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D3Publisher takes over from THQ for DreamWorks tie-ins
D3Publisher takes over from THQ for DreamWorks tie-ins
February 7, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

February 7, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
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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.


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Comments


Jeff Murray
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Perhaps if 95% of tie-ins weren't half-assed platformer beat-em'-ups, the world would actually want to buy these things again. You only need to buy two or three tie-ins and you have almost the entire repertoire of game design for the whole lot.

Joe McGinn
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Don't think so Jeff, the days of licensed kids console games selling are over. Even good, high-rated one have trouble breaking even.

Evan Skolnick
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It's possible to make good licensed games, and they are out there, though there's admittedly a lot more chaff than wheat.



I'll always be proud of my involvement with Over the Hedge for DS, IGN's 2006 winner for "Best Game No One Played". Best part of receiving that dubious honor was that plenty of people actually did buy and play it. :-)

Joe McGinn
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Oh absolutely, look at Capcom - they are making loads of money with kids licensed games like Smurf Village for example. What's dead is the idea of making money with them on game consoles.



2006 was a *long* time ago ... even on dedicated handhelds now the market is more like the Wii. Only the top-quality games like Mario Kart sell. No one's going to make money off a Dora the Explorer game on the 3DS or any other dedicated game console. But that doesn't mean there isn't money to be made, it just requires more imagination than THQ has.


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