Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. shipped the HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX videogame today (June 26, 2007) across North America and it will be in-store in Europe June 28. Available on multiple platforms, the HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX videogame allows players to explore the many key locations within Hogwarts, and engage in the thrilling adventures described in the rich narrative of the books and films.
fxguide has launched the debut episode of its fxguidetv, the first regular webseries dedicated to the CG and visual effects industry. In the first episode, Mike Seymour interviews Chuck McIlvain from Sony Pictures Imageworks about SPIDER-MAN 3, covering the challenges of animation and the f/x work on sand and goo. Additionally, John Montgomery of fxphd looks at shape layers in After Effects CS3. Each episode kicks off with host Angie Richards running down the lasted hot news in the animation and visual effects industry.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) announced the launch of Animax Mobile in Canada and Australia to kickoff a global roll-out of a "dedicated mobile version" of Sony's popular Japanese anime channel that currently can be seen across Asia, Central Europe, Germany, and Latin America on TV via cable and satellite providers. Animax Mobile is specifically designed for mobile TV viewing using mobile streaming technology and targets users ages 14-34.
Cartoon Network New Media is expanding its games distribution to videogame consoles through an innovative browser application developed at AFI's Digital Content Lab. Launching in late 2007 to early 2008, the new multi-platform window called "MEGA Series" delivers an interactive video and gaming experience to broadband-enabled consoles. Additionally, the application can be adapted for distribution to a broad array of devices. Cartoon Network is the first television network to use Flash to uniquely reach the massive console audience.
Researchers from the University of Southern California, joined by members of Congress and key political reform groups, will debut THE REDISTRICTING GAME, a free, online videogame, on Capitol Hill on June 13, 2007, at 10:00 am. Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-318, Washington, D.C.
McDonald's and Sony Pictures Animation are treating McDonald's youngest guests to the characters from the SURF'S UP movie, beginning June 8, 2007, in McDonald's Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals. On the opening day of the new animated movie, from Sony Pictures Animation, through July 5, with the purchase of a Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal, young guests will receive one of eight SURF'S UP surfing-action toys, while supplies last.
Beginning June 12, 2007, two of the biggest anime distributors in the U.S., FUNimation and GeneonEnt., will join current Xbox LIVE partner ADV Films with popular shows, movies, gamer pics and themes. FUNimation will provide the epic adventure series SAMURAI 7, adapted from Akira Kurosawa's legendry film SEVEN SAMURAI. Additional films coming from FUNimation include TRINITY BLOOD, GUNSLINGER GIRL and BASILISK. Geneon Ent. will provide Xbox LIVE with the U.S. HD debut of the anime classic AKIRA. Also available from Geneon Ent.
Cookie Jar Ent. has hired Gorilla Nation to handle the online advertising for its two most popular websites -- SPIDER RIDERS and THE DOODLEBOPS.
ohm:tv has launched Loko, a purpose created channel for YouTube, the first dedicated to edgy animation series geared towards teenagers and young adults.
Loko is defined as a comedy lab featuring cult series and the newest of animation brands from independent animation studios from around the world. Programming highlights include: PETEY & JAYDEE, TOYMATTERS, CRASH TEST DUMMIES OFF WORK, THE ADVENTURES OF WANKBOY and MY TEDDY BEAR IS TRYING TO KILL ME.
Flash animation on the official website of the 2012 London Olympics has to be removed after reports came in that it was causing epileptic seizures, reports THE INDEPENDENT. Charity, Epilepsy Action, contacted the organizers about the problem saying they had received calls from people who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy.
Exaggerating the problem was the broadcast of some of the animation on television, which caused viewers to have seizures. Some are saying the animation of the Olympic logo, which is causing controversy of its own, was part of the problem.
Next New Networks, the new media company creating branded micro-networks on the Internet, announced that it will be debuting, A COMICBOOK ORANGE, an online comicbook review show by Casey McKinnon and Rudy Jahchan, on its network Pulp Secret, Wednesdays, starting June 6, 2007. Jahchan and McKinnon are the founders of the video production company, 8Bit Brownies, where they also create the award-winning sci-fi parody series, GALACTICAST.
Just in time for the start of Paris Hilton's 23-day prison sentence, GSN.com unveils THE PRISON LIFE: PARIS, an online game that gives players a sneak-peek of the heiress's potential new job behind bars along with dog, Clinkerbell.
"'The Prison Life: Paris' is a fast-paced original mini-game showcasing an international news story in a lighthearted manner," said Roberts, John P. Roberts, GSN's svp of digital media & interactive entertainment and originator of the game. "It really is the ultimate pop-culture game with very addictive qualities."
