Digital news bytes

Digital news bytes...
October 1, 1999

Digital news bytes

Nintendo and Konami are joining forces to create Mobile 21, a company dedicated to developing software for the next generation of Nintendo’s consoles. The 50/50 venture has a capital value of US$2.7 million.

Microsoft is reportedly planning to enter the console wars with its own souped-up next-gen game station. The console is code-named X-Box, and set for a fall 2000 release for under US$300.

Psygnosis of Foster City, California has launched Lander, a sim-flyer game designed exclusively for DVD-ROM, rather than going the usual route of repurposing a title originally made for another medium.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based The Learning Company has taken over worldwide rights to software by Fisher-Price. Both companies are divisions of Mattel. The Learning Company takes over development, marketing and sales of current Fisher-Price releases and future products.

Redwood City, California-based Electronic Arts scooped up Carlsbad, California-based PlayNation, a company that specializes in designing Internet-based entertainment. EA has also signed on Michael Jordan as a spokesperson for the EA Sports brand. Jordan will also appear in games including the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation and PC versions of NBA Live 2000, the latest title in a series that has sold more than seven million units. The hoop game streets at the end of this month for US$49.95 for Nintendo 64 and US$39.95 for Sony PlayStation and PCs. The company also signed U.S. women’s soccer player Julie Foudy as a commentator on the latest title in the Major League Soccer game series. FIFA 2000: Major League Soccer is scheduled to street in November for PC and Sony PlayStation at US$39.95. Unit sales of the game series to date top 16 million.

Beverly, Massachusetts-based Hasbro Interactive unwraps Nerf ArenaBlast for PCs at US$29.95 in Q4 `99. Geared to ages six and up, the game is a departure from the usual shoot-em-up with 3-D graphics and Nerf ‘weapons’ like Pulsator and Ballzooka. The game can accomodate up to 20 players in a tournament setting.

Santa Monica-based Activision brings Star Trek: The Next Generation to Sony PlayStation, due to ship in summer 2000 for about US$49.95. Modeled on the TV series, the game lets Trekkies pilot the latest vessels in the Federation’s fleet on 30 missions through the Beta Quadrant-ensign, engage.

Montreal-based Ubi Soft inked a worldwide publishing deal with Paris-based Gaumont Multimedia for 3-D Stupid Invaders, due out at the end of `99 for PCs, Macs and

Sega Dreamcast.

A back-to-school cross-promo with Chicago-based companies FreeZone Online and Eckrich to promote the LunchMakers brand launched in August at FreeZone’s minisite ( The six-month campaign features games and monitored chats for the six to 14 set.

Marvel Enterprises beefs up its Internet component with a multimillion dollar, first-phase development deal with New York-based consultants McKinsey & Company. Targeted growth areas for the Web site include subscriptions, on-line gaming, and e-commerce.

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