The TRON universe is coming to additional platforms than previous transmissions revealed. Disney Interactive Studios today announced the development of TRON video games for Wii™, Nintendo DS™ and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. These games complete the TRON video game portfolio this year from Disney Interactive Studios, joining the previously announced TRON: Evolution for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.
Set during the era between the two TRON films, TRON: Evolution conveys a story of significant events within the TRON mythology. The game features an epic adventure across the massive digital TRON world filled with high-mobility disc-based combat and light cycle action. The TRON: Evolution games will be released in Holiday 2010 before the “TRON: Legacy” film hits theaters on December 17 in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.
TRON Evolution – Battle Grids (Wii), TRON: Evolution (DS) and TRON: Evolution PSP are action packed games set within the combat arenas and mysterious cities of the TRON world. All game versions give fans a unique way to battle and explore the TRON universe alone or with friends and family.
“These games offer unique experiences within the TRON universe that are ideal for their individual platforms,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “TRON is an exciting, dynamic property that appeals to interactive entertainment fans of all ages.”
The TRON games for Nintendo platforms (TRON: Evolution – Battle Grids for Wii and TRON: Evolution for DS), include games and art styles appropriate for a wide audience, including families and kids. While Propaganda is the primary developer, the studio has partnered with n-Space Inc. and SuperVillain Studios, both located in the USA, to deliver this wide range of games for the new generation of TRON titles.
Propaganda’s other new title, Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned (2011) is an epic action-role playing game that lets players decide what type of pirate legend they want to become. Will they become Legendary, or Dreaded? Set before the blockbuster films, the game is a deep action-RPG that lets players carve out their own story in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe. In development for the PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC, Armada of the Damned casts players off on a journey where they will encounter numerous memorable characters, both original and familiar.
Transgaming has just announced that new titles for the Mac are now available at GameTree – Disney fans can now pick up Toy Story 3 and Disney Princess Enchanted Journey at GameTree Online for $29.99 and $21.99 respectively.
Here is a look at the E3 2010 trailer for Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, coming to the 360 from Relic Entertainment.
A new 3D version of Assassin’s Creed will be released by Ubisoft for the just-announced Nintendo 3DS. Ubisoft has also announced that the following titles will be available when the new handheld units go on sale: Hollywood 61; Battle of Giants™: Dinosaur Strike; Driver® Renegade; Assassin’s Creed™ Lost Legacy; Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory™ and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™.
As one of the top independent publishers on the Nintendo DS™ and Wii™, Ubisoft is also one of the first major publishers to invest hieavily in development for 3D. “Nintendo has created a new portable console that will allow easy and affordable access to 3D technology,” said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft. “The portability and freedom from glasses of the Nintendo 3DS™ allows our creative teams to craft unique new and immersive games for all types of gamers.”
Ubisoft’s Nintendo 3DS line-up spans different genres of video games, allowing early adopters of the new console to find the style of games that they most enjoy:
* Hollywood 61 (code name): Live the thrill of mastering tailor-made mind games and become the obsession of a criminal mastermind in the first interactive 3D movie. Solve the deadly mystery with 150 classic and 3D puzzles.
* Battle of Giants™: Dinosaur Strike: 150 million years ago, Nature’s fury was unleashed, forcing Dinosaurs to fight for their survival. Dive into spectacular battles and deal powerful blows to your worst enemies. Master your fierce dinosaur and rule the cataclysmic Jurassic world!
* Driver® Renegade: The first and exclusive action driving game on Nintendo 3DS that lets you experience the intensity of urban car chases. As former cop John Tanner, you work outside the law to fight crime in the gritty streets of New York and defeat the 5 crime lords who own the city.
* Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory™: Sam Fisher, the renowned secret agent is back in this redesigned version of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. Experience one of the most acclaimed games in the Splinter Cell franchise for the first time in 3D.
* Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™: Lead the Ghosts, the most elite special forces unit in the US Army, across multiple tactical missions to prevent a war from breaking out.
* Assassin’s Creed™ Lost Legacy: Driven by curiosity and a desire to understand the origins of his Order, Ezio Auditore travels East in search of the lost castle at Masyaf, the ancient seat of the Assassins.
