'300' director takes on videogames

Zack Snyder is the latest helmer to play in the videogame world.

The “300” director has signed a deal to develop three original games for Electronic Arts, the nation’s largest third-party publisher.

Pact is very similar to one made by EA with Steven Spielberg in 2005. Their first collaboration, a puzzle game for the Nintendo Wii called “Boom Blox,” was released in the spring to rave reviews but modest sales.

Like Spielberg, Snyder will work with EA’s Los Angeles studio in Playa Vista to produce his games. EA will own the intellectual properties, but under the deal the publisher may turn some or all of them into films that will be produced by Snyder’s Cruel & Unusual Films banner, which is run by the director with co-president Deborah Snyder and producer Wesley Coller.

Given the huge success of “300” with the young male auds who buy the most videogames, EA is hoping Snyder’s name and ideas will prove particularly appealing to gamers.

“Zack Snyder has a fresh and bold creative style that resonates with our core audience,” EA Games label prexy Frank Gibeau said in a statement. Snyder is joining a small group of Hollywood helmers who produce videogames that aren’t adaptation of their own films, including Spielberg, John Woo and Peter Jackson.

Warner Bros. is making two downloadable games tied to Snyder’s upcoming adaptation of “Watchmen,” while Brash Entertainment is doing one based on “300.”

Agreement fits a new focus at EA on creating fresh game properties that can be translated into multiple media. Publisher has two new original titles, “Dead Space” and “Mirror’s Edge,” coming out this fall with animation, comicbook and other tie-ins. EA’s next collaboration with Spielberg, which doesn’t yet have a release date, will be a science-fiction tale about a secret agent and an android.

Snyder’s deal was made by CAA.

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