'World' first up in MGM's multiyear deal

MGM Interactive and Danjaq have tapped Electronic Arts to create vidgames based on “The World Is Not Enough” and other Bond adventures for the PC and console gaming markets.

Under the exclusive multiyear licensing deal, Electronic Arts will develop, publish and distribute a series of vidgames based on the James Bond character. EA will release multiple Bond-inspired titles, with the first to bow next year, and based on the latest pic.

“The Bond license is the longest running and most successful to date,” MGM Interactive prexy David Bishop said. “And we are confident that combining the talent and passion between all parties will result in a line of top-quality interactive entertainment titles that stays true to the Bond world.”

The deal comes as a surprise, considering Electronic Arts was late in delivering its “Tomorrow Never Dies” title for the Sony PlayStation. It was originally skedded to hit the market last summer, but bowed in November.

There is no word whether EA will produce titles for Nintendo N64 or its future Dolphin system. If so, that means Nintendo-owned Rare Ltd. loses out to produce a sequel to its phenomenally popular “GoldenEye” title for the N64. Nintendo declined to comment.

“The same attributes that have contributed to making James Bond a movie legend will translate naturally into making him a valuable long-term videogame franchise,” said Frank Gibeau, veep of marketing for EA. Electronic Arts, based in Redwood City, is one of the largest vidgame creators, posting revenues of $1.2 billion in 1999.

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