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Exclusive: Rebellion CEO reveals plans for new entries in former Vivendi Games series

The merger of Vivendi Games with Activision in 2008 to form Activision Blizzard left a ton of former Vivendi Games properties looking for new owners. Many of them found new homes with various publishers. One of them was UK-based developer Rebellion, best known for their work on the first PC Aliens Vs Predator game. Currently the developer is working on a new AVP game for publisher Sega along with the first person shooter Rogue Warrior for publisher Bethesda Softworks.

Last week, the DRM-free download site GoG.com revealed they were adding new games owned by Rebellion to their catalog. What wasn't mentioned at the time of the announcement was that the games were actually former Vivendi Games titles that were not previously owned or developed by Rebellion. That got our curiosity up and we decided to contact Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley to get more information.Kingsley confirmed to us that they now own the rights to release several former Vivendi Games titles. You can check out the breakdown after the jump:

Evil Genius: Released in 2004 by the now defunct Elixir Studios, this was a strategy-management game where you play an super-spy villain who contructs a fortress and sends minions out on missions in order to take over the world. Kingsley told us that Rebellion bought the Evil Genius rights "a long time ago" before they bought the other Vivendi Games titles they currently own.

Ground Control: This sci-fi RTS series was first released in 2008 by developer Massive Entertainment and was one of the first fully 3D games in that genre. An expansion pack, Dark Conspiracy, was released in 2001. In 2004 a full sequel was released with an updated graphics engine and more fast paced gameplay. Massive went on to develop World in Conflict for Vivendi Games in 2007 and then was bought out by Ubisoft who released its expansion pack earlier this year.

Empire Earth: This centuries spanning RTS series was first released in 2001 by the now defunct Stainless Steel Studios. An expansion pack was released in 2002 by Mad Doc Software who later developed Empire Earth II in 2005 and Empire Earth III in 2007. Mad Doc Software was later bought by Rockstar Games and renamed Rockstar New England.

Lords of the Realm/Lords of Magic: The turn based strategy game series Lords of the Realm begin in 1994 and the medival-themed game spawnned two sequels (in 1996 and 2004) and a fantasy spin off title, Lords of Magic, in 1997. All of the games in the series were developed by Impressions Games which shut down in 2004.

Kingsley told us, " . . . we identified the other titles as ones that we thought were interesting and were in their back-catalogue and then approached Activision about them. After some negotiation and explanation of what our plans were for them they accepted our deal." He declined to comment about the specifics of the financial deal, saying only " . . . it worked for both of us."

Rebellion is now offering the previous games in these series as digital downloads. In addition to GoG.com, Evil Genius can now be bought via Steam. Kingsley told us, "We're dipping our toes into the digital download market and are in the initial phase where we see just what we can do. " One of Rebellion's own internally developed games, the comic book-themed first person shooter Dredd Vs. Death, is also available via Steam and Kingsley told us that another of their titles, the WWII shooter Sniper Elite, " . . . will be up on Steam very soon, which is incredibly exciting."

It's one thing to re-release old games but does Rebellion have any plans to make new entries in their newly acquired Vivendi Games properties? Kingsley stated, "Yes, we have complete ownership of the IP from the past and going forwards, so yes we're putting our plans together for new titles in each series." He would not state which games would get that treatment, saying, "Exactly what and when is currently up for discussion, as we're super busy on Aliens vs Predator for Sega and Rogue Warrior for Bethesda."

Overall Kingsley said that Rebellion is looking forward to moving into new territory with their own and acquired game properties, saying, "We are always on the look out for interesting and expandable IP. We're happy to generate it internally as we did with Sniper Elite for example, or to take a back catalogue of ideas and refresh them. The rise of digital distribution is an exciting area for us and makes developing a smaller high quality game more possible for a developer working on their own." We will naturally be following up on Rebellion's plans in the months and years ahead.

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