he Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and Activision, Inc, (NASDAQ: ATVI), a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software products, announced today a license that grants Activision the global rights, excluding Japan, to develop console, handheld and PC games based on Hasbro's renowned TRANSFORMERS brand. The first game will be tied to the much-anticipated July 4, 2007 movie release of the live action TRANSFORMERS film from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
The TRANSFORMERS brand has been one of the best-selling boys' action brands in a wide-range of categories, from toys to publishing to apparel, since its launch as a global property in 1984. Hasbro is currently gearing up to activate one of the Company's most ambitious worldwide marketing and merchandising programs yet to coincide with the live action movie in 2007.
"We are thrilled to work with Activision to bring the widely popular TRANSFORMERS brand to the world of digital entertainment and introduce millions of consumers to our best-known TRANSFORMER and biggest hero of all time-OPTIMUS PRIME," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group (HPG). "As the leading developer of video games, Activision shares our passion and excitement for the TRANSFORMERS story line. We know this world-class and creative team will bring TRANSFORMERS to life in powerful and exciting ways as we immerse a broad audience in this pop-culture phenomenon."
"TRANSFORMERS has all of the elements necessary to translate incredibly well into video games," said Mike Griffith, president and CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. "We look forward to bringing the TRANSFORMERS robots to life with the latest interactive technology and graphics."
The announcement of Activision as the global game publisher for the TRANSFORMERS brand marks the beginning of Hasbro's commitment to bring its well-known toy and game brands further into the digital media space. This effort follows the reacquisition of its video gaming rights from Infogrames Entertainment SA in June 2005.
"Video gaming is a natural next step for our classic properties as children and adults alike live more of their lives around technology," said Ritson-Parsons. "We see the digital arena as a great complement to the lifestyle experiences that we're providing to consumers in a variety of categories."
In addition to console, handheld and PC-based games, Hasbro plans to expand the TRANSFORMERS brand's reach through ring tones, mobile gaming and a host of other products for gaming fans of all ages.
The live-action TRANSFORMERS movie from DreamWorks Pictures, Hasbro and Paramount Pictures, will be directed by Michael Bay ("The Rock" and "Armageddon") from a screenplay being written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ("Mission Impossible: 3"). Tom DeSanto ("X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United"), Don Murphy ("The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") and Lorenzo di Bonaventura ("Four Brothers") are producing the film, with Steven Spielberg and Hasbro's Brian Goldner executive producing.