BUSINESS

Skyrocket Entertainment seeks film, online gambling tie-ups

TAGs: richard clarke, skyrocket entertainment

skyrocket-entertainment-online-gambling-filmA new company aims to facilitate marketing tie-ups between film and gambling companies to incorporate moviemakers’ intellectual property into online gambling games.

On Sunday, the Hollywood Reporter announced that veteran gaming industry executive Richard Clarke had teamed with Sean O’Kelly, who until recently headed up UK film producer Carnaby International, on a new online gambling film rights entity dubbed Skyrocket Entertainment.

The executive tandem announced Skyrocket’s arrival at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, promoting the new venture as a potentially lucrative new revenue stream for filmmakers and rights holders to help offset the costs of production.

The report claimed Skyrocket was actively courting clients in Cannes and the company hopes to license as many as 100 games per year between rights holders and online operators.

O’Kelly said Skyrocket was “acquiring iconic films old and new, migrating them into the online games and gambling business.” O’Kelly claimed online game licensing was “a significant revenue stream on a par with (video on demand) and TV revenues.”

Clarke, whose online gambling résumé includes stops at Ladbrokes, Gala Coral Group, Link2Win, Vermantia, Fortuna Entertainment Group and others, was quoted as saying the average online slot title delivered ‘very significant and long-term’ revenue for rights holders, and also represented a heretofore untapped revenue source for many studios and production companies.

Gambling firms, be they land-based or online, have never been shy about securing the rights to popular film and TV properties, but the process isn’t without its pitfalls. Last year, online gambling technology supplier Playtech was forced to scrap all its games involving Marvel superheroes, due to Marvel’s acquisition by the Disney conglomerate, who felt gambling was a bad fit with its family-friendly image. Presumably, Skyrocket’s principals will endeavor to secure deals with companies that aren’t likely to get cold feet after signing on.

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