Toymaker Mattel Inc
The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. The multiyear alliance will allow THQ to design games using Mattel brands for consoles, computers, mobile devices and social networks, the companies said.
THQ Chief Executive Brian Farrell said the new agreement is very significant for the company's family oriented games segment, which makes up between 30 percent and 40 percent of THQ's annual sales. THQ's sales were $888.65 million in fiscal year 2010.
The first Mattel-branded games will be available in time for the next holiday season, the companies said.
Mattel has not had an agreement with a videogame publisher of this scale or magnitude, said Chuck Scothon, senior vice president of Digital Play at Mattel.
THQ also plans to offer Mattel-branded games for the uDraw tablet, an accessory for Nintendo's <7974.T> Wii game console, Farrell said.
THQ already has an agreement to license Mattel's Pictionary game, which is offered on uDraw.
UDraw, a tablet for creating art and playing games, was one of Amazon.com's 10 top video-game products during the recent holiday season and was sold out at many stores.
Mattel said the partnership was a way to extend its franchises across all screens and to adapt to the changing ways people play with toys and games.
THQ, meanwhile, is trying to tap Mattel's brands to fit newer game trends, like motion-sensor gaming.
I've challenged my team to figure out what would be a great experience using one of the super Mattel brands to exploit on the Kinect or Move or both, THQ's Farrell said. Microsoft
Move is Sony's <6758.T> motion-sensor accessory for its PlayStation console.
Farrell declined to comment on specific games, saying it was too early.
The companies said they also would collaborate to expand the videogame and interactive potential of other Mattel properties, such as Monster High; Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots; Masters of the Universe; Polly Pocket and others.
Videogame publishers can benefit from pacts with toy and game companies, like Hasbro's
That partnership has had a positive impact on EA's business with games based on Monopoly and Scrabble, Bhatia said.
Publishers can also spend less on marketing games that come out of these partnership since the brands are so well known, Bhatia said.
THQ's shares were down 1.14 percent at $6.29 and shares of Mattel were up 0.5 percent at $25.4, both on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; editing by Carol Bishopric and Maureen Bavdek)