A couple weeks back Hasbro worked a deal to buy back their casual game licences from Atari, leaving me wondering what big plans they had in store for their classic board game titles like Scrabble, Monopoly, and Yahtzee. Well now we know. Hasbro has now entered into a licensing agreement with EA, granting them the exclusive rights to develop titles based on several of the company’s intellectual properties for consoles, mobile, handheld and PC platforms. Not limited to board games, the agreement also includes popular children’s properties like Nerf, Tonka, and the Littlest Pet Shop.
“Our toy and game brands have been family-favourites for decades, and aligning ourselves with EA will result in broadening the reach of our brands through the ‘re-imagining’ of these beloved entertainment icons in all key digital categories,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s Chief Operating Officer.
There’s a scary word. Re-imagining. “What if the Monopoly pieces had guns?” No re-imagining please!
EA and Hasbro Partner to Bring Casual Games to Global Audience
New Relationship Unites Two Powerhouse Entertainment Companies and Classic Brands to Create New Interactive Experiences
CHERTSEY, UK – August 10th, 2007 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS) today announced a strategic licensing agreement that will bring together two of the most powerful entertainment companies in an alliance which promises to transform the interactive family entertainment landscape. The strategic relationship grants EA the exclusive worldwide rights to create digital games based upon a huge array of Hasbro’s intellectual properties, including Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Nerf, Tonka and Littlest Pet Shop, to name a few. Inspired by these classic board games and toys, EA will develop interactive experiences for a mass audience to play across key platforms including mobile, online, handheld, PC and consoles. The first games are scheduled to launch in calendar year 2008.
“The gaming market has never been more primed for a revolution in how families enjoy games,” said Kathy Vrabeck, President, EA Casual Entertainment Label. “Hasbro is the ideal partner to help propel this change. Their games define fun. These are games that we all love and remember from our childhoods. The combination of EA’s market leadership in the interactive space and Hasbro’s timeless franchises is a perfect partnership for today’s market. Together EA and Hasbro can create the next generation of fun for a new wave of kids and families.”
“Our toy and game brands have been family-favourites for decades, and aligning ourselves with EA will result in broadening the reach of our brands through the ‘re-imagining’ of these beloved entertainment icons in all key digital categories,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s Chief Operating Officer. “Through the years, EA has proven themselves time and again as an incredibly creative company that delivers amazing content across multiple brands. We are thrilled to work with EA in bringing our brands to the next level in the digital world.” EA veteran Chip Lange will lead the overall Hasbro business initiative as VP and General Manager. Hasbro Senior Vice President Mark Blecher will head up Hasbro’s digital gaming initiatives.
As part of the agreement, Hasbro will obtain certain rights to bring select EA franchises to toys and traditional games extending EA’s brand footprint, and bringing Hasbro’s expertise to EA’s interactive properties. The relationship also allows EA and Hasbro the opportunity to unlock exciting new creative opportunities and game concepts for some of Hasbro’s classic franchises.
The initial term of the strategic relationship runs through December 31, 2013, and may be extended for an additional four years subject to certain conditions, including achievement of specified performance metrics. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In addition, EA does not expect the agreement to impact its second quarter and full year fiscal 2008 financial guidance as provided on August 1, 2007.
The EA Casual Entertainment Label is focused on creating and delivering compelling casual entertainment experiences for a mass audience. Designed with simple rules and an engaging game design, these games are easy for a new player to learn but difficult to master. EA’s casual games portfolio include such titles as Boogieâ„¢ for the Wiiâ„¢, TetrisÂ® for mobile phones and the online gaming destination Pogo.comâ„¢.