Popular broadcaster MTV is set to make a drive into the videogames market with a pair of new initiatives, including the launch of a new MTV Games division and a three-game partnership with Midway on marketing and soundtracks.
MTV Games, like the MTV Films division which was launched eight years ago, is aimed at both in-house production of new franchises and brands, and at working with partners from across the videogames industry.
According to an official statement from the company, the MTV Games division will be "developing, producing and promoting unique and creative gaming experiences that resonate with MTV's audience."
"In 1996 we launched MTV films with the hopes of discovering some risky and bold stories to tell," explained the president of MTV Networks' Music / Logo / Films Group, Van Toffler.
"Nine years later, I'm ecstatic about what we have accomplished, and today we launch MTV Games with a similar objective - incubating breakthrough gaming concepts that embrace risk-taking, and push the boundaries of interactive entertainment," he concluded.
Although it's not happening under the auspices of MTV Games, another gaming initative was also announced by the company yesterday - an alliance with publisher Midway, which will see collaboration on marketing, in-game advertising and soundtracks for three forthcoming games.
The first title to be covered by the deal - and the only one to be named so far - is LA Rush, which is due out towards the end of this year and will now be branded by the MTV show Pimp My Ride, as well as sporting a soundtrack featuring 20 popular artists.
The move into gaming is an important one for MTV, and not just because of the growing popularity and cultural relevance of the medium, especially among young people.
Market research has also identified a vast segment of the young male demographic - the late teens and early twenties, particularly - who have been labelled by the TV industry as "The Lost Boys" as they are no longer turning to television as their primary source of entertainment. Many of them aren't watching television for the simple reason that they're playing videogames instead.
Games are also increasingly relevant to the music industry, as former MTV executive Steve Schnur - now head of music at Electronic Arts - revealed at the Edinburgh International Games Festival last year, when he pointed out that tracks featured in the soundtracks of popular games now receive more airtime and promotion through that means than they do over any other medium.