Seoul, South Korea-based Gravity Co. Ltd. announced that it has decided to invest 1 billion Japanese Yen in "Online Game Revolution Vol. 1," an investment fund organized in Japan. "Online Game Revolution Vol.1," with a total proposed investment size of 10 billion Japanese Yen, has an investment objective of investing in companies that develop online games in Japan. Movida Investment Inc., an affiliate of SoftBank Group, will operate the fund as the general partner of the fund. Several Japanese and Korean developers of online games, including CJ Internet Corp.
Buena Vista Games shipped more than two million units of the multiplatform videogame, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, to retail outlets in North America and Europe. It was released in conjunction with the epic film from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, which debuted Dec. 9, 2005, in theaters.
Ubisoft revealed that its critically acclaimed game of the year contender, PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE features an un-lockable, exclusive alternate ending in which players can save the giant ape from his cinematic death, pilot an airplane and discover Kong back home on his native Skull Island. The game, rated "T" for Teen, based on Universal Pictures' release, KING KONG, from three-time Academy Award winner Peter Jackson, is positioned to be the top-selling title for the holiday season and is currently available nationwide.
Blue Planet Studio Inc., a 3D animation and digital media design firm in San Diego recently launched its newly developed website featuring its most recent projects, which include 3D animation and graphics support for a wide variety of high-tech companies, both locally and nationally.
Midway Games Inc. announced that it has shipped the latest installment in the legendary franchise, GAUNTLET: SEVEN SORROWS for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Majesco Ent. Co. announced that it has sold all of its rights and obligations related to game titles, THE DARKNESS and GHOSTRIDER, to a videogame publisher for $8 million. The assignment included all of Majesco's agreements with the licensors and developers for these titles.
The sale will help financially troubled Majesco reduces its financial obligations, improve its capital structure and added flexibility to pursue additional opportunities and execute initiatives related to its core business.
Kuma Reality Games, the company that utilizes revolutionary videogame technology to re-create military events, launched a compelling online documentary gaming series on Saddam Hussein. The latest installment takes gamers through the frenzied search through the town of Adwar, and the capture of Hussein by U.S. troops in the infamous "spider hole."
Kuma's previous episode was a recreation of the events that led to Saddam's war crimes trial, now in progress in Iraq. Both episodes are available for free download at KumaWar (www.kumawar.com).
Cablevision Systems Corp. and Sesame Workshop announced the launch of SESAME STREET Games, a new subscription interactive games service featuring the Muppets from SESAME STREET available to iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable customers throughout the New York metropolitan area. The SESAME STREET Games package offers unlimited access to easy-to-play games designed to educate and entertain young children 2-5 with Elmo, Grover, Zoe and the rest of their favorite SESAME STREET characters by pressing a single button on the television remote control.
Ubisoft announced that AMERICAS ARMY: RISE OF A SOLDIER for Xbox and HEROES OF THE PACIFIC for PS2, Xbox and PC have shipped to retail stores.
Ubisoft and the U.S. Army worked together to develop AMERICAS ARMY: RISE OF A SOLDIER. With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the vast military expertise of the U.S. Army, Ubisoft created the most authentic military console game to date by incorporating true-to-life character progression via an all-new Career mode. The PlayStation 2 version is projected to ship in Q1 2006.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has added an animated featurette to its "Shoot First Law" website. The animation offers award-winning artist Mark Fiores take on the Florida law, which took effect Oct. 1 and allows people to use deadly force in public. The animation is available for viewing at www.shootfirstlaw.org.
San Diego-based 3D animation studio, Pendulum, recently completed cinematic work for the MTV/Midway Games co-developed interactive property, LA RUSH. Nearly 16 minutes of fully 3D CGI cinematic cut-scenes introduce the viewer to the games key characters and story. LA RUSH is the sequel to Midways hit racing title, SAN FRANCISCO RUSH. Along with a huge selection of signature and real-world cars, the game also features the crew from West Coast Customs of MTVs popular PIMP MY RIDE television series.
Originally released in the arcades in 1984, THAYERS QUEST is about to be released on DVD and CD-ROM by Digital Leisure. Designed for the arcade scene by Rick Dyer, the creator of DRAGONS LAIR, THAYERS QUEST was a game that gave players more choice and allowed each player to have a unique gaming experience.
