EA looks to branch out into TV, movies

Electronic Arts has signed United Talent Agency to rep the publisher as it turns its popular games into movies, TV shows and other forms of entertainment.

Move is part of a companywide initiative to expand the reach of its brands beyond just consoles and PCs and turn those spinoffs into additional revenue generators. Those projects would be developed alongside the games, rather than shopping the properties around after the titles have hit store shelves.

EA will make the trek to San Diego this week to show off several projects at Comic-Con.

Those include a limited-edition comicbook, to be published by DC Comics, that will be based on first-person-shooter game “Mirror’s Edge,” which bows this fall.

Book is penned by fantasy scribe Rhianna Pratchett, who wrote and designed the story for the game that takes place in a futuristic world where human communication is the most reliable way to transmit messages. Game follows Faith, who finds herself rebelling against authority when her sister is framed for murder.

EA also will distribute a comicbook for “Dead Space” at the confab. A direct-to-DVD animated feature, produced by Starz and Film Roman, will launch with the game.

UTA aims to help set up similar projects for the company based on other properties, but it will primarily focus on setting up film and TV adaptations, as well as further projects EA already has in development around town, including a movie at 20th Century Fox based on “The Sims” that John Davis is producing. It also has a “MySims” animated TV series in the works at Film Roman.

EA publishes such high-profile games as the “Madden,” “Need for Speed,” “Medal of Honor” and “Command & Conquer” franchises, as well as “Army of Two,” “Crysis” and upcoming “Spore.”

It publishes games under the EA, EA Sports, EA Sports Freestyle and Pogo monikers.

“Some of our teams have already made steps to expand our games into other forms of media like online, social networks and print publication,” said EA Entertainment veep Patrick O’Brien. “This partnership will help us take these efforts to the next level and match each of our titles with the right artists, producers and financiers.”

EA becomes UTA’s biggest vidgame client to date. It had previously set up clients with gamemakers via agents Brent Weinstein and Jonathan Epstein, as well as repped such publishers as Kuma Reality Games. It also had brokered a deal with THQ to turn its “Destroy All Humans!” property into movies and TV shows.

UTA partner Richard Klubeck said the tenpercentery views EA as “an emerging entertainment force, not just because they are a great untapped IP rights holder, but because at their core they care most about how viewers respond to their stories and creative vision.”

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