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Bourne license escapes from Activision

Ludlum Entertainment reacquires rights to make games based on spy novels that spawned popular Matt Damon film franchise.


Activision Publishing began the week by picking and choosing a handful of Vivendi Games properties to bring on board the newly merged Activision Blizzard bandwagon. That left those games and properties whose names weren't called in a state of limbo as the publisher examines its options and likely tries selling them to other publishers.

One such property was the Jason Bourne license, based on the spy novels of the late Robert Ludlum. Vivendi Games acquired the license in January of 2007 and released its first game based on the spy, The Bourne Conspiracy, last month.

That will go down as the company's last Bourne project, as Ludlum Entertainment today announced it had reacquired the rights to make games based on Ludlum's novels from Activision Blizzard. However, the company doesn't want to hold those rights for long. The company wants to find new partners "capable of fully exploiting the multiplatform potential of the Ludlum content and storylines."

Despite the search for a new ally in the gaming industry, Ludlum Entertainment CEO (and executor of the author's estate) Jeffrey Weiner expressed his satisfaction with Vivendi and the job it did on the debut Bourne game.

"Our colleagues at Vivendi Games did a tremendous job of capturing the spirit and allure of Robert Ludlum's writing with The Bourne Conspiracy, and the gaming community's strong response is clear indication that future Ludlum games will deliver both popularity and profitability for years to come."

[UPDATE] A Variety report on the loss of the license including a bit of information on what Vivendi had planned for the Bourne license. The publisher reportedly had Radical working on "Treadstone," an online game set in the agency that originally trained Jason Bourne. Production on that title has been halted, but the report says it could wind up in the hands of a new publisher.

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