interactive CEO Ben Feder, who declared in 2010 that "Licensing content is dead."
Namco Bandai subsidiary D3Publisher, which previously released a game based on DreamWorks' Flushed Away, though, has committed to developing and publishing games for three more of the studio's films, starting with Madagascar 3: The Video Game
, which releases alongside the movie in June.
DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians is slated to make its box office debut during this year's holiday season, while The Croods will release in the spring of 2013. Neither company has revealed what platforms the licensed games will appear on.