Microsoft Corp. announced today (Feb.17, 2005) that it will voluntarily replace the power cords on 14.1 million Xbox consoles worldwide as a precautionary measure and out of concern for consumer safety.
Midway Games Inc. announced that it has signed three publishing agreements with Cartoon Network, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Ent., for videogames based on three of the network's top-rated kids programs: ED, EDD N EDDY, THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY & MANDY and DEXTER'S LABORATORY. Under the terms of the agreements, Midway secures multi-territory rights to develop and publish games for the console, handheld and PC platforms.
Ubisoft has signed a licensing agreement with DIC Ent. to create videogames based on the new TROLLZ, which features a stylish group of teen friends that grow up in a spectacular world of gnomes, ogres, dragons and magic. The exclusive, worldwide agreement includes interactive games based on the tween entertainment and lifestyle property for all existing game formats.
Atari Inc. announced at 3 GSM World Congress that it has entered into a worldwide, multi-year partnership with Sorrent Inc., a leading creator and global publisher of mobile entertainment, to develop and publish a suite of mobile content based on the MARC ECKO'S GETTING UP: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. The agreement expands Atari's platform mix for the game, which was developed in partnership with Marc Ecko Enterprises, to leverage the portability and connectivity of the mobile platform.
Atari Inc. is developing and publishing THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO, an interactive console and PC game based on the blockbuster motion picture trilogy THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS from Warner Bros. Pictures for a 2005 holiday release on PS2, Xbox and PC.
THQ Inc. will do a follow-up to the hit videogame based on THE INCREDIBLES, scheduled to release this fall on the PlayStation2, PSP, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and PC/Mac.
THQ enjoyed enormous success with THE INCREDIBLES game launched in conjunction with the theatrical release this past November. Domestic shipments of the game have exceeded 2.5 million units, finishing 2004 as the overall best-selling new property of the year in the U.S., according to The NPD Group.
Spurred by SHREK 2's ranking as the #1 children's videogame in the U.S. for 2004, Activision Inc. and DreamWorks Animation announced that Activision will develop and publish videogames based on DreamWorks Animation's SHREK 3, which is scheduled for release in summer 2007.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one of Americas oldest and most prestigious sporting events, is partnering with DreamWorks Animation SKG to bring Gromit of WALLACE & GROMIT fame to highlights of the show online. This marks the first time in Westminsters history that the dog show has accepted a sponsorship partner outside of a dog food company.
Namco Hometek Inc. announced that Prema Toy Co. Inc. has awarded it the exclusive interactive entertainment publishing rights to the classic children's entertainment property, GUMBY. The deal allows Namco to create videogames for all game systems, featuring Gumby and all related characters, such as Pokey, Prickle, Goo and the infamous Blockheads. Namco also has the opportunity for Gumby to make cameo appearances in other upcoming Namco games.
Seven Seas Ent. announced the launch of an exclusive webmanga series, AOI HOUSE. Debuting at www.gomanga.com on Jan. 24, 2005, with updates coming every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, AOI HOUSE is a comedy series written and created by Adam Arnold, co-creator of ANIMEFRINGE: ONLINE ANIME MAGAZINE, and illustrated by Jim Jimenez, a veteran comic artist and animator. The manga follows the trials and tribulations of two down-on-their-luck college boys who join an anime club dominated by crazed fangirls. Seven Seas plans to release AOI HOUSE strictly as a free webmanga.
Videogame publisher Ubisoft has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Consumer Products to publish games based on the first two 3D animated films from Sony Pictures Animation, OPEN SEASON and SURFS UP. It marks the first in a long-term interactive collaboration, as well as Ubisofts first foray into adapting CGI films. Terms were not disclosed.
Both games will be developed by Ubisoft's Montreal studio, with OPEN SEASON scheduled for a September 2006 release and SURF'S UP slated for summer 2007.
A precursor for where television is going, on the first day of NATPE, DIC Entertainment and SmartVideo Technologies Inc. announced they are joining forces to create DIC Kids Network, the worlds first animation channel for cell phones.
Turbo Squid announced the launch of a new series of 3D mobile content in conjunction with face2face animation. face2face animation has launched its AniTones Mobile Character Player through the Turbo Squid Mobile Content Portal, which enables users to experience high-quality streaming animation on mobile phones.
