Brash Entertainment, a start-up focused on movie-based video games, raised $400mm from Abry, New York Life Capital and PPM America. Brash reportedly has 12 games in the pipeline and 40 film licenses to work with, stemming from deals with five film studios. Brash is taking the road less traveled when it comes to adapting a film into a complete clunker of a video game. Activision can have its Spider-man games and EA can have its Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings games (the LoTR online game, currently in beta, is perhaps the only sure-fire upcoming film inspired video game success) and Brash will stick with more counter intuitive adaptations. Adaptations like the Saw horror-flick franchise, because there’s nothing quite like directing your own torture sequences with the Wii-mote.
The “brains” behind Brash Entertainment include a long list of Hollywood veterans. Brash co-founder Thomas Tull is chairman of Legendary Pictures and helped finance a slew of the most video game-esque movies to hit the screen (Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Aqua-man Hesitates, Iron Man Oxidizes Badly, and 300).
Video games based on movies have been almost universally horrid since the ET game for the Atari set the bar with its unplayable interpretation (or Beckett inspired dilemma) of ET as a green blob that aspires to repeatedly fall into holes to find spaceship parts, yet can’t escape the first one.
Although critically panned, video game film adaptations can perform well commercially, as half-billion dollar budgets these days can provide enough marketing muscle to brainwash anyone.
The Brash Entertainment website is brashly underdeveloped, with a lone quote from Mitch Davis, Chairman and CEO, who vows that:
By bringing together Hollywood’s brightest creative talent and the game industry’s most innovative independent game development studios, our experienced production team will realize the full potential of today’s most popular films and television shows.
A Start-Up's Risky Niche: Movie-Based Videogames [Wall Street Journal]