Penguin, Clancy pact

Publisher, author Storm into multimedia

The Penguin Group, the English-language publishing division of media conglomerate Pearson, has struck a deal with bestselling author Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Entertainment to market multiplayer online games for the Internet and other multimedia products.

Red Storm is a multimedia entertainment company founded last year by Clancy and 3-D multimedia creator Virtus Corp. The company is developing four retail software titles that will be distributed by Pearson subsidiary Mindscape Inc. Red Storm aims to develop games in which thousands of players anywhere in the world can play together, building their own stories and outcomes.

Yeltsin succession

The first in line, Clancy’s “Politika,” is a multiplayer Internet game about a power struggle among factions in Russia following the death of President Boris Yeltsin. Penguin’s Berkeley publishing division will publish Clancy’s novel “Politika,” which will be bundled with the interactive game. The collaborative game can be played either on its own or in conjunction with the book.

As part of the agreement, Putnam Berkley, Clancy’s longtime publisher in the U.S. and now part of Pearson’s Penguin Group, obtains the global English-language rights to two new novels that will be published in England by Penguin U.K.

The pact allows the upstart to rapidly expand its core multiplayer, online computer games business, as well as to gain international access to the global market through Pearson.

The deal was announced by Penguin Group chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, who said the partnership would “reach a huge array of new markets with new products and new media. We look forward to working with Tom Clancy, Doug Littlejohns (Red Storm prexy) and their team at Red Storm Entertainment as they realize their vision of a new kind of interactive storytelling going forward into the 21st Century.”

Storm revs up

Clancy and Virtus Corp. — a developer and producer of 3-D multimedia business applications — founded Red Storm last year. The Morrisville, N.C.-based company was established to develop multimedia entertainment products based on a core business of multiplayer online computer games.

“Putnam and I have been partners for over 12 years, and now we can be partners for the invention of a new artform,” said Clancy, founder and CEO of Red Storm. “This is the beginning of a new form of storytelling, partnering one of the world’s leading publishers and Red Storm Entertainment, a new company with a new vision.”

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