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Atari Buys Despereaux Game Rights

Atari will release the videogame to Universal's upcoming animated feature THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, per VARIETY.

Brash Ent. had been set to release the game about the heroic, giant-eared mouse, but they went out of business last month. The company, who specialized in film adaptations, planned to also distribute a game for Nintendo DS produced by Universal, the studio's first self-funded game.

Brash completed the game before going out of business, but they and Universal had to rush to find another publisher before the film's December 19 release date.

"The combination of TALE OF DESPEREAUX strong buzz coupled with the movie's awareness at retail make this a terrific opportunity for Atari," said Jim Wilson, Atari North America CEO. "We see the sale potential through next year and beyond."

Brash's marketing plans won't be implemented and Atari will not have time to concoct their own blitz, but will rely on Universal's promotions to boost game sales. Atari will release the game on Wii, PlayStation 2 and Universal's DS version. The deal was made so late the game will be shipped with Brash's logo on the box.

A foreign publisher is still being sought by Universal and Brash for overseas sales in conjunction with the film's foreign releases. The DESPEREAUX film will be unspooled in the U.K. and Spain on December 19, with other European, South American, African and Asian territories following until March 2009.

Atari previously purchased two other movie-based games this fall -- CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA and GHOSTBUSTERS -- from Activision after it merged with Vivendi Games. The longtime publisher on Tuesday announced plans to release a Wii music game and some sequels of its more well-known franchises.

Brash is looking to unload several more videogames, including SIX FLAGS FUN PARK, set to debut this month on the Wii, and upcoming releases SAW, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2, CLASH OF THE TITANS and SUPERMAN set for 2009 or 2010 releases.