Ex-Vivendi topper to lead all studios, partners

Warner Bros. has filled the long-vacant post atop its videogame operation by tapping former Vivendi Games worldwide studio topper Martin Tremblay.

As prexy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Tremblay will oversee production at the studio’s two development studios, Monolith and Traveller’s Tales; licensing to other vidgame publishers; and distribution of games for partners like Brash Entertainment and Eidos. He will report to home entertainment group topper Kevin Tsujihara.

Warner has been without a videogame topper since Jason Hall exited early last year. Veeps have run the unit’s creative, business and distribution operations since then, with Traveller’s Tales execs overseeing the British developer after WB bought it in November.

“It’s been a challenging thing to find the right person,” admitted Tsujihara. “It’s not quite like the film or distribution sides of the business that have been around for a long time and thus have a lot of executives with a lot of experience.”

Warner has been investing heavily in the videogames space recently. In addition to expanding its own slate of internally produced games, it spent a reported $200 million-plus to buy Traveller’s Tales, developer of the successful “Lego Star Wars” series, and has spent more than $100 million to buy what is now a 20% stake in “Tomb Raider” publisher Sci/Eidos (Daily Variety, April 28).

Tremblay, who officially starts in July, previously oversaw all development for Vivendi Games, which will soon be merging with Activision. His departure isn’t a surprise as most of Vivendi Games’ execs outside of “World of Warcraft” developer Blizzard aren’t expected to survive the merger, which will leave Activision management in charge of the combined company.

Before joining Vivendi in 2006, Tremblay was in charge of Ubisoft’s well-respected development studio in Montreal.

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