EA, Ludlum playing spy games

Exclusive license from author's estate includes hit Bourne franchise

Electronic Arts has won an exclusive worldwide license from Ludlum Entertainment to create video games based on the works of author Robert Ludlum, including the popular Jason Bourne franchise.

The first game set to be released under the arrangement is based on the Bourne series and is in development at Uppsala, Sweden-based Starbreeze Studios, which worked on the "Chronicles of Riddick" games. Financial details of the multiyear deal weren't disclosed.

"We are confident EA's unparalleled production ability and marketing reach will establish the Jason Bourne series in games as powerfully and successfully as it exists in books and film," said Jeffrey Weiner, chairman and CEO of Ludlum Entertainment and executor of the Ludlum estate.

A previous Bourne game was published by Sierra Entertainment.

"Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne is the most exciting action hero to emerge in decades, thrilling audiences around the world," Mike Quigley, group vp marketing at EA Games Label.

Video game veteran Matt Wolf, the Ludlum estate's interactive creative adviser, will work with EA to oversee development of Ludlum games. He played similar roles with Gracie Films on a game based on "The Simpsons" and with the Roald Dahl estate on a "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" game.

Ludlum Entertainment said it has films in development at Universal, MGM, Paramount and Summit. (partialdiff)