Biz gets its game face on

Several hot titles at this year's E3 came with H'w'd ties

The vidgame industry got a taste of Hollywood as partner, competitor and protester while gathered in downtown L.A. for the annual E3 confab last week.

WB and Disney had a big presence for their own vidgame divisions. Both were showing off games based on studio properties, including Buena Vista Games’ “Chicken Little” and “Chronicles of Narnia” and WB’s “Batman Begins” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” both co-published with Electronic Arts.

The reach of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, WB’s vidgame division, extended beyond its booth in ways few attendees knew: VU Games’ “F.E.A.R.,” a military combat game, and Sega’s “Condemned,” a horror title about an FBI agent hunting a serial killer, were both made by Monolith Prods., the developer WB bought last year. Because Monolith held onto rights of those properties, Warners could extend either title into other media, like films or TV, if the games are successful.

Several of the hottest games at this year’s E3 came with strong Hollywood connections, including EA’s “The Godfather” and VU Games’ “Scarface” and “50 Cent: Bulletproof,” which will be released at the same time as Par’s 50 Cent starrer “Get Rich or Die Tryin’. ”

Attendees also got a taste of Hollywood players inside and outside of the show, albeit for very different reasons.

Inside, moguls including Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg checked out the wares and talked business with execs.

Outside, James Cromwell led a group of SAG and AFTRA members protesting the vidgame industry’s unwillingness to provide actors with residuals.

Even at E3, working with Hollywood isn’t all fun and games.

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