Nintendo of America Inc. introduces the first new color in the Western Hemisphere for its popular Nintendo DS portable video game system, Electric Blue, which debuts in June and will become a permanent color in the DS palette, joining the original silver-and-black model, named Titanium.
High school seniors interested in education to enter the videogame development or animation industries are invited to apply for scholarships from The Art institute of California San Francisco (www.aicasf.aii.edu). Students may apply the scholarships toward tuition in the schools bachelors degree programs in Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming or Media Arts & Animation.
Next month, the WAR OF THE WORLDS graphic novel will debut in bookstores across the nation and it will be promoted with a 90-second trailer, not unlike the way movies are promoted.
"We're producing the trailer in Hollywood, and it will be complete with a soundtrack, special effects and voice talent," said Aron Kessler, vp of Best Sellers Illustrated (www.bestsellersillustrated.com), the book's publisher.
Buena Vista Games Inc. (BVG) announced the development of new videogame titles based on the highly anticipated feature film, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST, scheduled for release in summer 2006. Building on the popularity of its successful portable games business, BVG will release games for the PSP and Nintendo DS in conjunction with the movie launch.
Alphanim and M6 Web have signed a two-year agreement to exploit more than 250 episodes of animated content provided by Alphanim in the areas of mobile and VOD. Under the terms of the agreement, M6 Web has the exclusive mobile and video-on-demand rights of eight animated series including Alphanims French and international hits POTATOES AND DRAGONS (78x7) and RALF THE RECORD RAT (104x1).
Leading up to the June 29 global release of Paramount Pictures'/DreamWorks Pictures' WAR OF THE WORLDS, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, Paramount Pictures Interactive Marketing will debut a human survival online game at www.WarOfTheWorlds.com on April 14.
Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. have announced THE HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE videogame, scheduled for a Nov. 2005 release in conjunction with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on J.K. Rowling's fourth book. In the game, players experience the thrilling moments of the movie and put their magic to the ultimate test in cooperative play with up to two friends.
Digital Jesters, a videogame publisher based in England, announced that it has reached an agreement with Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. to distribute PC games in America and Canada.
Digital Jesters was formed by ex-members of CDV in September 2003 and has since published more than 12 PC titles in the U.K. and parts of Europe. The games that are part of the agreement will be the first titles Digital Jesters has published in the U.S.
Sean Connery will reprise his role as James Bond for Electronic Arts' forthcoming videogame version of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The first Bond actor will provide his voice and likeness as is was in the 1963 MGM classic. Original characters from the film included in the game will be Q (Desmond Llewelyn), Donald "Red" Grant (Robert Shaw), Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya), Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), Kerim Bay (Pedro Armendariz) and Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell).
Majesco announced it has secured the worldwide rights to publish AEON FLUX for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game is scheduled to coincide with the theatrical release. Majesco's AEON FLUX ties together the animated series, which ran on MTV from 1992-1997, and the motion picture, which is slated for release in fall 2005.
Mondo Media has finalized a series of wireless licensing deals that will blanket Europe with its internationally popular HAPPY TREE FRIENDS animated characters. Via its new wireless licensing agreements brokered by its western European agent Celebrities Ent., the HAPPY TREE FRIENDS characters are now available in five basic configurations Java games, episode download, spot download, image based content and true tones/sound tones.
Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. and Midway Games Inc. announced the signing of a multi-territory publishing agreement to develop videogames based on HAPPY FEET, a comedy adventure written and directed by George Miller (the BABE movies, LORENZO'S OIL, the MAD MAX trilogy), scheduled for release in November 2006. The multi-platform deal includes games for console, handheld and PC platforms.
Broadband network Heavy.com will debut a new Machinima series, PIMP MY WEAPON, that was created in partnership with Sony as part of its pre-promotion for it's highly anticipated release of GOD OF WAR. This marks the first time that a studio-endorsed Machinima will reach a broadcast-scale audience through cable or broadband and will be shown exclusively on Heavy.com (www.heavy.com).
