THQ Inc. released its next generation game line-up for the 2001 holiday season. The titles include DARK SUMMIT, NEW LEGENDS and MX 2002 FEATURING RICKY CARMICHAEL for Xbox, RED FACTION for PC, and in conjunction with JAKKS Pacific Inc., WWF SMACKDOWN! JUST BRING IT for the PlayStation 2 and WWF RAW IS WAR for Xbox. In addition, THQ is also releasing numerous Game Boy Advance titles. DARK SUMMIT combines snowboarding action with an in-depth story line and mission-based objectives. NEW LEGENDS is a new fighting game set in a futuristic China where players can use two weapons at the same time.
Scandinavian computer game developer UDS has signed a deal with German publisher CDV to develop CORE, a new game for Microsoft's Xbox. The order is the largest in the company's history. CORE is a zany action adventure game where players control a team of four characters, all inside a giant robot suit, on a strange journey to save New York. The game is expected to be released worldwide during 2003. The title will be developed by UDS' studio in Gothenburg, western Sweden.
id Software is bringing its classic shooter game, DOOM, to Game Boy Advance. The project is a joint development effort by id Software and David A. Palmer Productions. Published by Activision, Inc., DOOM for Game Boy Advance will allow gamers to battle horrific demons on the go. The handheld version features up-to-four-players support through the Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable. "DOOM redefined gaming on the PC and now it's back to change the way we think about mobile games," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software.
Sesame Workshop and Encore Software have signed an exclusive, five-year deal to publish Sesame Workshop-owned gaming titles worldwide. Under the agreement, Encore Software will market, promote and distribute Sesame Workshop's SESAME STREET for PC and console platforms, and DRAGON TALES for PC. This year, new Sesame Workshop PC CD-ROMs will include two ELMO'S WORLD titles and two collections featuring SESAME STREET characters. In addition, DRAGON TALES: DRAGON LAND FESTIVAL and new SESAME STREET toddler and preschool titles will debut later this year.
Pulse, a leading interactive, 3D media solutions company, has teamed with NBC to launch the "3D virtual tour" of NBC's WILL & GRACE. Fans can go to NBC.com and tour photo-realistic 3D replications of the sets from the live-action comedy sitcom. The Website was designed using Pulse's proprietary software and partner REALVIZ's technology. The site also boasts the first photo-real site guide. Melinda Ritz, the set decorator for the television show, serves as "tour guide" and appears as a 3D, photo-real "virtual character" in the lower right corner of the screen at key times during the tour.
Activision has been awarded the worldwide gaming rights to develop, publish and distribute interactive games based on Steven Spielberg's upcoming sci-fi film MINORITY REPORT. The deal with Fox Interactive and Dreamworks is for five years and covers all current and next generation consoles, the PC and handheld platforms. "MINORITY REPORT lends itself well to a wide variety of gameplay elements with intense futuristic storylines and gripping action-packed sequences," states Ron Doornink, president and COO, Activision, Inc.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced that DIABLO II: LORD OF DESTRUCTION has hit the 1 million units mark. DIABLO II is only the sixth Blizzard title to hit the million-sold mark. In its first week alone, the game captured a record 17.7% of total U.S. PC game market share. "We are very pleased by the worldwide demand for DIABLO II: LORD OF DESTRUCTION," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder.
A brief compilation of some recent short films and Webisodes. The Web series, LEGENDARY, begins as each character is drawn into a tale of a prophecy by a mysterious young woman. Despite their inhibitions, they find what they see difficult to disbelieve, although their skepticism may not be entirely unfounded. LEGENDARY can be found at www.legendaryonline.com. New chapters are added twice weekly. MK ULTRA 3, a new Flash series at skritch.net, follows the exploits of three young CIA agents as they battle international espionage and new mind control methods.
