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Games Workshop Names Finn Arnesen Head of Entertainment Development

Group taps former Hasbro Studios exec to expand the company’s extensive ‘Warhammer’ IP with new live-action and animated content; three animated shows are nearing completion with a half dozen still under development.

Games Workshop Group PLC has appointed former Turner Broadcasting and Hasbro Studios executive Finn Arnesen as its first head of entertainment development. In his new role, he will be tasked with mining the extensive and multi-faceted Warhammer universe to develop live-action and animated content for global broadcast channels and platforms. Arnesen will report to Jon Gillard, Games Workshop’s EVP of global licensing.

Most recently Arnesen served as SVP global distribution & development at Hasbro Studios – he brings 25 years’ experience to his new role. He inherits an initial content slate that includes the previously announced live-action drama based on the popular “Eisenhorn” series of novels. Eisenhorn is currently being developed with Frank Spotnitz (The Man in the High Castle, The X-Files) and his company, Big Light Productions. 

“In its almost 40-year history, Warhammer has been a leader in the field of tabletop and video gaming, growing into one of the most fully realized examples of fantasy and sci-fi world-building ever devised,” commented Gillard. “The characters we’ve explored and stories we’ve told during that time, through games, books, comics and more, are crying out to be brought to the screen. Getting Finn on board, with his wealth of expertise and knowledge across both programming and wider IP use, combined with his sheer energy and passion, will continue to cement Warhammer as one of the most unique and distinctive fantasy settings ever.”

“This is a hugely exciting time to be joining Games Workshop, and I am relishing the opportunity to work with such an established yet, in terms of entertainment, relatively unexplored universe as Warhammer,” added Arnesen. “There is a tremendous appetite at present for series set in unique, fantastical worlds, so, with Warhammer’s thousands of stories, numerous worlds and countless memorable characters, our options are virtually limitless. I was delighted to discover there are already early discussions in place with a variety of production companies around the world, from LA to Japan, and an array of highly sought-after writing talent, to bring the vast Warhammer universe to all platforms.”

Games Workshop’s content strategy includes the internal Warhammer animation team, which is working directly with top animation studios to develop official animated content for the active Warhammer Community. Three shows are nearing completion and a half-dozen more are in development. A decision will be made as to how this content will be delivered to fans later this year.

“Over the decades, Warhammer has attracted the most dedicated and passionate fans of any gaming and publishing franchises,” explained Games Workshop EVP digital and community, Andy Smillie. “Every day they reach out, asking for more ways to enjoy Warhammer. This new project will offer Warhammer fans everywhere rich, unique content to meet their insatiable demand. Combined with the mainstream entertainment strategy, we will soon be successfully delivering more Warhammer, more often, in multiple ways for dedicated and casual fans alike.”

Source: Games Workshop