Dark Horse launches new games and digital content division

Dark Horse Comics has announced the launch of a new division dedicated to developing games and digital content. Dark Horse Games will partner with third-party game developers, as well as produce their own in-house projects, to create video games based on the publisher’s stable of characters and stories. The division will also develop projects in other digital media, from webtoons to anime, to coincide with the development and release of their games. Johnny B. Lee will act as the general manager for the Dark Horse Games division, which will have offices in Oregon and Shanghai.

In a statement announcing the partnership, Dark Horse founder and president Mike Richardson and Lee both described their vision for the future of the Dark Horse Games division:

“We’ve spent the past thirty-five years developing a long list of original, fan-favorite IP with many of the best partners in digital entertainment. Now is the perfect time to expand our vision into gaming,” said Dark Horse Comics founder and President Mike Richardson. “Dark Horse Games gives us exciting new ways to engage with fans of all kinds on a multitude of platforms.”

“Dark Horse Comics sits at the intersection of consumer entertainment, production and publishing. We’re one of the few companies that own IP nimble enough to execute coordinated strategies across multiple platforms, and that’s a huge advantage in gaming and digital,” said Dark Horse Games General Manager Johnny B. Lee.

Lee comes to Dark Horse Games with years of experience in the game development field. He managed development at several companies, and also founded a pair digital media companies, including Korea-based game developer DGTL and Planet B-Boy, the film production company behind a documentary of the same name.

While the PR announcing the new division doesn’t specifically mention them, on LinkedIn, Lee’s description of the role and of Dark Horse Games’ plans mentions, as part of the digital content development, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. While their prominence in the art world has been steadily rising, NFTs are also a fairly hot-button topic for many considering their environmental impact, so it’s not surprising they didn’t want to call that out.

Gaming and digital content is the latest frontier for Dark Horse to enter into. Dark Horse Entertainment, the publisher’s film division, was established in the early ’90s, and has had numerous successful projects over the years, most recently with The Umbrella Academy on Netflix and Resident Alien on Syfy. Earlier this year Dark Horse announced a partnership with Graphic Audio and Recorded Books to create podcasts and audiobooks based on their properties.

Check out the full text of the Dark Horse Games announcement below.

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (June 2, 2021)—Multimedia publisher and entertainment company Dark Horse Comics has revealed Dark Horse Games (“DHG”), its new gaming and digital division. With two main offices in Oregon and Shanghai, DHG’s mission is to create unique experiences — both through close licensing partnerships with the industry’s best game makers and its own in-house, first-party titles — inspired by Dark Horse Comics’ diverse portfolio of over 425 story-driven characters and universes. Over the company’s history, Dark Horse has published such world-renowned IPs as Hellboy, Frank Miller’s Sin City and 300Umbrella AcademyPolarLady KillerEmily the StrangeUsagi YojimboResident Alien, and many more.

“We’ve spent the past thirty-five years developing a long list of original, fan-favorite IP with many of the best partners in digital entertainment. Now is the perfect time to expand our vision into gaming,” said Dark Horse Comics founder and President Mike Richardson. “Dark Horse Games gives us exciting new ways to engage with fans of all kinds on a multitude of platforms.”

Dark Horse Games is currently in discussions with some of the world’s top gaming studios to create AAA licensed titles based on Dark Horse Comics’ vast library to be released over the next several years across all platforms, including PC, consoles, mobile and cloud-based services. Meanwhile, DHG’s first-party games will focus on refreshing older and less established IPs as gaming first IPs. DHG will also produce and release multimedia projects (e.g., webtoons and anime) in conjunction with the first-party games. DHG is in active discussions with the world’s top game co-development studios and content production studios, with the first of these in-house projects already in production.

“Dark Horse Comics sits at the intersection of consumer entertainment, production and publishing. We’re one of the few companies that own IP nimble enough to execute coordinated strategies across multiple platforms, and that’s a huge advantage in gaming and digital,” said Dark Horse Games General Manager Johnny B. Lee.

Interested parties can reach out to hello@darkhorsegames.io for business inquiries.

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The new division will also see Dark Horse enter the world of NFTs.
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