×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

EA signs ‘Simpsons’

EArts to start vidgame series based on toon

Can a videogame be as funny as “The Simpsons?”

Electronic Arts is hoping the answer is yes as it’s signed a long-term deal with Fox and Gracie Films to make a series of games based on the long-running cartoon franchise.

Financial details weren’t available, but previous long-term deals for top franchises like James Bond have been worth tens of millions by the time they were complete.

“The Simpsons” is one of the few outside properties popular enough with the young male gamer demo to garner a long-term, lucrative deal with a vidgame publisher. It’s the only one outside the action-adventure genre, which easily translates into a game.

Others have included Bond, “Lord of the Rings” and Robert Ludlum’s spy book series.

“Simpsons” games have previously been published by a number of different vidgame publishers. While some were successful, most placed the characters in existing game genres like racing or action. Only the most recent, “Simpsons: Hit and Run,” from Vivendi Universal Games, injected some of the humor from the series.

EA has already begun work on the first game under its deal, which is being developed for next-generation consoles like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Three writers from the series will serve as consultants to EA in creating its story and bringing humor. Actors from the series are expected to lend their voices to the games.

“We think this is a great vehicle to bring humor into games, which is something we don’t do well,” said Nick Earl, general manager of EA’s Redwood Shores studio in northern California, where “Simpsons” games will be developed. “If we do it right, we hope there will be incredible equity with these characters in the videogame world.”

Fox and Gracie have been talking to vidgame publishers for more than a year. Several were interested before EA landed the license.

“In every respect, this is bigger and more substantial than past (‘Simpsons’ videogame) deals,” noted Elie Dekel, exec VP of licensing for Fox.

EA on Tuesday reported a decline in profits and revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30. No. 1 vidgame publisher made $51 million in net income on $675 million in revenue, down 47% and 6%, respectively, from a year ago.

Company has had a tough year, with slowing sales and the delay of one of its top games, an adaptation of “The Godfather,” from the holidays to early 2006.

Earnings were slightly better than Wall Streeters expected, though, and EA stock closed up 7.96% at $60.23 on Wednesday.

More TV

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content