Sony Online Entertainment has licensed rights to Virgin Comics' "Ramayan 3392" with plans to use the property to expand into the nascent Indian vidgame market. SOE, a subsid of Sony Pictures that makes multiplayer online videogames like "Everquest," is putting together a development team in India to work on the game with the goal of releasing it in 2010.
Though "Ramayan 3392" has been in release for only a year, it's based on an ancient Sanskrit epic well known in India. SOE is hoping that it will prove as popular a fantasy property as "Lord of the Rings" is in the U.S.
"We believe in the Indian gaming market, and we're excited to have a fresh take on a property that's thousands of years old," said SOE prexy John Smedley.
"Ramayan 3392" was co-created by Indian doctor and self-help writer Deepak Chopra and "Elizabeth" director Shekhar Kapur. Pact with SOE marks the first major vidgame deal for Virgin Comics, co-founded by Chopra and Richard Branson, which is aiming to license all of its properties into other media.
"This comic, in particular, is one we always saw as both a movie and a role-playing videogame in the vein of 'World of Warcraft,'" said Virgin Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan.
SOE has numerous other games in the works, including one based on the DC Comics superheroes. Virgin is expanding its line of comics globally and developing several into feature films.