Bounding off the success of its Internet election cartoon THIS LAND in the summer of 2004, JibJab Media Inc. just released another animation short, SECOND TERM, to coincide with the inauguration of president George W. Bush.
Sony Online Ent. Inc. (SOE) announced a new launch title for the PSP handheld entertainment system. Developed and published by SOE, UNTOLD LEGENDS: BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE will be one of the few original titles developed in North America, and the only multiplayer action role-playing game (RPG) available at the system's launch.
Twentieth Century Fox's action/adventure feature ELEKTRA, which opened in the U.S. Jan. 14, 2005, had already captured audiences with its online strategy game. The ELEKTRA NINJA ASSASSIN GAME (www.elektramovie.com/game/) has logged a phenomenal 30,000 hours of gameplay with users from 163 countries since its debut last November.
Stan Lees POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment and Vidiator Technology (U.S.) Inc., a leading mobile multimedia solutions provider of mobile streaming and delivery of 3D rich-media applications, have team to develop and license exclusive live-action animated content for mobile devices using Vidiator's realtime streaming solution. The alliance will help shape the emerging business of content distribution and M-commerce on wireless platforms. Vidiator will have an exclusive relationship with POW!
Atari Inc. announced that TIMESHIFT, a first-person shooter that allows players to control time to solve puzzles and defeat foes, is in development by Saber Interactive for the personal computer and the Xbox. The new title will leverage first-of-its-kind gameplay abilities and functionality, the latest graphics technology and high production values. The game is expected to be available in fall 2005.
BrainPOP's has created a new TSUNAMI movie to give kids the information they need to make connections and gain understanding of the devastation caused by natural disasters. The film is available for free distribution to every media company and Website.
Scholastic Inc., the world's largest publisher of children's books and a leading publisher and distributor of children's software, has partnered with Exent Technologies Inc. as a content provider of downloadable games. Agreement offers parents and children online access to Scholastic's library of educational and entertainment software
Exent, a global leader in secure digital software delivery technologies, offers licensed, protected content to its turnkey service customers using the EXEtender technology platform.
Prism Ent. and Nickelodeon U.K., are rolling out their online kids environment the BIN WEEVILS into new territories in a far-reaching agreement with pan-European kids network, Nickelodeon Europe. From early 2005, children visiting the Websites of Nickelodeon channels in Sweden, Italy and Spain will all be able to join in the comedy-driven animated characters. To date, 281,632 children have registered as BIN WEEVILS at www.nickelodeon.co.uk and in November 2004 alone the site received 2,671,516 hits.
Sniderware has announced the launch of ERIC SNIDERS BLACKJACK for Palm OS.
With the current Texas Hold Em craze, the demand for casino-style games has never been greater, and weve delivered a winner with ERIC SNIDERS BLACKJACK, said Eric Snider, president/ceo of Sniderware. Players will really enjoy the sharp graphics and realistic gameplay.
With the success of Sony Computer Entertainment Europes virtual acting work on the upcoming interactive THE GETAWAY: BLACK MONDAY, Sony Computer Entertainment America will present it at Sundance, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The goal is to highlight the game's cinematic aspects and Hollywood ties.
The sequel game, which ships Jan. 25, 2005, recreates 25 square miles of London's "Congestion Zone" and uses live actors for the game's central characters, utilizing them throughout the $20 million project's 18-month development schedule, which is rare for games.
Buena Vista Interactive, a publishing label of Buena Vista Games Inc., will publish TIM BURTONS THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: OOGIES REVENGE for the PlaySation2 and Xbox, to be released in October 2005 along with BVGs previously announced TIM BURTONS THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: THE PUMPKIN KING title for Game Boy Advance. Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of videogames and developer of the console titles will publish the PlayStation 2 title in Europe in 2005.
Square Enix Inc., the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, will ship FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST AND THE BROKEN ANGEL to retailers in the U.S. on Jan. 18, 2005 for PlayStation2.
Based on the wildly popular anime and manga series in Japan, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST has made its way to America, beginning with a TV series on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and a DVD release is set for 2005.