EA signs video game deal with "300" director

Zack Snyder (R), the director of the movie "300", and wife Debbie attend the premiere of the movie at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood March 5, 2007. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc has signed a deal for Hollywood director Zack Snyder, who made the hit 2006 film “300,” to help develop video games, some of which may someday become movies themselves.

The agreement, announced on Monday, calls for Snyder, who also directed 2004’s “The Dawn of the Dead” and is working on a film adaptation of the “Watchmen” comic book series, to develop three original games for EA.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The pact is similar to EA’s deal with director and producer Steven Spielberg in 2005, which also called for the creation of three games.

Snyder will lead the creative direction of the games and work with the production team at EA Los Angeles, the same studio currently collaborating with Spielberg on the game “Boom Blox” for Nintendo Co Ltd’s Wii.

EA will own the intellectual properties, and the game franchises will be developed, published and distributed worldwide by EA. The agreement includes efforts to extend the game franchises into theatrical motion pictures.

Hollywood and the video game industry -- revenues of which rival those of the nation’s box offices -- continue to work more and more closely, yielding hit game franchises based on films such as the Lord of the Rings and James Bond series.

At the same time, popular games with rich stories are being made into feature films, including “Max Payne,” a movie based on the Take-Two Interactive Software Inc game, which opens in theaters next month.

Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Gerald E. McCormick