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EA at the Movies

army-of-two-pstr-sm.jpgUbisoft CEO  Yves Guillemot said in July that he thought “the future of [the gaming] industry depends on [studios] ability to create brands that captivate audiences and to extend those brands to other forms of entertainment.”  He’s not alone in that view.  With common visual techniques, shared audience demographics and similar story telling narratives the convergence of gaming and movie making is an increasingly common theme.  That’s especially apparent at Electronic Arts.

In July, to hasten development of Hollywood relationships, EA signed a deal with talent agency United Artists.  At the end of September, EA signed a game development deal with the 300’s director,  Zack Snyder.  Now, EA is moving ahead with a film deal built around their mercenary themed title, Army of Two.

Announced earlier this week, Universal Pictures has partnered with EA to take the film into production at some point in 2009.

Screenwriter Scott Burns, who co-wrote the Bourne Ultimatum (and produced An Inconvenient Truth), has signed on to write the script.   Scott Stuber, former vice chairman of Worldwide Production for Universal Pictures and now a Universal contracted producer, will produce. 

The game, which was released in March and already has a sequel in development, has generated more than $100m in revenue according to EA.

In addition to Army of Two, EA is also working on developing a movie built around the popular Sims game franchise.  20th Century Fox is overseeing that project.   An animated movie from Starz/Film Roman based on the new horror game, Dead Space, releases on DVD Tuesday.

In other movie and film convergence news….
Variety is reporting Legendary Pictures (Batman Begins, 300, Dark Knight) is in negotiations to purchase Epic Games.  There is, as yet, no confirmation but the two companies are already working together to make a Gears of War movie.

More on the increasingly frequent overlap between films and games be found in past Metue profiles here and  here.

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Gaming and Movie Convergence: a retrospective timeline
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