International Game Technology (IGT) has signed a new multi-year agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products to license its Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! brands for use on a number of cross-platform products, with the company prepaying $185m to Sony against future royalties.
The new agreement runs until 2024 and allows IGT to develop mobile and online slot games based on the Wheel of Fortune gameshow for its social casino subsidiary DoubleDown and its real-money gaming portfolio.
The partnership also sees IGT gain the rights to Jeopardy!, another popular US TV gameshow. The supplier will be able to develop games for land-based machines, DoubleDown Casino and online slots, with the partnership marking the first time a Jeopardy!-branded game will be available as a free-to-play product.
Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!-branded games will also be rolled out as part of the supplier’s Wide Area Progressive (WAP) product line, offering jackpots going as high as $39m.
IGT’s Wheel of Fortune machines have proved to be popular, with the company having developed more than 200 themes based on the brand since launching the first progressive slot in 1996.
The Wheel of Fortune programme is the number one syndicated show in the US, and attracts more than 30m viewers a week, while Jeopardy! has been running for 30 years. The programme has won a total of 30 Emmy Awards, the most ever won by a TV gameshow.
In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, IGT confirmed that in connection with the execution of the license agreement, it will immediately remit $185m to Sony for advance payment against royalties under the agreement.
IGT also develops games based on popular TV shows, board games and films including Monopoly, Transformers and Battleship through an exclusive licensing agreement with toy manufacturer Hasbro.
Social gaming studio GSN Game, a subsidiary of the Game Show Network which broadcasts Wheel of Fortune, offers a number of games based on Wheel of Fortune through its Facebook app.