Warner, Tull team up on videogames

Duo take on Brash Entertainment

Legendary Pictures topper Thomas Tull and Warner Bros. are teaming in the vidgame biz.

Tull and co-founder Bert Ellis are close to raising well over $150 million for a videogame publishing venture dubbed Brash Entertainment.

Warner Bros. will be the exclusive distributor for all games Brash publishes.

Venture will be led by CEO Mitch Davis and prexy Nicholas Longano. They formerly headed in-game advertising company Massive, which Microsoft bought last year.

Tull was an investor in Massive, as was Ellis, an Atlanta-based financier. Both are significant investors in Brash and will sit on its board.

Details on Brash are still limited, as the company revealed only some facts Monday following a story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle based on an interview with Ellis.

Article indicated, and sources wouldn’t deny, that Brash is talking to Warner Bros. about doing a videogame based on “300.” Warner Bros. did release a “300” game for the PlayStation Portable, but after the pic’s huge success with the young male gamer demo, the studio would surely love to see a bigger, higher-profile vidgame for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PC.

It’s not clear yet if Warner Bros. will invest in Brash or only provide distribution services. Studio already distributes videogames in North America for British publishers Eidos and Codemasters, as well as its own Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, through its homevideo operation.

Unlike in film, private equity money is just starting to find its way into the vidgame biz, and Brash could immediately establish itself as one of the biggest players in the space, particularly if it makes any games based on WB properties.

Brash, which would likely work entirely with independent developers, would be the only major publisher to operate entirely with private money. All big American game publishers are public companies.

Brash is expected to close its initial funding and announce more details in the next few weeks, including how many games it will make.

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