Universal Pictures backs off game publishing - Report

Following poor Wanted: Weapons of Fate performance, film studio said to halt financing production of game tie-ins, licenses rights away.

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Last month, Swedish developer GRIN officially closed its doors, having released a string of commercial failures over the preceding 12-month period. One such title was Wanted: Weapons of Fate, a Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment-published tie-in to Universal Pictures' film of the same name. According to industry-tracking NPD Group, Weapons of Fate has through July sold just 130,000 units in the US since its March 2009 launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

The game industry is proving a little too cutthroat for Universal.
The game industry is proving a little too cutthroat for Universal.

More than just contributing to the demise of GRIN, Weapons of Fate now apparently has the distinction of souring Universal Pictures on the game-publishing business. The Los Angeles Times reports that Universal has halted financing the production of game tie-ins for its film properties. Instead, Universal has reportedly licensed the rights to make games based on its films to other publishers.

The LA Times notes that Universal still has ambitions to become a fully fledged game publisher. However, according to the newspaper's source, the studio is now approaching the venture with a heightened sense of caution following Weapons of Fate's poor sales performance.

Universal Pictures had not responded to requests for comment on the LA Times report as of press time.

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