Peter Levin, a behind the scenes type who has had a hand in everything from Deadline to Angry Birds to Nerdist to Comixology, is joining Lionsgate to oversee their video game and interactive activities. It will be a bit more visible than a lot of his roles, but he has a lot to work with — franchises like The Expendables, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc etc etc (Although the game rights for some of those may lie elsewhere.) Anyway, expect more of the Levin touch from this move.
In a move to continue expanding its content into new lines of business, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier next generation global content leader, has named renowned games and digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin to be President of Interactive Ventures and Games, the Company announced today. Mr. Levin will report to Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer with dotted line reporting to Lionsgate Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Barge for all digital investments.
Mr. Levin will be responsible for expanding Lionsgate’s content creation into video games and other interactive ventures, including incubation of new properties, investment in existing games and digital media vehicles and leveraging Lionsgate’s franchises and other branded properties into the gaming space.
Mr. Levin most recently served as CEO and Co-Founder of Nerdist Industries, a multiplatform creator of digital content including a premium content YouTube channel, a news division, a sizable social media footprint and a network of podcasts. Previously, as executive advisor to Japanese media juggernaut Yoshimoto Kogyo, MAG Interactive, digital comic and graphic novel platform comiXology and Rovio Entertainment, Levin has been associated with some of the most valuable game franchises in the world, including Angry Birds.
“Peter is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurial culture, and he is ideally qualified to lead the continued growth of our content business into the video game space and other interactive digital ventures,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. “Gaming has become one of the most explosive growth areas of the content business, and Peter’s mandate will be to build a portfolio of premium digital properties as we expand our leadership in films and television programming into digital content as well.”
The Company noted that consumer spending on mobile and social games increased by 130% last year.
“I’ve known Jon Feltheimer for many years, and the chance to become part of one of the most entrepreneurial, dynamic and visionary studios in the world is impossible to pass up,” said Levin. “As the home of intellectual property like The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent franchises and a diversified portfolio of television programming, Lionsgate’s opportunities to extend its leadership and innovation into the gaming space and other interactive platforms is limitless.”
Mr. Levin began his career in the Corporate Advisory Group at Creative Artists Agency and subsequently worked in the Corporate and Strategic Planning groups at the Walt Disney Company, where he also served as a senior producer for Disney Online.
He has also served as managing director of Lynx Technologies, a venture capital vehicle focused on early stage companies. Lynx’s investments included Applied Semantics (sold to Google), Gamespy Industries (sold to IGN), Ask.com (sold to IAC) and Atom Entertainment (sold to Viacom).
Prior to founding Nerdist, he was President and Co-Founder of Bellrock Media Inc., a mobile and broadband entertainment company creating and distributing premium content for mobile and broadband platforms throughout North America and Japan. Bellrock was backed by a consortium of Intel Capital, Dentsu, Softbank and DoCoMo.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.