Disney Online, part of the Walt Disney Internet Group, in partnership with Disney Channel, has launched a new broadband subscription product called Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online. The service is available for an annual subscription fee of $49.95. Parents can log-on to www.preschooltime.com to subscribe to the product or to access a free trial.
Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. has launched an enhanced consumer website for the CGI animated boys action property Dragon Booster, offering a new interactive game, RACE FOR POWER, where players can create their own dragons, race them on personally designed race tracks and ultimately customize their DRAGON BOOSTER experience.
Nelvana has inked a video-on-demand agreement with British Telecommunications Inc. (BT) in the U.K. Coming on the heels of recent North American partnerships with Comcast and Rogers (along with preschool broadcaster Treehouse), this deal widens the scope of Nelvana's on-demand initiatives to include Europe.
MAGGIE AND THE FEROCIOUS BEAST, LITTLE BEAR, BABAR, MAX & RUBY and THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS are among the initial family entertainment programs Nelvana will make available to BT's next-generation TV offering, slated to launch by late summer/fall 2006.
Developer HiTech Creations has released the new expansion to ACES HIGH II, titled COMBAT TOUR. The expansion breaks new ground in online gaming by combining intense air combat simulation and military role-playing in a completely mission-based team format. COMBAT TOUR is in closed testing and release is planned for the first half of 2006.
SportsBlast, the production company responsible for THE KELLYS that is featured on NASCAR.COM, will award one lucky fan the chance to win a trip for four to the 2006 Daytona 500.
The Wubbcast is the world's first video podcast for pre-schoolers. It packages together some of the world's nicest cartoons for pre-schoolers and makes them available for the iPod or PSP each week.
The Wubbcast is free and will launch in March with a 10-minute episode featuring the characters and music from the upcoming Nick Jr. show WOW! WOW! WUBBZY! and two other great cartoons.
Filmmakers submitting shorts to the Wubbcast will keep all the rights and retain complete ownership of their work.
Comedy Central is taking original broadband programming to new heights with its development slate for early 2006, which includes an extensive lineup of original programming including animation, live-action narratives, topical stand-up performance and sketch comedies.
Comedy Central MotherLoad, which launched Nov. 1, 2005, is one of the first network broadband channels to premiere original series. To view Comedy Central MotherLoad, log on to www.comedycentral.com/motherload.
At the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google Inc. announced the planned opening of the Google Video Store, the first open video marketplace enabling consumers to buy and rent a wide range of video content from a major television network, a professional sports league, cable programmers, independent producers and filmmakers.
Nintendo's new musical experience ELECTROPLANKTON has launched exclusively for Nintendo DS, letting users score music by using the touch screen or speaking into the microphone. Sounds can be sampled, manipulated, changed and rearranged to help even novices create engrossing beats and harmonies.
For the first time ever SOUTH PARK and CHAPPELLES SHOW will be available on mobile phones beginning January 2006
"These deals further represent Comedy Central's multi-platform strategy to deliver content anywhere, anytime," said Michele Ganeless, evp/gm, Comedy Central. "We are committed to giving our audience quality programming beyond the boundaries of television. With the mobile launch of SOUTH PARK and CHAPPELLE'S SHOW, two of the top-rated shows on our network, Comedy Central is leading the charge in the wireless entertainment content arena."
Electronic Arts announced THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II COLLECTORS EDITION the first ever Collectors Edition DVD release from the highly successful THE LORD OF THE RINGS franchise. The sequel to last holidays critically acclaimed PC game is filled with exclusive THE LORD OF THE RINGS game content.
Scheduled to ship simultaneously with THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II in February 2006, the collectors edition will be available at select retailers for $59.99 and is rated T for Teen by the ESRB.
MFORMA announced that it has released Activision Inc's. CALL OF DUTY 2 to mobile users everywhere. A sequel to MFORMA's CALL OF DUTY mobile game of 2004, one of the most successful mobile games of all time, CALL OF DUTY 2 is the mobile version of Activision's critically-acclaimed CALL OF DUTY 2 game.
Urbaniacs.com has launched two new Flash games ROOF RUCKUS and BALLIN.
In ROOF RUCKAS, players must control Blast-off Rocket Captain as he leaps from building to rooftop collecting special treasures, which aid him along his journey. Making things more difficult for the super duper hero is henchmen lurking on various rooftops just waiting to send him crashing to the ground below.
The Walt Disney Co. will now offer additional programming from ESPN and ABC Sports, ABC Ent. and Touchstone Television, ABC Family, ABC News, Buena Vista Television, Disney Channel and SOAPnet, as well as content produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation on the iTunes Music Store (www.itunes.com).
Beginning later this month, Disney Channel will provide episodes of the animated series KIM POSSIBLE and THE PROUD FAMILY. In addition, the libraries of ABC Ent. and Touchstone Television will sell the popular 1970's Saturday morning SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK vignettes.
The HAPPY TREE FRIENDS series of shorts hit the number one slot on iTunes Top 10 Podcasts over the 2005 holiday season. It has consistently proven a popular iTunes download, remaining in the Top 5 Podcasts since Dec. 19, 2005.
Starz Ent. Group Llc. (SEG) announced the premiere of Vongo a new video download application and service for broadband that delivers movies and other video content over the Internet for playback on Windows-based PCs, laptops and select portable media devices, as well as on a TV.
THQ Inc. announced a new design feature that links multiple titles in THQ's Nickelodeon videogame lineup for the PlayStation 2, enabling expanded game play and special features for consumers who own more than one of the titles. THQ's Nickelodeon games that incorporate this special Cross Save feature include TAK: THE GREAT JUJU CHALLENGE, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: LIGHTS, CAMERA PANTS!, NICKTOONS UNITE! and BARNYARD, based on Paramount Pictures'/Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming theatrical release.
Vegas Buzz (www.vegasbuzzz.com) has launched a new channel dedicated to Anime News. The channel will cover the gamut of anime, including manga. The new service will cover TV series and features that have kids as their core audience or adults only in mind. Vegas Buzz hopes to capitalize on the ever-growing arena, which has quietly become a billion dollar a year business. For more information, visit www.animevegas.blogspot.com/.
Vivendi Universal Games announced that a videogame is in development based on 20th Century Fox's upcoming family film, ICE AGE 2: THE MELTDOWN.
The videogame will be available in stores spring 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance and PC. It will sell for $19.99 on PC, $29.99 for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance and $39.99 for consoles.
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.