Game and film fans alike are picking sides to decide the fate of Middle-earth as Electronic Arts (EA) releases the eagerly awaited PC realtime strategy game, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH. Based on the film trilogy, THE LORD OF THE RINGS fans will be able to command the heroes and armies from all three movies as they find themselves immersed in the quest for domination of Middle-earth.
Majesco has secured the rights to turn several Disney properties into Game Boy Advance Videos. Under terms of the agreement with Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Majesco has U.S. rights to publish four initial Game Boy Advance Video products based upon such well-known properties as DISNEY'S KIM POSSIBLE, DISNEY'S LILO & STITCH, THE SERIES, THE PROUD FAMILY, SUPER ROBOT MONKEY TEAM and BRANDY & MR. WHISKERS.
Aspyr Media Inc. has shipped the expansion pack -- CALL OF DUTY: UNITED OFFENSIVE, which introduces 13 all-new single-player missions distributed among historical U.S., British and Russian campaigns, an expanded multiplayer experience featuring 11 new maps and three new modes of play, plus new weapons, player abilities and special effects. Developed by Gray Matter Interactive Studios, CALL OF DUTY: UNITED OFFENSIVE is licensed by Activision Inc.
Nintendo has resurrected the original two Square Enix FINAL FANTASY installments and adds bonus content. FINAL FANTASY I & II: DAWN OF SOULS, which launched for Game Boy Advance SP, lets players revisit familiar sagas before throwing new challenges at them. Both games are contained on one game pak.
Sarbakan, a Canadian one-stop multiplatform game development service provider, signed an agreement with Breakthrough New Media to develop a downloadable multiplayer game inspired by Breakthrough Films & Televisions six-part, World War II documentary series, FOR KING & COUNTRY.
Electronic Arts announced the release of the latest videogame in the JAMES BOND series, GOLDENEYE: ROGUE AGENT. This first-person shooter gives players the chance to explore the dark side of the Bond universe and experience life as a ruthless, unpredictable villain. The game is available for PlayStation 2, Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube.
"By allowing fans to step into the shoes of the bad guys, GOLDENEYE: ROGUE AGENT is the most exciting, cutting-edge episode of the Bond videogame series to date," said Patrick Gilmore, exec producer at EA Los Angeles.
On Nov. 21, 2004, Nintendo launched its new handheld videogame platform, Nintendo DS. Boasting dual screens, touch-screen and voice-recognition interfaces and two forms of wireless connection, the one million Nintendo DS units available in North America already are expected to be depleted by year's end.
Re-live Pac-mania in the palm of your handheld now that Namco America Inc., a leading publisher of wireless games and content, and Handango, the leading provider of mobile downloads, have formed a strategic partnership to make PAC-MAN, MS. PAC-MAN, GALAXIAN and MAPPY for Palm OS available through Handango's network of sites through the end of February 2005. Namco will also use the Handango Commerce Engine to provide mobile e-commerce to their customers worldwide at www.palm.namcogames.com.
WildTangent, one of the leading online game publishers, has created a branded game for FOX's hit show. THE O.C. Fans of the show can now SKATE THE O.C. by logging onto www.fox.com/oc/skatetheoc/.
SKATE THE O.C. is a customized online skateboarding videogame featuring interactive gameplay in THE O.C.'s backyard environment. The game was developed and published by WildTangent, utilizing WildTangent's Web Driver technology to deliver a rich, dynamic entertainment experience for consumer PCs.
HALO 2 broke entertainment retail records in its first 24 hours on store shelves. Microsoft Game Studios announced that the highly-anticipated game sold through 2.4 million units in the U.S. and Canada, driving cash register receipts to the $125 million mark.
Warner Bros. Online has officially unveiled the new LooneyTunes.com Website with the first original Looney Tunes shorts (online or offline) in more than a year. In addition, the site has more games, a new Showcase section where fans can get the latest Looney Tunes news, an updated Looney Shop and more Looney Loot.
A new creative talent network for 2D and 3D artists has hung its shingle on the worldwide Web, The Creative Talent Network (CTN), the first online portfolio community for the film, game and video industries.
With large film studios downsizing in 2001, combined with the increasing amount of outsourcing in the film industry, it became obvious to the founders of The Creative Talent Network that an online community was the next environment where these and other professionals could work and stay connected, said Tina Price, one of the founders.
