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Legendary in Epic Negotiations

Film financier Legendary Pictures is in discussions to acquire Epic Games, the developer of GEARS OF WAR, among others, per VARIETY.

Execs at both companies declined late last week to comment to VARIETY.

If the deal goes through, it would make Legendary the first film financing company to invest directly in videogames. Studios like Warner Bros. (where Legendary is based) have recently started putting their own money into games.

Legendary chairman Thomas Tull resigned two weeks ago from the board of Brash Ent., the licensing-focused videogame publisher he co-founded. Even after Tull vacated Brash, apparently over frustration in its performance, he appears interested in staying in the gaming market. Legendary signed up to co-finance New Line's GEARS OF WAR film earlier this year.

GEARS OF WAR has sold more than five million units since its 2006 release and has a sequel planned for November. Epic's other known franchise is UNREAL TOURNAMENT. Epic is also home to backend technology Unreal Engine, used by many other game developers.

Licensing for the game engine is a main source of Epic's revenue and therefore a more reliable income provider for Legendary than other developers.