Activision, Inc. postponed the September 18, 2001 release of SPIDER-MAN 2 ENTER: ELECTRO for the PlayStation game console, which is set in New York City. While the environments in the game were not designed to depict specific buildings, the climax of the game takes place atop a skyscraper that loosely resembles the World Trade Center. Because of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that destroyed the buildings, the company decided to alter the game slightly. The announcement was made by Ron Doornink, president and COO, of Activision, Inc.
Category: Internet and Interactive
The 3DO Company shipped its new multiplayer online space simulation game JUMPGATE on September 26, 2001. 3DO recently concluded a free preview of the game during which thousands of new players earned their stripes exploring the extensive JUMPGATE universe, where three rival factions coexist in the galaxy and navigate through a network of spatial anomalies known as jumpgates. Players take up roles within the factions, trading goods, completing missions and fighting off enemies and their activities affect the course of the game.
Mondo Media has launched its newest Mondo Mini Show, JULIUS & FRIENDS. The show can be viewed exclusively on Sony's just-launched broadband creativity platform, Screenblast (www.screenblast.com). Based on Paul Frank's popular fashion characters and starring the voice of Jason Schwartzman (RUSHMORE) as Julius, the monkey with the wide smile, JULIUS & FRIENDS is an animated series created by artist/designer Paul Frank and content creator Obie Scott Wade of Zeros & Ones, a Los Angeles-based new media company.
THQ Inc. and Saban Consumer Products have announced the release of POWER RANGERS TIME FORCE for PC. Now in its 9th television season, POWER RANGERS is still one of the highest rated TV shows for boys 2-11 according to the Nielsen ratings. POWER RANGERS TIME FORCE for PC and Game Boy Color is now available at retail outlets nationwide. The Game Boy Advance and PlayStation versions will be released this fall. POWER RANGERS TIME FORCE for PC will allow players to assume the role of their favorite hero in a variety of arcade-style games including side-scrolling action and puzzles.
Blur Studio has produced a computer-animated intro-movie video for Activisions RETURN TO WOLFENSTEIN CASTLE, the sequel to CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN 3D. The video, presenting the back story to the Wolfenstein saga, will be packaged with the game and will also screen in movie theaters worldwide in fall 2001 supporting the games launch. To accommodate theater screenings, Blur Studio produced the animation for the trailer at film resolution. They also incorporated a high degree of detail and fluid motion. One of the most distinctive features is its un-computer graphic look.
THQ Inc. has shipped its BOB THE BUILDER line of video games for PC and Game Boy Color. The games, based on the Nick Jr. animated show BOB THE BUILDER, which features stories focusing on teamwork and problem-solving themes appealing to the 2- to 6-year-old audience, are now available in the U.S. and Canada. BOB THE BUILDER: CAN WE FIX IT? for PC features varied difficulty settings for kids 3 and up to engage them in more than eight activities including Hedgehog Rescue, Travis' Race Day, Can We Build It? and Wendy's Birthday. In BOB THE BUILDER: FIX IT FUN!
Activision Inc.'s TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER 2 for Nintendo 64, currently available on North American retail shelves, allows players to skate as the legendary pro skater Tony Hawk, or one of 12 other skaters, and show off their skills in international skate parks including Marseilles, New York, Philadelphia and Skate Street in Ventura, California.
Dream Theater Animation has wrapped on an intro film for SUPERCAR STREET CHALLENGE, an upcoming racing game from Activision. The 2 1/2-minute film features eight exotic high-performance cars racing through recreations of three cities, Los Angeles, London and Monaco. The film was produced in Maya, 3D Studio MAX, AfterEffects and Adobe Photoshop. The first step of the production was the creation of a video animatic of existing stock footage and television races.
Creative Forces, an Internet-based motion picture production company, has just released PAPER CLIPS, its first computer-animated short. The film profiles the adventures of a brave little paper clip that soon discovers the importance of teamwork and sticking together in the real world. PAPER CLIPS is now available to download for $3.99 from www.creativeforces.com. The price includes 24 hours of access for repeated viewings. A 3-minute trailer of the making of the film is available on the site for free.
San Francisco-based Spazzco Animation has produced an animated music video for Love This Way, the latest single from the pop group Edens Crush. The video, rendered in a futuristic anime style, depicts the group as interplanetary travelers who touch down on an angry planet. Upon discovering unhappy alien residents, the five women of Eden's Crush get to work spreading their melodic, positive message and transforming the barren landscape into a lush paradise. The video can now be viewed exclusively at cartoonnetwork.com as part of the site's Web Premiere Toons program.
Walt Disney Internet Group and SeaRainbow Holding Corporation have launched Disney.com.cn, The Walt Disney Company's official site in China. The Website includes content from Walt Disney's theme parks, movies and television units. Other content channels include Zeether, an area geared toward young teenagers, and Fun for Families, which offers activities designed for the entire family. In addition, Disney.com.cn offers online games and activities through an online subscription service called Disney's Blast.
Banja.com has launched episode 8. In this episode, the aims of the Patchouli family have now become quite clear: they have come to Itland to search for a treasure that would be buried in the seabed. Their quest is based on a holographic treasure map, a legacy of an ancestor. But the hologram machine is broken, and Wampa is asking for help to repair it. . . .Director Jorge Gutierrez' EL MACHO has launched on Screenblast.com for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. The series was created, written and directed by Gutierrez. Roman Laney served as the lead artist. . .
Animators Lee Lanier and Jeffrey Dates have teamed on the animated short film entitled DAY OFF THE DEAD and have launched the official Website (www.DayOffTheDead.com). The site will detail the film's creation. DAY OFF THE DEAD features computer graphics and follows the humorous day-to-day adventures of souls as they struggle to get through the Afterlife. Lee Lanier is the award-winning animator and director behind MIRROR and MILLENNIUM BUG. Lee served as senior animator on ANTZ and SHREK. He is the founder of the animation firm BeezleBug Bit.
