U.K.-based Lionhead Studios, creator of the FABLE and BLACK & WHITE game franchises, is adopting SOFTIMAGE|XSI software as the standard 3D art and animation tool for future development projects. Artists at Lionhead plan to use SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to create and animate the characters, props and environments for their next generation of PC and console games. The transition is set to take place in multiple phases starting next month.
Gizmondo Europe Ltd, subsidiary of Jacksonville, Florida-based Tiger Telematics Inc., can confirm the new multi-entertainment handheld will be stocked by more than 700 stores across France for launch on May 19, 2005. The retailers confirmed for launch are Antares, Virgin Megastore, PC City, 3 Suisses (VPC), Leclerc, Madison Nuggets, Cora and Surcouf handled by three distributors Innelec, Erbel-Disca 7 and Sodifa, while Darty and Boulanger will be supplied directly by Gizmondo France. Gizmondo France will also be working with leading distributor, DIES, for Belgium and Luxemburg.
In its first national student survey on videogame preferences, The Art Institutes system of schools recently polled more than 1,000 Game Art & Design, Animation and Visual & Game Programming students from throughout its 31 schools on everything from favorite computer and console games to game purchasing behavior.
Aspyr Media Inc. announced that THE SIMS 2, Electronic Arts' sequel to the hugely popular Sims, will work with several of the new features in Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" to create a much improved gaming experience. THE SIMS 2, set for release in June, makes extensive use of the OpenGL technology to bring the most vivid, lifelike animations ever to the SIMS franchise. The title also benefits from the new .Mac services, which allow the player to share their own SIMS families with friends via their .Mac iDisk.
Samsung Electronics and Microsoft Corp. announced an alliance to elevate gaming to the next level through high-definition technology. Microsoft has chosen Samsung as the exclusive HDTV worldwide marketing partner for the next-generation Xbox high-definition gaming platform. The announcement was made during the Home Entertainment Expo at the New York Hilton.
TOM Online Inc., China's leading wireless Internet company, announced that Cisco Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. will acquire strategic share interests in Indiagames Ltd., a leading global publisher of mobile games majority owned by TOM Online. This move enhances the India-based mobile games publisher's position for global growth.
FamilyGuy.com begins its rollout today (April 28, 2005), offering FAMILY GUY fans loads of interactive online entertainment goodies as well as a community to coincide with the return of the animated series May 1, at 9:00 pm on FOX. The site launches with its first of what will be many Family Guy-centric sweepstakes offerings, Stewies Radical Remodel, with a prize package that includes dozens of FAMILY GUY stuff to fill the winners house, including limited edition cel art, action figures, lunchboxes, inflatable chairs, posters, pillowcases and dartboards.
Midway Games Inc. has shipped action thriller videogame, AREA 51, to retail outlets in the U.S. for the PlayStation2 and Xbox. The version for PC will ship on May 23, 2005. AREA 51 is an action/thriller featuring an intense storyline packed with scripted events, an arsenal of both human and alien weapons, and powerful multiplayer modes that allow up to 16 players to battle it out online.
Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS Inc.) unveiled GameTap, a first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network that offers games-on-demand plus original programming via a broadband connected PC. GameTap launches fall 2005.
THQ Inc. has released HELLO KITTY BUBBLEGUM GIRLFRIENDS for PC and Mac. Published by ValuSoft, a division of THQ, the videogame based on the SANRIO property is rated "E" for Everyone and is available at retailers in the U.S. for $19.99 SRP.
Best-selling strategy game STRONGHOLD 2 was developed by FireFly Studios and published by 2K Games, a publishing label of Take2 Interactive, using Lifemode Interactives LifeStudio:HEAD.
Disney Online is developing a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN massively multiplayer online role-playing game to debut in summer 2006, coinciding with the theatrical premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST.
LOONEY TUNES artist David Alvarez that his indie comic strip YENNY will be syndicated by Ucomics.com. The strips follows lead girl Yenny as she deals with the trials and tribulations of daily modern life. The strips originated as part of comic ZACHA AND ANYELIN.
Buena Vista Games (BVG) announced it will become a multi-platform publisher in summer 2005 and launch a portfolio of high profile videogames in the U.K., Germany and France as well as extend its current portfolio of kids- and family-focused titles to a wider audience, to include 'tween, teen and core gamers.
Verizon Wireless customers who enjoyed THE INCREDIBLES can now dial it up on their phone or favorite wireless device with the release of THE INCREDIBLES 3D mobile game on Verizon Wireless' new V CAST wireless broadband multimedia service.
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.
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.
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.