Mad Men production company expands into the games industry

Lionsgate announces plans to get into games in a meaningful way.

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Lionsgate, the production company responsible for Mad Men, among other shows and films, is looking to expand the types of content it creates--an extension that will see it get into the video game industry.

No specific projects were revealed, including whether it will build its own internal development team. Today's announcement does refer to making an "investment in existing games" and "leveraging Lionsgate's franchises and other branded properties into the gaming space." In other words, it's possible we could see a game based on Mad Men, The Hunger Games, Twilight, or other properties it's involved with, but that's purely speculation at this point.

Lionsgate has named Peter Levin the president of Interactive Ventures and Games. In addition to cofounding Nerdist Industries, Levin's previous work includes serving as an advisor for Angry Birds maker Rovio and Finnish developer Next Games.

That experience would suggest Lionsgate could have a focus on mobile games. Today's announcement doesn't indicate if that's the case, but it is telling that the press release states, "The Company noted that consumer spending on mobile and social games increased by 130% last year."

"Peter is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurial culture, and he is ideally qualified to lead the continued growth of our content business into the video game space and other interactive digital ventures," said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. "Gaming has become one of the most explosive growth areas of the content business, and Peter's mandate will be to build a portfolio of premium digital properties as we expand our leadership in films and television programming into digital content as well."

Lionsgate's name has been connected to the games business before, having outsourced development of tie-in games, including a Hunger Games iOS title. It's also the same company that sponsored gaming tournaments earlier this year to promote Ender's Game and was set to produce a film based on Dead Island in 2011.

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