Barbie enters the video game console arena

5 Jan 2011

THQ is delving deep into the toy maker Mattel’s treasure trove of toy brands to develop and publish them into video games, with Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price about to embrace digital entertainment.

Hot on their heels will be Monster High and longtime Mattel favourites such as Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Masters of the Universe and Polly Pocket, as THQ and Mattel are also gearing up to develop the video game and interactive potential of these toy brands.

The multi-platform deal will focus on THQ designing, developing and marketing games for consoles and handheld systems, personal computers, mobile devices and social networks; and popular online gaming portals such as Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Nintendo WiiWare Network.

THQ also plans to bring Mattel’s brands to its uDraw GameTablet, a new accessory launched just prior to Christmas that quickly became one of the season’s most sought-after gifts.

Mattel – top toy company

“We are excited to work hand-in-hand with the world’s No 1 toy company to bring a new level of entertainment to its already incredibly popular brands,” said Martin Good, THQ’s executive vice-president of Kids, Family and Casual Games.

“As we have shown with the combination of uDraw and Pictionary, there is enormous potential for the strategic relationship between THQ and Mattel. Through video games, we can build on some of the most famous and classic toy properties in the world, as well as unlock the entertainment potential of the newest creations from Mattel,” he added.

“Mattel is synonymous with play and as such we continually seek creative opportunities to generate new ways to play with our brands,” said Chuck Scothon, general manager of the Mattel’s Digital Network.

“Partnering with THQ extends the connection consumers have with our brands to a deeper multi-platform experience with video games for kids and family audiences.”

THQ and Mattel are in the development stage on multiple games, the first of which are scheduled for release next holiday season. Details of these titles will be formally announced in the coming months.

With its headquarters in El Segundo, California, Mattel was named as one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the third year in a row.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic