Powerhouse duo will keynote Hollywood & Games

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Legendary Pictures chairman Thomas Tull is such a big believer in the games sector that he's putting his money where his media is and financing the startup Brash Entertainment to the tune of $400 million raised via an investment syndicate. Tull, a self-professed gaming "geek" whose favorite is "Gears of War," says that while he's always been a big gaming fan, recent advances in the technology make now a particularly exciting time to get into the play space.

"Because of the advances in technology and the possibilities of what's available now, instead of just having game objectives you can also have an immersive storytelling experience," says Tull, who will deliver the business keynote address at the Hollywood & Games Summit at 9:15 a.m. on June 27 at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. "That really opens up new doors, in terms of making video gaming more interesting to people who weren't previously into it, and it also makes it more interesting to avid fans as well."

While Legendary currently is gearing up to make a movie based on Blizzard Entertainment's popular online game "World of Warcraft," Tull says Brash will initially focus on developing games based on tentpole movies, TV and music properties, and to that end has 12 projects already in development.

"We intend to gain a reputation as people who take very seriously making great games," Brash co-founder, chairman and CEO Mitch Davis says. "The audiences and the gamers are very sophisticated, so we are going to deliver more than great brands. We're going to deliver great gameplay. That is the absolute focus of our team."

Taking games to new frontiers is also the recent focus for author and director Clive Barker, who will deliver Hollywood & Games' creative keynote June 26 at 2:15 p.m. Barker is about to bow his first original videogame, the supernatural action-horror romp "Jericho," due out for consoles later this year from Codemasters.

"Clive was involved in the game 'Undying,' which people loved. But that was an existing franchise," says Boesky & Co.'s Keith Boesky, who is Barker's agent and is representing feature film rights to the new property on behalf of his client. "'Jericho' will be the first game he's created and (been) involved with from the very beginning."

Historically, games have been about gameplay, but Boesky says the technology is opening new doors for storytellers. "When you have a master of storytelling and character design like Clive Barker tapping into this new technology, you're going to see things that have never been done before," he says.

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