Sulake Corp., parent company of HABBO, has made February 2007 Teen Online Safety Awareness Month for North America. HABBO will also feature various safety awareness programs on its international sites, which are featured in 29 countries. As part of the effort, HABBO will include special promotions, information sources and interactive activities highlighting online safety awareness.
A new YouTube Channel for MEET THE ROBINSONS has launched with the latest trailers and clips, including a new TV spot for the film that is debuting during this Sunday's Super Bowl. Fans can check back often, as this channel will be updated regularly with the latest videos for the film. The MEET THE ROBINSONS' YouTube Channel is located at youtube.com/meettherobinsons and the official MEET THE ROBINSONS movie site is www.meettherobinsons.com.
Anheuser-Busch's new online entertainment network, Bud.TV, has greenlit an animated sci-fi series called AFTERWORLD, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Stan Rogow Prods., who produces Disney Channel's LIZZIE MCGUIRE and Discovery Kids' DARCY'S WILD LIFE, will produce.
The CG series of 130 two-minute episodes will take place on Earth after 99% of the population strangely vanishes and technology has become inoperable. An interactive website, Afterworld.TV, will allow viewers to learn more about the story.
Showtime Networks and Broadband Libraries have formed a joint venture, On Broadband Networks, a turnkey, fully integrated, private label broadband game service for cable modem and DSL high-speed access providers. The service is scheduled to launch the second quarter of 2007.
With homes with high-speed broadband connections at an all time high of 50 million households and the game market generating revenues of $9 billion and growing, On Broadband is poised to help cable and telecom companies easily tap into this market segment.
Eidos Interactive Ltd., part of SCi Entertainment Group Plc (SEG), released BATTLESTATIONS: MIDWAY, the large-scale Pacific war videogame, in North America. The game will be available on the Xbox 360 and Windows.
Blizzard Ent. announced WORLD OF WARCRAFT: THE BURNING CRUSADE broke the day-one sales record to become the fastest-selling PC game ever in North America and Europe, with a worldwide total of nearly 2.4 million copies sold in the first 24 hours of availability on Jan. 23, 2007. THE BURNING CRUSADE, the first expansion set for WORLD OF WARCRAFT, was simultaneously released in North America, Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia on January 16, and on January 17 in Australia and New Zealand.
So-net Ent. Corp., a leading Internet service provider, and GDH K.K., an international media company, have agreed to a capital partnership where they will collaborate business operation in the continuously growing animation market.
The Dallas Cowboys have commissioned Heartwood Studios to create all 3D visualization marketing collateral and a 3D Web Ticketing Engine for the new Cowboys Stadium, scheduled for completion in 2009.
The scope of the project will include: 3D incorporation of aerial footage shot by helicopter, exclusive renderings of luxury box suites and more than 525 separate views of the stadium from various vantage points, including seats, the concourse and suites.
Lionsgate (HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER) goes viral this month in a partnership with HABBO to determine the fate of a HABBO animated release. Utilizing this interactive technology, Lionsgate will tap directly into HABBO's extensive online community of teens for feedback. Starting Jan. 15, "Habbos" will be able to view 10 very different animated shorts based on the Habbo World, which will be posted on Habbo.com and local Habbo sites around the world and voted on by the millions of registered users of these sites.
Netflix Inc. introduced a new feature that allows people to immediately watch movies and television series on their personal computers and said it will make the new feature available to its subscribers in a phased roll-out over the next six months.
Yahoo! Studios has formed a first-look deal with The Gotham Group to produce and distribute original animated content for the Internet.
"Gotham is committed to finding innovative ways to distribute our artists' creative work and today's agreement with Yahoo! furthers that business strategy to mutual benefit," said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Gotham Group ceo and founder "We pride ourselves on finding new revenue streams for our content creators and Yahoo! provides a fresh and exciting opportunity for the world to interact with the great talent we represent."
Sundance Institute and Sundance Channel announced they will offer narrative, documentary and animation shorts from the 2007 Sundance Film Festival for download via iTunes (www.itunes.com). A broad selection of short films from the 2007 Sundance Film Festival will be available for purchase and download priced at $1.99 each on the iTunes Store beginning Monday, Jan. 22, 2007.
