(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Today, Amazon Publishing announced that Kindle Worlds has reached licensing agreements to open up seven new Worlds, including Worlds based on Hasbro’s iconic G.I. JOE brand, and Warner Bros. TV shows
Pretty Little Liars
. Writers can now choose from more than 20 Worlds to write and sell their own original fiction inspired by popular characters and storylines. These Worlds will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.
“Since 1964, G.I. JOE has inspired the imagination of multiple generations by providing a backdrop of excitement and adventure. Whether exploring the secrets of the mummy’s tomb, or defending freedom from the evil plots of COBRA, G.I. JOE has been there,” said Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s Director of Global Publishing. “It is with equal excitement that Hasbro now enters a new segment of the business by embracing the concept of open-source storytelling, and officially unlocking the world of G.I. JOE to our fans through Amazon’s Kindle Worlds.”
The new licensing agreement comes at a historic time for the G.I. JOE brand, which will celebrate its 50
anniversary in 2014, since the first G.I. JOE action figure was released in 1964. It has become one of Hasbro’s most enduring and recognizable brands with toys, comics, TV series, films and video games. With the launch of the G.I. JOE World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER, and sell their work on Amazon.com.
New Worlds will also launch from two Warner Bros. fan favorite TV shows:
- Veronica Mars, based on the television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas and starring Kristen Bell. Prime Instant Video is the exclusive subscription streaming home for the full TV series. Two novels, based on the adult life of the popular character, are currently being developed by Thomas and Alloy Entertainment.
- Ravenswood, based on the teen drama mystery-thriller television series created by I. Marlene King, Joseph Dougherty and Oliver Goldstick. Ravenswood stars Tyler Blackburn reprising his role as Caleb Rivers from Pretty Little Liars.
’ fans are amazingly loyal and anything we can do to give them more access to her world and that of her character is great,” said
creator Rob Thomas. “I’m looking forward to seeing what new worlds and characters are created by fans and Kindle Worlds writers.”
“Our Kindle Worlds collaboration with Amazon Publishing has been tremendously successful since its introduction last year,” said Leslie Morgenstein, President of Alloy Entertainment. “Adding
to the platform is a great way for us to gain deeper engagement with fans as they explore their own creative story adaptations.”
Kindle Worlds is also excited to announce licensing deals to launch Worlds from best-selling authors Marcus Sakey and Theresa Ragan, and new comics properties from Valiant Entertainment:
- The Abnorm Chronicles, set in the World of Marcus Sakey’s best-selling, Edgar Award-nominated novel Brilliance, the first in a forthcoming trilogy, recently optioned by Legendary Pictures for a major motion picture.
- The Lizzy Gardner Files, set in the universe of Theresa Ragan’s best-selling romantic suspense series starring private investigator Lizzy Gardner.
- Quantum and Woody and Eternal Warrior, inspired by the relaunched universes from Valiant Entertainment’s classic comic properties.
“Kindle Worlds continues to grow quickly with new licenses across the pop culture spectrum, and we are excited to expand our World selection for writers,” said Nick Loeffler, General Manager of Kindle Worlds. “In just a few months since our launch, we’ve published hundreds of new stories with great customer reviews reflecting the high quality of so many of these submissions. While it's very early days, we are thrilled with the initial reception from licensors and readers and look forward to adding additional Worlds soon.”