Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire TT Games, which encompasses Traveller's Tales, one of the world's largest independent game developers, and TT Games Publishing, the U.K.-based game publisher behind the LEGO STAR WARS videogames and BIONICLE HEROES.
Universal Studios Sound (www.filmmakersdestination.com) announces the addition of supervising sound editor Michael Geisler, expanding the department's services in animation and gaming. The facility offers sound editorial and design, mixing, Foley, ADR and transfer for features, television, commercials and trailers, along with animation and gaming.
LucasArts and TT Games have released the highly anticipated game LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA. Building on the success of two prior LEGO STAR WARS videogames, each complete with LEGO action and minifigure humor, THE COMPLETE SAGA enables families to play through the events of all six STAR WARS movies in one videogame for the first time ever. Developer Traveller's Tales takes full advantage of the unique capabilities of all three next-generation consoles, while also adding new characters, new levels and new features. Players can build and battle on the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
PorchLight Ent. is ramping up the activity for its recently launched KidVideos.com, with a casting call for kid hosts to play "emcee" roles around the site and be regular "familiar faces." The company is also recruiting "camcorder reporters" from around the U.S. to cover fun and interesting topics for kids, and will hold monthly contests on the site to recognize the best kids' pet videos and music videos.
Vivendi Games Mobile, a division of Vivendi Games, announced the launch of the CRASH OF THE TITANS mobile game, the newest installment of the billion-dollar-selling CRASH BANDICOOT videogame franchise.
Blueprint Kids and National Geographic Kids' Ent. have launched an online game based on Teletoon's kids comedy-adventure series IGGY ARBUCKLE, KIDSCREEN reports. Created by Toronto-based zinc Roe Design and produced by Anne-Sophie Brieger, THE GREAT KOOKAMUNGA CHALLENGE builds on characters and storylines from the series and takes place in real-time. Players race to explore Kookamunga National Park, while their progress and new clues are revealed on-air. They also earn points by playing a variety of games and answering show-related trivia.
We begin our gaming coverage this month with a "Digital Eye" column by A2M CTO Martin Walker, who explains how this Montreal-based videogame developer has upped its 3D artistry with a new workflow and pipeline, particularly for its upcoming WET next year. Meanwhile, Alain Bielik goes behind-the-scenes of FRED CLAUS to uncover the fantastical secrets behind this latest Christmas movie opening Friday from Warner Bros. Pictures.
Zumbakamera has launched a new chapter in its Flash webseries BENDITO MACHINE, which coincides with the debut of the website www.benditomachine.com.
The website will include an online t-shirt store with exclusive designs from the show and free download sections. New chapters of the series will premiere every two to three months until the ten-episode season is complete.
PBS KIDS has launched a new website dedicated to its new animated series SUPER WHY! at pbskids.org/superwhy.
Forest Whitaker has partnered with Pepsi-Cola North America to produce a web game titled DEWMOCRACY, that will result in a consumer-generated beverage innovation. Whitaker developed the virtual world, plot, characters and mini-games. Additionally, he helmed a live-action short that serves as an intro to the game.
Aniboom (www.aniboom.com) has premiered RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, its first original animated comedy series that follows the misadventures of Clinton, Giuliani, McCain and Obama as they sprint toward the Oval Office.
Written by four-time Emmy-nominated writer Gabe Abelson, the series leverages the talent from Bulgaria, Israel, the U.S., Croatia and India via Aniboom's online Creators Studio, where animators and directors have the opportunity to pitch, produce and monetize original animated series.
CBS Mobile announced plans for its first original animated program DANNY BONADUCE: LIFE COACH, which will premiere on the mobile video services of major U.S. wireless carriers on Nov. 12, with additional episodes released every two weeks. Voiced by Danny Bonaduce, the eight animated episodes, each three to five minutes in length, will also stream on www.cbs.com and through online partners across the CBS Audience Network.
