LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC announced it has teamed with Verant Interactive Inc. and Sony On-line Entertainment to create the first massive multi-player STAR WARS on-line role-playing game. Gameplay will jettison players into a unique combination of combat, specialized missions and daring quests. The STAR WARS on-line game will be developed by Verant, distributed and sold at retail stores by LucasArts, and available for play exclusively on-line at The Station@sony.com. This alliance partners together three of the foremost companies in the interactive entertainment industry.
Category: Internet and Interactive
Manga Entertainment has announced the launch of the official X Web site. X is the latest anime hit from Japan to be released in U.S. theatres. The supernatural thriller was designed by the all-female studio, Clamp. The film is directed by Rintaro, who has been working in anime for over 30 years and is best known in the U.S. for directing the TV series KIMBA THE WHITE LION and ASTRO BOY. The site will feature a live streaming video trailer courtesy of sputnik7.com for both Real Player and Windows Media Player and an official movie poster giveaway to the first 100 entrants.
Microsoft announced on Friday, March 10, 2000, that it will create its own video-game unit entitled X-Box. The high-end console will be in direct competition with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Sega's Dreamcast. "We want X-Box to be the platform of choice for the best and most creative game developers in the world," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gate at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose. Intended to be a hybrid of the personal computer and traditional gaming console, the new system is expected to hit stores sometime in 2001.
Sony Corp. shares took a gouge on Friday, March 10, 2000 after the company reported it was investigating customer complaints about a glitch in their new PlayStation 2 gaming system. A spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), Sony's game unit, said it was looking into problems associated with the new console's playing of DVDs. The company's shares fell 6.41% to end at ¥26,300 (US$249), extending a seven straight day losing streak that has brought a 22% price drop in the stock.
In its first weekend on the market in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 2 has reached 980,000 units sold. This initial sales milestone blows away the original PlayStation's three-day mark in 1994 by nearly 10 times. A total of 26,400 retailers in Japan, including 18,500 convenience stores, approximately 7,900 retail stores, current PlayStation retailers, as well as PlayStation.com (Japan) Inc., began selling the PlayStation 2 units on March 4.
Former Time-Warner chairman and CEO Robert A. Daly has signed a check for an undisclosed million-dollar figure to animation Netcaster Shockwave.com. As part of the investment, Daly joins the board of the San Francisco-based company, which broadcasts games, animation and music programming on-line for free. Since leaving Time-Warner, Daly has been focusing on his chairman and CEO post overseeing all operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. At Shockwave, he will help sign up big name talent to produce original programming for the site.
Want to know about events in Italy? Then visit ASIFA Italia's re-designed
Website at www.asifaitalia.org. The Italian-languaged site is a growing
destination for animation in Italy. The site features ASIFA events and
other information regarding the Italian animation organization.
On Tuesday, February 29, 2000, Shockwave and sponsor CYBERWORLD launched a
Stan Lee premiere, live on shockwave.com. The star-studded event was hosted
by Dick Clark. The celebrities on the attendee list were Tom Hanks, Keanu
Reeves, Michael Jackson, Richard Dreyfus, John Travolta, Quentin Tarantino
and Leonardo Dicaprio. Excerpts from the event will also be televised
internationally on ET and other entertainment news broadcasts. On
Wednesday, March 1, Stan Lee/CYBERWORLD content will launch on their site
The Oscar shortlisted INDESCRIBABLE NTH has been picked up for distribution
on the Net at AtomFilms. The deal between NTH's creators Character Builders
and AtomFilms covers domestic and foreign television showings as well as
airline programming and Internet distribution. The film follows the story
of a boy and his understanding of the indescribable feeling called love.
Read Maureen Furniss' review of THE INDESCRIBABLE NTH and the other
shortlisted films at
Entertaindom.com, Time Warner's on-line entertainment destination, has
picked up 17 additional episodes of its smash hit, THE GOD & DEVIL SHOW
from Mondo Media, a leading creator and distributor of serial-based
animated content. THE GOD & DEVIL SHOW, an animated weekly "talk show"
launched on Entertaindom in November. Each week the show features hosts God
and the Devil interviewing then deciding the eternal fates of various
"celebrity" guests (including impersonations of Keith Richards, Bill Gates,
On February 14, 2000, the GOD THE DEVIL AND BOB Website launched to promote
the new series which debuts on NBC on Thursday, March 9, 2000 at 8:30 pm.
The series is produced by Carsey-Werner, the creators of 3RD ROCK FROM THE
SUN, THAT '70S SHOW and COSBY. GOD THE DEVIL AND BOB, created by Matthew
Carlson, centers around Bob Alman, a Detroit auto plant worker who has been
chosen by God to prove the world is worth saving after God and the Devil
Disney's Go Network has inked a 4-year agreement with eBay making it the
exclusive on-line auction site for Walt Disney's Web properties. Under
terms of the deal, eBay and the Go Network will create two co-branded
auction sites -- one to provide person to person transactions, the other
merchant to consumer sales, featuring goods from Disney's properties and
ESPN, among others. Disney will market the two sites through its Go
Network, a portfolio of Web sites that includes Disney.com, ABC.com and
After UPN put DILBERT on an indefinite hiatus which starts March 14, the
producers of the cartoon series announced it would broadcast an episode of
the show along with rare outtakes on the Net. The 22-minute previously
aired episode entitled "The Merger" will air commercial-free on the Web
from February 17 - 29, 2000. Columbia/TriStar, who produces the show, will
become only the second major studio to enter into the Netcasting arena. In
November of 1999, Warner Bros. simulcast parts of an episode of "The Drew
Sega of America announced that LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC has
become a new third party publisher for the Sega Dreamcast. Scheduled to
ship Spring 2000, STAR WARS: EPISODE I RACER will be the first LucasArts
title to hit Dreamcast. LucasArts is committed to providing additional
titles in the future, adding to Sega's long list of third party publishers
and developers for Sega Dreamcast. Taking advantage of Dreamcast's Internet
capabilities, STAR WARS: EPISODE I RACER will allow gamers to post high
The 3DO Company has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with U.S.