Ubisoft has also released more information about Shaun White Skateboarding, which will bring skateboarding to a wider audience, allowing players to transform a dull, lifeless city into their own extraordinary skating playground.
“When we started making the game, we knew we wanted to give players a sense of how skaters see the world – everything is an opportunity,” said Nick Harper, Creative Director. “What looks like a handrail to us is really a grind. A park bench is a place to trick, an alley is a quarter pipe, etc. We’ve taken that idea and expanded it. We wanted to put our own twist on the genre and craft the type of game that allows players to be creative and still have a lot of fun.”
Players begin their journey in a dull and gray city that’s stretched over massive districts. As players skate and complete challenges, the city comes to life – new areas are revealed, better skate lines are created and buildings are transformed. Players can stretch and twist handrails to dizzying heights, empty fountains to create bowls, morph streets into ramps and much more. Creativity is rewarded with points, skateboarding gear and fresh, new skating opportunities. With 80+ skate tricks hand-picked by Shaun (including a Shaun creation called the “Armadillo”), players can pull off authentic skate moves from the get-go and jump online to challenge friends in co-operative or adversarial modes.
Meanwhile, over at the Banff World TV Festival, marblemedia has announced it will produce Splatalot, a hilarious medieval-themed physical game show geared to the 8-12 year-old audience, for YTV in Canada, BBC in the U.K. and ABC in Australia. The 26-episode series features Canada’s largest extreme obstacle course with more wipe outs and spills ever imaginable. It will be shot north of Toronto this summer, and delivered spring 2011.
“We’re very excited to be working with our long-time partner, Corus Entertainment, as well as with our new partners at the BBC and ABC, on this first-time multi-broadcaster collaboration,” said Matt Hornburg, the series Co-Creator and Partner, marblemedia. “Splatalot is all about the hilarity of watching contestants get splattered, with the best spills instantly replayed in slow motion. With oversized props, cool special effects and lively characters, it’s sure to be a highly-entertaining adventure.”
Three versions of the series will be shot and customized for each of the participating countries, with two hosts selected from Canada, the U.K. and Australia respectively. Each episode will feature a different group of 12 thrill-seeking teen contestants, dubbed Attackers, competing in three cringe-inducing rounds: Cross the Moat, Storm the Castle, and Steal the Crown. The Defenders of Splatalot, an international squad of six medieval-themed gladiators, will do their best to protect the castle from the Attackers – only leaving one to be crowned Prince or Princess of Splatalot.
“Kids and their families will be in for a real treat with this new side-splitting series, and with over 300 contestants in the first 26 episodes, Splatalot gives our viewers a real chance to participate,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Programming and Production, Corus Kids. “We look forward to working with marblemedia and partnering with two other like-minded countries, the U.K. and Australia, on this fun show.”
Controller CBBC Damian Kavanagh said: “This should be a fantastic show with lots of humour and physical comedy, and should prove a big hit with our audience. It’s been fascinating to collaborate and share ideas with producers in other markets.”
Head of Commissioning and Development, ABC Children’s Television, Carla de Jong said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering on a series of this scale with other like-minded broadcasters. Splatalot, which will feature Australian hosts and teens, is sure to make a splash with our ABC3 audience, who we know love comedy and spectacular physical challenges.”
marblemedia is developing an interactive online environment, where the splat-stick comedy will continue with a series of flash games, taking the Splatalot experience to the next level. The website will offer games such as Master Splatter, a strategy game where players create their own sludge-filled obstacle course for an army of invaders; Splatapus, a highly addictive game with puzzle-like levels where players take on the role of Defender and wipe out the Attackers in the most splat-tastic ways possible. International distribution of Splatalot will be handled by Distribution360.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) today released highlights from the Canadian Television Fund (CTF)’s final program year, which ended on March 31, 2010.
“The board, staff, and stakeholders spent the past year working together towards a successful transition to the Canada Media Fund,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund. “While ensuring the CTF’s programs successfully delivered almost $328 million in funds to Canadian productions, we also engaged our stakeholders across the country to participate in an extensive consultation process which informed the creation of the policies and programs of the new Canada Media Fund. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed their time and ideas to this process.”
