Officials from Electronic Arts have announced a strategic licensing agreement with toy maker Hasbro, which grants the publisher exclusive worldwide rights to create digital games based on a wide array of Hasbro's intellectual properties. Specific properties mentioned in the deal include Monopoly
and Littlest Pet Shop
Neither company has been specific about how the licenses will be used, although "interactive experiences" are planned on platforms including mobile phones, online, portable consoles, PC and home consoles. The first games are scheduled to launch in 2008. As part of the licensing agreement Hasbro will obtain the rights to adapt unspecified Electronic Arts franchises into toys and traditional games.
Electronic Arts veteran Chip Lange will lead the overall Hasbro business initiative as vice president and general manager. Hasbro senior vice president Mark Blecher will head up Hasbro's digital gaming initiatives.
The initial terms of the deal run through December 31, 2013 and may be extended for an additional four years after that. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Electronic Arts has stated that it does not expect it to impact the company's second quarter or full year 2008 financial guidance.
Hasbro last month purchased the digital gaming rights
to nine of its own franchises (Monopoly
, Game of Life
) from Infogrames/Atari for $19.5 million. At the same time Infogrames extended its exclusive license of the Dungeons & Dragons universe until 2017.
"The gaming market has never been more primed for a revolution in how families enjoy games," said Kathy Vrabeck, president of EA Casual Entertainment Label. "Hasbro is the ideal partner to help propel this change. Their games define fun. These are games that we all love and remember from our childhoods."
"Our toy and game brands have been family-favorites for decades, and aligning ourselves with EA will result in broadening the reach of our brands through the 're-imagining' of these beloved entertainment icons in all key digital categories," said Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner.