Endemol USA goes gaming online

First Web titles to be based on TV gameshows

Endemol USA is getting into the vidgame biz.

Production company has started a division focused on casual games for the Web. Its first titles will be based on TV gameshows “Deal or No Deal” and “1 vs. 100.”

Eric LaVanchy, former head of gaming site Ritz Club London Online and VP of creative development at advergaming firm Bottle Rocket, has been named Endemol’s director of gaming. He reports to senior VP digital media and branded entertainment Jon Vlassopulos.

There have already been numerous licensed games based on Endemol properties, but the company held onto Web-based gaming rights for “Deal” and “100” to assign to its new unit. LaVanchy’s team will create downloadable games based on the shows and look to sign digital distribution deals with Web portals and game services like Xbox Live.

“Our view is that TV and videogames are coming closer and closer together, and the casual games group will be right in that sweet spot,” Vlassopulos said.

Going forward, Endemol plans to continue licensing some of its titles to other publishers, but to hold onto Web gaming rights for properties it can produce inhouse. It will also look for ideas it can develop first as vidgames and then potentially translate into TV shows.

Though the casual games unit is part of Endemol USA, titles likely will be distributed overseas as well.

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