Limited quantities of FINAL FANTASY X for the PlayStation 2 will start shipping to retail stores in the U.S. on December 26, 2001, instead of the originally scheduled January 2002. The game was released in Japan on July 19, 2001 and sold through 90% of the 2.14 million units it shipped in the first four days. To date, the FINAL FANTASY series has sold over 35 million units worldwide, making the franchise one of the best-selling series in the history of videogames. In FINAL FANTASY X, the main character, Tidus, is a star player of blitzball, a full contact sport.
As if talking on a mobile phone in public wasnt bad enough, Dutchbased ExtraTainment has developed four games to be played exclusively on mobile phones. MOBILE WORLD CUP allows the player to lead their own soccer team to the World Cup finals, ANDROID BATTLE puts the player in the midst of a hi-tech interplanetary struggle, THE BOOZE CONNECTION is set in the gangland of 1930s Chicago, while CHALLENGE OF THE KNIGHTS takes you back to the Dark Ages for a tournament in the king's court. All games have been designed for multi-player use, meaning contestants can play against each other.
Less than a week after the two systems were released, both Microsofts Xbox and Nintendos GameCube are selling well, with a slight edge going to GameCube. The long-awaited, twice-delayed Microsoft Xbox debuted with much fanfare on November 15, 2001 at 12:01 EST at the Toys "R" Us flagship store in Times Square. Bill Gates was on hand to present the first Xbox console to Edward Glucksman of Keansburg, New Jersey. According to a CNET news brief, a Goldman Sachs survey of U.S.
New media company Icebox is hoping that people are ready to pay for entertainment on the Web (other than porn, that is). Starting this week, Icebox is making its entire library of animation available on a pay-per-view basis through Icebox On Demand (www.icebox.com). Since relaunching the site in April 2001, Icebox has been focusing its core business on developing new content for traditional and new media, as well as the licensing of its existing library.
Infogrames, Inc. is bringing back Atari for the holidays. Now available, MXRIDER and SPLASHDOWN for Sony PlayStation2 are the first games to launch under the new Atari banner. Infogrames recently launched both MXRIDER and SPLASHDOWN globally, releasing the games to an estimated 15,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and 23,800 outlets internationally. MXRIDER is a motocross racing game featuring authentic motorbike speed and action with over 50 licensed Motocross World Championship riders in all three motorbike classes (125cc, 250cc and 500 cc).
Ubi Soft Entertainment's online division has launched ubi.com, a new gaming portal that allows gamers to play games and participate in online communities. ubi.com is now available in North America and France and will eventually spread to other countries. The company also has plans to extend ubi.com to console gamers later in the year. Since online communities are an important part of the gaming culture, ubi.com has licensed state-of-the-art forum technology to make it easy for players to post their comments and ideas online and hopes to give fans the ultimate community experience.
On Level13.net, check out CalArts alum Charles Allen-Ecks award-winning short ONION JOHN. This musical tale of a misunderstood vegetable will leave you in tears.On Darkhorse.com, home to Darkhorse Comics, you find a growing variety of shorts including Tony Millionaires SOCK MONKEYand if youd like to see the day in the life of one unemployed man, check out LAID OFF at oddtodd.com (warning: contains some explicit language!).
Activision, Inc. has teamed with mens lifestyle magazine MAXIM and Hollywood Records on a million dollar, multi-media promotional campaign to support the launch of id Software's PC game RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN. In this sequel to WOLFENSTEIN 3D, one of the original first-person shooter games, players infiltrate the Third Reich to battle horrific super-soldiers, zombies and mutants forged in the unearthly experiments of Heinrich Himmler. One component of the launch campaign includes the bundling of more than 1 million promotional interactive CD-ROMs with the December issue of MAXIM.
Chuck Jones' first original animated characters created for Warner Bros. in more than 40 years made their World Wide Web debut on October 24, 2001. Warner Bros. Online's Flash-animated cartoon Chuck Jones' TIMBER WOLF, has become one of the fastest-growing sites at warnerbros.com. According to Warner Bros., nearly 750,000 fans have checked out the antics of TIMBER WOLF and more continue to log on each day. A new Webisode will premiere each week for the shows 13-week run.
Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS, INC. is showing up in theaters on November 2, 2001 and there will be a variety of games available to accompany the film. THQ has collaborated with Disney to create Disney/Pixars MONSTERS INC. for Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color. Games will be available at major retail outlets nationwide in conjunction with the movie release on November 2, 2001. Assuming the role of Sulley, the blue and furry hero of the film, players must navigate through Monstropolis in order to return a human girl to her home safely.
The new SHREK game for Microsoft's Xbox game system features character contributions from Emmy winning producer/director, Todd McFarlane. "We are really excited about Todd's character contributions," said Vincent Bitetti, CEO of TDK Mediactive. "The twisted and quirky personalities that he incorporated into the game characters are a perfect match for the unique and irreverent humor of the game." Todd McFarlane collaborated with TDK Mediactive and developer Digital Illusions to create new, exclusive characters for SHREK for Xbox.
THE KELLYS, a Web animation series available exclusively on nascar.com, registered over 100,000 downloads of the episodes in the first 10 days of the show's September 26, 2001 launch. THE KELLYS series concept was created by SportsBlast, a company founded by voice actor Nancy Cartwright, who also provides voices for the series. In July, SportsBlast closed a deal with Turner Sports Interactive, a division of AOL Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (TBS) for the show's production and distribution.