Paramount Pictures announced that it will begin selling digital downloads of its hit movies on the iTunes Store. Starting this month, movie fans will be able to choose from more than 100 movies from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. Titles from Paramount Vantage will be available later in the year.
In2TV.com, the broadband network with the largest offering of free episodic television programs, expands its collection with The Looney Tunes Channel. In addition, fans can also now watch some of the best Hanna-Barbera animated shows including THE JETSONS, THE FLINTSTONES, MAGILLA GORILLA and TOP CAT on the Animation Channel.
Zipland Interactive recently completed the world's first research-based psychological computer game designed to help 7-13 year olds from separated or divorce families cope indirectly with the emotional issues that arise from their new reality.
LEFT BEHIND: ETERNAL FORCES the religiously themed PC game from Left Behind Games Inc. has sold more than 65,000 units to retailers nationwide in the first six weeks of its release.
"These numbers provide an excellent foundation, compared with the first release of other successful realtime strategy games," says Left Behind Games co-founder/ceo, Troy Lyndon.
Paramount Pictures has launched a mobile phone portal to deliver content to mobile devices and act as a platform to promote theatrical and DVD releases. Visitors to the mobile movie sites will be able to browse and purchase movie-related content from their mobile phones, and opt-in to receive alerts about Paramount Pictures. Crisp Wireless, a provider of mobile content management solutions, was selected as the content management software partner.
eyeon Software has launched VFXPedia.com, a new online service for Fusion artists and compositors in general.
VFXPedia is a central resource for compositing artists who use eyeon Software's Fusion product line to produce visual effects. This website is used by the staff at eyeon to provide technical information, such as whitepapers, scripts, tips and examples. The main purpose of the site is to invite Fusion artists to share their expertise and learn more about Fusion and compositing in general.
Autodesk Inc.'s 3D software was used to develop the GUITAR HERO II, VIVA PIÑATA (Xbox 360) and HAPPY FEET games. Leading game developers Harmonix, Rare Ltd. and A2M relied on Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya 3D animation, modeling and rendering software to create interactive virtual environments for these family-friendly games.
Kids 4 Truth has releases its latest "Dynamation" (dynamic animation) titled, LIFE OF CHRIST. Each "Dynamation" blends music, artwork, narration and scripture to present a Christian message. LIFE OF CHRIST tells a three-minute version of Christ's life, using Flash animation. The short can be views at www.kids4truth.com/gospel.
SEGA of America Inc., SEGA Europe Ltd. and 20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising announced a worldwide exclusive agreement to bring game content based on the critically-acclaimed ALIEN film franchise to next-generation gaming systems. Multiple titles, including a first-person shooter and a role-playing game, are in pre-production with the first to be released in 2009.
SEGA of America Inc. and SEGA Europe Ltd. will be publishing a new version of ALIEN SYNDROME, derived from the classic SEGA arcade game. Developed by Totally Games, ALIEN SYNDROME will launch simultaneously for Nintendo's Wii and PSP in Summer 2007. ALIEN SYNDROME features two fast-paced action-RPG modes -- single-player campaign, plus an infinitely replayable co-op multiplayer mode for up to four players.
EMI Music UK record label, Liberty, teamed up with web animator Joel Veitch to create the animation for Ricky Tomlinson's Christmas release, CHRISTMAS MY ARSE. The viral marketing campaign has been posted on social networking site, YouTube, to build momentum in the lead up to Christmas.
Viewers can expect a quirky music video from Rathergood website creator Veitch, known for his trademark, animated singing Rock Kittens."
Konami Digital Ent. Inc. has shipped DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION: DISNEY MIX to retail stores throughout North America. DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION: DISNEY MIX combines the dance gameplay of DDR with classic Disney songs and characters. As a Plug'N'Play videogame, DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION: DISNEY MIX connects directly to television sets, delivering an intuitive experience full of competition and choreography with a custom Disney dance pad.
The Multiverse Network Inc., which builds the world's leading network of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and 3D virtual worlds, optioned the rights from Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising to develop a MMOG based on FIREFLY, the sci-fi television series created by Joss Whedon, that premiered in 2002, then became a movie and now will be reborn as a game to be available to the public through The Multiverse Network in 2008.