Sci Fi Channel getting into the video game business

Gaming, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Television

The Sci Fi Channel — soon to be known simply as Syfy — is teaming up with Acclaim Games and ZooKazoo to develop a series of online games and other entertainment features.

The announcement this week from Sci Fi president David Howe:

The partnerships will offer SCI FI consumers a robust and imaginative series of immersive casual games that embody the broad appeal of the SCI FI brand. The ZooKazoo partnership represents SCI FI’s first strategic move into the youth market.

SCI FI recently announced the formation of SCI FI Ventures, a long term growth initiative to develop a portfolio of media and non-media businesses into a global lifestyle brand, created to transcend the television screen and leverage the deep affinity the SCI FI audience has with one of the world’s biggest and most lucrative entertainment genres. The popularity of sci-fi/fantasy genre based titles and passion SCI FI fans have for video games make SCI FI Games a natural component of the SCI FI Ventures portfolio.

“We strive to entertain our consumers with unique imagination-based content across all platforms,” said Mr. Howe in making the announcement. “Acclaim’s expertise in game development will enable us to provide a deeply immersive and engaging game experience. We are also extremely pleased to partner with ZooKazoo in a historic first MOVE FOR SCI FI into the kids market, building a virtual laboratory for young imaginations.”

Acclaim will create an exclusive SCI FI label and will jointly develop new games, with plans to extend these properties to other platforms, products, and forms of media. With close to 10 million players today, Acclaim Games, the successor of Acclaim Entertainment, is an online game company focused on bringing best-in-class games to consumers in North America and Europe. Since its reformation in 2006, the company has released twelve games, including its popular titles 9Dragons, 2Moons, and The Chronicles of Spellborn. SCI FI’s first game, Tales of Magic, is expected to launch on scifi.com this spring. Brand Sense Partners, a Los Angeles-based business development consultancy, works with SCI FI to identify new business areas to further extend the SCI FI brand and was responsible for developing the Acclaim partnership.

ZooKazoo, a leading virtual world for kids 6 – 12, will create a SCI FI Club that will reside within the world at Zookazoo.com. Launched in March 2008, ZooKazoo’s emphasis on collaborative games and kid-generated content has captivated kids. Average user sessions on ZooKazoo.com already exceed one hour. This active engagement inspires the creative minds of children, encouraging them to develop their own unique ideas around imagination.

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