THQ will handle all interactive Nickelodeon properties through 2005 across all platforms.
THQ and Nickelodeon announced today that their current licensing agreement has been expanded to include every Nickelodeon property and extended through 2005. In addition, the two companies are developing a new strategy called "videogame first", in which THQ will develop and publish a game specifically designed to help launch a TV and/or movie property later. In other words, Nickelodeon will provide a concept to THQ, THQ will release a game based on that concept, and Nickelodeon will follow up the game with a TV series or movie based on that game. It's like the usual licensing situation thrown into reverse. Here's the full press release for those interested:
Exclusive Worldwide Agreement Includes All Existing and Future
Individual Properties On Every Game System Through 2005
CALABASAS HILLS, CA - February 13, 2002 – Nickelodeon today named THQ Inc. (NASDAQ NMS: THQI) master interactive licensee for several of Nickelodeon leading properties. THQ now holds exclusive, worldwide interactive rights to publish games based on all existing and future individual Nickelodeon animated TV and movie properties targeting kids ages 6-11 on every game system through 2005. Game systems include those manufactured by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, as well as PC.
“As the fastest growing category in all of entertainment, interactive is a very important segment of Nickelodeon’s consumer product business,” stated Leigh Anne Brodsky, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “Our ongoing success working with THQ over the past four years has proven that their game development expertise and global marketing and distribution force are unparalleled in the interactive space. We look forward to creating an even greater presence for Nickelodeon in the interactive market through this new deal.”
“Our master deal allows us to expand the Nickelodeon interactive business with strategic brand management and greater promotional and marketing support through Nickelodeon’s multi-media network,” stated Jeff Lapin, Vice Chairman and COO, THQ. “We are delighted to be entering this exceptional relationship during a period of tremendous growth for the category.”
THQ and Nickelodeon broke into the kids gaming market in 1998 with their first Rugrats releases for Game Boy, PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Today, total Nickelodeon-licensed videogame sales exceed $250 million at retail worldwide. The companies have approximately 20 games in development for release in 2002 across nearly every game system. Their “videogame first” agreement is the first of its kind, combining the creative and marketing expertise of both companies to develop a property for initial release in the interactive space with the express intent of bringing the property to TV and movie.
For more information about upcoming THQ and Nickelodeon projects and other THQ initiatives, please visit www.thq.com.