Warner Bros. game for SCi stake

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Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is set to buy a 10.3% stake in U.K. entity SCi Entertainment Group while also licensing the rights to some of its most popular characters to that company's Eidos video game unit.

Warner Bros. said Friday that it will pay £44.4 million ($86.7 million) for its stake in SCi and that Eidos will create as many as 22 games based on Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny; the comic-book version of Batman; and such Hanna-Barbera properties as Yogi Bear, the Flintstones and Huckleberry Hound. The arrangement also gives Eidos interactive rights to "The O.C." television show.

The deal, which must be approved by SCi shareholders, has Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group providing warehousing, logistics, merchandising and media-buying services in the U.S. to Eidos while Eidos handles manufacturing, sales, marketing and public relations.

SCi plans on issuing 8.9 million new shares to Warner Bros. Entertainment, the companies said Friday.

"Investing in SCi further solidifies our commitment to the rapidly growing interactive and gaming space," Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara said.

SCi and Eidos will get character rights via Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which manages the studio's brands across all platforms, future and current.

WBIE recently released the "Justice League Heroes" game based on the DC Comics characters and announced the production of video games based on the "Dirty Harry" franchise, with Clint Eastwood taking part in the creative process.
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