MTV, the cable network that virtually cornered the youth market first with music videos and later with reality programming such as The Real World, has set its sights on the video game industry. The network today announced the launch of MTV Games, a new division dedicated to developing, producing and promoting interactive titles that resonate with its core audience.
MTV Games has also entered into a strategic relationship with interactive entertainment publisher and developer Midway Games. The two entities will work together on three upcoming games, collaborating on marketing, in-game advertising efforts and soundtrack development, operating within a mutually beneficial royalty sharing structure. The first title to be produced through the partnership will be L.A. RUSH, described as a high-octane arcade racing game that taps into the car-tuning culture with creative design assistance from West Coast Customs, the automotive customization shop featured in the hit MTV series, Pimp My Ride. Two other titles will be announced at a later date.
Titles created by MTV Games will be heavily marketed through MTV Networks’ various broadcast, online, wireless and theatrical outlets, including MTV, MTV2, mtvU, Spike TV and MTV Films.
MTV Games is overseen by Jeff Yapp, exec VP of MTV Networks Music and Logo Enterprise Group, who reports to Rich Eigendorff, chief operating officer of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group. Tony Calandra, senior director of MTV Interactive Products, will manage the new division and Joseph Varet, director MTV business development and strategy, will oversee MTV Games’ business partnerships and strategic relationships. Jamie Leece, formerly president of Take Two’s Gotham Games division, will serve as exec producer as Marc Nesbitt oversees all project production and creative as senior producer.