Masters of Horror, Blumhouse Productions, Entering the Video Game Market

Horror has been on a meteoric rise as of late thanks in large part to Hollywood’s biggest Horror movie producer Blumhouse Productions. Since founding the production company in 2000, Jason Blum has help create a treasure trove of Iconic horror franchises such as Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Insidious, Get Out, as well as the recent hit M3GAN. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, as Blumhouse is soon to grow even bigger thanks to the pending acquisition of Jams Wan’s (The Conjuring, Malignant) Atomic Monster Productions.

Evidently the company and the horrors it houses have grown too big for the silver screen alone as it has been revealed, via Bloomberg, that Blumhouse plans to publish its own ‘Immersive Horror’ games. Targeting the console & PC markets with ear marked budgets in the $10 million dollar range, publisher Blumhouse is looking to identify titles currently in development at smaller studios, offering financing, creative input, and the value of their reputation in the genre.

Blumhouse games has also hired industry veteran Zach Wood to lead the creative side of the gaming business. Wood is known for his work with Sony Santa Monica on Bound and The Unfinished Swan as well as a stint at Arkane where he worked on Prey: Mooncrash as well as the highly anticipated Redfall. Rounding up the dynamic duo at Blumhouse games is Don Sechler who will handle the finance and operations side of things. Sechler previously headed finance, operations, and strategy for Sony PlayStation’s publisher and developer relations teams beginning in 2013 and throughout Sony’s dominate rise in the previous console generation. To put it bluntly, Blumhouse Games seem to have a pretty solid team in place to make this whole thing happen.

Abhijay Prakash, the president of Blumhouse, is their direct report and the man who is spearheading this entire initiative within the company. Abhijay previously tried to break into the games industry by attempting to convince their distribution partners at Universal Pictures on pitches for games based on films like “The Purge”, but ultimately the projects never took off. However, seeing the value that Horror has in the gaming market it appears to be well worth the risk for Blumhouse to go at it on their own.

“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.” – Abhijay Prakash, via Bloomberg

Our Take

Horror has a long history in gaming and we at SG are big-time horror fans. The genre as a whole is experiencing a resurgence as of late with new IPs like The Calisto Protocol as well as many returning favorites such as Dead Space Remastered, Resident Evil 4 Remake, and Silent Hill 2 Remastered. However, the genre is starting to mimic pre-2000’s horror films, as it is in some ways being carried by Freddy-Jason-Micheal-sized franchises. We are hopeful that the strategy and expertise that worked so well in Hollywood will make the transition to controllers and scare the pants off of everyone.

By Eric Bezanson

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