The shuffling of high-profile franchise licenses continues in the video game industry: three years ago, EA held the rights to James Bond and Vivendi had begun work on its first Bourne-related title after managing to secure the Robert Ludlum estate license. In 2006, Activision took Bond away from EA, then Activision merged with Vivendi and dropped Ludlum after The Bourne Conspiracy failed to become a sales success. So, the next step in the saga?
According to Variety, EA has picked up the Ludlum license thanks to a fresh new 10-year deal. Evidently, they've already started developing their first Bourne game, which is slated to launch some time during summer 2010. Considering the fourth movie has a similar release time frame, this shouldn't surprise anyone. Ludlum estate CEO Jeffrey Weiner said that EA was their "first choice" and they feel they're in a "much better position" thanks to EA's talent and resources. Added independent agent Keith Boesky:
"EA came in the strongest, had the best take on the property, and they know how to grow the IP and have unquestioned worldwide market reach. We're dealing with grown ups now."
…well, we're not entirely sure what that last statement means exactly, but we can guess. Conspiracy really wasn't a bad game; it just wasn't quite good enough to prompt solid sales, and we're hoping that EA can take the next step. It would also help a great deal if they could somehow land Matt Damon's actual likeness and voice, which has been conspicuously missing. We'll let you know if any new info comes our way.