Video games coming from Dunder Mifflin

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Publisher MumboJumbo has entered into a multiyear relationship with the Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group to develop mass-market games based on the NBC series "The Office."

Developed and published exclusively by MumboJumbo, "The Office" game will debut in the fall as a PC game sold at retail and available as an online digital download. Next year, the plan is to create additional games based on "The Office" license beginning with portable experiences for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable.

MumboJumbo CEO Mark Cottam said the company is exploring additional avenues for games based on the Emmy-winning series, including digital distribution via Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Sony's PlayStation Network Platform.

"We looked at the broad demographic that 'The Office' attracts and see this as a TV property that's growing in popularity," Cottam said. "We believe this is a property we can build a franchise around with multiple games across multiple devices for many years to come."

Mike Suarez, vp product development at MumboJumbo, said the first "Office" game would be classified as a task-management game like "Diner Dash." Players will assume the role of Jim Halpert (John Krasinski in the show) and interact with such other characters as Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

Suarez said the game introduces a rival notion that hasn't been seen in the genre, which pits Jim against characters like Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and brings tension to the gameplay.

Overall, the game will retain the humor and jokes that fans of the show love. The fact that all characters will appear as bobble heads is a reference to Dwight's bobble head on his desk.

"We're having ongoing discussions with NBC about this game, and they really understand the video game space," Suarez said. "Players will be able to click on characters and hear audio clips from the past seasons of the show. We'd also like to incorporate video clips at some point, perhaps with the portable games."

Cottam said that moving forward, discussions between the gamemakers and NBC writers likely will result in new content for future games. He said this relationship could work both ways, with original ideas for the games potentially being used in future TV episodes.

"There's so much audio and visual content from the first few seasons that we have more then enough content for this game, but the door is definitely open for original content should we need it," Suarez said.

The first PC game will focus on past story lines and situations.

Mobile game publisher Indiagames released "NBC's The Office Games" for cell phones in July06. That game was a collection of mini-games like desktop mini-golf that had the NBC license added late in development. The game offered little in the form of collaboration with show creators or inclusion of cast members into play.
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