Brash Entertainment is, make no mistake, a major new force in video game publishing, thanks to its just-announced
$400 million in funding, and a remit to produce primarily licensed video game products from movie releases, television and music properties.
Brash was co-founded by Mitch Davis and Nicholas Longano, both veterans of in-game advertising company Massive Incorporated, as well as 300 executive producer Thomas Tull and media and technology industry entrepreneur Bert Ellis.
But, let's face it - there's been an often dubious track record associated with films that make the leap to the video game format. But when Gamasutra caught up with Brash COO Nicholas Longano immediately following today's announcement, he was bullish that the publisher, which will be working with multiple third-party developers on games, can make a difference and truly make quality products based on licenses:
“We can't escape history, but having worked on games like Chronicles of Riddick
, I believe we have changed much of this perception. A game based on a movie property doesn't have to suffer from lack of quality just as the film doesn't have to be of a inferior quality itself,” Longano told Gamasutra. “There's true convergence that has come about...we're now invited into marketplace and animation studios well before hand, and we have work in place on properties well into 2010 or 2011.”
Longano evangelizes: “We felt that there is a perfect storm in the industry. Basically, we feel that movies have this enormous appeal amongst gamers, and carry a vast gamer interest. We saw an opportunity to put together a production company in bringing to market theatrical based properties.”
He also added that unlike in the earlier days of the video game industry, “...much of the film talent today grew up with video games much more now than ever before...film makers see games as an extension of their work, and have begun to give access to assets in far earlier than ever before. This is unprecedented.”
“There is movement in thinking how games can complement overall story. In general, games can become a platform as much as the film itself is a platform on the silver screen,” commented Longano.
“Now, don't misunderstand,” he added, “I don't think we have the magic solution, but rather are trying to create quality games based on these franchises. I doesn't help a movie to have a poor quality game associated with it. It's not going to kill it, but it's certainly not going to help it.”
While the executive was unwilling to talk specifics regarding the games being worked on - though games based on horror franchise Saw 3 and action game 300 were reported by Variety
as allegedly being in development - he did note that “...I think you'll see some surprises, with studios doing things a little bit differently.”
He added that the studio is not focusing on any one platform in particular, adding that “just as it is important to marry the right franchise with the right development talent...it is just as important to put it on the right platforms.”
Concluding, Longano offered, “We have really done a job of selecting the IP that we feel would translate to good game. It's purely a matter of marrying licensed properties with the studios that have the technological capabilities and the passion for it...it has to translate down the road.”