AtomShockwave has relaunched its Websites AtomFilms and Shockwave.com. The move is in hopes to quell rumors that the company is about to join the long list of dot-com disasters. New programming includes new games and an animated comedy series from Jim Belushi called THE GREEDY SHOW. The 2.0 versions of the sites will focus on AtomShockwave's long-term advertising and sponsorship deals with brand companies. These deals make up 70% of the company's revenue stream. An example of these deals is the one with Ford, where Ford's Focus automobile makes appearances in the Shockwave game, DJ FU.
Discreet and Microsoft have signed a second licensing agreement to create, publish and distribute Discreet gmax game packs in another title. The role-playing game DUNGEON SIEGE, developed by Gas Powered Games, is the next confirmed Microsoft game to include support for gmax software. The title is scheduled for delivery in 2002. gmax will allow users to create and modify their game content for unique and extended experiences. "This is the support that mod makers have been waiting for!
Santa Monica-based Olsen Media has finished production of 13 episodes of SOLVE THE MYSTERY, an interactive Flash-animated crime-puzzle for the Internet. The series has viewers aiding Police Inspector McClue and his dim-witted assistant, Alvin, in their efforts to solve a mystery or crime by mouse-clicking back and forth checking for suspects and clues. The Web series is produced in collaboration with Egmont, a multinational media company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and TV2 of Denmark.
The Sydney design and animation studio, alkamy has launched phase 2 of its Website, which includes 8 new works in the interactive section. Netizens can also catch new shorts featuring Dr. Leechfingers, who is the star of a series of short films alkamy has in development. Check it all out at www.alkamy.com Professional British cartoonist/animator Bill Greenhead was launched the new Flash toon CAPTAIN POINTY at his site www.billgreenhead.demon.co.uk Augenblick Studios' DRUNKY can be seen on CampChaos.com.
THQ Inc. released its next generation game line-up for the 2001 holiday season. The titles include DARK SUMMIT, NEW LEGENDS and MX 2002 FEATURING RICKY CARMICHAEL for Xbox, RED FACTION for PC, and in conjunction with JAKKS Pacific Inc., WWF SMACKDOWN! JUST BRING IT for the PlayStation 2 and WWF RAW IS WAR for Xbox. In addition, THQ is also releasing numerous Game Boy Advance titles. DARK SUMMIT combines snowboarding action with an in-depth story line and mission-based objectives. NEW LEGENDS is a new fighting game set in a futuristic China where players can use two weapons at the same time.
Scandinavian computer game developer UDS has signed a deal with German publisher CDV to develop CORE, a new game for Microsoft's Xbox. The order is the largest in the company's history. CORE is a zany action adventure game where players control a team of four characters, all inside a giant robot suit, on a strange journey to save New York. The game is expected to be released worldwide during 2003. The title will be developed by UDS' studio in Gothenburg, western Sweden.
id Software is bringing its classic shooter game, DOOM, to Game Boy Advance. The project is a joint development effort by id Software and David A. Palmer Productions. Published by Activision, Inc., DOOM for Game Boy Advance will allow gamers to battle horrific demons on the go. The handheld version features up-to-four-players support through the Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable. "DOOM redefined gaming on the PC and now it's back to change the way we think about mobile games," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software.
Sesame Workshop and Encore Software have signed an exclusive, five-year deal to publish Sesame Workshop-owned gaming titles worldwide. Under the agreement, Encore Software will market, promote and distribute Sesame Workshop's SESAME STREET for PC and console platforms, and DRAGON TALES for PC. This year, new Sesame Workshop PC CD-ROMs will include two ELMO'S WORLD titles and two collections featuring SESAME STREET characters. In addition, DRAGON TALES: DRAGON LAND FESTIVAL and new SESAME STREET toddler and preschool titles will debut later this year.
A brief compilation of some recent short films and Webisodes. The Web series, LEGENDARY, begins as each character is drawn into a tale of a prophecy by a mysterious young woman. Despite their inhibitions, they find what they see difficult to disbelieve, although their skepticism may not be entirely unfounded. LEGENDARY can be found at www.legendaryonline.com. New chapters are added twice weekly. MK ULTRA 3, a new Flash series at skritch.net, follows the exploits of three young CIA agents as they battle international espionage and new mind control methods.
Pulse, a leading interactive, 3D media solutions company, has teamed with NBC to launch the "3D virtual tour" of NBC's WILL & GRACE. Fans can go to NBC.com and tour photo-realistic 3D replications of the sets from the live-action comedy sitcom. The Website was designed using Pulse's proprietary software and partner REALVIZ's technology. The site also boasts the first photo-real site guide. Melinda Ritz, the set decorator for the television show, serves as "tour guide" and appears as a 3D, photo-real "virtual character" in the lower right corner of the screen at key times during the tour.
Activision has been awarded the worldwide gaming rights to develop, publish and distribute interactive games based on Steven Spielberg's upcoming sci-fi film MINORITY REPORT. The deal with Fox Interactive and Dreamworks is for five years and covers all current and next generation consoles, the PC and handheld platforms. "MINORITY REPORT lends itself well to a wide variety of gameplay elements with intense futuristic storylines and gripping action-packed sequences," states Ron Doornink, president and COO, Activision, Inc.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced that DIABLO II: LORD OF DESTRUCTION has hit the 1 million units mark. DIABLO II is only the sixth Blizzard title to hit the million-sold mark. In its first week alone, the game captured a record 17.7% of total U.S. PC game market share. "We are very pleased by the worldwide demand for DIABLO II: LORD OF DESTRUCTION," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder.