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THQ expands casual games portfolio

THQ is expanding its casual games portfolio through the acquisition of Elephant and a distribution deal with Oberon

THQ has announced the acquisition of the Elephant Entertainment casual and online games business in conjunction with an exclusive, worldwide retail publishing agreement with Oberon Media.

Elephant Entertainment's current president and COO, Wim Stocks, will continue to lead his company but will report to Doug Clemmer, president of THQ's ValuSoft casual games division.

THQ plans to launch more than 20 new casual and online games on multiple platforms in 2008 under the Elephant Entertainment brand name.

Through the agreement with Oberon Media, THQ plans to bring Oberon's owned and licensed content to major gaming platforms. Elephant plans to distribute Oberon's upcoming title - James Patterson's Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet - at retail this fall.

"The addition of Elephant Entertainment and our exclusive retail publishing deal with Oberon significantly expands the depth and breadth of our casual and online game offering," said Clemmer.

"These deals will allow us to expand our presence in this rapidly growing segment and deliver unique value to our retail partners through Oberon's turn-key solution to deliver online games."

THQ and Elephant Entertainment will also provide retail support for the custom online casual game communities and download platforms created by Oberon Media for select retailers.

"The casual games segment is booming and this deal with THQ will allow us to strengthen our industry positioning and bring more games to market," said Don Ryan, senior vice president of publishing, Oberon Media.

Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

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