Blumhouse to launch video game division

Blumhouse to launch video game division

Ethan Hawke stars in Blumhouse and Universal’s “The Black Phone.”

Universal

The world of video games is about to get scarier.

Blumhouse, the powerhouse horror movie and TV production company, said Tuesday that it is launching Blumhouse Games.

“For some time we have been looking to build out a team to start accessing the growth opportunity in interactive media,” said Abhijay Prakash, president of Blumhouse. “When we sat with Zach and Don they articulated an approach that resonated with Blumhouse’s model and we knew it was a perfect place for us to start our push into the interactive space.”

Blumhouse Games will partner with independent game developers and target indie-budget games of under $10 million. This is a similar strategy to how the company handles its filmed content production. Blumhouse typically operates under small production budgets and then sees large gains at the box office.

The company has revolutionized the horror genre in the last decade, turning small budget flicks into huge box-office hits. The studio has been responsible for the profitable and popular “Paranormal Activity” films as well as the Academy Award-winning “Get Out.”

“Paranormal Activity,” which was released in 2009, had a budget of just $15,000 and went on to make more than $107 million in the U.S. and nearly $200 million worldwide.

The company plans to invest in horror-themed games for consoles, PCs and mobile devices.

To lead Blumhouse Games, the company tapped video game industry veterans Zach Woods as the group’s president and Don Sechler as chief financial officer.

Wood has been a video game producer for more than 25 years and published games on every platform including Game Boy, Playstation and Xbox. He has worked on indie projects like “Sound Shapes” and “Hohokum” as well as bigger projects like “Prey: Mooncrash” and “Redfall” for Arkane and Bethesda.

Sechler, who will head the finance department, has previously worked for Sony and helped reform PlayStation’s relationship with third party game creators.

Blumhouse is also working to merge with “The Conjuring” director James Wan’s Atomic Monster production company. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal has a distribution deal with Blumhouse.

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