Comedy Central recently launched its first broadband-optimized video channel "COMEDY CENTRAL MotherLoad," offering exclusively new original series and content from classic Comedy Central shows such as Robert Smigel's TV FUNHOUSE. To view "MotherLoad" go to www.comedycentral.commotherload.
THQ Inc. announced it has been named interactive game licensee for Columbia Pictures' next performance-capture film, MONSTER HOUSE from award-winning exec producers Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg. The film is directed by Gil Kenan, produced by Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey and is also exec produced by Jason Clark. THQ's worldwide agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products includes videogames for console and select handheld gaming systems. The MONSTER HOUSE videogames are slated for release in conjunction with the film release in summer 2006.
Electronic Arts and Digital Illusions announced that the expansion pack for the award-winning BATTLEFIELD 2 PC game are now shipping to retail outlets and available via download at www.downloader.ea.com. Powered by the BATTLEFIELD 2 game engine, BATTLEFIELD 2: SPECIAL FORCES brings players into the realm of covert ops with the latest, most technologically advanced vehicles and weapons systems.
A spoof of science-fiction classic STAR TREK distributed free over Internet has become Finland's most viewed movie, REUTERS reports and has reached more than three million viewers in less than two months.
STAR WRECK: IN THE PIRKINNING is a full-length feature (with English subtitles) made by a group of students and other amateur filmmakers on a few home computers to create elaborate special effects on a minimalist budget.
Atari Inc. and Marathon Animation have released the TOTALLY SPIES! videogame to U.S. stores for the Game Boy Advance. This is the first game based on the TOTALLY SPIES! hit animated TV series that stars three teen super-spies from Beverly Hills, who fight international crime. Airing since 2001, Totally Spies! is seen in more than 100 markets worldwide, including the Cartoon Network in the USA.
With the release of Peter Jacksons KING KONG in theaters Dec. 14, 2005, the giant ape has begun making his presence felt in the videogame world as well. On the same day the official game based on the movie picked up an award at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, Ubisoft and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group announced that Academy Award-nominee Naomi Watts and Jack Black appear via likeness and provide voice talent for the videogame PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE.
Activision Inc. and DreamWorks Animation SKG jointly announced that the companies have agreed to a new long-term, broad-based strategic alliance. The companies signed a multi-year agreement, which grants Activision the exclusive videogame rights to upcoming feature films from DreamWorks Animation.
THE KELLYS, an animated series about racing delivered via the Net, has its 2005 season finale on Nov, 18, 2005. The show launched Sept. 25 on NASCAR.com in conjunction with the MBNA NASCAR Race Points 400 at Dover International Speedway.
The Vicon motion capture system has been utilized by French studio Quantic Dream on the new console/computer game INDIGO PROPHECY (known as FAHRENHEIT overseas).
The breakthrough third-person action-adventure game, published by Atari and lauded for its blending of cinema and interactivity, has quickly become an international bestseller.
AOL and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution are collaborating to form a new broadband network in early 2006. The network, called In2TV (on AOL.com), will give consumers access to thousands of episodes from popular TV series to stream on demand for free on the Web, including full-length episodes from favorite series such as WELCOME BACK KOTTER, SISTERS, BEETLEJUICE, LOIS & CLARK, LA FEMME NIKITA and GROWING PAINS. Along with full-length episodes, In2TV will also include interactive features such as games, quizzes, polls, trivia contests and more.
A ceremony was held earlier this week in Shanghai to launch a state-level base for the development of the fledging online game animation industry in China, reports ASIA PULSE.
Located in the Zhangjiang High-tech Zone in east Chinas Shanghai municipality, this is the third such kind of 3D industrial base for online game animation in the country following those set up in Sichuan and Guangdong provinces.
Electronic Arts Inc. announced that THE LORD OF THE RINGS: TACTICS, exclusively for the PSP, has shipped and that Hugo Weaving will lend his voice to THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II.
Atari Inc. and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. announced that the highly-anticipated videogame THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO is now available in stores nationwide for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Windows. The follow-up to the multi-million-unit selling ENTER THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO marks the second collaboration between Atari and its Shiny Ent. development studio; the Wachowski brothers, creators of THE MATRIX trilogy; Joel Silver, producer of the trilogy; and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.