A brief compilation of some recent short films and Webisodes. EPISODE 7: NERVOUS BREAKDOWN has been posted at www.banja.com. The fragile Zelia has a nervous breakdown and Banja care for her. CartoonNetwork.com has released three animated videos -- ONE MORE TIME, AERODYNAMIC and DIGITAL LOVE from Daft Punk, created by Japanese animator Leiji Matsumoto. The fourth video, HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER, will premiere on August 31. LEVEL13.NET has debuted THE CAPBUSTERS, a new action comedy Web series.
Universal Studios and Mondo Media have teamed on a multi-level ad campaign in support of AMERICAN PIE 2. The campaign consists of a blend of advertising and original content in a new advertising package called the Mondo Side Show. Ads will run on Mondo Web-syndicated Flash animation Mondo Mini Shows such as THUGS ON FILM, GARY THE RAT and ELMO AARDVARK OUTER SPACE DETECTIVE. Commercial content will include an interactive game, a viral marketing component, a commercial and mini Website.
Turner Sports Interactive has acquired the animated Web series THE KELLYS from SportsBlast, the animation production company founded by voiceover artist Nancy Cartwright (THE SIMPSONS). This deal marks the first major sale for SportsBlast, which creates sports-themed animation content. Webisodes will premiere exclusively on NASCAR.com in September. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Web series is a dramedy that explores the world of stock car racing, drivers, pit crews, sponsors and fans through the lives of the Kelly family, underdogs who race the NASCAR circuit.
Cartoon Network and America Online are teaming up to offer AOL subscribers an advance look at SAMURAI JACK, which premieres on Cartoon Network August 10. As part of the promotion, AOL members will get a sneak peek at the series premiere and a sweepstakes offering a trip to Japan. Subscribers will also get an advance look at first-edition action figures, play an online game, see rare behind-the scenes character model sheets and get background information about ancient Samurai traditions. The series is the story of a great warrior transported to the distant future by the evil wizard named Aku.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. has announced that MAX PAYNE, the new action PC game from its GodGames publishing subsidiary, has shipped to retailers in North America and Europe. The game was developed by Remedy Entertainment and 3D Realms. George Broussard, president of 3D Realms, said, "MAX PAYNE captures the mood and feeling of a classic film noir detective thriller and Remedy has crafted a movie quality script in the process. It's all about action, but there is a deep and rich plot here to uncover as you play.
Vans Inc., the leading worldwide brand for Core Sports, has announced that Microsoft's Xbox will be a title sponsor of the Vans Triple Crown Series. The Series features athletes competing in three championship events in each of the following sports: skateboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross. Xbox titled events include: the Xbox Pro of Freestyle Motocross, the Xbox World Championships of Skateboarding and the Xbox Pipeline Masters of Surfing, as well as ongoing sponsorship of the overall Vans Triple Crown Series.
Atomic Cartoons has posted the Web series DOG IN A BOX WITH 2 WHEELS on their Website (www.atomiccartoons.com). The series is a co-production between Atomic Cartoons and Honkworm International. The five-show series features a justice-hungry, hind-legless canine with two back wheels. "We are very pleased to finally have the opportunity to showcase this wonderful little property," said Rob Davies, one of show's original creators. "This adds new life and energy to the dusty old dog!" Also new to the Atomic Cartoons Website is an all-Flash interactive studio tour.
Discreet has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. to create, publish and distribute gmax game packs for multiple Microsoft game titles. The first confirmed title is MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR 2002: PROFESSIONAL EDITION, which is set for delivery in the third quarter of this year. With gmax and the FLIGHT SIMULATOR game pack loaded, users can import game content aircraft, buildings, trees and other 3D objects and customize those objects.
CartoonNetwork.com has announced that the second quarter 2001 was its busiest quarter ever. Time spent on the site increased by almost ten minutes, peaking at a record 44 minutes 42 seconds in June. Cartoon Network attributed this rise to Cartoon Orbit, the Website's online trading community for kids; its Web Premiere Toons; and Toonami: Reactor, a 12-week broadband test, which featured on-demand anime content. The Website set a monthly record in June, attracting 3,102,000 unique users, a 100% increase from the previous year.
