You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Viv U streamlines games

Cron to head new company

In a move that further strengthens its position as one of the largest vidgame publishers and distribs, Vivendi Universal said Wednesday it will combine the management and resources of its three separate gaming units under one roof to be called Vivendi Universal Games.

The new division will focus on the development of interactive entertainment for all gaming platforms, including the PC and vidgame consoles from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, as well as the Internet.

Based in New York, Vivendi Universal Games will merge the management and operations of the former Vivendi Universal Games division together with Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing North America and Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing Intl. The company has 1,800 staffers worldwide.

Those companies oversaw titles created by VU-owned vidgame publishers Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra Entertainment and Universal Interactive, as well as Partner Publishing Group, which manages co-publishing or distribution relationships with third-party partners including Coktel, Empire Interactive, Fox Interactive, Interplay, Knowledge Adventure, Mythic Entertainment and Simon & Schuster. Control of VU-owned online gaming venture Flipside Networks now falls under the conglom’s Internet group, which also oversees MP3.com.

Cron in charge

Kenneth Cron, who reports directly to VU Publishing chairman and CEO Agnes Touraine, will head the new company.

Cron will be responsible for advancing the division’s development of key brand franchises, while focusing on the strategic objectives of cross-platform distribution, global expansion and the development of online subscription-model content.

“By operating as a unified global entity, we strategically position ourselves to compete more effectively as one of the fastest-growing and most profitable interactive entertainment companies in the world,” Cron said.

The rest of the division’s management structure will be split along geographic lines: North America will be headed by Luc Vanhal, prexy and chief operating officer, North America. All regions outside North America will now be overseen by Christophe Ramboz, prexy and chief operating officer, international.

Additionally, Bob Marafioti, formerly executive veep and general counsel of Flipside Networks, has been tapped executive veep, general counsel and secretary of VU Games. Former Flipside executive veep of business development Frank Blot has been named executive veep, business development of VU Games. They both report to Cron.

More Digital

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

  • Google Home entryway

    NPR Has Turned 'Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me' Into a Game for Smart Speakers

    NPR has turned its popular “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” news quiz show into an interactive game for smart speakers: Owners of speakers powered by Google’s Assistant or Amazon Alexa will be able to play along to questions about the news of the week. Just like the radio show, the quiz is being hosted by [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BritBox Subscribers Hit Half a Million

    The number of subscribers to BritBox has hit 500,000, the streaming service said Thursday. The platform, launched as a collaboration between BBC Studios and ITV, is designed to offer U.S. and Canadian viewers the best of recent and classic British television content. The streaming service launched in the U.S. in March 2017 with a host of [...]

  • Andy Yeatman - Moonbug

    Andy Yeatman, Former Netflix Head of Kids Content, Lands at Startup Moonbug (EXCLUSIVE)

    Andy Yeatman has joined children’s entertainment startup Moonbug Entertainment to oversee North America operations, after he exited Netflix a little over a year ago. Moonbug, dual-headquartered in London and L.A., has set out on a mission to acquire “fun and safe” kids’ entertainment properties and develop new content and businesses based on them. Yeatman, as head [...]

  • Sony Innovation Fund Invests in Location

    Sony Invests in Geolocation Startup Used to Shoot ‘Ready Player One’

    Sony’s venture capital arm, the Sony Innovation Fund, has invested in London-based What3words, a geolocation startup that aims to provide human-readable and easily shareable names for each and every location on the planet. What3words was previously used to share locations for the production of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” and has also had cameos in [...]

  • Netflix and Amazon on Different Sides

    Netflix and Amazon Take Different Sides on Content Regulation in India

    Netflix and other leading streaming video platforms have signed an agreement to self-regulate content in the booming Indian market. But Amazon and Facebook are so far sitting out. The new “Code of Best Practices for Online Curated Content Providers,” created by the Internet and Mobile Assn. of India, has been signed by Netflix, Hotstar, Sony Liv, [...]

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean OTT Players, SK Telecom Join Forces to Compete Against Netflix

    South Korea’s three major broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS have joined forces with the country’s leading telecom firm, SK Telecom, to launch a new video streaming platform. The move is regarded as a defensive reaction against the growing influence of foreign competitors, lead by Netflix. The broadcasters already jointly own Pooq, with MBC and SBS [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content