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Interview: 505 Games Merges Fashion Week and Video Games

Video games in Vogue magazine? With a new multiplatform, multi-title contract with global entertainment company IMG, 505 Games sees room for synergies -- 505 president Adam Kline explains.
The world of high fashion and the video game space don't immediately seem to be a natural correlation -- but with a new multiplatform, multi-title contract with global entertainment company IMG, 505 Games sees room for synergy. The games, which start rolling out in 2010, will be based on a concept by renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath and fashion expert Noel Gordon, and will tie into the global Fashion Week event and brand. 505 Games president Adam Kline says that changing audience demographics -- he notes the transformative Wii and celebs like Nicole Kidman and Beyonce shilling for the DS -- means the market for games based on a renowned fashion brand is huge. Days of associating the console market with a young male audience versus the PC market for an adult female audience are over, says Kline -- it's doubtful, he says, that Wii Fit sold out because of men. "It's becoming very close to becoming not just 70-30 but 60-40...within a matter of a couple years, it's going to be 50-50," Kline tells Gamasutra. "And certainly... it's gonig to be fashion games... weight management, nutrition." "We made a long term, exclusive arrangemeent to be involved with Fashion Week," he says. "And it doesn't just mean the game itself... there's Fashion Week all over the globe and we'll be there, every place." Picture video games in the likes of Vogue magazine and Harper's Bazaar, says Kline. He hopes the games will offer, for example, young girls the opportunity to feel closer to the fashion industry by having experts associated with the titles. "We're going to have an online game where we'll have designers from around the world creating things online that may or not be sold in the real world, and you can buy it as a virtual good," Kline says, for example. And users who can create and sell their own fashion items alongside expert-created ones will be at least entertained, if not inspired, he adds. The online game will join other planned Fashion Week tie-ins for console, PC and iPhone. IMG owns not only an eponymous major modeling agency, but also the Fashion Week show portfolio, which comprises events around the globe "from New York to Miami and from Moscow to Mumbai." The company already serves fashion content across multiple platforms including online, iPods and mobile devices. "By combining IMG Fashion's experience, expertise and relationships in this space with 505 Games' abilities, I'm sure we will all soon become video game fashionistas," says IMG fashion senior VP Fern Mallis in a statement.

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