Subaru of America Inc. launched the latest redesign of its Website, www.subaru.com. Last year, the company began working with R/GA, a New York-based interactive agency to enhance the Subaru customer purchase and ownership experience online.
Ed Robertson, lead singer and guitar player for the multi-platinum rock band Barenaked Ladies, premiers in his first cameo role in this weeks special double-length 50th episode of the online Machinima series, RED VS. BLUE. Robertson plays Captain Flowers, the ill-fated leader of the Blue army.
This episode marks the third collaboration between Robertson and series creator Rooster Teeth Prods. Rooster Teeth created custom RED VS. BLUE clips that Barenaked Ladies showed on their last two concert tours of North America.
TLC Industries (www.tlcind.com) and Full Sail Real World Education (www.fullsail.com) announced the opening of the NextArcade Student Showcase (www.nextarcade.com). The site is designed to bring public exposure to creative works being created by top student developers. Participating schools include Full Sail Real World Education and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
At Amusement Showcase International in Chicago, Cecropia launched a preview of its first filmgame, called THE ACT, an interactive comedy about relationships, deception and the pursuit of romance. THE ACT gives players the unique experience of playing a game that feels more like a movie. Players control the characters' emotions while they experience the interactive story. The characters' feelings are apparent through highly skilled personality-centric animation, which is being animated by Cecropia's animators -- alumni of Disney Feature Film Animation Studios.
Cartoon Network will offer one up-and-coming game developer the opportunity to create a downloadable game featuring popular Cartoon Network characters from its series in the second annual 'Project Goldmaster' competition. As part of the Independent Games Festival (IGF), 10 finalists will be selected to compete to win the top honor to develop an online game for CartoonNetwork.com's Power Play Games area.
Gameloft, a leading developer and publisher of videogames for mobile phones, has signed an exclusive agreement with Viacom Consumer Products Inc. to develop, publish and distribute the wireless game version of Steven Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS starring Tom Cruise.
Sony Online Ent. Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming, announced information on the release of THE BLOODLINE CHRONICLES, the first Adventure Pack for the hit online fantasy game EVERQUEST II. THE BLOODLINE CHRONICLES gives players hours of new content in a rich, story-based realm located beneath the surface of Norrath. THE BLOODLINE CHRONICLES will be available via digital download beginning March 21, 2005, for US $4.99, and requires a current subscription to EVERQUEST II to play.
JAKKS Pacific Inc. announced an expanded licensing agreement with Nickelodeon and Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Gamers will get to play Dirty Harry, literally, in a new series of videogames Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. and Clint Eastwood's Malpaso and The Tehama Companies are producing based on the DIRTY HARRY film franchise, introducing the legendary detective "Dirty Harry" Callahan to the interactive world for the first time on next generation consoles.
Academy Award-winning director, producer and actor Eastwood is consulting on key creative aspects of the game design and will lend his voice and likeness to his renowned role of police detective Harry Callahan.
The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is hosting its second online exhibit titled, NOW THEN. The theme of the exhibit is -- what did professional comic artists draw like when they were 12 years old?
Comic artist Dave Bamundo had the idea for an exhibit that featured comic artists current work, compared to something they had done as a child. This idea was combined with Robert Zimmermans idea to poll professional comic artists, asking who their favorites in the business were. The top 25 artists current and childhood are displayed in the exhibit.
THQ Inc. and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. have released CONSTANTINE for PlayStation2, Xbox retailers across North America. The game, developed by Bits Studios, is based on the Warner Bros. Pictures motion picture CONSTANTINE, an adaptation of the DC Comics/Vertigo HELLBLAZER graphic novels.
JAKKS Pacific Inc. introduces the GAMEKEY expansion pack, the new next-generation innovation for its award-winning plug-it-in and play TV Games product line. GAMEKEY expansion pack offers users the opportunity to add extra games made specifically for their favorite TV Games controllers.
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.