Capcom revs up multiplatform MotoGP

Publisher of latest PS2 motorcycle series installment gets rights to make games, peripherals for all platforms, announces new Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PC versions.

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The rights to make licensed games are often divided in unusual ways. Consider Take-Two Interactive's third-party exclusivity on the Major League Baseball license, or the way Marvel Comics offers different publishers different deals based on whether they want to make a massively multiplayer online game, a fighting game, or a trading card game.

Now one of the more unusual cases of divided rights is no more. At one time, the MotoGP motorcycle racing circuit had a deal with Namco Bandai to produce games on Sony platforms, and a separate deal with THQ for the PC and Xbox line of systems. Capcom struck a deal to create MotoGP games on Sony's systems last year, and today the publisher announced that it had picked up rights to the remainder of gaming platforms, including mobile phones. In addition to making Capcom the exclusive publisher of MotoGP games on all platforms, the five-year agreement also gives the company the rights to make peripherals based on the circuit.

MotoGP's move away from THQ as a licensing partner isn't entirely surprising. In 2006, THQ took a step back from the series and publicly said it was "evaluating the viability of the brand" after its next installment, a decision prompted in part by the purchase of series developer Climax Racing by Disney Interactive Studios (then Buena Vista Games). Sure enough, MotoGP 07 was the final game in the series released by THQ.

The first games to come out under the new licensing deal will be based on the 2008 MotoGP season, and will be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, and PlayStation 2. It will mark the series' first appearances on the Wii and PS3. For a look at Capcom's initial effort with the MotoGP license, check out GameSpot's review of last year's MotoGP 07 for the PS2.

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