Video game publisher Activision will be adapting its successful property RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN for the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox video game systems. The PC version of the game has shipped more than one million units and topped sales charts worldwide since its release in December 2001. Activision promises that the next generation version of the game will feature unique design and technical modifications that take full advantage of each platform's advanced technology.
Category: Internet and Interactive
The interactive division of Toronto-based DECODE Entertainment is going into production on two Websites based on animated series. In addition to creating a French-language version of UNDERGRADS Online, they will also be developing the interactive world of GIRLSTUFF BOYSTUFF. UNDERGRADS Online is the Website DECODE developed alongside the animated series that currently airs on MTV and Teletoon. Co-produced by DECODE and MTV Animation, UNDERGRADS follows four male friends as they attempt to maintain their camaraderie while struggling to survive their first year at different colleges.
Game developer THQ Inc. and Motorola, Inc. have teamed to develop a suite of games for Motorola's current and next-generation handsets. As a result of this agreement, the companies will introduce new wireless games for Motorola mobile phones with Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) technology. The first four games, WWF MOBILE MADNESS, TETRIS, INTELLIVISION'S ASTROSMASH and MOTOGP will launch in North America in mid-January 2002 with worldwide distribution to follow throughout the year.
Microsoft Corp.s future-generation game console Xbox will go on sale at retail outlets throughout Japan on February 22, 2002 at a price of 34,800 yen (US$265). 50,000 Xbox Special Edition consoles designed exclusively for the Japanese market will also be available. The special console will be greenish-black with a translucent textured casing. The jewel portion of the box will have a silver logo with black lettering. A silver-plated key chain with an engraved serial number and Bill Gates signature will be included with the console as well.
Square Electronic Arts FINAL FANTASY X game for PlayStation 2 was number one in U.S. sales across all video game software categories in its first week of release, according to NPD Funworld Video Game Data. FINAL FANTASY X shipped to retailers nationwide on December 18, just in time for the Christmas holiday. In Japan, FINAL FANTASY X was released on July 19, 2001 and sold through 90% of the 2.14 million units it shipped in the first four days. It is the first PlayStation 2 title to reach the 2 million unit mark.
San Jose, California-based entertainment software developer BAM! Entertainment has reached an agreement with Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to publish video games based on the animated series SAMURAI JACK. BAM! Entertainment entered into a strategic relationship with Cartoon Network in 2000 to create video games based on the television shows THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, DEXTER'S LABORATORY and YOGI BEAR. SAMURAI JACK debuted on Cartoon Network in August 2001 and has attracted an audience of all ages.
Nintendo will showcase its GameCube video console at Milia 2002, weeks before its initial European launch. The video game set-top was released in the United States and Japan in 2001 and has sold nearly 1.5 million units in North America alone. Nintendo will preview GameCube along with 20 new games including LUIGIS MANSION, PIKMIN, STAR WARS ROGUE SQUADRON 2: ROGUE LEADER and SONIC ADVENTURE 2. Milia visitors will receive the exclusive European preview of GameCube at the Milia 2002 conference held February 48, 2002 at the Palais de Festivals in Cannes, France.
Previously available for PlayStation2 and Xbox, Electronic Arts THE SIMPSONS ROAD RAGE can now be played on the Nintendo GameCube. Developed by Radical Entertainment and co-published with Fox Interactive, THE SIMPSONS ROAD RAGE is a witty and wild arcade-style racing game set in the town of Springfield. Players can take the wheel as their favorite Simpsons character and wreak havoc through six expansive Springfield neighborhoods with the ultimate goal of buying back the Transit Corporation from the diabolical Mr. Burns.
The 2nd annual Sundance Online Film Festival featuring animation, live-action, documentary, interactive and new form shorts is available for viewing until January 20, 2002. Selected works of animation from the Online Film Festival will also screen on January 15 and January 19 at the Sundance Film Festival Animation Spotlight: Online on Screen. The screening will be a compilation of the online animated works shown on a big screen and will feature a Q&A with the filmmakers.
Thirty-five years after his animated classic HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS first aired, Chuck Jones has ventured back into holiday specials with his newest creation Thomas T. Wolf, producing a five-and-a-half minute Christmas special titled "Ohhh! Christmas Tree." The episode, part of Warner Bros. Online's new Flash-animated internet series CHUCK JONES' TIMBER WOLF, is now available for viewing exclusively at www.warnerbros.com. The series' main character is Thomas T. Wolf, a timber wolf with a problem: He is compelled to utter his middle name -- Timber!
Mike Reiss' Web series QUEER DUCK is returning to the Web and debuting on television thanks to the Showtime network. The series, which debuted in October 2000 on Icebox.com, will return to the Web beginning in January 2002, when 15 new episodes premiere exclusively online at Sho.com. The new episodes are produced by Reiss' company Queer Duck Productions, Inc. in association with Xeth Feinberg's Mishmash Media, Inc.
As part of Vivendi Universal Publishing's long-term deal with Tolkien Enterprises, Universal Interactive will publish games based on J.R.R. Tolkien's best-selling saga THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The company acquired the exclusive rights to develop interactive entertainment based on selected Tolkien literary works. Universal Interactive will create games for multiple next-generation and PC platforms with content derived from Tolkien's novels THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS and THE RETURN OF THE KING.
