AGOURA HILLS, Calif., May 8, 2008 -- THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) announced today that they have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to create video games based on the burgeoning, kid-friendly Marvel Super Hero Squad franchise. Pursuant to the multi-year agreement, THQ has obtained the exclusive, worldwide rights to publish content for all current and next-generation consoles, handheld systems, as well as Windows PC. The initial Marvel Super Hero Squad game is scheduled for release in fall 2009.
The agreement fits perfectly in both THQ’s and Marvel’s growth strategies. For THQ, the addition of the Marvel brand further strengthens its position as the pre-eminent creator and publisher of kids video games. For Marvel, the relationship with THQ provides a premier interactive entertainment partner for its important Marvel Super Hero Squad franchise, which is designed to be an engaging introduction into the Marvel Universe for young kids.
“Marvel is one of the true crown jewels in the entertainment industry and we are thrilled at the prospect of both building the Marvel Super Hero Squad brand and further developing our relationship with Marvel,” said Brian Farrell, president and CEO, THQ. “We are dedicated to expanding our unmatched success story in the kids space and this agreement with Marvel is an excellent complement to our portfolio.”
Simon Phillips, President, Marvel International and Head of Worldwide Animation and Video Games, added, “Licensing of the Marvel Super Hero Squad brand is a priority for Marvel, as we see it as a great entry point for kids to experience our renowned characters. We are making a strong commitment to the brand across toys, television and other media and consumer product channels and developing Marvel Super Hero Squad as a video game will play an important role in the development of this brand. The platform is an incredibly powerful medium that enables kids to experience the excitement of our franchises, as well as extend our characters and storylines. With THQ, we are confident we have a partner with a best in class pedigree of building and extending licensed kid-friendly brands in the interactive space.”
An all-new Marvel brand, Marvel Super Hero Squad features an exciting, super-stylized look of the greatest Marvel Super Heroes, serving to expand the traditional Marvel audience to a core 4-10 year-old audience. Fun and humor are waiting around every corner in Marvel Super Hero Squad where popular characters including Iron-Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, The Fantastic Four, and many more are thrust into adventures in a single caricatured Super Hero City. Along the way, they will have to thwart the plans of popular Marvel villains Doctor Doom, Magneto, Iron Monger, Loki, the Abomination and countless other infamous baddies.
Marvel is launching a major multi-media campaign for the brand. Marvel Animation is currently in production on an animated television series that is expected to debut on air in 2009. Additionally, Marvel Comics is now featuring Marvel Super Hero Squad comic strips within several of its all ages books and will be introducing a dedicated Marvel Super Hero Squad comic book series in fall 2008. Marvel has already secured deals with Hasbro as master toy partner, Disguise/Cesar for dress-up and Mega Bloks for construction toys and continues to seek deals with industry leading partners to develop merchandise based on the unique look of the Marvel Super Hero Squad property.
About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios) and publishing (via Marvel Comics), with emphasis on feature films, DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit www.marvel.com.
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com and www.thqwireless.com. THQ, THQ Wireless and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.
All other trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the business of THQ Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “THQ”), including, but not limited to, expectations and projections related to the licensing agreement to develop interactive games based on Marvel Super Hero Squad, and are based upon management’s current beliefs and certain assumptions made by management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, business, competitive, economic, legal, political and technological factors affecting our industry, operations, markets, products or pricing. Readers should carefully review the risk factors and the information that could materially affect THQ’s financial results, described in other documents that THQ files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended March 31, 2007, and particularly the discussion of risk factors set forth therein. Unless otherwise required by law, THQ disclaims any obligation to update its view on any such risks or uncertainties or to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.