Sunday, February 15, 2009

HQE Press Release: Market leaders to create a series of Mystery Case Files books and Harlequin Presents games

Wanted to share a Harlequin Press Release, FYI...

Market leaders to create a series of
Mystery Case Files books and Harlequin Presents games

Toronto and Seattle, January 23, 2009—Harlequin Enterprises Limited, the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, and Big Fish Games™, the world’s leading online destination for games and interactive entertainment, today announced a new licensing partnership.

In the summer of 2009, Big Fish Games will begin publishing interactive games inspired by Harlequin Presents, the most popular romance-novel series in the world, which regularly tops eRetailer and retail bookstore bestseller lists. These games will be sold on line exclusively at and at all major retail stores.

In the second quarter of 2010, Harlequin will begin publishing a branded series of books inspired by Mystery Case Files®, Big Fish Games’ award-winning franchise with over 3 million units sold. These novels will be written by Harlequin’s bestselling authors. Harlequin will be the first to publish women’s mystery fiction for Big Fish Games.

“We are delighted to be Big Fish Games’ partner in this venture,” said Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises. “Our companies share vast and rapidly growing female audiences. Our partnership with Big Fish Games will allow us to engage our customers in a truly unique manner.”

“The Harlequin and Big Fish Games brands are an excellent match,” said Jeremy Lewis, President and CEO of Big Fish Games. “Harlequin has a uniquely talented team, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with them in bringing these exclusive new products to our worldwide consumer base.”

In 2008, Harlequin sold 130 million books and enjoyed a total of 252 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. Almost half of all romance readers read Harlequin, and the company has some 13 million series readers. Harlequin sold a book every 4.1 seconds in 2008 and has sold 5.76 billion books since its inception. Also in 2008, Big Fish Games served its global customer base nearly 400 million games.

About Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Harlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one of the world’s leading publishers of women’s fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 29 languages and sold in 107 international markets. The company produces more than 120 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,200 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Harlequin’s Web site is located at Harlequin has offices in 19 countries, including offices in Toronto, New York and London. For more information please visit or

About Big Fish Games
Big Fish Games is the world’s leading online destination for games and interactive entertainment. Based in Seattle, Washington, Big Fish Games offers “A New Game Every Day™”. Big Fish Games works with more than 500 game developers and distributes over 1 million games per day to consumers worldwide. Big Fish Games Studios develops and publishes some of the industry’s leading brands, including Mystery Case Files®, Hidden Expedition®, Azada™ and Fairway Solitaire™. For more information, please visit and


M. L. Kiner said...
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Lisette Kristensen said...


Are you going to be taking pitch appointments at RWA in July for this series?

I know the games are more classic mystery, almost noir like. Is the series going to be more mystery with romance elements? Trying to say, different that romantic suspense?



Isabel Swift said...

Lisette: think that games are fairly specialized & Big Fish will likely be managing the process, but checking & hope to report back with info...

Isabel Swift said...

Lisette: Thanks for checking, but there will not be pitch appointments at the RWA for the program. Your questions regarding tone and content are great, but I have no answers for you, sorry!

I realize how frustrating it can be when a program is developed or a line is launched because everyone wants to know the recipe for success. And much as publishers and editors work to listen to, predict and persuade the market, it is never totally predictable.