Warner to produce pair of downloads

With the clock ticking on the film’s release, Warner Bros. has decided to eschew the traditional console videogame tie-in and is producing a pair of downloadable games based on “Watchmen.”

The studio’s Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment unit plans to publish at least two “Watchmen” game episodes, with the first coming upon the theatrical release next March and the second around the DVD launch.

WBIE execs said that by producing shorter downloadable games, rather than a full-priced disc version, they’ll have more flexibility to produce high-quality titles on a tight production schedule of just more than a year.

“We don’t want a low-quality console game that will get lost at retail,” said WBIE senior veep of production and development Samantha Ryan. “A downloadable game allows us to deliver the experience that fans expect.”

Many movie-based vidgames are produced in a year or even less in order to hit the pic’s release date. The result is often lower-quality games that sometimes sell well thanks to high awareness but are derided by fans and reviewers.

Warner is undoubtedly hoping that the new model it’s testing with “Watchmen” will let it avoid that trap and put out high-quality games that will appeal to the large number of videogame players who are fans of the classic comicbook and will likely come out to see the film.

If successful, the studio could also produce more installments following the initial two. It may also use the downloadable videogame tie-in model for future pics.

“Watchmen,” which is being made by Danish developer Deadline Games, will feature film’s characters Rorschach and Nite Owl in an action title that’s likely to earn an M rating. It will be available to download on PCs, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

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