THQ and Mattel have joined forces in a multi-year deal to develop and publish video games based on Mattel's large range of brands. Their aim is to increase the performance of THQ in the 'family' and 'casual' sectors of the games market.
THQ currently plans to produce games based on the Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price brands. However, they are also looking at the future potential of other well-known brands, such as the newer Monster High brand, and older products, such as Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Masters of the Universe and Polly Pocket.
The deal has been spurred on by the recent success of the uDraw GameTablet and the release of Pictionary
, based on Mattel's well-known board game. Chuck Scothon, General Manager of Mattel's Digital Network, explained why they are partnering THQ:
Mattel is synonymous with play and as such we continually seek creative opportunities to generate new ways to play with our brands. Partnering with THQ extends the connection consumers have with our brands to a deeper multi-platform experience with video games for kids and family audiences.
THQ plan to develop games across all gaming platforms, including the Xbox and XBLA, although this also takes in Nintendo's Wii and DS as well. Hopefully it is the latter platforms that will be the intended target for games such as Barbie and Polly Pocket, although I'm sure the gamerscore aficionados amongst you wouldn't mind their appearance on the Xbox 360.
There are currently multiple games in the development stage, and the first (undisclosed) title will be ready for release in the holiday 2011 season.