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More news about Vivendi… looks like they might keep the game division now?
Vivendi Signs Tie-Up with Game Developer Radical
Tue February 10, 2004 12:23 PM ET
By Ben Berkowitz
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The video game arm of Vivendi Universal, redoubling its production efforts under a new management team, on Tuesday said it had signed an exclusive deal with developers Radical Entertainment that includes the right to buy the privately held firm.
Vivendi Universal Games said Radical would develop six multi-platform titles based on new and existing franchises. It will have the right to buy Radical at any time during the deal.
Radical most recently developed “The Simpsons: Hit & Run” for VU Games; that title was released last September and has sold nearly 2 million units.
Radical, founded in 1991, has more than 200 employees and is best known for sports and action games.
In mid-January, Vivendi, which had been seeking to sell its video game arm, brought in a new management team to the unit, installing Bruce Hack as chief executive. Hack, formerly vice chairman of Universal Music, was instrumental in negotiating the sale of Vivendi Universal Entertainment to NBC.
Hack has said that Vivendi is now committed to both keeping the game unit and investing in it to foster growth.
Luc Vanhal, North American president and chief operating officer for VU Games, told Reuters the Radical deal was the first sign of the company’s renewed commitment.
“We want to be successful by bringing our key development in-house,” Vanhal said. “This is for us hopefully the start of a new beginning.”
Vanhal said one of the most important elements of the deal was Radical’s four teams developing console games. Most of VU Games’ internal development is focused on the PC.
“We think this is a great partner. …we consider this an engagement prior to a marriage,” he said.
The first game under the deal, Vanhal said, is likely to be a “Hulk” sequel for 2005. All six games, he said, should be out over the next three years.