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'Video Games Live' Delivers Mind Blowing Music and Action From the Most Popular Video Games in a Live Entertainment Concert Event
Iconic Music From Chartbusting Games Mario(TM), Halo(R), Metal Gear Solid(R),
Final Fantasy(R), Warcraft (R) And More Featured
National Tour Kicks Off at the Hollywood Bowl July 6th
LOS ANGELES, May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
and Jack Wall (Jade Empire, Myst III: Exile, Splinter Cell), and Clear Channel
Music Group today announced a groundbreaking event tour, Video Games Live, an
immersive, audio and video concert experience. Produced by Tallarico and
Wall's Mystical Stone Entertainment LLC, and promoted by Clear Channel Music
Group, the national tour launches this summer at the world famous Hollywood
Bowl in Los Angeles on July 6. Video Games Live features music from some of
the biggest video games performed by top orchestras and choirs across the
country combined with video footage, lasers, lights and live action to create
an explosive and unique entertainment experience.
Some of the greatest game franchises and music ever created are being
showcased including Mario(TM), Zelda(R), Halo(R), Metal Gear Solid(R),
Warcraft(R), Myst(R), Final Fantasy(R), Castlevania(R), Medal of Honor(TM),
Sonic(TM), Tron(C), Tomb Raider(R), Advent Rising, Headhunter, Beyond Good &
Evil(TM), Splinter Cell(R), Ghost Recon(TM), Rainbow Six(R), EverQuest(R) II
and even a classic arcade game medley featuring games from Pong(R) to Donkey
Kong(R). World class orchestras accompanied by a choir and selected soloists
will perform against a backdrop of state-of-the-art video and laser sequences,
which are being specially designed for each of the game vignettes with some
segments adding live characters on stage.
"Fans of video games are going to be amazed at what we have in store for
them. Never before has the music of video games been presented on this scale.
Live entertainment is about to evolve," said Tommy Tallarico, co-creator of
Video Games Live and one of the top game music composers. "Video games have
become one of the most thrilling and electrifying forms of entertainment in
the 21st century. We intend to capture that same excitement level to help
create the ultimate celebration of video games for everyone to enjoy."
"Video game music is not bleeps and bloops anymore. People are absolutely
shocked when they hear this music," stated Jack Wall, co-creator of Video
Games Live and leading game music composer. "This music represents a true art
form. The success of this tour will demonstrate to the world that video game
music can command the attention of gamers and non-gamers alike."
Following the Hollywood Bowl launch, where the Los Angeles Philharmonic
will perform while lasers light up the Southern California night sky, Video
Games Live will travel to such celebrated venues as Red Rocks in Denver, CO,
Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA and Tweeter Center in Boston, MA, among others.
"The partnership between our company and Mystical Stone Entertainment will
produce a blockbuster tour and unparalleled fan experience," said Brad Wavra,
Touring Vice President for Clear Channel Music Group. "There are millions of
video game fans in the US, who know and love the games, music and the entire
scene, and we believe they will flock to this event."
There will be an additional segment in the show where chosen audience
members will compete against each other and play a video game live on-stage.
The game will appear on a massive screen while the orchestra plays the music
and follows the action in real time.
"You don't have to be into video games to experience the music, intensity
and excitement that this event will offer," said Marc Geiger, William Morris
Agency executive and co-founder of Lollapalooza. "I believe Video Games Live
will impact entertainment in the same way that Lollapalooza radically changed
the landscape of alternative music and the concert event experience." The
first leg of the tour was booked in major cities and venues across North
America by the William Morris Agency.
THE Pinball Wizard is back
Apr 29 2005
! The Who's legendary rock musical Tommy has embarked on a UK tour which is at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent from May 2-7.
Tommy is the story of a deaf, dumb and blind kid who endures a life of torment and ridicule until the day he happens to play a pinball machine and suddenly breaks free - becoming the Pinball Wizard and an international superstar.
Pete Townshend joined forces with theatrical legend Des McAnuff to create this timeless, rocking, high-energy show, which features some of
The Who's most famous hit songs including Pinball Wizard, See Me, Feel Me and I'm Free.
Tommy was first released as a rock opera concept album in 1969. It was officially premiered at Ronnie Scott's in London and was also performed at the Woodstock Music Festival in August that same year.
Tommy went on to become a 1970s cult classic film directed by Ken Russell and featuring Elton John, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner,
Ann Margret and Jack Nicholson and was then expanded and reworked into a live theatrical event in the 1990s.
It was nominated for 11 Tony awards and went on to scoop five awards, including best score - as well as winning the Grammy Award for best musical show album.
Tommy stars Jonathan Wilkes - a well-established theatrical leading man. His recent appearances include leads in Godspell, Grease and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
For more details, contact the box office on 0870 060 6649.
