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Fox is spinning up a new games group

FoxNext will work with TV and movie franchises to create video games and VR experiences

Alien: Isolation art Creative Assembly and Feral Interactive/Sega
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

A new division at Fox, called FoxNext, is being spun up to oversee video gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and theme park installations. The new business unit will have access to Twentieth Century Fox Film and Fox Networks Group franchises. A press release issued this week says the goal is to “drive the company’s next-generation storytelling experiences.”

Salil Mehta, a veteran of both NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company, will be the business unit’s president.

The unit was created in part due to the success of The Simpsons: Tapped Out on mobile and Alien: Isolation for PC and modern consoles. One stated focus will be VR, and Fox said they hope to combine the efforts of multiple gaming groups to commercialize that space.

One such project that would fall under the group is the VR experience that will accompany Ridley Scott’s upcoming film, Alien: Covenant. Fox’s Innovation Lab tells Polygon that it will be available this year “across all tethered platforms.” It comes on the heels of a VR experience created for The Martian, which dropped players into a number of marquee moments from the feature film to work through simple puzzles or just admire the landscape in 360 degrees.

Another priority for FoxNext will be theme parks. Fox has been planning one in Dubai for some time, and is actively developing a 25-acre site in Malaysia called 20th Century Fox World.

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