Playboy Enterprises, Inc. has teamed with game developer ARUSH Entertainment and game publisher Groove Games to create, market and distribute a set of interactive simulation video games. The first Playboy-branded game, which will be playable on multiple platforms including PC, Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox consoles, is based on the world-builder simulation genre of video games, and will allow players to "walk" in the slippers of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, establishing and building the Playboy empire and living the ultimate playboy lifestyle.
Category: Internet and Interactive
Continuing its expansion into the European market, Isreal-based media company Pyramedia has sold its Media Interactive Technology (MIT) system to Swiss broadcaster Star TV. This is another big sale for Pyramedia, which recently sold its MIT software to Nickelodeon U.K. In addition to the MIT system, Star TV acquired Pyramedia's animated interactive game show ELY AND LILLY, which is scheduled to broadcast in German beginning December 21, 2002 on Star TV's weekend kids' line-up.
Internet network Terra Lycos announced that for a second year in a row, anime hit DRAGONBALL Z was the number one most search for term in the year 2002. The Lycos 50 is a weekly list of the most popular people, places and things users are searching for online. "Although it dropped off in popularity compared to last year, DRAGONBALL continues to generate tremendous search activity on the Internet with teens and college-age Japanese animation buffs," said Aaron Schatz, writer of The Lycos 50.
Animation Collective will collaborate with Mirage and 4Kids Entertainment to create the online programming component to the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES television series. Although the exact plans for the site are a closely guarded secret, Animation C ollective promises a site that will allow visitors to experience the Turtle's subterranean lair, learn more about the characters and check out sneak previews.
Prepare for an extra dose of chaos in theaters this holiday season as a trailer for the newly released video game WARCRAFT III: REIGN OF CHAOS is now playing along with the feature film DIE ANOTHER DAY. The new trailer will also appear on more than 20,000 screens across the U.S. this December before such movies as LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS, STAR TREK: NEMESIS and SOLARIS.
Black Label Games, a studio of Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games), has entered into a production agreement with Liquid Entertainment to develop THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE RING, a real-time strategy game for the PC platform. The game will be developed through VU Games' long-term agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to create interactive entertainment based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic novel THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Expanding on the world of Middle-earth and its inhabitants as introduced by J.R.R.
The National Film Board of Canada is now making it easier for U.S. residents to purchase its acclaimed videos and DVDs with the launch of its new online store. Among its nearly 6,000 titles are compilations of Oscar-winning and nominated animated films and best-selling videos like LEONARD MALTIN'S ANIMATION FAVORITES FROM THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA. The NFB also offers documentaries, dramas, educational and kids' titles in its online store. As a special introductory offer, for a limited time the NFB is giving away STRANGE INVADERS mousepads free to all new users who register.
New Line Cinema has forged a two-year alliance with Verizon Wireless to create a broad range of promotions tied to the remaining two films in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy that will cross broadcast, print, radio, online and in-store support as well as exclusive wireless content for Verizon Wireless customers. The partnership has already begun in anticipation of the December 2002 theatrical release of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS.
TDK Mediactive, Inc. has shipped THE LAND BEFORE TIME: BIG WATER ADVENTURE for the PlayStation game console. Based on the upcoming December 10, 2002 home video release, THE LAND BEFORE TIME: JOURNEY TO BIG WATER, the new game introduces Mo the Ophtalmosaurus, a completely new character in THE LAND BEFORE TIME series. The action-adventure game will be available at major retail outlets throughout North America and carries a suggested retail price of US$9.99.
Computer gaming fans can expect to see one of the most realistic games to date when Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) releases THE GETAWAY on December 6, 2002. The long-awaited Playstation 2 game has been in the works for over three years, and promises realistic high-speed chases, explosions and gun battles similar to an action film. In the game, the player is a retired bank robber that must return to his life of crime in an effort to save his son from an evil mob boss. The setting is a 30-mile section of London and the game features more than 100 life-like characters.
AOL is promoting its new chat-enhanced toys, which work in tandem with AOL Instant Messenger (AOL IM) to "speak" messages out loud as they're sent from someone else's computer. The toys, which are called Instant Messaging Buddies, also move animatronically in real-time when activated. The first buddies to be introduced are the Looney Tunes' characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Using technology developed by United Internet Technologies (UIT), each IM Buddy has over 150 pre-recorded phrases and speaks in their actual character voices.
Calgary, Alberta-based creative agency Idea Machine has collaborated with the Science Alberta Foundation to launch www.wonderville.ca, an interactive Internet destination designed to teach kids about science. The creative team at Idea Machine, led by animator Brent Lowrie (art and animation) and designer Darren Pearce (interface design and programming), created the concept of a 3D world where an animated cast of characters would lead the audience through a series of science-based activities.
Both Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. and Disney Interactive have released titles centered on Disney's new feature film based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "Treasure Island," titled Disney's TREASURE PLANET, which opens in theaters nationwide on November 27. Disney's TREASURE PLANET for PlayStation and PS One game consoles, builds upon the story in the movie, where Jim Hawkins leaves home in search of treasure. Gamers will discover new characters, environments and gameplay elements while viewing cut-scenes that tie in with the feature film narrative.