Azureus, a global leader in aggregating and distributing long-form, high quality video via the Internet's most popular media peer-to-peer (P2P) application, struck a content agreement with Geneon Ent. to release popular anime series on its digital media platform. The agreement includes an episode of LUPIN III, "To Be or Nazi Be" (episode 3) that couldn't be aired on TV because of its outrageous storyline. Azureus will make the programs available on its video sharing site, Vuze (www.vuze.com), a premier broadband distribution platform.
The branding partnership between rhinofx and ATI Technologies Inc. (pre-AMD acquisition) once again delivers with the recent release of COLD BLOODED. This is the fourth installment of webisodic mini-series that spawned Ruby, the global branding icon of ATI. Ruby's adventures continue in this effects-driven to-minute animated webisode depicting a high-action snowboard chase sequence to showcase the new product features and graphic technology of ATI's video cards.
Ubisoft has shipped the SURF'S UP videogame to store shelves, in anticipation of the June 8, 2007, release of the Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation theatrical release of SURF'S UP.
SURF'S UP for the PSP, consoles and PC are rated E10+ and have a MSRP of $49.99 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii; a MSRP of $39.99 for the PlayStation 2, PSP and GameCube; and a MSRP of $19.99 for the PC. SURF'S UP for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance is rated E and has a MSRP of $29.99.
This month, LucasArts introduces all new features and adventures to its online game, STAR WARS GALAXIES via CHAPTER 6: MASTERS OF THE WILD. The new Beast Master System allows players to create, raise, train and trade more than 150 creatures in game. Through the new Storyteller Event System, players will be able to create their own STAR WARS stories, or they can tackle new adventures through the Azure Cabal Quest Series and in the improved Rebel Theme Parks.
In further celebration of the 30th anniversary of STAR WARS, Lucasfilm will launch a revamped StarWars.com, which will allow fans to use footage from the films to make mash-up films, and announced the upcoming videogame, LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA.
Among the new features of the newly redesigned StarWars.com is the incorporation of an online video-editing tool provided by Eyespot. It allows users to add their own video shots to more than 250 scenes and music taken from all six STAR WARS films and create their own STAR WARS movies to share with others.
Ubisoft announced that it will develop and publish the videogame based on Paramount Pictures' and Shangri-La Ent.'s BEOWULF, the upcoming performance capture feature from Robert Zemeckis. Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary adapted the legend for the screen. The film is produced by Steve Starkey, Zemeckis and Jack Rapke. The exec producers are Martin Shafer, Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman.
Kabillion, the new multi-platform kids' program service, will debut the new animated action/adventure comedy series, I GOT A ROCKET! June 1, 2007, on both Kabillion On-Demand (on Comcast Cable systems nationwide) and Kabillion's broadband site, www.Kabillion.com. New series from Taffy Ent. will get an online sneak peek on Kabillion.com on May 24 and Comcast Cable's Comcast.net on May 29.
GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., announced the launch of a new original animated series, REVISIONED, that pays homage to one of the game industry's top franchises of all time -- TOMB RAIDER, and a new GameTap Retrospective series.
REVISIONED, for GameTap TV, explores and reimagines well known videogame franchises. The first season features interpretations of videogaming's leading lady, Lara Croft, by well-known animators, comicbook artists and writers.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END videogames are now available at retail stores worldwide for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, the PlayStation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS and PC. Inspired by the events, locations and characters from both the second and third PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films, the players will take on the roles of Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, as well as other familiar characters as they face swashbuckling skirmishes and acrobatic maneuvers in games that feature action and humor while extending beyond the story, environments and characters of both films.
SEGA of America and SEGA Europe Ltd. announced a licensing agreement with Epic Games to adopt the Unreal Engine 3 for use in several upcoming projects being developed in North America. This comes on the heals of SEGA's announcements regarding three of its upcoming titles in development, which include GHOST SQUAD for Wii, CONDEMNED 2: BLOODSHOT for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and PHANTASY STAR UNIVERSE: AMBITION OF THE ILLUMINUS for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and PC.
Activision has inked a deal with Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox to lend their likenesses and voices to TRANSFORMERS: THE GAME. The title ships June 19, 2007, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and PC.
Ubisoft has shipped DRIVER '76 for the PSP and announced the May 2007 release of WARTECH SENKO NO RONDE, an arcade fighter for Xbox 360.
DRIVER '76 features all-new content with 27 new missions exclusively designed for portable game play. DRIVER '76 is the first all-new edition of the famed DRIVER series to be released since Ubisoft acquired the franchise in 2006. Developed by Sumo Digital Ltd. and Ubisoft's Reflections studio, DRIVER '76 is rated "M" for Mature and sells for $39.99.
HALO 3, the final chapter in the groundbreaking HALO trilogy, is set to be released worldwide beginning Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007. Created by developer Bungie Studios and exclusive to the Xbox 360, HALO 3 will be available to audiences around the world starting Sept. 25 and will release in Europe on Sept. 26.