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DVDs open up a new world of interactive board games

Toy giant Mattel and Seattle, Washington's Screenlife are gearing up to revolutionize the board game category this month with the mass-market re-release of DVD game Scene It? A Hollywood trivia game that made its market debut last October in select specialty retail venues, Scene It? combines on-screen clips of movies with traditional board-game action. Players must recognize celebs from high-school photos, identify actors who've been digitally removed from movie clips and answer trivia questions to advance on the board.
October 1, 2003

Toy giant Mattel and Seattle, Washington’s Screenlife are gearing up to revolutionize the board game category this month with the mass-market re-release of DVD game Scene It? A Hollywood trivia game that made its market debut last October in select specialty retail venues, Scene It? combines on-screen clips of movies with traditional board-game action. Players must recognize celebs from high-school photos, identify actors who’ve been digitally removed from movie clips and answer trivia questions to advance on the board.

Clips of stars (250) and films (180) from five major studios – 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal – are featured in the game, which will roll out in retail outlets including Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, Target and KB Toys for US$39.99 (SRP). Mattel is supporting the relaunch with a TV and movie theater ad campaign.

The key to the game is Screenlife’s proprietary DVD-enhancing technology called Optreve, which shuffles the questions on the DVD, deals them out randomly, and keeps track of what’s been played. Under the terms of a five-year deal, Screenlife will develop at least 16 more DVD games for Mattel. It’s now hard at work on Scene It? Jr., which will roll out at specialty retail closer to Christmas, then at mass under the Mattel banner in spring 2004.

‘With 50 million households already owning DVD players, the market for interactive DVDs is about to explode,’ says Dave Long, co-founder and CEO of Screenlife. ‘Mattel wants to be at the forefront of interactive DVDs, and this deal will solidify that position,’ says Phil Jackson, VP of marketing for games and puzzles at Mattel.

Disney has also jumped into the new genre with plans to introduce its own DVD board game – Lilo and Stitch’s Island of Adventures – this holiday season. Players can use their remote control to spin the on-screen dial and advance on the game board, while interacting with characters from the movie. Lilo and Stitch’s Island of Adventures will hit shelves November 11 for US$29.99 (SRP), and it includes a bonus hour-long DVD with new Lilo and Stitch episodes.

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