Microsoft Game Studios announced that HALO 2 for Xbox has gone gold and will ship simultaneously over three days to 27 countries in eight languages. HALO 2 will be available on Nov. 9, 2004, throughout North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The sequel to the award-winning HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED by Bungie, will be available in France, Belgium and Switzerland on November 10, as well as in Japan and the rest of Europe on November 11.
Namco, Japan, one of the world's leading games developers, has selected endorphin to help produce its upcoming TEKKEN 5. Due to hit arcades before the end of the year and to debut on consoles in 2005, TEKKEN 5 represents the next iteration of what is arguably one of the biggest game franchises.
"endorphin allows us to create realistic fight actions and reactions very quickly, helping us to build great content for TEKKEN 5," offered Shinichiro Yoda of Namco.
In response to recent speculation about its master videogame licensing agreement, Herb Scannell, president, Nickelodeon Networks, said that Nickelodeon was working closely with several parties and was in the final stages of licensing rights to develop videogames based on Nickelodeon animated properties. Scannell indicated that the process would be supervised by independent directors of Viacom and that no decision had yet been made as to which videogame publisher would receive the rights.
Pendulum Studios has announced the creation of a Website for its new 3D-animated short film, ARREST ASSURED. The new Website, www.studiopendulum.com/arrestassured shows off concept art, still imagery, storyboards, evolutionary clips and making-of movies, including a short behind-the-scenes movie called ANATOMY OF SHOT, which shows the compositing construction of one of the shots from the film.
GameRacer, the Indoor Racing Simulator that is hugely successful in Europe, is coming to North America. With a racing seat mounted to a highly adjustable frame that enables the gamer to connect a steering wheel and pedal set, GameRacer allows players to actually sit the drivers seat of their favorite racing games.
"GameRacer(TM) has been very successful," said GameRacer designer, Ted Poole. This success is due to GameRacer's instant appeal. You only have to try it once and you have to have one."
Sony Online Ent. Inc. has announced PLANETSIDE: AFTERSHOCK, the complete PLANETSIDE collection, including the original PLANETSIDE, PLANETSIDE: CORE COMBAT expansion pack and the recently announced BATTLEFRAME ROBOTICS (BFRs) action pack. PLANETSIDE: AFTERSHOCK is expected to ship to North American on Oct. 18, 2004.
HIGHLANDER rights holder Davis Panzer Prods. has signed a deal to turn the immortal franchise into a videogame, reports VARIETY. In a multiple title agreement, British publisher Sci Games will begin work on the first game set for mid-2006 release. The videogame will have a different storyline than the forthcoming live-action film and the anime feature slated for 2006. Producers Peter Davis and Bill Panzer plan to get top talent from the five films and TV series to help develop the game. Stars Christopher Lambert and Adrian Paul will provide their voices and likeness.
Square Enix Inc. announced that CHAINS OF PROMATHIA, the expansion to the award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game FINAL FANTASY XI, has shipped to retailers. With a combined community in Japan and North America of more than 500,000 players, and the recent Sept. 17 launch for regions in Europe, FINAL FANTASY XI brings gamers together from around the world in this ever-expanding adventure.
LucasArts announced the release of the highly anticipated STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT, an open-ended single-player and multiplayer action game that lets players re-live all of the epic battles from the classic and prequel STAR WARS film trilogies. Shipping September 21 with the classic STAR WARS Trilogy DVD, STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT will be available for PlayStation 2, Xbox and the PC.
THQ Inc. has released WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR, a realtime strategy game for PC is based on the world of Warhammer 40,000 - the dark, futuristic, fantasy universe from Games Workshop traveled by millions worldwide. Developed by Relic Entertainment Inc., WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR offers some of the most visceral frontline combat ever depicted in a videogame for a suggested retail price of $49.99.
Electronic Arts via its EA SPORTS brand has launched the two-player Web game, ALL-STAR FOOTBALL CHALLENGE. This free Web football game brings a two-player mode and four new teams to the already popular ALL-STAR FOOTBALL series. Players can gear up for the competition at www.easports.com/free/home.jsp.
Disney Online has unleashed pets called Doodles in Toontown (www.toontown.com), the award-winning, massively multiplayer 3D online game for families. With this latest extension of the game, members of Toontown can adopt a variety of outrageous creatures to play with and raise as pets.
Doodles are available now for adoption in exchange for jellybeans, the currency of Toontown online. They can be found at newly unveiled Pet Shops located in each of the Toontown neighborhood playgrounds.
