SEE, Mindark in virtual partnership

To create online worlds based on Hollywood licenses

SAN DIEGO -- SEE Virtual Worlds, a new division of Los Angeles-based SEE Touring Attractions, announced a partnership with Mindark, the Swedish developer behind the Entropia Universe virtual world, to create as many as 50 standalone virtual planets based on popular Hollywood licenses.

SEE Virtual Worlds CEO Martin Biallas said the first licensing deals should be announced in the coming months, adding they will be a mix of catalog and current movie properties.

"We're looking for licenses that fit this non-subscription, cash economy model," he said, adding these will be standard licensing deals for the studios with an opportunity for an ongoing revenue stream.

"We're also looking at creating virtual planets around the entertainment icons that are a crossover between public domain and licenses such as Monsters planet that could feature Dracula," Biallas explained as example, adding, "There's no investment from the studios. We come with the funding and Mindark has spent years building their engine so we can get these planets up and running in about nine months."

SEE has already set up meetings with the major studios and Biallas said interest is there as executives understand this could be a fairly low-risk way to determine the viability of older licenses and perhaps lay the groundwork for those properties to be re-launched as films or TV series.

"There's also a real revenue stream for virtual merchandising as well as the ability to have users order real-world licensed t-shirts and jackets, for instance, from within the virtual planet," Biallas said, adding a global audience for a popular license could bring millions of users to that virtual planet.

Parent company SEE Touring Attractions has already proven they know how to make film licenses work have created successful and innovative themed touring exhibitions, including "Star Trek: The Tour" and "Titanic" Official Movie Tour."
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