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Video Games Drive Licensing Income At Marvel

Marvel Entertainment's licensing segment generated over half of the company's operating income in fiscal Q1, thanks in part to strong performance from licensed games.
Marvel Entertainment's licensing segment generated over half of the company's operating income in fiscal Q1, thanks in part to strong performance from licensed games. The company said today its licensing segment generated operating income of $58.9 million for the quarter ended March 31. Total operating income for the period was $73.6 million. Meanwhile, sales for the licensing segment were $80.8 million, compared to overall Marvel net sales of $197 million. Marvel attributed the higher-than-anticipated net sales within the licensing segment to "strength in interactive games and royalties from better than anticipated worldwide licensee sales." Although sales were above expectations for the licensing segment, they were down year-on-year for the quarter, partly due to a tough comp against a Spider-Man feature film merchandising deal with Sony last year. In the years ahead, Marvel isn't letting up on its interactive entertainment licensing. Below are the video games that Marvel said are currently in the pipeline. Note the tentative date for the recently-announced digital re-release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: (Scheduled release dates are subject to change.) X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Activision, Released May 1, 2009 The Punisher: No Mercy, Zen, Scheduled for May 2009 release Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Capcom, Scheduled for June 29, 2009 release Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Activision, Scheduled for September 2009 release Marvel Super Hero Squad, THQ, Scheduled for October 2009 release Iron Man 2, Sega, Scheduled for April 2010 release Not mentioned in today's press release are two Marvel-based MMOs backed by recently-introduced Gazillion Entertainment. One of those MMOs is Marvel Universe Online, currently in development by internal studio Cryptic Studios, creators of the non-licensed superhero MMO City of Heroes.

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