Legendary topper exits videogame publisher
Thomas Tull is Brash no more.The Legendary Pictures topper has resigned from the board of Brash Entertainment, the videogame publisher he co-founded last year after helping to raise $400 million in private equity funding. Tull is believed to have been disappointed with the quality of Brash’s games, as well as the company’s strategic direction. He wasn’t available to comment. A Brash rep declined to comment. It’s not clear exactly what changes Tull wanted at the publisher, though possibilities include a stronger focus on quality, even if that meant delaying releases, and abandoning its exclusive focus on licenses. His departure comes as a surprise, since he’s known to be a vidgame fan and he expressed great enthusiasm for the prospects of a private equity-funded videogame publisher when Brash launched in spring 2007. Legendary is working on film versions of videogames “Gears of War,” with New Line, and “World of Warcraft.” It’s the second sign of internal turmoil at Brash this year. In May, president and co-founder Nicholas Longano unexpectedly ankled. Brash is unique not only in its use of private equity financing but also its focus exclusively on Hollywood licenses, which it was able to obtain in part due to the connections of execs like Tull and chief creative officer Larry Shapiro, a former CAA agent. Initially, Brash had Warner Bros. distribute all its games, though it now handles distribution itself in North America and only partners with WB in Europe. Publisher’s first three games, “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Jumper” and “Space Chimps,” were all made on short production schedules and received largely negative reviews. “Jumper” sold quite poorly, and “Space Chimps” is believed to have achieved similar results, though “Alvin” performed decently. Upcoming licensed games in development include one based on the Six Flags theme parks, “The Tale of Despereaux,” “Saw,” “300” and, according to sources, “Night at the Museum 2,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Clash of the Titans.” Other Brash co-founders and board members include Atlanta businessman Bert Ellis and CEO Mitch Davis. Tull retains a significant investment in the company.