TDK Mediactive, Inc.s new game SHREK for the Xbox video game system will be available in stores on Xbox launch day, November 15, 2001. SHREK for Xbox is being featured in the Xbox retail demo disk and brochure and on point of purchase displays that will be in stores through the holiday season. In the game, Shrek must face off with Merlin and travel to the fog-shrouded Dark Tower Fortress of Pure Evil. To clear the fog and gain access, Shrek must perform various good deeds across the Fairy Tale Lands.
Chuck Jones' Internet animated series TIMBERWOLF, had its world-premiere at the Ottawa Student Animation Festival, October 18-21, 2001. The show debuted on warnerbros.com on October 24, 2001. Created by legendary animation director Chuck Jones, and produced by Jones, Stephen Fossatti, Philip Vaughn and Jeff DeGrandis, TIMBERWOLF features laid-back Thomas Timber Wolf, whose unfortunate family history involves the tendency for trees to fall on his head at the utterance of his middle name.
Microsoft has downsized the capacity of the hard drive on its upcoming Xbox video game console and made it more family friendly. In a REUTERS report, Microsoft confirmed that the drive capacity will shrink to 8 gigabytes (GB) from the previously advertised 10 GB. Microsoft declined to explain why the change was made, only that the change was not due to manufacturing problems. This news comes on the heels of Microsofts announcement that the Xbox will be the first videogame console with a built-in parental control to restrict childrens game play based on ESRB ratings.
Multimedia graphics provider WildTangent is powering DARK ORBIT, an episodic 3D sci-fi shooter game now available on www.shockwave.com. DARK ORBIT transforms the player into the sole survivor of a small mining colony, who must collect the remaining precious few resources and use them to build more firepower. During this exploration, he can also discover new technology that will upgrade his meager mining craft into a high-powered machine of mass destruction. Gamers have access to five large maps and more than a dozen weapons and missiles to research and build upgradeable modular ships.
Disney Interactive has launched its premiere title under the Disney Imagineering brand, ULITMATE RIDE, a roller coaster design game. The photo-realistic, real-time, 3-D action roller coaster game allows gamers aged nine and up to imagine, build, customize, test and ride various coaster designs. ULTIMATE RIDE lets players pick from three types of tracks, classic wood, hanging or top-track, or modern steel to design with and ride. Coasters are built within four unique environments: mountain, outer space, underground cavern and engineering grid.
Activision, Inc. has released SPIDER-MAN for the PC and SPIDER-MAN: MYSTERIO'S MENACE and X-MEN: REIGN OF APOCALYPSE, both for the Game Boy Advance. These releases mark the super heroes' debut on Nintendo's new handheld video game system. SPIDER-MAN: MYSTERIO'S MENACE lets pocket gamers live the fantasy of Marvel's legendary webslinger with the enhanced, side-scrolling gameplay and powerful graphics of the Game Boy Advance. When Mysterio unleashes his illusory schemes, Spider-Man must stop his evil plan and restore life to normal.
Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment has launched an interactive PDA-based game to promote Revolution Studios & Columbia Pictures' new feature film THE ONE. This is first time that a studio has created a PDA-based game on behalf of a major motion picture release. "The thematic elements of THE ONE fit perfectly with the idea of a PDA-based game," said Geoffrey Ammer, President of Marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Honkworm International, a creator of online branded entertainment, has partnered with multimedia presentations developer Renaissance iMedia, to begin operations in Japan. The new office is located in Tokyo and will operate under the Honkworm name. Both parties in the joint venture anticipate rapid growth, and plan to provide services to Japanese consumer brands looking to include rich media into their campaigns and promotions.
Looney Tunes memorable adversaries Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheep-dog try to outwit, outlast andwell you know, in Infogrames Inc.'s, LOONEY TUNES SHEEP RAIDER for the PlayStation video game console. As ``anti-hero'' Ralph Wolf, players use devious and mischievous mission-based tactics in order to pull the wool over Sam Sheep-dog's eyes and rustle his flock. Plenty of ACME gadgets are employed -- rocket packs, umbrellas, catapults, sheep costumes, sheep perfume, and more -- as Ralph Wolf devises ever-cleverer schemes to capture his sheepish prey.
CartoonNetwork.com gives fans a taste of what to expect from JUSTICE LEAGUE when the Website launches a special "sneak site" for the show on October 8, 2001. JUSTICE LEAGUE is a new action series from Cartoon Network that debuts on November 17, 2001, at 7:00 pm with a 90-minute movie presentation. JUSTICE LEAGUE brings together an all-star roster of popular superheroes including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter.
NewKidCo, has shipped E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL for Game Boy Advanced, the first in the company's highly anticipated line of games based on one of the most beloved and successful films of all time, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in March 2002 with a long-awaited re-release. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is an action-packed adventure game that captures the excitement and strength of the characters that made the film so popular and pits them against the same challenges faced in the film like assembling the transmitter to "phone home," breaking E.T.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. announced that it has revised its fourth quarter publishing schedule as a result of the tragic events that occurred September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Take-Two's corporate headquarters, which are located in downtown Manhattan, reopened for business on Monday, September 17, 2001 after being closed for four business days, although the company continues to experience disruptions in telecommunications and network services.
Are you sensing a pattern? In what is becoming a more common response in the entertainment industry to the terrorist attacks on the U.S., Digital Leisure executives have put the new game CRIME PATROL on indefinite hold. The game places players in the role of a police officer stopping criminals - including drug dealers, bank robbers, car thieves, and in the final level, terrorists.