If corporate shakeups are a measure of executive interest, then Hollywood must be very excited about videogames.
Last week, three big media companies appointed execs to head new or expanding interactive units, signaling a desire to take a bigger stake of the $10 billion-and-growing market.
Vivendi U is attempting to infuse new life into its struggling VU Games division by appointing Bruce Hack as its new CEO. Hack played a key role in the sale of Viv’s film and TV assets to NBC last year, fueling rumors he would attempt to sell VU Games, as its parent unsuccessfully tried to do last year. But Hack insists he’s there to stay and that Vivendi will use cash from the NBC sale to grow the game biz.
Despite the upcoming separation from its sister studio, VU Games will actually benefit from the NBC merger, as its first-look deal with Universal Pictures will extend to the Peacock net as well.
Warner Bros., meanwhile, has created Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and brought in Jason Hall, previously CEO of developer Monolith Entertainment, to head it. He’s charged with getting the studio more intimately involved with the development of games based on Warners’ many properties.
Comicbook publisher Marvel Enterprises also joined the fray, Ames Kirshen to head vidgame development; he held a similar position at DC Comics. Kirshen will guide game adaptations of “Spider-Man 2” and “Iron Man” and try to sell new titles, including some outside the world of superheroes.