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Mattel partners with THQ in new licensing deal

Mattel partners with THQ in new licensing deal
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First Published: Wed, Jan 05 2011. 04 56 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jan 05 2011. 04 56 PM IST
New York: Toymaker Mattel Inc agreed to license its brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Fisher-Price, to THQ Inc for use in its video games for a variety gaming platforms.
The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. The “multi-year alliance” will allow THQ to design games using Mattel brands for consoles, computers, mobile devices and social networks, the companies said.
THQ’s chief executive Brian Farrell said the new agreement “is very significant” for the company’s family oriented games segment. That segment makes up between 30% to 40% of THQ’s annual sales. THQ’s sales were $888.65 million in fiscal year 2010.
Mattel has not had an agreement with a videogame publisher of “this scale or magnitude”, said Chuck Scothon, vice president of Digital Play at Mattel.
THQ also plans to offer Mattel-branded games for the uDraw tablet, an accessory for Nintendo’s Wii game console, Farrell said.
THQ already has an agreement to license Mattel’s Pictionary game which is offered on uDraw.
uDraw, a tablet for creating art and playing games, was one of Amazon.com’s 10 top video game products during the recent holiday season and was sold out at many stores.
Mattel said the partnership was a way to extend its franchises “across all screens,” and to adapt to changing ways people play with toys and games.
THQ, meanwhile, is trying to tap Mattel’s brands to fit newer gaming trends, like motion-sensor gaming.
“I’ve challenged my team to figure out what would be a great experience using one of the super Mattel brands to exploit on the Kinect or Move or both,” THQ’s Farrell said. Microsoft makes the Kinect, a motion sensor accessory for the company’s Xbox console.
Move is Sony’s motion sensor accessory for its PlayStation console.
Farrell declined to comment on specific games saying it was too early.
The companies said they also would collaborate to expand the videogame and interactive potential of other Mattel properties, such as “Monster High”, “Rock ‘Em Sock’ Em”, “Masters of the Universe”, “Polly Pocket” and others.
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First Published: Wed, Jan 05 2011. 04 56 PM IST
More Topics: Mattel | THQ | Consoles | Computers | Mobile devices |