Ubisoft announced that its IMAGINE series of videogames for girls 6-14 is now available at major retailers. IMAGINE ANIMAL DOCTOR, IMAGINE BABYZ, IMAGINE FASHION DESIGNER and IMAGINE MASTER CHEF are immediately available for the Nintendo DS for $29.99.
Ubisoft announced that MY WORD COACH (Wii and Nintendo DS), MY SPANISH COACH and MY FRENCH COACH (Nintendo DS) have all shipped to retail stores. The MY COACH series of games allows players to improve themselves and learn in an interactive way.
Sierra Ent., a division of Vivendi Games, announced that the realtime strategy Windows PC EMPIRE EARTH III videogame has shipped to retailers nationwide. Developed by Mad Doc Software, EMPIRE EARTH III builds upon the success of the award-winning EMPIRE EARTH II and redefines realtime strategy games with a global approach to world domination.
Konami Digital Ent. announced SILENT HILL ORIGINS has shipped to retail stores in North America. Developed exclusively for the PSP, SILENT HILL ORIGINS brings to North America the horror series with all-new game play and a storyline set before the events of the original SILENT HILL.
Updated controls maximize combat, allowing Travis to use his fists, his wits and an array of weapons, including a meat cleaver, pool cue and sledgehammer, to fight his way through the nightmarish world of SILENT HILL and create more than one possible ending.
Film Movement (www.filmmovement.com), the North American film distribution company, announced today the launch of the Film Festival Channel (FFC), a nationwide free video-on-demand (VOD) channel that is sponsored by Stella Artois and is being carried by Cox, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Washington State Market, Mediacom, Armstrong and Bresnan Communications.
Gameloft, a leading developer and publisher of mobile games, has teamed with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group to produce AMERICAN GANGSTER: THE MOBILE GAME, based on Universal Pictures' crime drama. The Imagine Ent. production starring Academy Award-winning actors Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe finished at the top of the box office in the United States this past weekend. AMERICAN GANGSTER is produced by Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, and produced and directed by Ridley Scott.
Leading Chinese online game developer Perfect World Co., Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Indonesia's PT. Lyto Datarindo Fortuna ("LYTO") to license the company's PERFECT WORLD II game in Indonesia.
PERFECT WORLD II is a large-scale 3D MMORPG that was first launched in China in November, 2006. Since then the game has been licensed to companies in eleven countries and regions, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Brazil and the Philippines.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has announced the promotion of Stacey Kaufman to VP, Digital Marketing and Tony Zito to VP, The N Online. The announcement was made by Steve Youngwood, Exec VP, Digital Media, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to whom they report. Ms. Kaufman will simultaneously report to Pam Kaufman, CMO for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Global Internet TV network Babelgum has announced a partnership with the Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol, U.K., which is currently celebrating its 13th year. Encounters participants will now be able to broadcast their short films on Babelgum, making them available to a potential 300+ million audience worldwide. Film directors and rights owners can upload content on Babelgum through November 20th, 2007.
Video search engine blinkx has announced a partnership with GONG, the first international on-demand, online anime channel in Europe and North America. Under the terms of the agreement, blinkx will transcribe and index video content from GONG, making it easier for users to find the best in Japanese anime, including sci-fi, horror, heroic fantasy and epic space opera content.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today condemned the controversial videogame MANHUNT2, calling its portrayal of mental illness irresponsible and stereotyped. "NAMI asks Rockstar Games to recall or further modify the videogame MANHUNT2 due to its irresponsible, stereotyped portrayal of mental illness," NAMI executive director Mike Fitzpatrick said in a statement. "We also ask retailers to be responsible in responding to public health concerns."
Disney Online announced that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ONLINE (www.PiratesOnline.com), an immersive massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) and virtual world inspired by the popular film franchise, has launched for the PC and Mac platforms. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ONLINE allows thousands of players to fully experience the adventures made famous in the films and explore beyond these boundaries in a quest to become the most legendary pirate on the high seas.