Blumhouse, the film production company behind Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Insidious, the Halloween reboot, and Get Out, has announced the launch of a new video game production and publishing label.
Blumhouse Games will work with independent developers to create “original, horror-themed games” for console, PC, and mobile. The outfit will target productions with smaller, “indie” budgets, which it describes as below $10 million. This echoes the strategy of Blumhouse’s film business, which has kept its production budgets modest even as its films have enjoyed an incredible run of box-office success over the last 15 years. The word “original” suggests the games won’t be licensed from those Blumhouse film properties.
Blumhouse, founded by producer Jason Blum, has been instrumental in making horror one of the most profitable and reliable genres in film in recent years — arguably the only one to remain in full financial and creative health during the period of dominance of superhero movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its astonishing run of hits began with Paranormal Activity in 2007, and includes the Insidious series, the Purge series, David Gordon Green’s Halloween series reboot, The Black Phone, this year’s M3GAN, and a forthcoming reboot of The Exorcist from Green.
Blumhouse is currently planning to merge with James Wan’s Atomic Monster Productions, which is behind the Conjuring films and takes a similar approach to film production.
Blumhouse has tapped a couple of experienced game industry pros with very relevant experience to lead its new games label. President Zach Wood has done stints at Iron Galaxy, Arkane Studios, and Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, where he worked with external developers on smaller games like Hohokum and The Unfinished Swan. CFO Don Sechler headed finance, operations, and strategy at Sony’s PlayStation publishing division, working on the deals that brought a huge range of games to PlayStation platforms, and was instrumental in reforming Sony’s attitude to financing indie games in the 2010s.
It may be a while before we see the first fruits from the Blumhouse Games initiative — but then again, it may not. As a film production company, Blumhouse is known for working fast and making smart decisions. This initiative is certainly one to watch, and could be a shot in the arm for horror gaming.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Don Sechler previously headed publisher and developer relations at Sony’s PlayStation division. Sechler headed finance, operations, and strategy. We’ve adjusted the story to reflect those changes.