'Die Hard'  video game is mobile only for Gameloft
EmptyFrench mobile game publisher Gameloft has secured the exclusive video game rights to 20th Century Fox's "Live Free or Die Hard" for mobile phones.
There will be no console games on the market this summer featuring the fourth "Die Hard" movie, making mobile phones the only way to relive the cinematic experience that opens June 27. That's similar to the gamemaker's deal last summer with Paramount Pictures for "Mission: Impossible III."
The deal comes on the heels of Gameloft's acquisition of mobile game rights to DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek the Third" (HR 4/23). That film opens May 18.
For "Live Free or Die Hard," gamers will step into the role of John McClane and embark on 13 levels of fights, car chases through the streets of Washington and mini-game puzzle challenges.
The movie involves a criminal plot targeting the nation's computer infrastructure and threatening the technological foundations of the U.S. economy. Gameloft worked closely with Fox to ensure that the game captures the story and essence of the film, said Gonzague de Vallois, vp publishing at Gameloft.
The three previous "Die Hard" films generated more than $740 million in revenue over the past 12 years. De Vallois said the story line behind "Live Free or Die Hard" is a perfect fit for a mobile adaptation because it has all of the core Hollywood elements that make for a great action film/game: intense fight scenes, special effects and outrageous stunts.
"We have a long-term, strategic relationship with 20th Century Fox and have entered into a multiyear agreement with them for this license," de Vallois said. "This enables us to develop additional games, but it would have to make sense for both Gameloft and 20th Century Fox."
Fox Interactive and Vivendi Games previously released "Die Hard" games in the '90s.
Gameloft generated $30.9 million in sales in the first quarter of this year, up 56% from the 2006 period, thanks in large part to licensed mobile games like "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives." The publisher released 45 games in 2006, up from 20 in 2005.
The worldwide installed base of Java phones reached 1.2 billion units in 2007 and is expected to double in the coming years. With its catalogue of 130 mobile games distributed by more than 170 operators around the world, Gameloft is forecasting annual sales of €95 million to €100 million ($129.2 million to $136 million), up slightly from its previous estimate of €90 million to €100 million ($122.3 million to $136 million).