Game publisher THQ Inc. has released two video games based on DreamWorks' animated feature SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON to coincide with the DVD release of the film, which is scheduled for November 19, 2002. "The movie SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON lends itself to tremendous crossover appeal with our Game Boy Advance and PC audience," stated Germaine Gioia, vice president, licensing, THQ.
LEGO Interactive and Electronic Arts announced the North American release of two adventure titles based on two successful LEGO product lines. BIONICLE: MATORAN ADVENTURES and GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION are now available for the Game Boy Advance. Drawing from the ABC Family TV series, GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION players take on the role of hero Nick Bluetooth who finds himself in an Outer Dimension on a quest to free friends who have fallen into the clutches of the evil tyrant Gorm.
Macromedia has announced that Sony's new CLIE NX-series handheld devices are the first to feature Macromedia Flash Player support on Palm OS. The CLIE PEG-NX70V and PEG-NX60 models are the latest Sony Entertainment handhelds powered by a 200MHz ARM-compliant processor and enhanced by the new Palm OS 5 operating system. These new devices enable users to take photos and record video clips, record voice memos and wirelessly browse the Internet on a Wi-Fi (802.11b) network with an optional Sony wireless LAN card, in addition to playing MP3 audio files and video games.
Just in time for Halloween, TDK Mediactive, Inc. has shipped CASPER SPIRIT DIMENSIONS for the Nintendo GameCube. Gamers will spiral into phantom dimensions to battle for the fate of the spirit world in this new game, where portals transport gamers into mysterious realms that are populated by ghosts of the past, present and future, all possessed by the evil Kibosh. Sixteen levels and four distinct worlds can be fully explored through 360-degree full flight movement in a quest to become the quickest, smartest and most powerful ghost in the Spirit Dimension.
Now you can experience some of the world's greatest roller coasters without ever leaving your home. Global Star Software, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive will soon be releasing a new roller coaster simulator for the PC platform, WORLD'S GREATEST COASTERS. This exciting new 3D simulation will feature five of the greatest roller coasters on the planet, as well as a virtual coaster workshop in which players can build and experience their very own thrill rides and challenge themselves in the scenario-based game mode.
BAM! Entertainment, a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, is bringing the man vs. beast action of REIGN OF FIRE to all next-generation game consoles in time for the holiday season. REIGN OF FIRE for PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance will be available at the end of October 2002, while the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube versions of the game will ship to retail by mid-November 2002.
Viewpoint Corporation, a leading provider of interactive media technologies and services, announced that it has expanded its relationship with America Online, Inc. to cover use of Viewpoint technology for new features in AOL 8.0, Instant Messaging, and within other applications. The new arrangement involves use of Viewpoint interactive graphics within the recently released AOL 8.0 client, including many facets of the AOL desktop.
Wallace & Gromit's CRACKING CONTRAPTIONS, a new series of ten short films from Aardman Animation, premiered online October 15, 2002, on AtomFilms.com. The first episode, titled "Soccamatic," is currently available for free, but on October 22, the entire CRACKING CONTRAPTIONS series will only be available to Atoms online subscribers. CRACKING CONTRAPTIONS marks the first new appearances from Wallace and Gromit in seven years. Each of the ten episodes showcases one of Wallace's ingenious mechanical inventions in storylines that range from one to three minutes apiece.
Educational software company Muzzy Lane has licensed NDL's NetImmerse 3D game engine and development toolkit and Quazal's Eterna game connectivity software to create a series of historical simulation games designed for the classroom. Aimed at high school and college students, Muzzy Lane's network-based strategy games will combine historical accuracy with engaging game play in scenarios that are appropriate as homework or classroom activities. To learn about World War II for example, students can focus not only on military strategies but on diplomacy, geography and economics as well.
THQ Inc. and Nickelodeon have released two new video games based on the popular Nickelodeon property Jimmy Neutron. JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS for PlayStation2 and THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON VS. JIMMY NEGATRON for Game Boy Advance are now available at retail outlets nationwide. The PlayStation 2 version is based on the digitally animated motion picture, JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS, while the Game Boy Advance version is based on the Nickelodeon television series. In JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS for PlayStation 2, players take on the role of Jimmy with his robot dog Goddard at his side.
Click 3xi, the interactive design division of New York-based Click 3x, recently designed a series of interactive television games that teach young children about science. Developed for the Crayola Kids Club, an interactive television service from the Hallmark Channel and Crown Interactive, Click 3xi designed the interface and provided scores of computer-animated elements illustrating the outcomes of all the potential choices that can be made during game play. The studio worked hand in hand with the Hallmark Interactive staff, who designed the game architecture and handled the programming.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the original arcade release of the hit video game DRAGON'S LAIR, interactive DVD publisher Digital Leisure is producing a special edition DVD box set of the three arcade classics created by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy. DRAGON'S LAIR, SPACE ACE and DRAGON'S LAIR II: TIME WARP are fully interactive games that include scenes from the original arcade releases. Optionally, players may select new scenes that were animated in 1983 but not included in any previous DRAGON'S LAIR release.