DUPUIS, publisher of the cartoon strips LARGO WINCH, and Overloaded | Fun Everywhere have signed a deal for the development and exploitation of the cartoon strip and TV character on mobile phones. The first mobile game will be available for download to mobile phones before February 2005 and available at operators and mobile portals around the world.
Cingular Wireless is teaming with Disney Mobile to allow Cingular customers to access the Disney and Pixar characters from their mobile phones. Disney Mobile content, including ringtones, graphics, games, multimedia messaging and more, is now available directly from Cingular handsets and via the Web at www.cingular.com/media. Downloads range in price from $1.99 for ringtones and wallpapers to $5.99 for games.
The Internet just had its 35th birthday party Oct. 29, 2004, at UCLA, where it all started. On Sept. 2, 1969, Leonard Kleinrock led a team of engineers to establish the first network connection between two computers, ushering in a new method of global communications. A month later, the second node was added at Stanford, and, on October 29, the first host-to-host Internet-type message was sent from UCLA. The message was LO, which sounds prophetic until Kleinrock explains it.
Sporting a new look for holiday shopping, Sonys redesigned PlayStation2 videogame console sports a slimmer look, is half the weight and is network-ready for play. Its available today, (Nov.1, 2004) for a retail price of $149.99 at more than 20,000 doors/retail locations.
THQ Inc. Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Interactive released today (Nov. 1, 2004) THE INCREDIBLES videogame based on the upcoming film, THE INCREDIBLES (which comes out Nov. 5). THQs Heavy Iron Studios developed the game for PlayStation2, the Xbox and GameCube while Helixe developed it for Game Boy Advance and Beenox adapted the console version to PC/Mac. THE INCREDIBLES: WHEN DANGER CALLS, an additional PC/Mac title targeting the younger demographic featuring an assortment of mini-games has also shipped.
Touting feature-film quality computer animation, Blur Studio has produced a CG cinematic for one of this years most anticipated games, THQs WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR. The thrilling, two-minute film, included with the game CD, introduces players to WARHAMMERS dark, futuristic fantasy universe through an intense, tactical battle between legions of alien warriors.
Warner Bros. Interactive Ent., DC Comics and Electronic Arts will join forces to bring BATMAN BEGINS to multiple videogame platforms in 2005. In this exclusive co-publishing agreement, a game based on the upcoming film will be released day and date with the film on the PlayStation 2, the PSP (PlayStation Portable), Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.
Sprint and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. announced today (Oct. 26, 2004) the launch of two additional multimedia channels - Cartoon Network Mobile and Adult Swim Mobile, which will provide streaming video and audio content for Sprint PCS Vision Multimedia Services.
Cartoon Network Mobile and Adult Swim Mobile will be available on Channels 10 and 11, respectively, and each will cost $3.95 a month for Sprint PCS Vision customers. Cartoon Network joins sister network CNN (Channel 2) as a multimedia channel on the Sprint PCS Vision Multimedia Service.
Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), announced that multiplayer online gaming sequel EVERQUEST II is scheduled to simultaneously ship to North American and European retail stores on Nov. 8, 2004. EVERQUEST II is the highly anticipated follow-up to EVERQUEST, the most successful and longest-running 3D MMO role-playing game in North America.
Buena Vista Interactive has shipped its much-anticipated action adventure game, TRON 2.0: KILLER APP, for Game Boy Advance to North American retail outlets. The title will also ship for the Xbox in early November 2004.
"TRON 2.0 for Game Boy Advance is loaded with game play options, from first- and third-person combat to multiplayer action and perfect renditions of the classic TRON arcade games," said Bob Picunko, director of product marketing for Buena Vista Games. "TRON 2.0 is certain to satisfy both action adventure players and fans of the franchise."
Comcast, a leading broadband Internet provider, has launched the Comcast Kids Channel, a safe interactive environment designed for todays broadband family. The channel launches with premier content from Disney Online.
ANIMAX has produced a series of six short-form animated Webisodes for the Starlight Starbright Foundation aimed to help teen copy with chemotherapy treatments. The series, COPING WITH CHEMO, can be found at www.slsb.org/chemo. The goal of the series is to help teens with cancer deal with the impact chemotherapy has on their lives and their bodies.
Ubisoft and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group announced plans to release an interactive game based on Universal Pictures upcoming KING KONG, directed by Peter Jackson. The game will be available worldwide on all platforms at the beginning of the holiday season in conjunction with the Dec. 14, 2005 theatrical release of the movie.