Fox aura surrounds Microsoft's top-selling 'Halo'

Licensing deal for huge vid game

NEW YORK -- Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising announced a partnership with Microsoft to act as the primary licensing agent for its top-selling video game franchise "Halo," which already has 30 licensees across a full range of product categories.

Fox Licensing will enter the strategic partnership with Microsoft -- which has generated more than $700 million in sales from the "Halo" franchise, with more than 14.5 million video games sold -- to expand the brand's licensing and merchandise program, retail distribution and worldwide presence with its target demographic of males ages 17-34.

"The addition of the 'Halo' brand is a tremendous addition to our licensing portfolio," said Elie Dekel, executive vp domestic licensing at 20th Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising. "Microsoft Games Studios and the world's best video game developer, Bungie, has created one of the most recognizable video games of this generation with legions of loyal fans. This partnership clearly demonstrates our belief in representing outside intellectual properties that are seamless to our core business and audience at Fox.

" 'Halo' is widely considered the jewel in the crown of the video game industry, and we are enormously excited about extending this IP in innovative ways that are organic to the brand and that will be embraced by 'Halo' fans worldwide."

Steve Schreck, director of franchise development at Microsoft, said Fox Licensing's reputation, experience in the industry and expertise in reaching "Halo's" target audience would provide a "solid foundation for the expansion of the property into new products, retail markets and territories."