Major League Baseball's 1999 Man of the Year, Sammy Sosa of the Chicago
Cubs. Sosa will help in the development and marketing of 3DO's baseball
franchise, SAMMY SOSA HIGH HEAT BASEBALL. In the February 2000 issue of
COMPUTER GAMING WORLD MAGAZINE, SAMMY SOSA HIGH HEAT 2000 was named "Best
Sports Game Of The Year" and PC GAMER MAGAZINE even went as far as to call
it "The Best Baseball Game Ever." "I agree with the gaming magazines that
On February 29, 2000, comic book artist Marc Silvestri, creator of
WITCHBLADE, CYBER FORCE and DARKNESS, will be teaching fans and aspiring
artists how it's done through the first semester of on-line classes offered
at Eruptor.com. Silvestri will present a live, three-part series on
Eruptor's Web-based university, Eruptor College, to help students learn how
to produce layouts, refine characters and develop stories for comic books
of their own. The real-time class will allow Silvestri to answer questions
Joe Cartoon Company has filed a lawsuit against two entities, John
Zuccarini and Cupcake City, for the violation of the newly enacted
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit is one of the first
cases filed under the anticybersquatting statute in the U.S. The act
outlaws the unauthorized use of an Internet domain name that is
"confusingly similar" to another name, for the purpose of intercepting
users of the pre-existing domain. Filed with United States District Court,
On February 1, 2000, Cartoon Network announced a broad expansion of
CartoonNetwork.com, the network's entertainment destination on the Web.
Kicking off the expansion is a heavy increase in original, interactive
entertainment. Over the next year, CartoonNetwork.com will more than double
production of its Web Premiere Toons. In addition, CartoonNetwork.com will
triple the number of games on the site; add functionality including
shopping and advanced search functions; and create a safe community aspect.
Tim Burton, creator of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, has inked a deal to
bring a series of animated shorts featuring his Stainboy character to
shockwave.com. Viewers will be able to download the charcoal-drawn
superhero's first five-minute short sometime in Spring 2000. Under the
terms of the deal, Burton will keep full artistic control over the
characters and properties. The William Morris Agency brokered the deal
which allows for the cross over to TV if the shorts become a hit on the
Hitting the U.S. market April 2000, Humongous Entertainment will bring
families their new CD-ROM, PAJAMA SAM 3: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT FROM YOUR
HEAD TO YOUR FEET. Pajama Sam is back to uncover the mysterious
disappearance of four Peace Delegates who have not arrived at the Food
Pyramid for a Peace Conference. The suggested retail price will be $24.99.
On December 27, 1999, Activision, Inc. shipped VIGILANTE 8: SECOND OFFENSE
for the Sega Dreamcast. In this new adventure, players must stop the Coyote
terrorist gang that has traveled back through time in an attempt to change
the course of events that will allow evil to dominate the world. Developed
by Luxoflux Corp., the game features multiple modes of play -- single
player quest, arcade and survival mode, two-player versus, cooperative and
On January 3, 2000, Activision, Inc. and id Software released QUAKE III
ARENA for Macintosh. The on-line multiplayer game features 26 deathmatch
and four capture-the-flag levels. The title is available at a suggested
retail price of $49.99. id Software offers such titles as Wolfenstein 3D,
DOOM, DOOM II, QUAKE and QUAKE II.
On January 5, 2000, Acclaim Entertainment started shipping their SOUTH PARK
RALLY for PlayStation with Nintendo 64, PC and Sega Dreamcast to follow
shortly. Developed by Tantalus Interactive, the kart-style racing adventure
features mission-based game modes and 27 characters from the Comedy Central
series. All versions of South Park Rally will include multiplayer modes
that feature races and cooperative game modes, including the multiplayer
Disney/Pixar's TOY STORY 2 is coming to Sega Dreamcast. In March 2000,
Activision, Inc., in collaboration with Disney Interactive, will release
Disney/Pixar's TOY STORY 2: BUZZ LIGHTYEAR TO THE RESCUE for Sega
Dreamcast. The new release will be a third-person free-roaming adventure
game that uses 3D animation to deliver a unique mix of gameplay elements.
As Buzz Lightyear, players take on five big bosses in a quest to save Woody
from a toy collector over 15 levels.
Film.com has teamed-up with Troma, the production company responsible for
THE TOXIC ADVENGER, to bring the stop-motion clay characters of CRAPSTON
VILLAS to the Net. Set in Slumington, a fictional London neighborhood, this
ebony comedy is a wild soap opera spoof. The British down-to-Earth
blue-collar domestic drama features the voices of Jane Horrocks (Bubble in
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS and Little Voice in LITTLE VOICE) and Alison Steadman
(LIFE IS SWEET). The show originally aired on Britain's Channel 4 and won