In anticipation of the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in LA, video game industry veterans, Ed Ventura and Sandy Ting, have announced the formation of mPlay.
The new firm will work closely with video game rights holders to identify new business opportunities, including cross platform ports and extended distribution.
Co-partners Ventura and Ting originated and managed the first full scale internal licensing and merchandising program for Microsoft and Xbox and were the key strategists behind some of the most successful licensing programs in videogame history including Halo, Fable, Age of Empires and Viva Piñata.
mPlay has already announced its first deal with Realtime Worlds, signing an exclusive licensing and merchandising agreement for APB (All Points Bulletin).
APB is the new action adventure game from creative director Dave Jones, the man behind such hits as Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2, Crackdown and Lemmings.
In addition to APB, mPlay is working to finalize representation of other game titles and will be meeting with rights holders at E3 to further those discussions.
“Anyone in the interactive entertainment industry knows how costly it is to develop a videogame let alone make it profitable,” said Ventura.
“Yet few companies realize how impactful a licensing and merchandising program can be directly to the bottom line when approached strategically and as an integral part of a game’s business plan.
Ting added: “As pervasive as videogames are in our culture, they can be complicated licensing endeavors requiring a working knowledge of both game development and licensing in order to build a viable and successful program. Selecting the right licensing opportunities is critical.
“Our understanding of how to extract and package the best creative elements of a game in a way that brings out inherent commercial value and marketability, combined with our deep experience and entrenched associations in the licensing and merchandising arena, make mPlay uniquely qualified to assist as a strategic partner.”