News

Getting back into the game

Sesame Workshop has inked a three-year exclusive deal with Burbank, California-based Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The studio offshoot will produce interactive products and video games based on Sesame Street's iconic characters for a variety of platforms, including the iPhone, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.
February 2, 2010

Sesame Workshop has inked a three-year exclusive deal with Burbank, California-based Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The studio offshoot will produce interactive products and video games based on Sesame Street’s iconic characters for a variety of platforms, including the iPhone, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

‘We’re really focused on how Sesame Street should express itself on the console game platform,’ says Jeffrey Fleishman, assistant VP of media distribution business development at Sesame Workshop. ‘We are definitely looking to generate games that are related to, and reinforce, our curriculum, and games that can be played by children alone.’

Fleishman says The Workshop is re-entering the console games sphere primarily due to the innovations in gaming platforms that make them more suitable for the less-refined motor skills most preschoolers possess.

‘It’s a unique opportunity for preschool gaming,’ says Fleishman. ‘We think it is going to make it a lot easier for preschoolers to use. The new interfaces and input devices in terms of motion and interaction are a natural fit for kids.’

It’s too early yet to say when the new products will hit retail shelves, or to get an accurate picture of what exactly they will look like. However, the initial product launch will occur in the US, with goods based strictly on Sesame Street IP. International products using characters from the localized versions of the series are slated for later release.

Interestingly, the deal with Warner Bros. sprung out of discussions The Workshop had with Warner Home Video that resulted in a multi-year home entertainment deal for the Sesame Street library last fall. The combo might lead to the dovetailing of home entertainment and interactive game content over the next few years.

‘We are going through the creative process right now,’ says Fleishman. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if there were tie-ins with specific titles sometime in the future, but probably not with the initial launch.’ GR

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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