DHX Media SVP and executive producer Ken Faier has left the Canadian media conglomerate to found a new company, Epic Story Media. Additionally, he has acquired DHX Media’s Vancouver-based interactive division. The 15-person outfit will operate as a subsidiary of Faier’s new venture under the moniker Epic Story Interactive. Faier will remain based in Toronto.
Faier, however, will continue to work with DHX Media on two fronts. He remains an executive producer on three current DHX productions, the upcoming Massive Monster Mayhem, the reboot of Mega Man and an as yet unannounced preschool series. Epic Story Interactive, meanwhile, is now a licensee for DHX Media. It is developing and marketing the iOS/Android game app based on Massive Monster Mayhem and will develop additional interactive apps based on DHX properties.
Faier would not disclose financials, but says he self-funded the deal. He adds that the move was a logical one for him, as he had been heavily involved with the interactive portion of the business prior to and after DHX acquired his former company Nerd Corps (co-owned with Asaph Fipke and Chuck Johnson) for US$50 million in late 2014. Faier says the game based on former Nerd Corps property Slugterra, created by the division, maintains a user base of 2.5 million. And moving forward, Epic Story Interactive will put its proprietary tools to work on building other licensed games and interactive experiences, and it is currently looking to acquire additional third-party licenses.
As for Epic Story Media, Faier is looking at investing in original IP development. “This is a graceful transition. I have a great relationship with DHX, but wanted to be more hands on in working with creatives and developing properties from the ground up,” he says. To that end, he’s focusing on scouting out new ideas with potential for exploitation across media platforms and consumer products.
“Ken is one of the great entrepreneurs in the Canadian media business,” says DHX president and COO Steven DeNure. “He is excellent at identifying new trends and is tenacious about managing IPs from top to bottom.” DeNure adds that the interactive division will have the focus it needs to grow under Faier’s management.
In terms of replacing Faier at DHX, DeNure says they’re not necessarily looking to do that. Its management is focused on further integrating recent acquisition Peanuts Worldwide and running the company while the strategic review undertaken by DHX’s board advances.