Viacom subsidiary MTV Networks today announced the creation of 345 Games, a new gaming arm which will develop games based on shows from cable networks Comedy Central and Spike TV.
Promising to partner with independent developers for some of its branded projects, 345 Games will reportedly "work in close collaboration with the networks' creative talent and will be supported by the networks' marketing, digital and publicity departments."
The new studio's announced titles include Deadliest Warrior: Legends
a follow-up to last July's surprisingly successful Deadliest Warrior
game, which was developed by Pipeworks Software and has sold nearly 400,000 copies on Xbox Live Arcade and PSN.
The follow-up will include "new fighting options, a more precise projectile system, more arenas and a new campaign mode" when it hits in mid-July.
In a Gamasutra postmortem on the game
, Deadliest Warrior
producer Jeremy Mahler said the game's reception would have been even better if not for the negative stigma associated with licensed games.
"The premise of the IP makes perfect sense for a game, yet there were countless gamers and reviewers that immediately blew this game off as garbage without picking up a controller to give it an honest go," Mahler said.
345 Games' second project, Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
is being described as a "four player co-op side scroller shooter game" based on the Comedy Central animated sitcom, due in August. Both planned titles will retail for $10 on both Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
"Comedy Central and Spike TV squarely target the video game audience," said Dan Yang, an MTV Networks senior VP and new general manager at 345 Games. "With the launch of 345 Games, we are tapping into the passionate fan base of both Comedy Central and Spike and creating an enhanced interactive experience based on our hit shows and brands."
The new studio launch represents a reinvestment in the gaming market for Viacom, which late last year sold Rock Band developer Harmonix
to strategic investment firm Columbus Nova after declining sales in the rhythm music game market.
Last July, MTV Networks purchased publishing platform Social Express
in an effort to expand an online gaming footprint that already includes over 22 million unique monthly visitors across sites like AddictingGames.com, Shockwave.com, Nick.com and Neopets.