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MTV Launches MTV Games Division, Talks Plans

MTV Launches MTV Games Division, Talks Plans

June 27, 2005 | By Simon Carless

June 27, 2005 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

In relation to today's earlier announcement of a strategic partnership with Midway, MTV has announced the forming of its MTV Games division, with EVP Jeff Yapp commenting to Gamasutra about his plans for the new subsidiary.

The company plans the division, which is based in New York, to "incubate original game franchises in partnership with independent game developers", as well as forge strategic marketing partnerships with publishers, with the Midway deal being an example of this.

MTV Games also intends to take and move game concepts into larger entertainment franchises that have the potential to transition into television, film and more, also helping the company take closer control of its existing licenses to ensure higher quality results from externally-created, licensed games.

Gamasutra spoke further to Jeff Yapp, EVP of MTV Networks Music and Logo Enterprise Group, about the creation of MTV Games.

He explained that MTV Games will work as a bridging producer, helping to fund independent developers to make console games, and then partnering with existing publishers to bring those games to market. "The model has pre-existed on the TV front and the movie front", Yap commented, pointing to similarly-structured successes with both MTV itself and the company's MTV Films division as a reason for starting up MTV Games.

Yap also confirmed: "We're very focused on console", indicating that he was keen to see MTV Games work with independent developers to create original IP titles, which MTV would then be in a position to partner with a publisher to release: he agreed that this middleman approach was "a different kind of model" for games, but commented that MTV "is great at establishing a deep relationship with our audience", and indicated that the combination of cross-promotion and market knowledge would help differentiate the endeavor.

Jamie Leece, formerly president of Take-Two subsidiary Gotham Games, has been hired as executive producer to work with these independent developers. Marc Nesbitt, senior producer of MTV Games will oversee all project production and creative.

Nonetheless, with other media companies such as Warner Brothers and Disney making strides into the video game market, MTV's increased interest can be seen as that of another major player keen to apply its marketing and IP creation smarts to the game market.

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