By Pushkala Aripaka and Yadarisa Shabong
(Reuters) – Amazon.com is seeking to bring popular fantasy game “Warhammer 40,000” to life after agreeing in principle to produce film and television content with British developer Games Workshop.
The deal, whose commercial terms were not disclosed in the British company’s statement, underscores Amazon‘s push to capitalise on a streaming boom and take on rivals including HBO Max and Netflix as audiences clamour for new shows and movies.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“There are no numbers at this stage and this will take some time to come to screen. Nonetheless this is major news as it could deliver material royalties (for Games Workshop) as well as expand the reach of Warhammer,” Peel Hunts analysts said, calling Amazon “an ideal partner”.
The development follows Amazon’s pricey prequel series to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” novels – “The Rings of Power”, which set a record debut in September for a Prime Video series after being watched by more than 25 million viewers.
UK-based Games Workshop said Amazon’s content unit would develop its intellectual property into film and television productions, beginning with the “Warhammer 40,000” universe.
The game company makes tabletop fantasy and futuristic battle games including “Warhammer 40,000”, which is set in the 41st millennium. Its shares jumped nearly 14% in Friday morning trade following the deal.
Games Workshop said that it would also grant merchandising rights to Amazon, and the U.S. company would start developing the project, including holding preliminary discussions with writers.
Media reports on Friday said actor Henry Cavill could star in the new project and be involved as executive producer, a day after he confirmed he would not return as “Superman” in the DC universe and following his exit as “Geralt of Rivia” on Netflix’s “The Witcher”, which also spans a book-to-game universe.
Reuters could not immediately confirm Cavill’s involvement with Games Workshop, Amazon, or the actor himself.