Officials from THQ and Marvel Entertainment have announced that the two companies have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to create games based on the child focused Marvel Super Hero Squad franchise.
The multi-year agreement grants THQ the exclusive worldwide rights to publish content for all current and next-generation consoles, handheld systems, and the PC. The first game resulting from the agreement is scheduled to appear in autumn 2009.
The franchise began as an action figure line of two-inch-high toys created by Hasbro, featuring stylized versions of various Marvel Comic superheroes and villains. The designs are similar to the Japanese concept of "super deformed" caricatures, with an animated series and accompanying comic book also planned for 2009.
In keeping with many video games publishers, THQ has previously worked with Marvel on previous titles, most recently the mature-rated The Punisher
. This latest licensing deal follows disappointing new financial results
and what president and CEO Brian Farrell described as a "very tough year".
"Marvel is one of the true crown jewels in the entertainment industry and we are thrilled at the prospect of both building the Marvel Super Hero Squad brand and further developing our relationship with Marvel," said Farrell. "We are dedicated to expanding our unmatched success story in the kids space and this agreement with Marvel is an excellent complement to our portfolio."
Simon Phillips, president of Marvel International and head of worldwide animation and video games, added: "Licensing of the Marvel Super Hero Squad brand is a priority for Marvel, as we see it as a great entry point for kids to experience our renowned characters. We are making a strong commitment to the brand across toys, television and other media and consumer product channels and developing Marvel Super Hero Squad as a video game will play an important role in the development of this brand.
"The platform is an incredibly powerful medium that enables kids to experience the excitement of our franchises, as well as extend our characters and storylines. With THQ, we are confident we have a partner with a best in class pedigree of building and extending licensed kid-friendly brands in the interactive space," he added.