Pojo's Friday News Page
August 26th - 2005
NEW ‘CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOORTM TRADING CARD GAME’ SEEKS
TO BE “NUMBUH ONE” AMONG YOUNG CHILDREN
Renton, Wash. (August 2005) — This summer. children
everywhere are invited to join the covert team of operatives
known as the Kids Next Door by playing the first-ever game
featuring the agents from Cartoon Network’s popular animated
series Codename: Kids Next Door. CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR
Trading Card Game (TCG), released by Wizards of the Coast, a
developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products
and a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., (NYSE: HAS), is especially
designed to appeal to young children new to the trading card
Codename: Kids Next Door, the story of five extraordinary
10-year-olds, who have formed a covert team called the Kids
Next Door launched on Cartoon Network in December 2002 and
quickly gained a loyal fan base. The Kids Next Door invites
kids to join a secret club empowering them to solve
extraordinary missions using technology and teamwork while
fighting for kids’ rights.
CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR TCG players start with a deck of
cards featuring the five agents on 5 different color cards.
On their turn, players decide if they want to engage in a
face-off competition using their top card, or instead place
that card into the Kids Next Door’s tree house headquarters.
Cards placed in the tree house help boost the power of cards
that are played in future face-offs.
When cards are played in a face-off, the player with the
higher number (which may get boosted by a card banked in the
tree house) wins the round. The first player to win 5 rounds
wins the game, ensuring an entire game can be played in five
minutes or less.
And what happens when each player plays a same-colored card?
Both players race to be the first to slap a giant panic
button placed on the playing mat to determine the round’s
“CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR TCG provides a fun and easy point
of entry for six to eight-year olds to begin enjoying the
fascinating game play found exclusively in trading card
games,” said Debbie Uttecht, Senior Brand Manager at Wizards
of the Coast. “The new game provides a foundation for
understanding the core elements of trading card games and
incorporates just enough strategy to match the skill level
of young children.”
The starter set, which includes cards, playing mat and panic
button, has a suggested retail price of $8.99. Booster
packs, which expand the game play, have a suggested retail
price of $2.99. Wizards of the Coast will produce the game
via a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer
The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Available In
CARLSBAD, CA – August 18, 2005 – Setting the mark as the
industry’s leader in innovation, Upper Deck Entertainment (UDE),
a division of The Upper Deck Company, announced today plans
to create and distribute a trading card game (TCG) based on
the biggest name in the Massively Multiplayer Online Role
Playing Game (MMORPG) genre, World of Warcraft®. Teaming up
with award-winning and internationally recognized online
computer gaming company Blizzard Entertainment®, Inc., Upper
Deck’s World of Warcraft TCG -- and it’s supporting
Organized Play programs -- will be available to consumers in
Spring of 2006.
“The World of Warcraft TCG will perfectly capture all of the
action-packed combat and furious competition that online
players have come to expect,” said Jerry Bennington, Senior
VP of Upper Deck Entertainment. “There are a myriad of
similarities between online and TCG gaming communities;
Blizzard and Upper Deck have focused on creating products
that both support and capture the imagination of these
gamers. With the combined efforts of these two great
companies the World of Warcraft TCG will be nothing less
“TCG’s have always been very popular with Blizzard’s
development teams, so we’re especially excited to be working
with Upper Deck to produce a card-based World of Warcraft
game,” commented Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment
president and co-founder. “In addition to offering our
players a new way to experience Azeroth, this new game will
also introduce World of Warcraft’s fantasy setting to a
whole new audience.”
“Upper Deck is proud to offer a robust organized play
structure which allows players to come together for special
events from all around the world,” said Jeff Donais, UDE
Director of Game Development. "Among the activities, players
will be able to build their decks and attend events that let
them challenge Onyxia, or raid Molten Core in an attempt to
defeat Ragnaros with the hopes of getting powerful Epic
cards. We expect a tempest of activity surrounding the game
and plan to support it to the fullest for many years to
World of Warcraft is currently one of the most popular
MMORPGs in the world, with more than three and a half
million paying customers playing the game in North America,
Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Europe, China and Singapore.
In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary
heroes and interact with thousands of other players online
as they explore, adventure and quest across a vast realm.
Whether journeying together or fighting against one other in
epic battles, players form friendships, forge alliances and
compete against enemies for power and glory.
WizKids Announces Battlestar Galactica CCG
August 18, 2005 (SEATTLE) — WizKids Inc., creator of the
runaway hit games HeroClix® and Pirates of the Spanish
Main™, announced today its agreement with Universal Studios
Consumer Products Group to develop a collectable card game (CCG)
based on the new SCI FI Channel Battlestar Galactica series.
“We couldn’t be happier to add our tradition of innovative
gaming to one of the hottest science fiction properties
available,” said Mike Samora, vice president of Sales and
Marketing at WizKids®. “The success of the television show
has introduced a new generation to the Battlestar Galactica
story, and a game is the natural expansion of that
introduction.” The game, slated for release in early 2006,
features characters, ships and familiar scenes from the
miniseries and television show on the SCI FI Channel.
