HONG KONG & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fifth Journey, a Hollywood-focused mobile entertainment company, today announced it has signed strategic partnerships to develop mobile games, interactive entertainment and in some instances virtual reality content with Universal Pictures, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM). The partnerships come alongside a strategic equity stake in the company for the studios.
Founded by industry veterans and former executives from Universal Pictures, Gameloft and LucasArts, Fifth Journey develops next-generation Hollywood games and interactive entertainment. The company also has the ability to provide mobile streaming, video on demand (VOD) and e-commerce in association with its games. The company’s unique Hollywood-focused platform and the founders’ past success with major Hollywood franchises in the hard-to-crack Asian market attracted the studios’ interest in a strategic partnership.
“Asia is an enormous opportunity and challenge for Hollywood,” said Eric Tan, CEO of Hong Kong and San Francisco-based Fifth Journey. “So is building a great film franchise in this on-demand world. We built a company to solve some of Hollywood’s most pressing needs and these partnerships are a huge step forward.”
Fifth Journey’s founders have an excellent track record of developing games for major Hollywood franchises and monetizing them in Asia. Tan, while an executive at Gameloft oversaw publishing for a slate of Marvel games in China as well as the China release of Universal and Gameloft’s “Despicable Me: Minion Rush”, the only Hollywood mobile game to rank in that territory’s all-time Top 10 downloads chart. Despite Asia’s emergence as the largest gaming and soon-to-be film market, success for Hollywood movie studios and international game developers there has been rare.
“We’re delighted to expand our partnership with Eric Tan and the Fifth Journey team,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “As we continue to build our presence in the gaming space, the Asian market offers tremendous growth opportunities, and Fifth Journey is the ideal partner to help us capitalize on them.”
Fifth Journey works directly with Hollywood studios not only to culturalize their games for global markets, it also has the ability to incorporate movie ticket sales, merchandise e-commerce, and stream films, TV and other content alongside an interactive game feature to deepen fans’ experiences.
“Mobile games are a highly engaging form of entertainment in their own right and, given that, they can also be envisioned as a hub through which fans may access and experience different elements of their favorite IP,” said Bill Kispert, EVP Digital Platforms, NBC-Universal Brand Development Group. “We look forward to working with Fifth Journey to first develop an authentic, film-based game and then to use this point of connection to bring players deeper into that world and its ecosystem.”
“We are always exploring innovative ways to reach our audience and build opportunities for our expansive library,” said Tricia Samuels, VP Global Licensing, Consumer Products & Interactive, MGM. “The Fifth Journey team have built a complete, 360 degree platform that serves both traditional and digital products through a unique interactive experience. We look forward to engaging in a more meaningful way with our fans around the world.”
Founded by former Universal Pictures and Electronic Arts executive Eric Tan and LucasArts veteran Craig Derrick, Fifth Journey’s leadership team has an extensive track record developing games for major Hollywood franchises. In addition to the aforementioned titles, the company leadership’s prior projects include “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff,” one of the top grossing comedy games of all-time, and major features for Star Wars, Marvel and DC Comics.
The strategic partnership with the Hollywood studios follows the company’s closing of a $2 million seed round financing in August 2015 and the announcement of a partnership with Lionsgate and Millennium Films to develop a mobile game for “The Expendables,” an action franchise starring Sylvester Stallone that has grossed more than $800 million in worldwide box office.
About Fifth Journey
Fifth Journey creates fan-first, next-generation mobile entertainment based on Hollywood film and TV content. The company also provides a platform for mobile streaming, video-on-demand and Hollywood-linked e-commerce. The company was founded by Eric Tan, a former executive with Universal Pictures and Gameloft and Craig Derrick, an award-winning executive producer previously with LucasArts and TinyCo.
Fifth Journey executive ranks draw from Universal Pictures, LucasArts, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, TinyCo and Zynga. The Fifth Journey executive team is responsible for some of the biggest interactive hits in Hollywood including major titles for Star Wars, Spider-Man, Batman, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Minions, Family Guy, Ice Age, Finding Nemo, Shrek and others.
Fifth Journey’s global head office and publishing headquarters is in Hong Kong and its creative headquarters is in San Francisco.
About Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content. In addition, MGM has investments in domestic and international television channels. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com.
About NBC Universal Brand Development Group
The NBCUniversal Brand Development Group drives expansion of the company's intellectual property across the corporation. With a focus on kids and family, the business unit has oversight of a dedicated Universal Kids & Family TV Productions business, Digital Products & Gaming, NBCUniversal Consumer Products, and Franchise Management. A key component to this division includes evolving titles into robust, multi-year sustainable brands with multiple consumer touchpoints, including Television, Digital, Video Games, Consumer Products and Live-Events, among others.
NBCUniversal Brand Development Group is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.