Namco Bandai and Sony Computer Entertainment Partner with National Geographic to Publish Family-friendly Games Across Major Gaming Console, Handheld, Online and Mobile Platforms
Ted Prince, chief operating officer of National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and executive vice president of operations for National Geographic Global Media (NGGM), today announced the formation of National Geographic Games (NGG), a division that will publish and develop games across major gaming console, handheld, online and mobile platforms.
NGG will work with premier game publishers and developers to create fun, high-quality games based on National Geographic’s core themes and media properties to extend National Geographic’s mission of inspiring people to care about the planet and reach a new generation of consumers and families.
NGG is led by a team of industry veterans who will use all of National Geographic’s talent, assets and resources from across Mission Programs, Television, Entertainment and Publishing to carve a unique leadership position in the market. Paul Levine, senior vice president, extended platforms group, NGV, and senior vice president, corporate strategy and development, NGGM, will lead the new division as well as NGV’s Maps and Mobile businesses. Chris Mate, former Take2 Interactive and Bethesda Softworks executive, with more than 25 years’ experience, has joined as vice president and general manager for NGG and will oversee and manage the group’s daily global operations.
“The launch of our games division furthers National Geographic Venture’s cross-platform strategy of creating and distributing unique consumer experiences and content on multiple platforms and devices,” said Prince. “Paul’s strong background in cross-platform media, interactive entertainment and business building and development combined with Chris’ expertise in the video game industry and product development will ensure that National Geographic Games extends our mission globally and makes the National Geographic brand more meaningful to a broader audience.”
NGG also announced it has partnered with Namco Bandai Games America and Sony Computer Entertainment to publish and distribute globally National Geographic-branded titles on major gaming consoles and handheld devices, including the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS handheld, PlayStation 3 and PS3 Network, PCs and mobile devices such as the iPhone.
“National Geographic Games has brought authenticity to the kind of family gaming we’re developing with them,” said Andrew Lelchuk, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Namco Bandai Games America Inc. “Our collaboration is enabling us to tailor the content, so we can offer games to our customers that are relevant, entertaining and that bring a unique experience only the National Geographic brand can deliver.”
To further celebrate the launch of NGG, National Geographic is introducing “Herod’s Lost Tomb,” its first game produced in-house, which highlights content from the December 2008 issue of National Geographic magazine as well as its National Geographic Channel feature broadcast on the biblical figure King Herod, architect of the ancient world. The game will be available online in both a flash version for free at nationalgeographic.com/channel and a downloadable game for PC, Mac and iPhone that includes full features and high production content.
“By leveraging National Geographic’s leading family brand, core themes and franchises, and its unique content that drives our mission-forward strategy, NGG will create fun games that allow gamers of all ages to experience and explore their world through play,” said Levine. “Our global audiences love to play games, and we plan on creating games in-house as well as working with leading global publishers to develop entertaining games that engage those audiences in a relevant way.”