Fans of the #1 PC game of all time, THE SIMS, have begun lining up for the release of the highly anticipated sequel THE SIMS 2. And now the wait is over. Electronic Arts has shipped to retailers under the EA GAMES brand the hot title. The award-winning THE SIMS 2 was developed by EA's Maxis studio. THE SIMS game and its expansion packs have sold more than 36 million units worldwide.
Activision Value Publishing has announced that it has teamed with game developer WXP and paintball legend Greg Hastings to create the first-ever paintball game for a major videogame console -- GREG HASTINGS' TOURNAMENT PAINTBALL for the Xbox. This single and multiplayer game combines the strategy and teamwork of a sports title with the view of a first-person action game. The game will be available this fall and is currently rated "RP" by the ESRB.
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts-based Pileated Pictures announced the release of GUS AND INKYS UNDERWATER ADVENTURES- CHAPTER 3 WILD WORD ROUND UP, the latest in a series of free, online e-learning games and animations, based on a character from the award winning PBS show, BETWEEN THE LIONS. The series of educational activities developed for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Get Ready to Read! program is aimed at fostering early literacy skills among preschool children. The games can be found at www.getreadytoread.org.
Activision Inc. has announced that CALL OF DUTY: UNITED OFFENSIVE has shipped to retail outlets nationwide. Developed by Gray Matter Interactive Studios, CALL OF DUTY: UNITED OFFENSIVE is rated "T" (Teen -- Blood, Mild Language, Violence) by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99.
Media Classics Group International, Inc. announced that it has completed international distribution agreements with ENT INC. a Beverly Hills-based entertainment company for the distribution of its animated cel art library. This group of assets includes original art works that were the actual production cels used to create such animated TV shows as FLASH GORDON, BACK TO THE FUTURE, EWOKS, GHOST BUSTERS and HE-MAN.
Prague, Czech Republic-based Cenega Publishing has announced the launch of the official EL MATADOR game site at www.elmatador-game.com. The Website will feature news, screenshots, artwork, renders and various downloads.
With launching this Website, we want to allow gamers their first sneak preview of EL MATADORs visual game experience, exciting storyline, and recently updated game developments, said Richard Moravec, international marketing manager.
Electronic Arts a world-leading interactive entertainment company and A&M Records plan to have world renowned, multi-platinum selling musical group The Black Eyed Peas provide and produce the soundtrack to the videogame and their likenesses as characters for the highly anticipated THE URBZ: SIMS IN THE CITY videogame. In an ambitious collaboration across the two industries, the game will include exclusive versions of nine tracks from the upcoming Black Eyed Peas' album "Monkey Business" due out this fall.
Atari is to developing DRAGONSHARD, a realtime strategy game based on the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS universe created by Wizards of the Coast. Under license from Hasbro Inc., DRAGONSHARD will be the first game set in the exciting new D&D(R) campaign setting, EBERRON, a cinematic and war-torn world of action, adventure and intrigue where fantasy meets magical technology.
DRAGONSHARD is scheduled to be available for PC in spring 2005.
Midway Games Inc. will bring the latest iteration of it's world-renowned MORTAL KOMBAT fighting game franchise, MORTAL KOMBAT: DECEPTION, to the Nintendo GameCube in the first half of 2005.
The PC version of Got Game Entertainments ALIDA is available now at retail stores across North America. The Mac version of the game was released earlier this year. The game was created by Australian musician and artist Cos Russo, who combined his love of music, art and games to create a total sensory experience of clever and thought-provoking puzzles, story and lush graphics, backed by an entrancing original music score. In this atmospheric first person 3D graphical adventure game, players must solve the mystery surrounding a missing musician.
In the October issue of PLAYBOY, videogame vixens from a host of popular games will appear nude as part of an article on the changing face of gaming, reports CNN. Set to be part of the spread will be butt-kicking heroines from Majescos BLOODRAYNE, Midway's MORTAL KOMBAT, Namco's TEKKEN, Vivendi's upcoming RED NINJA and LEISURE SUIT LARRY: MAGNA CUM LAUDE and Sammy Studios' forthcoming DARKWATCH: CURSE OF THE WEST.
American Greetings Corp., creator and owner of STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, and DIC Ent., exclusive worldwide licensing agency for the popular girls' brand, have licensed the North American rights to publish STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: SUMMERTIME ADVENTURE to Mejesco.
Eidos, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, has secured the distribution rights to LEGO Star Wars with Giant Interactive Entertainment Ltd. for all countries except Japan. The game will be released in April 2005 for the PlayStation2, Xbox, PC and Game Boy Advance. LEGO STAR WARS combines two childhood favorites, LEGO and STAR WARS, to create an innovative, action/adventure title designed for young gamers.