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HBO invests in Crystal

Home Box Office has taken a 10% stake in interactive entertainment company Crystal Dynamics.

“This deal will secure our position in the evolving landscape of home entertainment,” said HBO chairman Michael Fuchs.

“As we see it, Crystal Dynamics will be pioneers in this marketplace.”

HBO joins Technology Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers as equity investor in the Palo Alto-based Crystal Dynamics, which started up a year ago. The privately held company will ship its first products, two interactive games for CD-ROM, this fall.

HBO’s investment in the company follows on the heels of Strauss Zelnick, the former president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox, taking the reigns of Crystal Dynamic as its president and CEO earlier this month.

Zelnick termed the deal with HBO an opportunity for the pay cable giant to expand its franchise into the burgeoning videogame market. “What’s going on here is creative cross-pollination,” said Zelnick. “HBO is much more than a pay cable service.

Zelnick added that “HBO, along with its parent company Time Warner, realizes how quickly the media landscape is changing. HBO also has an active production wing that makes movies, as well as a division that makes programs for network TV. We both realize there will be TV shows and film projects from HBO with interactive possibilities that we can both capitalize on in the future.”

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