Lionsgate Entertainment has officially jumped into the video game development and publishing space. They didn't quite make it clear if they will be making any games internally, or publishing any of their own LP, but they did make it clear that they really, really want the dollar-dollar bills associated with the interactive entertainment industry.
GamesIndustry.biz picked up news about the announcement, where Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer commented about their foray into the games industry, and how they've appointed the ex-Nerdist CEO, Peter Levin, to head up the division, saying...
"Peter is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurial culture, and he is ideally qualified to lead the continued growth of our content business into the video game space and other interactive digital ventures," ... "Gaming has become one of the most explosive growth areas of the content business, and Peter's mandate will be to build a portfolio of premium digital properties as we expand our leadership in films and television programming into digital content as well."
Quite naturally, majority of gamers who caught wind of this news instantly responded with “A Hunger Games game?”
It seems like common sense, but Lionsgate is completely non-committed to any specific task in the gaming industry, which could be good or bad. They've only stated that they will look into...
"investment in existing games" and "leveraging Lionsgate's franchises and other branded properties into the gaming space."
More than likely this means more cash-in mobile titles, because usually that's exactly what that means.
This still hasn't stopped gamers from rallying around a potential Hunger Games title... and I'm not talking about a cash-in title. Gamers literally seem to want a third-person, survival-deathmatch kind of thing that carries AAA qualities and focuses on the movie's thematic survival elements. Thinking about that just keeps recalling to mind Terminator Salvation: The Game. It probably seemed like a decent idea on paper, but the lack of commitment and quality showcased Terminator Salvation as the exact kind of cash-in crap we've come to expect from movie-based or brand-based video games.
Gamespot also rattled off a few other brand ideas, including Mad Men, and Twilight. Some Reddit users suggested Lionsgate could even explore bringing Twilight to life as an interactive visual novel to cash-in good and well on the female nerd/romance audience. It seems to be working for the Japanese anime visual novels, so it may not be that bad of a route to go for Lionsgate, if they know how to cater the content to their respective demographics.
I'm just hoping they make a proper game based on The Expendables. A good Gears of War clone and I'll be happy. You want me to pay money for Arnold DLC or Mel Gibson DLC or Michael Dudikoff DLC? Sure, I'll happily pay if the game isn't grade-A crap.
Nevertheless, we have no idea what route Lionsgate will pursue. But given their ties to some previously released mobile cash-ins on their property, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the route they go as they dip their toes into the games production arena.