EA BioWare™ has partnered with FUNimation® Entertainment, a distributor of Japanese animation in North America, announced today an agreement to create an anime feature film adapted from one of the video game industry’s most revered franchises, Mass Effect™. Tokyo-based anime and international feature film production company T.O Entertainment, Inc. has signed on as a co-producer on the video. Based on the Mass Effect universe, the anime video will tell the tale of an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets.
Casey Hudson of BioWare, executive producer of the Mass Effect series, will serve as executive producer on the film, along with FUNimation President and CEO Gen Fukunaga and Director of Original Entertainment Chris Moujaes and T.O Entertainment’s CEO Takeichi Honda and Yui Shibata.
“Over the last few years, we have revealed different pieces of the Mass Effect world through different media. Extending the story through an anime medium is another amazing opportunity for us,” said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer for the Mass Effect series. “Partnering with FUNimation ensures that we will bring this rich universe to life with the utmost quality and the same attention to detail that the Mass Effect games are known for.”
“It is thanks to the enormous and passionate Mass Effect fan base that this movie is made possible,” said Gen Fukunaga, President & CEO of FUNimation. “With production underway on the Dragon Age video, we are excited to team up with another BioWare team to add an exciting new chapter to this vast sci-fi world.”
Production of the Mass Effect anime movie has already begun. Digital and home video releases are scheduled for the summer of 2012. The original Mass Effect game and its sequel Mass Effect 2 have received over 250 awards and 100 perfect ‘10’ scores from critics worldwide. Mass Effect 2 is available now for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC. Stay tuned for more news about the continuation of Commander Shepard’s adventure as BioWare will release more information about Mass Effect 3 soon.
In another deal, EA and Hasbro, Inc. have proclaimed that today, April 7th, is Global Monopoly Day on Facebook. Monopoly fans around the world are invited to play Monopoly Millionaires on Facebook to win more than $20,000 in prizes (no purchase necessary, void in Quebec) and participate in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Records® title. The attempt will be measured by the greatest number of people worldwide simultaneously playing Monopoly Millionaires on Facebook. Official adjudicators will be monitoring the game over a 24-hour period from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. PST on April 7. Players can take part during that time frame through Monopoly Millionaires on Facebook and can RSVP to participate at the Global Monopoly Day event page on Facebook any time prior to 11:59 p.m. PST on April 7. As of right now, there are over 74 000 people “attending” the event.
“With Monopoly Millionaires, EA and Hasbro have brought the beloved family board game to a growing audience of tens of millions of people on Facebook,” said Katie Mitic, Director of Platform and Mobile Marketing, Facebook. “We’re excitedly anticipating the record to be set on Facebook as people share the whole experience with their friends.”
In addition to the record attempt, participants in global Monopoly Day on Facebook can get a chance to win a wealth of fun rewards. A total of $20,580 in prizes – the same amount of Monopoly money in Hasbro’s globally popular Monopoly board game – are available, including $5,000 in cash prizes, $5,000 in Visa® gift cards, various Apple® products, and many other great prizes. For a chance to win prizes, participants can enter the Monopoly Millionaires Sweepstakes through the Monopoly Millionaires Facebook app on April 7. No purchase necessary to participate. In addition, EA Mobile™ will host a sale on April 8th of Monopoly games for iPad™, Kindle™ and most mobile devices for all Global Monopoly Day participants to thank them for their involvement in the Guinness World Records attempt.
“Since its launch in February, Monopoly Millionaires has quickly become one of the most popular games on Facebook, delighting millions of enthusiastic players from around the world,” said Chip Lange, Senior Vice President of EA’s Hasbro Division. “We are reminded every day of the power of the passionate Monopoly community and can’t wait to see all the fans come out to help us set the Guinness World Record for the most people playing Monopoly Millionaires simultaneously on Facebook. With their support, we’re looking forward to Global Monopoly Day being an overwhelming success.”
Monopoly Millionaires is the first free-to-play social gaming version of the world’s favorite family game brand. Released by EA in February 2011, the title was the fastest growing Facebook game during the weeks of March 7 and March 14, and had a 472% increase in players from March 1 to April 1, 2011, according to AppData.
“The popularity of Monopoly Millionaires underscores the massive appeal and connection that the brand holds with consumers worldwide,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, Global Brand Leader for Monopoly at Hasbro. “Social gaming platforms such as Facebook have significantly broadened the Monopoly playing universe and events such as Global Monopoly Day celebrate the rich heritage and exciting future of a branded play experience that has been entertaining families for nearly eight decades.”
To celebrate Global Monopoly Day on Facebook, EA is promoting local meet ups around the globe through Meetup.com – the world’s largest network of local groups – in which fans can gather to play Monopoly Millionaires in the attempt to set the Guinness World Records title. For more information about how to organize and take part in a Global Monopoly Day meet-up, visit http://www.meetup.com/Global-Monopoly-Day.