Wild Heart Ranch Inc., a content driven childrens toy and publishing company, continues to offer non-violent entertainment to all with its free, online ARMADILLO COWBOY CLUB arcade game. The game is based on an original story about three Armadillo Deputy heroes that capture criminal coyotes with slingshots, firing bees and fast flying lassos. The game takes you into desert scenes, an old fashioned street shoot out and a saloon fight.
The long anticipated North American launch of Sonys PSP (PlayStation Portable) has arrived. Sony shipped one million units of its $250 handheld gaming, movie and music player, but expects expect those to sell out quickly.
"We expect to see a sellout within the first week," said Andrew House, evp of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said to CNN. "The early indications were that pre-orders were very high. But, we have a very good product flow... into April and beyond. Production started at 150,000 units a month and we're ramping up to double that very quickly."
Majesco will publish the videogame adaptation of the popular comicbook series, THE DARKNESS, for release in 2006. Starbreeze, the acclaimed development studio behind the top-selling videogame, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ESCAPE FROM BUTCHER BAY, will develop the best-selling Top Cow comic.
Cdigix, an online movie and music service for college students, has inked its first studio content deals, acquiring movies and TV shows from the Walt Disney Co. and Turner Broadcasting, reports VARIETY.
With distribution deals with 21 colleges and universities, Cdigix will offer Disney films including THE INCREDIBLES and THE VILLAGE once they enter the video-on-demand. In addition, it will have programs from Disney-owned ESPN like WORLD SERIES OF POKER.
The Turner deal will see Cartoon Networks Adult Swim programming enter the Web.
Game Trust, the leading platform developer to manage premium casual games, announced development alliances with two of the hottest independent game development studios in the world Fuel Industries and Alter Ego Studios. These announcements follow the deals being inked at GDC.
For an animated Internet lampoon of the BALCO steroid scandal involving major league baseball players Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield has been lampooned by an Internet animation.
The two-minute cartoon, which can be viewed for free at www.TheHomerunGuys.com, was written and directed by Will Horan, who says he was inspired by the web animations that parodied the 2004 presidential election (by JibJab).
"I just wanted to do something funny and make people laugh" said Horan, who saw a tremendous jump in traffic with very little advertising.
Square Enix Inc. has announced the release of MUSASHI: SAMURAI LEGEND, now available at retailers nationwide. The action role-playing game is available exclusively for the PlayStation 2 and marks the series' debut on the platform.
Square Enix and Verizon Wireless announced the availability of two new Square Enix titles for Verizon Wireless' new V CAST service -- FINAL FANTASY VII SNOWBOARDING and MUSASHI MOBILE SAMURAI. MUSASHI MOBILE SAMURAI will be available beginning March 15, 2005. V CAST from Verizon Wireless is the nation's first third-generation (3G) wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers allowing them to view high-quality 3D games and video clips because it runs on the Verizon Wireless broadband EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) 3G network.
Alias announced that Hungary-based computer animation studio Digic Pictures and computer and videogame developer Black Hole Ent., both subsidiaries of Cinergi Interactive Llc, chose Alias software solutions as their core tools to produce the realtime strategy computer game (RTS) ARMIES OF EXIGO. The title is a fantasy RTS game where the boundaries of the battlefield are broken and war is waged both above and below the ground.
Microsoft Corp. announced the first details of its next-generation Xbox video game system platform at GDC, highlighting how hardware, software and services are being fused to power enhanced game and entertainment experiences.
Microsoft corporate vp and chief XNA architect J Allard further outlined the companys vision for the future of entertainment, citing the emergence of an HD Era in video games that is fueled by consumer demand for experiences that are always connected, always personalized and always in high-def.
Disney Interactive announced new details about its upcoming action/adventure title, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, for the PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox, Nintendo GameCub, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and PC. Inspired by the upcoming highly anticipated motion picture from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, the games will launch this holiday season, in conjunction with film's release.
Warner Bros. Online announced that IBM will provide the on-demand technology and services to power THE MATRIX ONLINE, Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.'s first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), co-published with SEGA of America. Based on THE MATRIX film trilogy, THE MATRIX ONLINE will be released in North America on March 22, 2005, and in Europe on April 8, 2005.