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Electronic Arts To Publish Double Fine's Brutal Legend

Electronic Arts has stepped in as the publisher of Double Fine Productions’ Brütal Legend, after the game was dropped by original publisher Vivendi Games following the company’s merger with Activision. It’s now due for release in autumn 2009.
Electronic Arts has stepped in as the publisher of Double Fine Productions’ Brütal Legend, after the game was dropped by original publisher Vivendi Games following the company’s merger with Activision. Brütal Legend is the next game from ex-LucasArts veteran Tim Schafer, whose first game as president and founder of Double Fine was the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Psychonauts. The title is a rock music-themed third person action game, starring Jack Black in the role of roadie Eddie Riggs. The game is due for release in autumn 2009 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. "This is awesome news!" says Schafer. "The quality and creativity of the games EA Partners has been involved with make it a perfect home for our baby, Brütal Legend. Some people were starting to wonder if the saga of Eddie Riggs would ever see the light of day, but now I think it’s clear that this game, like Metal itself, cannot be killed!" When asked about the game earlier this year, EA CEO John Riccitiello told Gamasutra that it is a very significant creative risk." This move on the part of EA seems to demonstrate that the company won't eliminate all titles it views as risky from its portfolio, even as it scales back titles from 2009's lineup to focus on hits and improve profitability. Although Activision Blizzard chose to continue publishing Sierra-branded franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and The Legend of Spyro, it infamously dropped 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Ghostbusters: The Game, Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Brütal Legend. Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick later explained the decision by claiming that the franchises in question didn’t "have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform, with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of, over time, becoming $100 million-plus franchises". The new 50 Cent game has subsequently been picked up by THQ, with Atari now due to publish both Ghostbusters and Chronicles of Riddick. "Brütal Legend is shaping up to be a creative tour de force," says David DeMartini, senior vice president and general manager of EA Partners. "At EAP, we are deeply committed to giving the industry’s elite independent developers a platform to launch their creations to a worldwide audience."

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