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Cult cartoon characters seek publisher

San Francisco-based entertainment agency Flashman Studios has signed a deal with Mondo Media to develop videogames based on cult animated series Happy Tree Friends.

Flashman is now working with Signatures Network, the master rights holder for the brand, to find publishers interested in developing the license for the interactive entertainment market.

The Happy Tree Friends series of animated shorts first appeared on the Internet back in 2000. Each episode follows the adventure of Cuddles, Giggles, Lumpy, Flippy, Nutty, Petunia and their friends - cute characters who inevitably find themselves in situations involving extreme violence and gore.

Since its debut the series has built up a huge following, with online episodes attracting more than 15 million views per month. The series is now shown on US videogames network G4 and MTV International and an extensive range of merchandising has been launched. Happy Tree Friends also recently entered the mobile content market with games, wallpapers and ringtones.

âHappy Tree Friends is one of the few entertainment licenses that has a truly global appeal," said Mondo Media CEO John Evershed.

"It's very visual, requiring little or no dialog and the outrageous humor is universal. We're looking forward to seeing what new unfortunate situations the Happy Tree Friends find themselves in when they reach their first videogame."

Flashman CEO Brad Young commented: "It's an almost perfect brand for videogames. The simple, cute and hugely appealing graphical style, combined with the very dark, clever humor and the cartoon violence provides a wonderful opportunity for the videogames market to tap into a huge global fan base.â

Publishers interested in finding out more about Happy Tree Friends are invited to email Young at

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Ellie Gibson: Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.