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King Kong Invades Game World

With the release of Peter Jacksons KING KONG in theaters Dec. 14, 2005, the giant ape has begun making his presence felt in the videogame world as well. On the same day the official game based on the movie picked up an award at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, Ubisoft and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group announced that Academy Award-nominee Naomi Watts and Jack Black appear via likeness and provide voice talent for the videogame PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE. Black has already won praise for his game performance, winning a best performance award at the Spike TV awards. Academy Award winner Adrien Brody has also lent his voice talent to the game. The videogame, rated "T" for Teen, will release worldwide on most major platforms in November, making it the biggest movie-licensed launch in videogame history.

"We want the movie and the videogame to be a shared experience, so having the voices and likenesses of the actors is very important," said Jackson. "Another great aspect of the collaboration is the absolute enthusiasm that the cast has shown for the game. Jack Black loves seeing himself running around the jungles of Skull Island and it's fun watching him actually play the game."

Michel Ancel, regarded as one of the most innovative minds in the videogame industry, together with his team at Ubisoft's Montpellier studio (France), worked with Jackson and Wingnut Films to capture the KING KONG movie dynamics through a unique videogame experience.

"The actors' full integration into the videogame with voice-over and likeness adds yet another layer of fidelity and highlights the close collaboration between Ubisoft's Montpellier studio and Peter Jackson's team," said Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft. "It's been great working with each of these gifted actors from the KING KONG motion picture and we appreciate their dedicated, exclusive performances for the videogame."

The voice sessions with the actors were supervised and directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Philippa Boyens, co-writer of both the movie and the videogame, to ensure the in-game dialogue reflects the tone and style of the film. In fact, other cast members also contributed either their likeness and/or voice talent including, Jamie Bell, Colin Hanks, Thomas Kretschmann, Evan Parke and Andy Serkis.

"I'm really excited my likeness will be used in the videogame. I've always wanted to be in a videogame, it's kind of a dream come true," said Black, who plays the role of Carl Denham for the movie and the game. When asked about his approach to conducting the voiceover session, Black shared, "While it's strictly my voice, I'm still acting and using all of my skills as an artist. I went full blast for this videogame."

Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody added, "It's an amazing thing to be immortalized in a videogame! I hope the graphics are still cool by the time my grandkids can play."

Adding to the KING KONG game craze, Gameloft released KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL MOBILE GAME OF THE MOVIE on Nov. 14, 2005. The game consists of nine levels in three cinematic environments inspired by the film.

The dual gameplay allows players to step into the roles of both Jack and Kong. As Jack, gamers will need to use their intelligence and skills to get Ann out of perilous situations involving vicious natives and the jungles trappings. In the role of Kong, players will battle the ferocious V-Rex and Velociraptors. The game culminates with one of the most pivotal moments in the story as Kong climbs up the tallest skyscraper in New York, amidst shooting airplanes, to rescue Ann.

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition of the extensive catalogue of NBC Universal properties. Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is a unit of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. Ubisoft generated revenue of EUR 538 million for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, an increase of 8% over the previous fiscal year at constant exchange rates. To learn more, visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.

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