Vicon Ent.'s Los Angeles-based House of Moves has launched a new state-of-the art motion-capture studio at the University of Central Florida on the grounds of the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, UCF's graduate video-game development school. The 3,500-square-foot studio, one of the largest on the East Coast, is described by House of Moves executives as a "world-class facility" for industry professionals and academia.
SEGA Corp. announced an exclusive partnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to develop BEIJING 2008 - THE OFFICIAL VIDEO GAME OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES. The game is being developed by Eurocom Ent. Software for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the PC. Additionally, BEIJING 2008 -- THE OFFICIAL MOBILE PHONE GAME OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES is also in the works and will be available summer 2008.
Majesco Ent. Co. and Sandlot Games announced CAKE MANIA 2 for the Nintendo DS. Developed by Digital Embryo, CAKE MANIA 2 is the follow-up to the award-winning CAKE MANIA game that originally debuted on PC and has achieved more than 50 million downloads worldwide and sold over 280,000 units worldwide on the DS.
Leading youth entertainment and Internet video network GoFish Corp. announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership to offer premier video content from several MTV Networks brands for ad-supported viewing on GoFish.com. GoFish is one of a select group of third-party video platforms that will distribute content online from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, CMT, Logo, The N, Spike TV, AtomFilms and GameTrailers.
SilverBirch Studios and Breakthrough New Media announced that they have signed an agreement to develop two games based on the upcoming animated kids television series JIMMY TWO SHOES, to be broadcast on Teletoon Canada and Jetix Europe.
The makers of the live-action feature RED PRINCESS BLUES have launched the seven-minute animated prequel, RED PRINCESS BLUES ANIMATED: THE BOOK OF VIOLENCE. Alex Ferrari is the creator, writer and producer of the film with Dan Cregan serving as director and producer.
The prequel follows a 12-year-old girl who finds herself in a strange country looking for her father. She is taken in by a unique-looking man by the name of Nino. She soon discovers the "Book of Violence" and slowly begins her journey that one day will lead to vengeance.
Sony Pictures is launching an animated series in the spring in conjunction with the feature YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, featuring the voice work of Adam Sandler. The studio is also running a promotion where a winner will be animated into one of the episodes. Contest details can be found at: www.sonypictures.com/movies/youdontmesswiththezohan/sweepstakes/index.php.
Sony Computer Ent. Inc. (SCEI) announced that it would introduce Skype features to the new slim and light PSP-2000 series. More than 246 million members are registered for the use of this communications software, which enables users to communicate with other Skype users around the world over the Internet. Calls between Skype users are free of charge.
By introducing Skype on PSP, the following features and services will be made available to PSP users:
* Free voice calls between Skype users
THX Ltd., Neural Audio Corp. and Sierra Ent., a division of Vivendi Games, announced that PROTOTYPE, the first-person shooter (FPS) for next-gen gaming consoles and PCs, will be the first videogame to feature Neural-THX Surround. The Neural-THX Surround technology enabled Radical Ent., an internal development studio of Sierra, to extend the surround sound experience from 5.1 to 7.1. PROTOTYPE will go on sale in the U.S. in fall 2008.
THQ has announced plans to release the WALL*E videogame in conjunction with the film's eagerly awaited theatrical debut from Disney/Pixar in the summer of 2008. WALL*E is anticipated to launch across all major gaming systems including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows PC and Mac, as well as wireless devices.
Netflix Inc. and LG Electronics today announced they are joining forces to develop a set-top box for consumers to stream movies and other programming from the Internet to HDTVs -- bypassing the need to use a personal computer.
The collaboration is expected to deliver a new online home entertainment service via technology embedded in an LG networked player planned for the second half of 2008.
AtomFilms has released an exclusive new online game and music video, KUNG-FU ELECTION, at www.kungfuelection.com.
The KUNG-FU ELECTION game invites players to choose their favorite candidate and take them into battle against a political enemy. Options include Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Bill Richardson, as well as their Republican counterparts Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mike Huckabee. The would-be presidents duke it out with an array of special weapons and kung-fu moves.
The net is abuzz with news that Fox and Apple are close to announcing a new deal that will see Fox content available for rent on iTunes. THE FINANCIAL TIMES broke the story, stating a formal announcement will be coming at Macworld on Jan. 14. Details are still sketchy, but users would rent films and TV shows for a limited time for a reduced price. Additionally, Fox will use Apple's digital rights management software on its DVDs to make it easier for customers to put Fox titles on their computers and iPods.
