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Annapurna Pictures jumps into video game publishing business

Company behind Zero Dark Thirty and Her launches interactive arm

Annapurna Pictures logo Annapurna Pictures
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Movie production company Annapurna Pictures — the Los Angeles-based company behind films such as Her, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master and Sausage Party — is getting into the video game business. The company is launching Annapurna Interactive, a division that will produce and publish “personal, emotional, and original games that push the boundaries of interactive content and encourage artists to bring new visions to the medium,” according to an announcement.

Annapurna Interactive will publish its first pair of games in the spring: Jason Roberts’ illustrated, inventive puzzle game Gorogoa and Giant Sparrow’s anthology adventure What Remains of Edith Finch.

The new game publisher also announced a handful of projects it’s publishing, including titles from Funomena, home of Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and former thatgamecompany designer Robin Hunicke; and Mountains, the studio founded by Monument Valley designer Ken Wong. Funomena announced Wattam, an exploratory game about friends, in 2015. Mountains is working on an unannounced, premium-priced mobile game.

“I’ve had a great passion for video games for as long as I can remember,” Annapurna founder and CEO, Megan Ellison, said in a statement. “Growing up, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of my all-time favorites. My brother and I ran up quite a bill calling the 1-900 numbers for tips on those games, before the internet provided game-guides.

“The artistry and diversity of interactive storytelling is exciting and we look forward to exploring the limitless possibilities in gaming. We want to empower artists across this medium to make Annapurna Interactive their home, and I believe we’ve assembled the perfect team to make that happen.”

Annapurna Interactive employs a team of game veterans whose credits include Journey, God of War, Mortal Kombat, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Flower and Fat Princess, according to today’s announcement.

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