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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Microsoft and Ubisoft Execs Leave for Jerry Bruckheimer Games

by Rainier on May 12, 2009 @ 3:47 a.m. PDT

Jerry Bruckheimer and MTV Games announced two executive appointments that officially mark the producer's entrance into the video game industry, Microsoft/Halo producer Jim Veevaert and Ubisoft VP Jay Cohen.

Industry veterans, Jim Veevaert and Jay Cohen, will lead Jerry Bruckheimer Games, Inc. as President of Production and President of Development respectively.

Connecting the impact, creativity and success of Jerry Bruckheimer to the interactive entertainment industry for the first time, Veevaert and Cohen will build a creative IP development studio focused on the development and production of groundbreaking interactive content and original intellectual property that convey and reflect the high standards of entertainment value set by Jerry Bruckheimer in his other creative ventures.

"Jim Veevaert and Jay Cohen are two of the most knowledgeable, brightest, and creative talents in this industry," said Jerry Bruckheimer. "Throughout their careers, Jim and Jay have both demonstrated their unstoppable desire to advance the medium, which is exactly what we do with feature films and television. We are going to create content that challenges the way things are done and the experiences gamers have today."

By working with only the best designers, developers, storytellers and artists, Veevaert and Cohen will incubate and develop projects that explore interactive storytelling, foster immense creativity and challenge the boundaries of traditional game development.

Bruckheimer and MTV Games previously announced this exclusive deal to create new and original video game content together. Details on the partnership have been quiet until today's executive appointments.

Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, added: "Between them, Jim and Jay bring 30 years of proven success to the table from the world of video game development, production, publishing and marketing. With their knowledge, passion and experience with blockbuster Triple-A game franchises, they're exactly the right team to inject the same kind of explosive ideas into the interactive space that Jerry Bruckheimer brought to film and television. Following on the success of Harmonix and Rock Band, this powerhouse coupling of Bruckheimer and MTV Games is the next step in our evolution in the video game industry."

A 15-year veteran in the interactive industry, Jim Veevaert spent the past eight years at Microsoft overseeing the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system's largest franchises. As the Executive Producer for Halo 3, Veevaert was responsible for production and franchise management for the Halo Xbox 360 game series. He also managed Microsoft's relationship with video game developer Bungie Studios. Prior to his work on the Halo series, Veevaert brought the Epic Games relationship to Microsoft, along with the Gears of War franchise. Veevaert led collaboration with the creative leads of Rare Ltd in the United Kingdom to expand the Viva Pinata franchise with an original television production and series of companion games.

A 13-year veteran in the interactive entertainment industry, Jay Cohen spent the past decade at Ubisoft building the French company's North American subsidiary into one of the most respected and prosperous independent publishing and development powerhouses in the business. During his tenure as Senior Vice President of Publishing, Cohen and his team successfully engineered and executed the launches of blockbuster franchises such as Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Prince of Persia, Rayman and Assassin's Creed. A firm supporter in advancing and promoting the awareness of the artistry and talent within the interactive industry, Cohen has served as a member of, and currently sits as, Chairman of the Board for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

MTV Games will serve as publisher for Jerry Bruckheimer Games, Inc. and work with Veevaert and Cohen on all phases of development -- from concept to launch -- including supporting production, and managing distribution and global marketing. MTV Networks will support the venture across all its broadcast and digital platforms including CMT, MTV, Spike and VH1. Bob Picunko, Senior Vice President Electronic Games & Interactive Products will oversee the relationship for MTV Games.

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