Cartoon Net plays kidvid with Midway

Toon net pacts for games

Sumner Redstone’s Midway Games has made its first foray into Hollywood licensing, signing a deal to make vidgames based on several Cartoon Network shows.

Deal calls for Midway to create games based on three of the cable net’s kids programs, “Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy,” “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” and “Dexter’s Laboratory,” as well as five skeins from its “Adult Swim” lineup.

Cartoon Network adaptations will be the first titles from Midway as it attempts to enter the lucrative market of kids’ games. Publisher previously attempted to jumpstart that process by bidding for the master license for properties from Nickelodeon but lost to competitor THQ (Daily Variety, Oct. 25).

Midway CEO David Zucker said that he hopes to make deals for more WB properties.

Many have expected Midway to forge strong ties with Viacom, since the conglom’s chairman took control of the publisher last year. But while Midway games are in development as movies at Paramount (“Area 51,” “Fear and Respect”) and Universal (“Spy Hunter”), Midway hasn’t signed deals to make any games based on Viacom properties.

Zucker said since Midway remains an independent company, he’s open to working with every studio in town as the publisher looks to add more licensed properties to its development mix, which currently consists primarily of original content.

Games based on Cartoon Network’s kid shows will be released starting late this year, while the first “Adult Swim” games are skedded for late 2006.

Midway shares closed up 3% Tuesday at $10.57.

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