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Universal reveals major plans for gaming initiative

Company to build division to self-publish own titles, with first titles due later this year.

Universal Brand Development has revealed plans to self-publish its own gaming titles, taking a more direct role in the creative, development, marketing and distribution of games based on its IP.

While the initial self-publishing focus will be on mobile, Universal is planning over time to expand this to other platforms.

The first titles from the new publishing arm will launch later this year.

In addition, Universal will continue to licence its IP, complementing its publishing strategy.

The company has hired three new executives in the US to help build up the business.

Former Disney exec and 24 year veteran of the games industry, James Molinets will serve as svp production; Timothy FitzRandolph, who built Disney Mobile into a leading publisher with James, becomes vp creative; and Fabian Schonholz is svp technology and operations, overseeing Universal’s cloud-based games publishing.

On top of this, Universal veteran of 15 years, Bill Kispert moves into a new strategic position as general manager of business development, while Pete Wanat becomes vp production.

Chris Heatherly remains as evp of games and digital platforms at Universal Brand Development.

“Games have become mainstream entertainment, reaching broad, global audiences and are quickly growing as a place consumers spend their time,” Chris commented. “As one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, we believe we must have a strong direct presence in gaming.”

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