Paramount Pictures is expanding its interactive department with the intention of becoming a video game developer and publisher, according to Daily Variety. Games based on new and classic Paramount films are expected to start hitting retail later this year. The studio will self-publish some titles and co-publish others with leading companies, while continuing to license properties to various publishers.
To facilitate to new venture, Paramount has hired former Activision exec Matt Candler as VP of interactive development, and ex-Sega and Fox exec Luke Letizia as exec director of interactive licensing. Candler will handle relations with outside developers and will be involved in packaging film properties for game adaptations. Letizia will oversee Paramount properties that are licensed to other game publishers. They will work closely with Sandi Isaacs, senior VP of interactive and mobile, and Harry Lang, VP of interactive and mobile production.
While it will create games in various categories, Paramount is reportedly highly interested in casual, handheld and mobile games because they require less capital than AAA console titles. The company follows in the footsteps of rival studio Warner Bros., which got into the game business with the launch of its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment division.