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Future of Bourne video games uncertain as EA cancels title [updated]

BourneUltimatum Electronic Arts Inc. has issued its own Bourne ultimatum.

The video game company said it was exterminating a planned game based on the Jason Bourne spy novels and movies. That move raises serious questions about the future of a 10-year deal EA signed with the estate of the late Bourne author Robert Ludlum last year.

One person close to the Ludlum estate said that the two companies' partnership remains in effect. However, an EA spokeswoman confirmed that there are currently no Ludlum-related games in the works.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., publisher has cut back significantly on its movie and television licenses in the last few years in an effort to focus on original properties and licensed sports games. The only games it has in the works for the next year based on a Hollywood property are tied to Warner Bros.' two upcoming Harry Potter movies.

EA acquired the Ludlum video game rights in February of 2009. Vivendi Games published a game based on "The Bourne Conspiracy" in 2008 but dropped the license soon after when it merged with Activision to create Activision Blizzard Inc.

Bourne's future on the big screen remains in limbo as well. Although Universal Pictures has said it hopes to continue the series, star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass.

[Update, 5:52 p.m.: The EA spokeswoman added the following: "EA and the Ludlum Estate are still discussing making a game based on the Bourne franchise."]

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Matt Damon in 2007's "The Bourne Ultimatum." Credit: Jasin Boland / Universal Pictures

 
Comments () | Archives (1)

I hope the studios have been chastened by the silly cross-promotion they attempted, trying to link the Bourne pics to the Green Zone. They ended up ruining a highly entertaining and profitable vehicle by tying a rabbit to a cow.


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