NDi Media and Canadian producer Cité-Amérique have launched wumpasworld.com, a Web convergence project featuring interactive games and other content designed for children three to five years old. The Website is based on characters from WUMPA'S WORLD, a 26 x 15 pre-school television series produced by Cité-Amérique, which features a unique combination of puppetry and animatronics. The television show currently airs on YTV's Treehouse TV.
Hoping the newly-released Xbox and GameCube game consoles create a game buying frenzy, Activision, Inc. has shipped all of its games for 2001 to retail outlets throughout North America.
Building on the popularity of the Kids' WB! animated series Jackie Chan Adventures, Activision has licensed the property to create Jackie Chan Adventures: Legend of the Dark Hand for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance now available at retail. The game chronicles the adventures of Jackie Chan as he faces-off against the nefarious forces of the Dark Hand on a quest to uncover ancient mystical scrolls. The game combines anime-style animation with fast-paced comedy.
Limited quantities of FINAL FANTASY X for the PlayStation 2 will start shipping to retail stores in the U.S. on December 26, 2001, instead of the originally scheduled January 2002. The game was released in Japan on July 19, 2001 and sold through 90% of the 2.14 million units it shipped in the first four days. To date, the FINAL FANTASY series has sold over 35 million units worldwide, making the franchise one of the best-selling series in the history of videogames. In FINAL FANTASY X, the main character, Tidus, is a star player of blitzball, a full contact sport.
As if talking on a mobile phone in public wasnt bad enough, Dutchbased ExtraTainment has developed four games to be played exclusively on mobile phones. MOBILE WORLD CUP allows the player to lead their own soccer team to the World Cup finals, ANDROID BATTLE puts the player in the midst of a hi-tech interplanetary struggle, THE BOOZE CONNECTION is set in the gangland of 1930s Chicago, while CHALLENGE OF THE KNIGHTS takes you back to the Dark Ages for a tournament in the king's court. All games have been designed for multi-player use, meaning contestants can play against each other.
Less than a week after the two systems were released, both Microsofts Xbox and Nintendos GameCube are selling well, with a slight edge going to GameCube. The long-awaited, twice-delayed Microsoft Xbox debuted with much fanfare on November 15, 2001 at 12:01 EST at the Toys "R" Us flagship store in Times Square. Bill Gates was on hand to present the first Xbox console to Edward Glucksman of Keansburg, New Jersey. According to a CNET news brief, a Goldman Sachs survey of U.S.
New media company Icebox is hoping that people are ready to pay for entertainment on the Web (other than porn, that is). Starting this week, Icebox is making its entire library of animation available on a pay-per-view basis through Icebox On Demand (www.icebox.com). Since relaunching the site in April 2001, Icebox has been focusing its core business on developing new content for traditional and new media, as well as the licensing of its existing library.
Infogrames, Inc. is bringing back Atari for the holidays. Now available, MXRIDER and SPLASHDOWN for Sony PlayStation2 are the first games to launch under the new Atari banner. Infogrames recently launched both MXRIDER and SPLASHDOWN globally, releasing the games to an estimated 15,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and 23,800 outlets internationally. MXRIDER is a motocross racing game featuring authentic motorbike speed and action with over 50 licensed Motocross World Championship riders in all three motorbike classes (125cc, 250cc and 500 cc).
Ubi Soft Entertainment's online division has launched ubi.com, a new gaming portal that allows gamers to play games and participate in online communities. ubi.com is now available in North America and France and will eventually spread to other countries. The company also has plans to extend ubi.com to console gamers later in the year. Since online communities are an important part of the gaming culture, ubi.com has licensed state-of-the-art forum technology to make it easy for players to post their comments and ideas online and hopes to give fans the ultimate community experience.
On Level13.net, check out CalArts alum Charles Allen-Ecks award-winning short ONION JOHN. This musical tale of a misunderstood vegetable will leave you in tears.On Darkhorse.com, home to Darkhorse Comics, you find a growing variety of shorts including Tony Millionaires SOCK MONKEYand if youd like to see the day in the life of one unemployed man, check out LAID OFF at oddtodd.com (warning: contains some explicit language!).
Activision, Inc. has teamed with mens lifestyle magazine MAXIM and Hollywood Records on a million dollar, multi-media promotional campaign to support the launch of id Software's PC game RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN. In this sequel to WOLFENSTEIN 3D, one of the original first-person shooter games, players infiltrate the Third Reich to battle horrific super-soldiers, zombies and mutants forged in the unearthly experiments of Heinrich Himmler. One component of the launch campaign includes the bundling of more than 1 million promotional interactive CD-ROMs with the December issue of MAXIM.
Chuck Jones' first original animated characters created for Warner Bros. in more than 40 years made their World Wide Web debut on October 24, 2001. Warner Bros. Online's Flash-animated cartoon Chuck Jones' TIMBER WOLF, has become one of the fastest-growing sites at warnerbros.com. According to Warner Bros., nearly 750,000 fans have checked out the antics of TIMBER WOLF and more continue to log on each day. A new Webisode will premiere each week for the shows 13-week run.
Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS, INC. is showing up in theaters on November 2, 2001 and there will be a variety of games available to accompany the film. THQ has collaborated with Disney to create Disney/Pixars MONSTERS INC. for Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color. Games will be available at major retail outlets nationwide in conjunction with the movie release on November 2, 2001. Assuming the role of Sulley, the blue and furry hero of the film, players must navigate through Monstropolis in order to return a human girl to her home safely.