The following are highlights of the CTF’s funding results from 2009-2010:
* Revenues for 2009-2010 were $325 million, with a 6% increase in the contribution from cable and satellite service distributors and a stable contribution from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
* Administrative expenses were limited to 4.2% of revenues, including costs incurred by both the CTF and the Television Business Unit at Telefilm Canada, which administers the CTF’s programs.
* Total CTF funding for all streams was 14% higher than in 2008-2009 and 23% higher than the average of the four previous years.
*Production funding was $307 million, representing an increase of 21% over the average of the four previous years.
* 476 production and 352 development television projects were funded, with total budgets of over $1 billion and $22 million, respectively; this resulted in the creation of over 2,400 hours of new Canadian programming. The ratio of CTF funding to total television budgets continues to be approximately 1:3.
* In the English market, six of the top ten programs posted average minute audiences of more than one million viewers; in the French market, the top ten programs posted average minute audiences of more than 1.1 million viewers.
* The CTF disbursed 69% of its production funding through licence fee top-ups and 31% through equity investments.
* The $10 million Digital Media Program supported 43 English and 34 French digital media projects related to CTF-funded television shows.
* The $10 million Production Incentive supported English production in Atlantic Canada (4 projects) and British Columbia and the Yukon and Northwest Territories (35 projects), where volumes had dropped significantly below their historic averages.
Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, announced the creation of a new publication that reports on audiences to each individual show supported by the funding agency. The CMF Audience Reports launched today present data on average minute audiences to individual programs funded by the CTF that aired during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years. These reports are available as an interactive web interface and downloadable PDFs from the CMF web site.
The CTF 2009-2010 Annual Report will be available in fall 2010. The CMF 2009-2010 Audience Report will be published in spring 2011. Ms. Creighton also mentioned that the CMF will soon announce plans for the next phase of its ongoing consultation with the industry. Details will be provided as soon as they are available.
While the Canadian entertainment and media (E&M) market declined by 2.7% in 2009, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) expects a rebound in 2010 and beyond, with growth averaging 5% compounded annually through 2014, according to the PwC report Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2010-2014, which provides forecasts and analysis on 13 major E&M industry segments in 48 countries. The global E&M industry will also grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% over the forecast period to 2014, reaching US$1.7 trillion, up from US$1.3 trillion in 2009. However, Canada will grow faster than the US with a 5% CAGR, compared with a 3.8% CAGR in the US.
– In Canada, Internet access spending at a 12% CAGR (compared to 8.8% in the US and 9% globally) and Internet advertising at a 11.7% CAGR (compared to 7.7% in the US and 11.4% globally) will be major drivers for the industry.
– TV subscriptions will grow at a 6.8% CAGR (6.5% in the US and 6.8% globally), and consumer spending on video games will increase by a 6.6% CAGR (6.4% in the US and 10.6% globally).
– Overall consumer end-user spending on media, excluding internet access spending, will increase in Canada at a rate of 4.3% CAGR (3.7% in the US and 4.1% globally), while advertising will rise at a 3.1% CAGR (2.6% in the US and 4.2% globally).
“The next five years will see digital technologies increase their dominance across all segments of entertainment and media as digital transformation accelerates says Jerry Brown, an associate partner in the Canadian Entertainment & Media (E&M) practice for PwC. “While the industry has a long history of experimenting and adding formats which have offered consumers new choices, the current advances in technologies and consumer behaviour are unprecedented in both their speed and their simultaneous impact across all segments.”
The fastest growing region throughout the forecast period is Latin America growing at a 8.8% CAGR during the next 5 years to US$77 billion in 2014. Asia Pacific is next at a 6.4% CAGR through to 2014 to US$475 billion. Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will grow at a 4.6% CAGR to US$581 billion in 2014.
Overall, global advertising will increase at a 4.2% CAGR from US$406 billion in 2009 to US$498 billion in 2014. Internet advertising will join television advertising in 2014 as the only media with spending in excess of US$100 billion.
