Officials from Electronic Arts have announced that the company has signed a long term deal with 20th Century Fox Television and Gracie Films that grants Electronic Arts development rights to multiple video game titles based on animated TV series The Simpsons.
The rights to produce games video games based on The Simpsons previously resided with Vivendi, who have had some critical and particularly commercial success with titles such as The Simpsons: Road Rage and particularly The Simpsons: Hit & Run. In fact, so successful has the latter been that it is somewhat surprising that the license owners have decided to end the relationship with Vivendi, suggesting that the undisclosed terms of the deal were highly competitive.
The first game to result from the new deal will be launched on the next generation consoles, although no launch date has been announced. It will be developed by Electronic Arts' Redwood Shores Studio, who are currently responsible for From Russia With Love, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, The Lord of The Rings: Tactics, The Godfather and The Sims games.
"This is a great opportunity for our talented development team to collaborate with the brilliant minds of The Simpsons to bring original Simpsons material to videogame fans," said Nick Earl, vice president and general manager, EA Redwood Shores Studio. "This is something EA's been interested in for years and now game development and technology is at a place where The Simpsons characters and world will really come alive in these games."
The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks, speaking on behalf of Gracie Films, stated, "I think this is a great opportunity for us, primarily because it brings with it the possibility of free EA games."