Treat, the commercial production arm of Dogmatic, Inc., has created a thirteen Webisodes series for Pepsi, spoofing the cola company's successful Britney Spears commercial campaign. The 60 to 90-second long Webisodes, directed by the comedy directing team of Larry Shanet and David Rosenthal, combine Flash animation with live-action. The first eight installments follow an inept camera crew - ordered by Mr. Butch R.
Warner Bros. has launched a highly immersive Website to promote their upcoming live-action/animated feature OSMOSIS JONES at www.osmosisjones.com. Opening in the U.S. on August 10, the feature film teams a white blood cell and pill in a race to destroy a lethal virus that has infiltrated the body of Frank Detorri. Visitors to the film's site who select game mode will sign on as cops on the same immunity police force that employs Officer Osmosis, chasing down a lethal virus through the City of Frank, investigating suspects and tackling games of skill in a special arcade.
Mondo Media announced that four of its popular Web shows, including the award-winning ELMO AARDVARK OUTER SPACE DETECTIVE!, will now air on Microsoft Corp.s WindowsMedia.com. The Flash-created series will be available using the Windows Media player. The Mondo Mini series to air on WindowsMedia.com will include ELMO, THUGS ON FILM, HAPPY TREE FRIENDS and THIS MODERN WORLD.
Children's software publisher Knowledge Adventure has announced the release of two new 3D action/adventure games on CD-Rom -JURASSIC PARK III: DANGER ZONE! and JURASSIC PARK III: DINO DEFENDER. DANGER ZONE! has players racing against time to collect dinosaur DNA before the ancient reptiles become extinct again. DINO DEFENDER has gamers trapping or tranquilizing renegade dinosaurs. "Kids love dinosaurs and Jurassic Park is the premier dinosaur brand the world over," said Leslie House, vice president, Knowledge Adventure.
Nick.com has announced the launch of its first online comic book, THE CRIMSON CHIN, an interactive spin-off of Nickelodeon's animated comedy series, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS. The TV series follows the adventures of 10-year-old Timmy Turner and his troublesome fairy godparents Cosmo and Wanda. In August, in a move for TV and online convergence, THE CRIMSON CHIN Webisodes will debut as one-minute interstitials on Nickelodeon.
Empire Interactive, one of the U.K.'s leading computer game developers and publishers, and Vivendi Universal Publishing has announced a distribution deal, which will bring six new franchises to North America. The deal includes fifteen titles scheduled to premiere in fall 2001. As part of the deal, VU Publishing has acquired the rights to distribute six of Empire's upcoming titles, VICTORIOUS BOXERS, END GAME, ANTZ RACING, STARSKY & HUTCH, GHOSTMASTER and WORLD SPORTS CARS in the U.S. and Canada. Empire plans to publish the titles for multiple next-generation platforms and PC-CD Rom.
TDK Mediactive Inc., a global publisher of entertainment software, has announced theyve begun development on a new title for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance system based on the mega-hit DreamWorks film, SHREK. The title, scheduled for a spring 2002 release, will feature characters from the movie in a kart race. "The response to SHREK both as a feature film and video game has been tremendous," said Vincent Bitetti, chief executive officer of TDK Mediactive.
Warner Bros. Online has ordered an additional 30 Webisodes of the 3D animated THE MULTIPATH ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN from producer Brilliant Digital Entertainment. The new installments will debut this fall, lifting the total number of Webisodes in the series to 75. In addition to SUPERMAN, WB.com airs Brilliant Digital's XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, CHOOSE YOUR OWN NIGHTMARE and starting this fall, selected animated music videos from such musical artists as Ja Rule, Ludacris, Redman and Lady Luck. Brilliant Digital president Kevin Bermeister said, "Warner Bros.