War game shows Ovitz, ‘Net synergy

The Force is with e-tailers

In its first major product deal since opening shop online last week, CheckOut.com has become one of only three e-tailers selling Force 21, a futuristic war simulation produced by Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Entertainment division, days before it hits retailers’ shelves on Friday.

The movies, music and games e-tailing venture, launched by Michael Ovitz and the Yucaipa Co.’s Richard Wolpert, said it plans to feature additional exclusive deals with game makers in the future, according to Peter Levin, chief strategic officer of CheckOut.com.

Although the deal represents a short exclusive sales window, it still signals CheckOut.com’s ability to flex its marketing muscle with clients tied to Ovitz’s Artists Management Group. Techno-author Clancy is repped by the agency.

The war game that pits the U.S. and Chinese armies against each other is available on the CheckOutGames.com site, where consumers are able to purchase the game, get a sneak peak at the product, send questions to producer John Farnsworth and read reviews.

Two more for war

Only e-tailers Babbages and EBWorld.com are also carrying the game before its official release.

“CheckOut.com is the logical next step in the rapidly expanding e-commerce field,” said Doug Littlejohns, prexy and CEO of Red Storm Entertainment. “Red Storm Entertainment is very excited to make our games available to millions of fans through this mammoth interactive one-stop-shop.”

Morrisville, N.C.,-based Red Storm has previously released popular PC gaming titles such as “Rainbow Six,” and is readying to release its sequel, “Rogue Spear.”

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