GDH is launching a one-year trial run of a new P2P distribution network for its Gonzo and Gonzo Rosso toons, reports VARIETY. Launch content includes: Gonzo's SPEEDGRAPHER; the trailer to THE TOWER OF DRUAGA -- THE AEGIS OF URUK, which will be released in spring; and Gonzo Rosso's PROJECT PAPO. The toons, in standard and hi-def versions, will be available via the Gonzo Rosso website.
Autodesk's end-to-end game development software solutions were used to create most of the top titles hitting the shelves this holiday season. These include Ubisoft's ASSASSIN'S CREED, BioWare's MASS EFFECT, Flagship's HELLGATE: LONDON, Infinity Ward's CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE, Insomniac Games' RATCHET AND CLANK FUTURE: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION, Sony Computer Ent. Europe's (SCEE) HEAVENLY SWORD and Naughty Dog's UNCHARTED: DRAKE'S FORTUNE.
Laurent Taieb has been promoted to VP, Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP), France as part of the company's strategic commitment to expand and further deepen its licensing and merchandising operations in the market. Taieb has managed NVCP's strategy in France since January 2006, including the direct oversight of DORA THE EXPLORER, which under his leadership became the fastest-growing toy license ever for Fisher Price and has spent the last 22 consecutive months as the territory's number-one licensed property.
Dwight Little, the director of ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID, will helm the screen adaptation of the Namco videogame TEKKEN, VARIETY reports. CSP's Steven Paul and Benedict Carver are the producers of the film, which is being funded by Crystal Sky Pictures.
Penned by Alan McElroy, the script follows a martial arts master who leads a rebellion against the oppressive Tekken Corp.
Filming will begin Feb. 4th in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Leading anime channel Anime Network has announced a new broadband service to stream high-quality anime on the Internet. The free service will feature more than 20 full episodes of classic and new anime series at any given time, including classics like RAHXEPHON and SAIYUKI, and new series such as AH! MY GODDESS: FLIGHTS OF FANCY and KURAU PHANTOM MEMORY.
MTV Games announced an exclusive deal with internationally renowned motion picture and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer to develop and create new and original videogames, marking the producerâs first official foray into the gaming world. As part of the agreement, Bruckheimer will build a game incubation studio with MTV Games, where a team of experienced videogame experts, artists and storytellers will seek out and deliver new game concepts and intellectual property.
Perfect World Co. Ltd., an online game developer and operator in China, announced it will launch a small-scale closed beta testing for its first casual game, HOT DANCE PARTY, on Dec. 28, 2007.
The game is based on city life and incorporates many modern features, such as fashion, energy and hip-hop, to create a virtual stage for a super dancing star. Captivating choreography, costume design and customized character features are set to make gamers' dreams come true.
FIX8 unveiled its premium software that allows bloggers and social networking site users to share a cast of new virtual characters. The software is now available for download at www.FIX8.com. Moreover, the company also launched its new website featuring a simplified software download process and new videos and avatars.
FIX8's latest creation builds on its free software download. The premium version (for a limited time offer of $9.95) features a cast of 65 virtual characters, over 140 accessories, and advanced high-resolution video-record options.
SEGA of America announced that SONIC THE HEDGEHOG is now available for play on the new iPod nano with video, the iPod classic and the fifth generation iPod. SONIC fans can purchase and download the game from the iTunes Store for $4.99. Sonic has been designed specifically for the iPod and is available on the 22 iTunes Stores around the world.
The age-old game of Twenty Questions has just been Simpsonized! SIMPSONS enthusiasts can now put their knowledge of America's first animated family to the test through an online trivia challenge that tests players on the people, places, and things of Springfield. Moreover, fans will actually help build the content database. Swing by 20Q.net/simpsons to check it out.
ZAPiT Games announces the availability of its new VEGGIETALES interactive family game title for the Game Wave system. VEG-OUT FAMILY TOURNAMENT combines brain games for the entire family with Big Idea's VEGGIETALES animated characters.
FXLabs Studios, India's leading developer of video games, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire U.S.-based IMT, Inc., owner of one of the world's largest online casual games portals, Knibble.com. FXLabs will pay US$3 million in stock to acquire 100% of IMT.
With over 10,000 online causal games that can be played for free, Knibble has emerged as the best destination for game developers to showcase their talent, allowing registered members to submit new games, add a description, suggest a content rating and add tags.