The Day

Horror movie maestro Blum enters gaming biz


Jason Blum, the producer of horror movie hits “M3gan” and “The Purge,” is entering the video game business, aiming to extend his expertise in scary stories to a new and more lucrative creative medium.

Blum’s production company plans to make immersive horror games, costing less than $10 million to produce, which people will play on PCs and gaming consoles. It will identify titles in developmen­t at smaller studios and offer financing, creative input and the value of its reputation in the horror space.

Blumhouse hired Zach Wood, who has worked on more than 30 games, to oversee the creative side of its gaming business and Don Sechler, a veteran of Sony PlayStatio­n, to run finance and operations. Wood will report into Abhijay Prakash, the president of Blumhouse.

Prakash is on a mission to help Blum add to the value of his company by increasing its output of films and TV shows, while also branching out into new lines of business. That includes live experience­s and a bigger presence at theme parks, as well as video games. The global video game industry is larger than the businesses of film and music combined.

Blumhouse is already the biggest producer of horror movies in Hollywood and is about to close a merger with Atomic Monster, a production company led by director James Wan. The pair have already been collaborat­ing on the Insidious movie franchise.

“We’re in the scary story business. We do films, we do TV and there is this massive, growing segment in media and entertainm­ent called gaming,” Prakash said. “The space is hundreds of billions of dollars; we’re in a great position to try and access it.”

Blumhouse previously explored going into gaming via Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, the movie studio that releases the majority of its films. Universal tried convincing game studios to turn some Blumhouse titles, including “The Purge,” into games. Nothing came of it.

Prakash redoubled those efforts after joining Blumhouse from Universal but opted to make original games instead of ones based on the company’s movies. The company will go after games in much the way it has movies, developing an establishe­d network of creators and producing the games on a budget. Blumhouse aims to invest in about 15 games over the next three to four years, spending about $25 million on each slate.

Success will come slowly, if ever. Games take months if not years to develop, and history is littered with failed ventures. But Wood said he believes there’s plenty of opportunit­y for horror titles, especially if aligned with an independen­t producer.

 ?? LAUREN JUSTICE/BLOOMBERG ?? Jason Blum, founder and chief executive officer of Blumhouse Production­s.
LAUREN JUSTICE/BLOOMBERG Jason Blum, founder and chief executive officer of Blumhouse Production­s.

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