McD’s unveils the next-gen Play Land
Compaq and McDonald’s have hooked up to bring interactive game kiosks called McMaginations to Golden Arches across the U.S. this year. Powered and serviced by Compaq, the Grimace- and Ronald McDonald-shaped modules offer up to 12 vid game titles from leading software publishers like Disney Interactive and Electronic Arts.
To key into a restaurant’s unique kid demographics, Compaq has developed separate game stations for kids four to seven and tweens eight to 15-each one in two-, three- and four-player versions. The game lineup, which will be updated every six weeks, includes titles like Lego’s LegoRacer and Disney’s Toy Story 2 for wee patrons, while the tween machines feature Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 2 and EA’s Need for Speed.
After a year of testing, the first batch of McMaginations rolled out to around 20 participating McDonald’s locations last month. Compaq is looking to partner with kid retailers for similar branded kiosk initiatives.
SCEA lines up its development ducks
Seeking to significantly strengthen its first-party PS2 software development operation before competition from Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s GameCube crowds the next-gen console market, Sony is on the hunt for indie studios with popular vid game franchises in their portfolios. Santa Monica, California-based Naughty Dog, the 30-person hotshop that spawned Crash Bandicoot in 1996, recently joined the Sony fold. The best-selling Crash property spans four titles that have moved more than 20 million units worldwide to date. To cover its sports game needs, SCEA also recently picked up Red Zone Interactive, the studio behind successful series NFL GameDay, NBA ShootOut and NHL FaceOff.
Crave milks scooter trend with Razor Freestyle sequel
Making the most of its exclusive Razor Scooter vid game license while the pop culture trend is still motoring, Crave Entertainment is gearing up to release a Razor Freestyle Scooter title for Game Boy Color in Q2. The new offering builds on a PSX title that sold 45,000 units for December 2000, its first month at retail, according to PC Data. The GBC rendition will feature 10 riders, seven locations and a Game Link cable app so gamers can compete head-to-head.