The Canadian advertising market will continue to recover. While PwC sees growth in digital platforms, traditional media, including television and publishing continues to attract the majority of advertising spending. Indeed, TV advertising in Canada will increase at average annual growth of 3.8% to US$3.4 billion in 2014. The demise of the conventional television advertising market appears to have been exaggerated with US$2.1 billion of expected advertising revenue in 2014, increasing at a CAGR of 2.4%. Speciality television growth will be slightly stronger at a CAGR of 4.8%
“The big story in 2009 was the recession’s impact, which led to a broad pull back in advertising spending. The exception was internet advertising, which grew at a double digit pace,” says Michael Paterson, partner and Canadian co-editor of the Global Entertainment and Media Outlook at PwC. “As Canada’s economy is recovering ahead of the US economy, we expect that the Canadian advertising market will rebound more quickly. Increased demand and opportunities for Internet and mobile advertising along with sustained spending on traditional advertising platforms will drive growth.”
Global consumer/end-user spending fell by 0.5% 2009 as declines in recorded music, consumer magazines, newspapers, consumer and educational books, and business-to-business publishing offset the gains in TV subscriptions and license fees, filmed entertainment, and video games.
In Canada, consumer spending on digital media will grow quickly, complimenting spend on traditional forms of media. However, in the music, newspaper and magazine publishing industries, digital media is presenting new business challenges as overall traditional revenues are slowly declining. However, Canadian consumers will still spend over US$3.3 billion on these segments which is a substantial part of the total spend.
TV subscriptions – Subscription fees in Canada will increase at a CAGR of 6.8% to US$9.1 billion by 2014, driven by the expansion of digital cable, Video on Demand (VOD) offerings and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV).
Film – Canadian box office spending will continue to grow at a CAGR of 5.3%. Higher growth will occur in paid online rentals and digital downloads to own, which will contribute to a US$4.1 billion Canadian film entertainment market in 2014.
Video Games – After a decline in 2009, video game spending by Canadian consumers will grow at a CAGR of 6% to US$1.7 billion in 2014. The strongest growth will in online and wireless games where convenience and interactivity enhance the consumer experience.
Mobile Internet access will expand dramatically in Canada and spending will grow at a CAGR of 45% from US$238 million to over US$1.55 billion in 5 years, driven by a 48% annual increase in mobile Internet subscribers as the number of smartphones increases.
In 2014, as the proliferation of smartphones and other connected devices continues, 10 million Canadians will have access to the Internet via their mobile devices including readers such as the iPad. This will put continued pressure on providers to support all of these new data demands.
“Using the Internet is now one of the great unifying experiences of the current era for consumers everywhere-and their expectation of Internet-style interactivity and access to content will continue to expand, especially mobile content,” says Brown.
Brown concludes, “Creativity and innovation have always been associated with entertainment and media and now is the time for the industry to embrace new and emerging opportunities. However companies develop their future visions they will need to deliver an ever expanding customer experience and be flexible to capture revenues across all platforms. Those who do will be the leaders in this exciting but challenging industry.”
Calgary’s MoboVivo has partnered with San Francisco developer AppOxy to launch the first TV Everywhere app for phones and devices running Google’s Android operating system. The apps will be available from Google’s Android Market for all compatible Android mobile phones. The apps provide access to MoboVivo’s myScreens, which features a digital locker allowing users to shift screens from their mobile phone to computers, iPhones and televisions.
The TV Everywhere app is the latest addition to MoboVivo’s portfolio of TV apps available for Android, iPhone, iPad and other mobile platforms. These apps include new and innovate features which allow users to view TV shows, connect with their friends on Facebook, and obtain more information about other programs.
“The apps MoboVivo builds for broadcasters, producers and DVD distributors are paying for themselves within 4 months,” says Trevor Doerksen, the company’s CEO. “The path to revenue with our TV shows apps is obvious, and we expect others like the newly released Android TV Everywhere app and emerging opportunities on new app platforms to deliver similar return on investment for our customers.”
On the heels of its YellowPages.ca™ mobile app reaching a milestone one million downloads, Yellow Pages Group (YPG) announced today that the free app is now available for download in the iTunes App Store for the recently launched Apple iPad. YPG is the first Canadian local commercial search provider to build and customize an application for the iPad.
“Yellow Pages Group continues to provide consumers with interactive ways to shop for and find local goods and services across a number of mobile platforms,” said Stéphane Marceau, Chief Marketing Officer at Yellow Pages Group. “The iPad’s tablet format represents a new way for Yellow Pages Group to provide Canadians with access to local business information to help them with their purchase decisions.”