×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lionsgate Invests in Videogame Publisher Telltale Games as Company Expands Beyond Films, TV

As it looks to expand beyond its core business of making movies and television shows, Lionsgate has invested in Telltale Games, the developer of games based on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Lionsgate declined to disclose the size of the investment other than to say it was “significant.” The figure is said to be around $40 million, according to sources familiar with the deal, Variety has learned.

The move by Lionsgate is certainly a significant one, and gives the company behind “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” franchises, a major stake in a well-respected and successful gamemaker after having only just formed a games group in April 2014, under the leadership of Peter Levin, a digital entrepreneur who had sold Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries to Legendary Entertainment.

Since then, he’s moved Lionsgate primarily into the mobile games space, and scored with titles based on “Hunger Games” and “John Wick.”

But with Telltale, Lionsgate’s backing will enable the company to develop new games, and work with Lionsgate to co-develop titles that can be turned into movies and TV shows.

As part of the deal, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer will join Telltale’s board of directors.

“Our partnership with Kevin Bruner and his team at Telltale continues to accelerate our momentum in the game space,” said Levin, who serves as Lionsgate’s president of Lionsgate’s Interactive Ventures & Games. “The convergence between premium filmed entertainment brands and original game properties is a natural direction in which to continue diversifying our content business, and Telltale is the perfect partner with whom to explore this dynamic area of growth.”

Telltale’s “Walking Dead” game broke out as a hit selling 8.5 million copies, and introduced a unique episodic storytelling structure in its gameplay, rolling out as episodes, a format that’s now been used for the company’s sequels, but also a new game based on “Game of Thrones,” and other releases.

It’s also behind “The Wolf Among Us,” an episodic interactive graphic adventure based on Bill Willingham’s “Fables” comicbook, and “Tales from the Borderlands,” Telltale’s adaptation of Gearbox Software and 2K Games title.

“Telltale is one of the premier storytellers in the gaming world today,” Feltheimer said. “Their leadership in narrative-driven episodic games, together with our investment and the potential opportunities created by our premium content expertise, will continue to strengthen their ability to offer exciting new avenues of storytelling to their next generation audiences across a broad range of platforms.”

“Lionsgate is one of the most innovative, entrepreneurial and impressive content companies in the world today,” said Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner. “I’m delighted to welcome an experienced executive like Jon, a leader who shares our unique vision, to our board. Lionsgate has a great track record in developing and marketing feature films as well as platform-defining premium scripted television. This partnership will accelerate Telltale’s ability to create not only original games, but episodic television series based on our game properties – an area at the cutting edge of industry growth.”

More Biz

  • Jussie Smollett

    Brothers Accused of Jussie Smollett Attack Sue His Attorneys for Defamation

    The two brothers who allegedly participated in a staged hate attack on Jussie Smollett have filed a defamation suit against Smollett’s lawyers, accusing the attorneys of smearing their reputations in a bid to salvage Smollett’s image. Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo filed suit in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday. The suit alleges that Smollett’s attorneys [...]

  • Sylvia Rhone

    Sylvia Rhone Promoted to Chairman & CEO of Epic Records

    Sony Music Entertainment today announced the promotion of Sylvia Rhone to Chairman and CEO of Epic Records. According to the announcement, in this role, Rhone will report to Rob Stringer, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment. She will lead the overall creative direction and management of Epic Records, overseeing a roster of chart-topping artists including Camila Cabello, [...]

  • silicon valleywood Wanda Sykes

    Silicon Valleywood Confab Will Mine Maximum Data Strategies

    As Apple’s recent star-studded event for its new TV streaming service demonstrated, the worlds of entertainment and technology are becoming increasingly intertwined — a convergence Variety will explore during its inaugural Silicon Valleywood Summit on April 23 in Menlo Park. Entertainment leaders will join tech giants on the latter industry’s home turf to discuss how [...]

  • Beyonce Lemonade HBO

    Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ Is Finally Available on Spotify and Apple Music

    As exclusively revealed by Variety last week, Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ album — which had been exclusively available for streaming on Tidal — is now available across all major streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music. Upon its release in 2016, sources close to the singer said that the album would be a Tidal exclusive “in perpetuity,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content