Marvel is getting more aggressive in the videogame business, appointing Ames Kirshen to the new position of manager of game development. Kirshen, with more than six years of experience in the production and management of videogame projects, will lead a small group to oversee the development of all licensed videogames based on Marvel characters, including the creative content, along with other members of Marvel's Publishing division.
Kirshen reports to Gui Karyo, Marvel's president of publishing, who will supervise the overall game development process. Kirshen will also work closely with Tim Rothwell, Marvel's president of worldwide consumer products, to foster new licensing relationships with videogame publishers. Revenues from video game licensing will continue to be reported within the licensing division.
Kirshen will be responsible for overseeing the full Marvel videogame development slate including the final production of the highly anticipated SPIDER-MAN MOVIE II game and ongoing production of the FANTASTIC FOUR videogame, both of which are being developed by Activision. In addition, he will lead the effort in exploring new opportunities in game genres where Marvel is either not represented or is under represented.
"The multi-billion dollar videogame industry continues to be a significant revenue opportunity for Marvel and a high-profile, powerful vehicle to build the awareness of Marvel's brands," said Karyo. "Our appointment of Ames to serve as an in-house executive producer and creative liaison for our interactive licensees and game developers allows us to increase the quality, playability and marketing power of this influential product category, fueling higher licensing income and consumer exposure for Marvel."
Ames Kirshen spent the past six years with Warner Bros. and DC Comics where he helped produce major game titles such as Ubi Soft's BATMAN: VENGEANCE and BATMAN: RISE OF SIN TZU and Atari's SUPERMAN: SHADOW OF APOKOLIPS.
Licensees sold more than six million Marvel-based videogames in both 2002 and 2003. Videogame titles previously released include: SPIDER-MAN THE MOVIE (Activision), X-MEN: NEXT DIMENSION (Activision), BLADE (Activision), X2: WOLVERINE'S REVENGE (Activision), THE HULK (Vivendi-Universal), DAREDEVIL (Encore), SPIDER-MAN II Movie (Activision), X-MEN LEGENDS (Activision) and THE PUNISHER (THQ).
Coming titles include: FANTASTIC FOUR (Activision), IRON MAN (Activision), THE HULK 2 (Vivendi-Universal) and MARVEL UNIVERSE MMP (Vivendi-Universal).
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is a leading global character-based entertainment licensing company that has developed and owns a library of some 4,700 characters, which have entertained generations around the world for more than 60 years. Marvel's operations are focused in entertainment and consumer product licensing and comic book publishing. For additional information visit www.marvel.com.