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HIVE EXCLUSIVE: Infogrames Makes the Most of Its Catalog

5 Sep, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

French video game company Infogrames has been enjoying the strong first half of video game sales of 2001, which NPD reported is up 28% from the first half of 2000.

The No. 3 publisher for console and PC video games, Infogrames is focusing on its vast catalog of titles as it aims for the mass market with licenses like Survivor, Terminator, Mission Impossible, La Femme Nakita, Looney Tunes, Peanuts, Men in Black, Superman and the Hasbro licenses (Monopoly, Tonka, Atari), while satisfying hardcore gamers with established PC and console franchises like Civilization, Master of Orion, Test Drive and Unreal.

Infogrames has shifted the development of its mass market and family games to Beverly, Mass., former headquarters of Hasbro Interactive. The company recently moved its San Jose offices to a new building in Santa Monica to be closer to Hollywood.

This fall, the company is expected to make use of its Atari brand with certain game franchises, in an attempt to grow its North American presence.

New games shipping this fall include: Unreal Championship, NASCAR Heat 2002 and Trans World Surfing for Xbox, World of Outlaws Sprint Cars 2002, Splashdown and MX Racer for PlayStation 2, Looney Tunes Sheep Raider for PlayStation, Monopoly Tycoon, Monopoly Meets Sim City, Civilization III, Master of Orion III and a $20 Survivor PC game, which combines season one and two (with an expansion pack slated to ship next fall based on season three's "Africa").

In addition to its strong lineup of games, which includes a focus of bringing PC franchises like Monopoly and Scrabble to consoles, PDAs and portable game platforms, Infogrames will relaunch older titles at retail.

“I really want to push the rich catalog of kids games, mass market titles and core games we have as a vide ogame company,” Alissa Padia, senior v.p., corporate evolution, Infogrames. “Three years after it shipped, Railroad Tycoon is still at the top of the charts, selling at full price, $40. We just did a $1 million TV marketing campaign in June and it paid for itself.”

To continue its growth in North America, Infogrames will remain active in the licensing department. Many of its movie and TV games, including Dragon Ball Z, Men in Black 2, Mission Impossible, The Terminator and Superman, won't hit retail shelves until next year.

“We want to cooperate with Hollywood with licenses both ways,” said Padia. “If something's a great property, it should make sense in both forms of media — TV or movies and interactive. That's why we're not saying we're just a games company, we're an entertainment company.”

Infogames, which has the video game rights to the first two Terminator films, said that the first of four games in development will debut on PS2. The game will be a prequel to the first film, focusing on the battle between man and machine on a future Earth.

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