Army of Two marches on Hollywood

Big-screen rights for Electronic Arts' buddy-based shooter sold to Universal Pictures, <i>Bourne Ultimatum</i> cowriter tapped for screenplay.

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Electronic Arts, known by many for its blockbuster franchises, such as Need for Speed and The Sims, has been focusing its resources on original intellectual property in recent years. At the E3 Media & Business Summit in 2007, the company's CEO, John Riccitiello, told the Wall Street Journal that people were being "bored to death" by the sequels trend. The company has published new IP, such as Crysis, Boogie, Dead Space, and Army of Two during the past year, and has more to come alongside sequels to its top-selling games, such as FIFA.

Riccitiello also sees the gaming industry becoming a power player in the movie world. He said in February 2008 that, "There is more interest today from Hollywood to make movies out of our games than there is interest in our industry to make games out of their movies." That seems to be coming true today, as Variety is reporting that Universal Pictures has bought the rights to make buddy-based action game Army of Two into a film. According to the Variety report, The Sims and Mass Effect are also set to hit the big screen in the future. Games, such as Hitman, Tomb Raider, and Street Fighter, have already made the transition to cinema with varying degrees of success.

Scott Z. Burns, who cowrote The Bourne Ultimatum, has been signed up to write the script. Army of Two follows the adventures of Salem and Rios, two mercenaries who take on terrorists in such settings as Iraq, Somalia, and Miami. It has sold more than a million units since release.

[UPDATE] EA has confirmed in a statement today that Army of Two will be made into a film. Producer Scott Stuber said, "Electronic Arts is a pioneer in its field, and I look forward to collaborating with them and the Universal team in taking their cutting-edge storytelling into the world of film."

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