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NBCUniversal shutting down game publishing division to focus on licensing

NBCUniversal shutting down game publishing division to focus on licensing

NBCUniversal is looking to close its game publishing division after the company expanded the business less than three years ago.

As reported by GamesBeat, the game publishing sector of the firm will shut down with the executive vice president of games and digital platforms Chris Heatherly set to step down at the end of the year.

The reasoning for the departure from games was cited at Universal being more interested in pursuing other media as a higher priority. However, the company will still look to license its entertainment properties to external developers and publishers in the games industry.

In May this year, Heatherly told PocketGamer.biz that: “we don’t want to be a movie games company, we want to be a games company".

Games published by NBCUniversal included Series: Your Story Universe and Jurassic World Alive. Payday: Crime War and Funko Pop Blitz most recently went into soft launch.

“Competitive nature”

“Given the realities of the increasingly competitive nature of the mobile games landscape, Universal Brand Development (UBD) is shifting its investment and approach in Games to opportunities that don’t require mobile self-publishing,” read a statement obtained by GamesBeat.

“Based on our recent organisational re-alignment, we’re working with our development partners on alternative publishing paths for some of the games in our mobile portfolio.

“Specific details for each title will be announced at a later date. Chris Heatherly will continue in his role with Universal Brand Development until the end of the year, in a transitional capacity.”

Competitor Disney has been following a similar trajectory as of late, with the firm looking to offload Marvel Strike Force developer FoxNext Games as part of the 20th Century Fox acquisition.


Staff Writer

Matthew Forde is a freelance writer from Yorkshire, who's work has been published for Tech Radar, Nintendo Life, Kotaku UK and more. He regularly attends Smash Bros. tournaments, while trying to keep up-to-date on everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes. You can find him on Twitter @Forde999.

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