Paramount Joins Viacom's Relentless Video Game Push

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures is jumping into the video game business. Variety:

Studio is looking to invest in all types of video games but is particularly interested in casual, handheld and mobile games, as they can be made for only a few million dollars, compared with the $20 million or more it costs to produce a title for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

No surprise to see another Viacom unit proclaiming its interest in video games:  Viacom has made a big push into games across the board: It owns “Rock Band” developer Harmonix, has a development deal with Hollywood bigfoot Jerry Bruckheimer and has loudly proclaimed its plans to sink hundreds of millions into casual games. Not to mention Sumner Redstone’s long-standing (and controversial) investment in Midway Games (MWY).

Paramount already offers its own licensed games on its Web site, including one based on the Lindsay Lohan movie, “Mean Girls.” And even though it’s starting its own publishing unit, it’s not going to stop licensing some of its properties to other game developers. Time Warner’s (TWX) Warner Bros also has its own game development company.

No details are out yet about what the first releases, due out later this year, will be. We’re holding our breath for “Forrest Gump: The Game.”

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