Digital central to NBC Universal's new games push

Licensing division targets 6-8 titles per year as it cherry picks from a catalogue of 4000 movie and TV properties

NBC Universal's renewed videogames push involves a concerted effort to reach players via digital methods, as it looks to reach the mainstream audience already well aware of its iconic TV and movie output.

Speaking to, Bill Kispert, VP of interactive, added that the company may have an enviable portfolio of over 4000 movie and TV properties, but it's cherry picking the best to take into the games space.

"We definitely have a strategy to be active and build across digital delivery platforms because we see it as an important part of the future," he said. "The digital space to us is very interesting in many regards and it applies to our strategy of being easily accessible.

"You can go online and with a couple of clicks of a mouse you can be playing a game and that's also a great way of reaching a broader audience and a mainstream audience."

The company has already announced a partnership with Bigpoint for games based on The Mummy and Battlestar Galactica, and today revealed a deal with Telltale Games for episodic games for movie blockbusters Jurassic Park and Back to the Future.

"We have a portfolio of 4000 IPs but we're being selective and filtering down the licenses we want to see in games," said Kispert. "We've spent a lot of time going through our library and filtering down the catalogue so we have a strong offering."

The company said it has a rough target of between six and eight titles released each year, and although it has specific properties in mind that it would like to see in games, it's also open to suggestions from developers should they offer creative approaches to specific IP.

"It goes both ways," offered Kispert. "If a developer has technology that we're not aware of or ideas about a certain license there's certainly the opportunity to take that further. We have that iconic IP that we want to see with iconic gameplay."

There are no plans to take the business model beyond licensing said Kispert, but NBC is offering full support to game projects, even putting developers in touch with the original teams behind its movie productions.

"For now it's a licensing business but we like to see it as 'licensing plus'," he said. "We have a producer in-house and we're bringing in as much access to the table by supplying original artwork and content, putting the developers in touch with the original creators of the IP and doing all we can to assist that development."

Telltale's Back to the Future and Jurassic Park titles are expected to debut before the end of the year. Bigpoint's Battlestar Galactica game will be shown at E3 next week.

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Latest comments (3)

Lenny Raymond Vice President, Strategy & Development, Subutai Corporation10 years ago
Nothing says "important part of the future" like having a strategic initiative driven by the licensing department!
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Private Industry 10 years ago
Cant wait for the Jurassic Park and Back to the Future game from Telltale, should be some good fun given the latest Telltale games.
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Chris Kay Senior Level Designer, Crytek10 years ago
1.21 gigawatts!

Back to the Future game would rock!
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