Nick Close to Granting Master Games License

Herb Scannell, president of Nickelodeon Networks issued a statement today saying that Nickelodeon is working closely with several parties and is in the final stages of licensing rights to develop video games based on the broadcaster’s animated properties. Scannell indicated that the process would be supervised by independent directors of Viacom and that no decision has yet been made as to which video game publisher would receive the rights

THQ, which publishes games based on Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, The Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob SquarePants and other Nickelodeon properties, currently holds the license but may lose it to another publisher when the contract runs out this year. Nick also has a relationship with Majesco, which releases episodes of The Fairly OddParents, Dora the Explorer and other Nick toons as part of its Game Boy Advance Video line.

The need for independent directors in deciding the matter stems from the fact that Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone owns 73% of Midway Games, which may soon become part of the Viacom family.

THQ today issued a statement clarifying remarks it made about Midway in response to questions from investment analysts. The statement reads, "In stressing its own strengths in the videogame publishing business, THQ made comments that understated Midway Game’s strengths and capabilities. THQ said that it regretted any misimpression created by those comments."