Bruckheimer and MTV Team Up to Found Game Studio

Viacom subsidiary MTV's game division has announced plans to work with prolific Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Kangaroo Jack, Flashdance, Rafferty and the Highway Hustlers) on a new "game incubation studio" that intends to create new entertainment properties that will start life as video games.

According to the announcement, the studio will be staffed by "a team of experienced video game experts, artists and storytellers." The move is part of MTV's previously announced plans to invest $500 million into games.

In an interview with MTV's Stephen Totilo, MTV executive VP Jeff Yapp explained that Bruckheimer will work with additional studios, either internal or external to MTV. Yapp sees the venture as challenging established publishers like Electronic Arts and Activision: "I already think we are," he said. "How's that for arrogance?"

Bruckheimer has some experience with adapting games to film--he is a producer on the upcoming Prince of Persia film--and, as well, a number of his Hollywood works have been translated into games. Meanwhile, MTV Games has been involved with numerous video game projects, most recently including Harmonix's acclaimed Rock Band (PS3, X360).

This, however, marks the first time he has fully entered the world of original game development. The game concepts created by Bruckheimer's teams are likely to be taken to other mediums such as film and television.

Some of the projects are likely to be in less hardcore areas such as mobile gaming and virtual online worlds. "If you look at traditional gaming you'd say 18 months to two years [before the first release]," Yapp said. "But the point I've been making to everyone else is that this is really not just about traditional gaming. You know what we've been doing with virtual space, you know what weÂ’re doing in mobile."

"Jerry Bruckheimer and his innate talent for developing wildly successful entertainment properties that range from action, reality, drama, sports, and comedy are the perfect complement to our vision for MTV Games and the experience our audiences truly crave," said MTV Networks' Van Toffler in the announcement. "There's a huge intersection between the fans of Bruckheimer films, our audience and gamers, making the potential for this partnership to be as explosive as one of his blockbuster films."