Game play will mirror the intrigue of the television show:
Players won’t know whom to trust, who the Cylon agents are
or where the next attack will come from! Players will battle
for ownership of resources and influence in order to control
The Battlestar Galactica CCG will be supported by the
WizKids Approved Play program
Mage Knight: Nexus Releases!
August 24 2005 (SEATTLE) — WizKids Inc., creators of the
runaway hit games Pirates of the Spanish Main and HeroClix,
are proud to announce the release of Mage Knight Nexus, the
latest expansion for the Mage Knight Collectable Miniatures
“Mage Knight Nexus brings Mage Knight back to its roots,”
said Mike Samora, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for
WizKids Inc. “We offered updated versions of many favorite
characters from across the Mage Knight timeline, and gave
many of them new stats and paint schemes.” Mage Knight:
Nexus features over 144 figures, each of them with an
ability nexus and slots to wield Items and Relics – an
important ability in the Mage Knight game.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Mage Knight Nexus
would be the last release for the Mage Knight CMG in its
current format. The brand will continue on the PC with the
release of Mage Knight Apocalypse early next year.
KONAMI DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT, INC. LICENSES INTERACTIVE
GAMES BASED ON MARVEL ENTERPRISES, INC./ UPPER DECK COMPANY
TRADING CARD GAME
Gaming Industry Leader Adds Property To Its Stable Of Hugely
Successful Trading Card Based Video Games
LOS ANGELES – August 18, 2005 – Konami Digital
Entertainment, Inc. announced today a multi-year agreement
with Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and Upper Deck Entertainment
that gives Konami exclusive worldwide interactive rights to
develop games for current and next generation video game
systems based on Upper Deck Entertainment’s best-selling
Marvel Trading Card Game. This is the latest addition to
Konami’s collection of interactive trading card based
properties, which also includes the tremendously successful
“The Marvel characters are among the most recognizable icons
in popular culture, with a significant presence across all
media,” said Kazumi Kitaue, Chairman and CEO of Konami
Digital Entertainment, Inc. “When combined with Konami’s
experience in developing successful video games based on
trading card properties, this will give consumers a powerful
new way to interact with some of their favorite Marvel
characters, especially as the online community expands.”
"The Vs. System utilizes the strengths of the Marvel
characters and universe in a unique and compelling way,"
said Jerry Bennington, Vice President of Entertainment at
Upper Deck. "Upper Deck Entertainment is excited to be
working with industry giants such as Konami and Marvel
Enterprises on this amazing project."
“Given the vast popularity of the “Marvel Vs.” card game, we
are very excited to be working with both Upper Deck and
Konami in bringing “Marvel Vs.” to the world of interactive
gaming”, said Ames Kirshen, Vice President, Interactive at
Sci-fi fans flock by the thousands to Indiana gaming
From its humble beginnings in 1967 as a one-room meeting
with 200 board game fans, the convention known as Gen Con
has grown into a four-day confab of 5,300 gaming events -
including live-action role playing, a gamer Olympics,
fantasy card games and historical board games.
Konami Shuffles Marvel
Or at least snaps up the rights to the trading card game
Konami loooooves their trading games. The kind of
numbers that Yu-Gi-Oh pulls down show that they aren't the
only ones. Sure the real trading card game, the cartoon
built up around it and the masterful blending of marketing
and interactive real-life gaming that took place before Yu-Gi-Oh
ever hit the states was pure genius, but there is a real
It'd be criminal, then, not to capitalize on what could be
another up-and-coming TCG/game tie-in -- or so Konami
apparently believes -- since they took the plunge and
shelled out for the Marvel trading card game rights. Given
that the game's innovative Vs. System for one-on-one
character duels managed to net the TCG Inquest's 2005 Fan
Award and the GAMA 2005 Gamer's Choice award, it certainly
seems like a hot property.
Screens from Shaman King: Power of Spirit (PS2)
Sega Shells Out Cash for Gotoku
New Shenmue-like game costs almost as much as Shenmue.
Yesterday, SEGA officially unveiled Ryu Ga Gotoku, a new PS2
project set for Japanese debut later this year. In
development with producer Toshihiro Nagoshi at SEGA's NE R&D
Division, Ryu Ga Gotoku has many similarities with SEGA's
Dreamcast Shenmue project, including a massive scope and a
sense of reality about the world. Today, we learned of one
additional similarity: cost.
Worm in Pokemon emails
Clearly targeting the younger emailers, the worm arrives
with the email subject "Pikachu Pokemon". The email purports
to be from the Pikachu website and contains an attachment
file "pikachupokemon.exe" which will only run if the file
MSVBVM60.dll is installed and available on the system.
Pokémon Mysterious Dungeon screenshots emerge
First screenshots from the upcoming RPG for the Game Boy
Advance and the DS.
NINTENDO'S EURO WI-FI ON SCHEDULE
DS set to go online at Mario Kart launch, Animal Crossing
not too far behind!
Nintendo's Head of European Marketing, Jim Merrick, has
outlined the company's plans for their upcoming launch of
the much-vaunted Wi-fi Connection Service across Europe in
an interview with French website Puissance-Nintendo.
As with US and Japanese territories, Nintendo hopes to offer
wi-fi access via private home internet connections and
through public hotspots, pushing its vision of an
anywhere-anytime service for all DS owners.
Nintendo to release DS Rumble Pack; 170 games in Fall
Nintendo will bundle a Nintendo DS Rumble Pack with the
release of Metroid Prime Pinball on October 24th. The DS
Rumble Pack fits in the Game Boy Advance slot of the DS.
The company previously included a Rumble Pack with StarFox
64 for the Nintendo 64 in 1997.
In addition, Nintendo plans to release 170 new games this
Fall for the Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and GameCube.
No strong link seen between violent video games and
After an average playtime of 56 hours over the course of a
month with “Asheron’s Call 2,” a popular MMRPG, or
“massively multi-layer online role-playing game,”
researchers found “no strong effects associated with
aggression caused by this violent game,” said Dmitri
Williams, the lead author of the study.
Nintendo Unveils Micro Accessories August 18, 2005
Nintendo of Japan has revealed three accessories for the
upcoming Game Boy Micro.
What's a new-model game system launch without new
accessories? Apparently nothing, that's what, as Nintendo
has announced a few new accessories for the latest iteration
of the GBA, the Game Boy Micro. These items may not excite
anyone, but a few of them will prove useful for fans of
First up is a wireless adapter. Yes, it is capable of
communication with the somewhat recently released GBA
wireless adapter made famous by the Pokemon games it
supports. Next up is a standard link cable that can be used
for multiplayer games that don't support the wireless
adapter (which is most of them) and finally an adapter that
will allow the Micro's link up cable to be used with the
previous GBA models.
All three peripherals are on display on Nintendo of Japan's
Sega's Project J Revealed
A new Shenmue-like PS2 game from the Super Monkey Ball team.
As reported here at IGN a few weeks back, legendary Sega
producer Toshihiro Nagoshi (Super Monkey Ball, F-Zero GC,
Spikeout) is currently working on Project J, a new PS2 game
so big that SEGA promised to hold a press conference in late
August exclusively for its announcement. Well, it's late
August, and Sega has at last held the press conference. The
place: Club Heights in the red lights Kabukicho area of
Tokyo's Shinjuku ward. The subject: the announcement of
Project J, now formally known as "Ryu Ga Gotoku."
Ryu Ga Gotoku, a name that can be translated to English as
"Like a Dragon," is an action-adventure title with a story
and setting focusing on the darker side of Tokyo life.
GenCon 2005 Wrap-up
In which Delsyn rediscovers his love of gaming by hanging
out with people who -- ya know -- actually play games.
I've decided to come out of the closet. I'm a geek. That's
right. A 100% card-carrying geek, and I've decided to
declare it with pride. It's really easy to get jaded and
cynical in this business. Hang out in an utterly insane, fad
and hit-driven business like video games and you'll find
it's very easy to get caught up in the details and miss out
on the fact that gaming is supposed to be fun.. Going to
GenCon this year, though, offered me something I haven't had
a chance to do much of for a lot of years -- just be a
gamer. I was there to cover the videogame aspects of the
show, which I did. What I discovered, though, is there's a
whole world of analog gaming going on that I simply knew
nothing about. In between those moments I was hanging out at
the Blizzard booth playing Starcraft: Ghost or fooling
around with Fable: The Lost Chapters, I managed to sneak in
some time to play these wild board and card games I had
never heard of and revisit some old favorites I haven't
played in years.
Puffy AmiYumi will rock you
Japan has become an economic giant exporting Sony
electronics and Honda cars -- but over the past several
years, the country has been adding to its export menu with
the international cultural sale of Puffy AmiYumi, the cute
The Puffys already appear as cartoon figures on the Cartoon
Network, where they show up as anime versions of themselves
-- Ami and Yumi -- singing and mincing their way through the
"Pokémon" Deoxys Download Event
Nintendo is hunting down its biggest and boldest Pokémon
fans this Autumn to help search for the elusive Deoxys.
Pokémon fans across the country can download Aurora Tickets
onto their Pokémon LeafGreen version and Pokémon FireRed
version games. The Aurora Ticket allows players to visit the
previously inaccessible Birth Island and capture the elusive
Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green
Capturing Pokemon Pokedex
If You Enjoy Picking Up Virtual Doggy Doo, You'll Love
The 1970s had pet rocks. The '80s introduced the Chia Pet.
And the '90s brought the world the digital lives and deaths
of Tamagotchi. In 2005, can a company that built its
reputation on the back of an ape named Donkey Kong and a
plumber named Mario turn Americans into lovers of virtual
That's the gamble Nintendo is taking this week as it
releases a virtual puppy simulator called "Nintendogs," for
its Nintendo DS handheld, to a video game audience more
accustomed to guns, gangsters and football than fur,
squeak-toys and digital doggy doo.