Bad News, Good Video Games
'Act of War,' new 'Splinter Cell,' 'Narc' offer twists on real problems
By Tom Loftus
Updated: 3:44 p.m. ET April 22, 2005
"Act of War: Direct Action" kicks off with videos of terrorist attacks, riots against high oil prices and slimy oil executives pow-wows.Are we playing a game here, or watching the evening news? As the planet heads to hell in a hand basket, game developers, ever the optimists, are busily mining the bad news for game ideas.
advertisementdocument.write('When this works, gamers reap the benefits of a thrilling story and more exotic locations than a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue photo shot. When it doesn't, well, it's still not as depressing as the evening news.Three recently released video games have the action bouncing from Lima to unknown urban streets populated by crooked cops. "Act of War: Direct Action"As the title indicates, the energy crisis fueling the plot in this old-fashioned strategy game won't be solved with car-pooling. Like "Command and Conquer" and "Warcraft," "Act of War" is a real-time strategy game where play revolves around using available resources to build a military infrastructure, including things such as factories and oil refineries. You then use this infrastructure to create ant-like armies and tanks that you take to do battle against enemies assembling just beyond your field of view.The enemies in the single-player version are the "Consortium," a shadowy army of terrorists who may or may not have a role in the energy crisis. Players assume the role of the U.S. Army or Task Force Talon, also U.S. military but in tighter clothes
Namco Museum Celebrates 50 Years Of Namco
Posted by (3 May 2005, 11:08 p.m. NZST)
Namco Museum 50th Anniversary is coming this August to the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC. In honour of the company's 50th anniversary, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary introduces 14 exciting, classic games from the 70's and 80's to a new generation of gamers.
"Namco Museum 50th Anniversary brings countless hours of family-friendly entertainment to gamers everywhere," said Jeff Lujan, business director, Namco Hometek Inc. "With Pac-Man, Galaga, Pole Position, and more, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection offers 14 landmark games in a single package."
The single largest compilation of Namco Arcade Classics ever, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection allows players to explore a virtual arcade hall where each of the game's classic titles will be standing in its original arcade form. Players will also be able to post high scores to the Xbox Live Leader boards for the Xbox version.
While previous versions of Namco Museum contained up to 12 titles, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection contains 14 Namco original arcade titles.
Games included: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Pole Position, Pole Position II, Rolling Thunder, Rally X, Bosconian, Dragon Spirit, Sky Kid, Xevious, Mappy.
The Game Boy Advance version includes only the Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and Rally-X games.
For more information about Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Collection, visit www.namco.com.
Video-Game Bill Would Do Violence To First Amendment
Fearful that new publishing technology would undermine the Catholic Church, Pope Paul IV created the Index of Prohibited Books expressly forbidding individuals from reading blasphemous books. Although centuries have passed since the Index, its Luddite fear thrives in contemporary video game censorship.
Today, the Assembly Arts and Entertainment Committee will review a bill by Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, that would restrict minors' access to certain ``ultra'' violent video games. Although well-intended, Yee's bill represents the scariest approach to unwanted expression. AB 450 not only violates the First Amendment, but also dangerously conflates violence with obscenity.
Video games have made significant advancements since the days of ``Pong'' and ``Frogger.'' With those advancements, anti-violence advocates claim that expression standards must adapt. But, the First Amendment was designed to protect such technological innovations. When our founders debated the adoption of the First Amendment, every attempt to weaken the amendment was soundly defeated. Consequently, new technologies like radio, television and the Internet have all been recognized as protected means of expression.
A more persuasive medium?
Additionally, the claim that video games are more persuasive than other technologies is patently false. Art and literature engage the audience just as much as a video game. Orson Wells' ``War of the Worlds'' broadcast caused people to believe martians had invaded a town. Television and movies were thought to put viewers into a trance. At their core, video games are nothing more than stories expressing an author's ideas.
No different than the murderous plots of Shakespeare, video games tell stories that engage the audience. With some video-game scripts longer than movie scripts, video games have elaborate sets, plots, and even actors. Video games, such as in the James Bond series, take the audience through each scene of a film. Or, in the case of the ``Final Fantasy,'' ``Tomb Raider,'' and ``Mortal Kombat,'' video games have actually spawned full-length feature films.
Because video games have literary value and tell stories, the Supreme Court has ruled that the strict scrutiny standard must be applied when regulating content. Under this standard, the government must demonstrate a compelling interest in regulating speech. The Supreme Court has never found that limiting children's access to violence is a compelling interest.
Obviously, children are restricted from pornographic and obscene material. Yet, the obscenity standard is not based merely on something being offensive. In Miller vs. California, the Supreme Court ruled that the material must appeal to prurient interests. The court has based this standard on substantiated evidence that sexual material is harmful to children.
Under no circumstances does violence meet this obscenity standard, or justify conflating obscenity with violence. While advocates claim that video-game users are more aggressive, no causal data exists to show that video games cause violent behavior.
A disturbing precedent
Even more disturbing than the lack of casual data is the precedent that such a standard would set. The greatest works of art and literature would now be subject to the same standard. Under this new violence standard, everything from Shakespeare to the Bible could be censored because of its violent content.
In addition to violence being protected speech, the Supreme Court has ruled that children have First Amendment rights. In both Erznoznik vs. City of Jacksonville and Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment is not exclusive to adults. Young people need access to information in order to form reasoned opinions.
Lower courts have already soundly rejected violent video-game restrictions, and the Assembly Arts and Entertainment Committee should follow their lead. In American Amusement Machine Association vs. Kendrick, the United States 7th District Court of Appeals summed up the importance of young people understanding violence: ``People are unlikely to become well-functioning, independent-minded adults and responsible citizens if they are raised in an intellectual bubble.''
Technological advancements are not an excuse to restrict expression. Among the authors banned by the Index were John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and John Stuart Mill. Not coincidentally, our founding fathers referenced those same philosophers when constructing our First Amendment. While ``Grand Theft Auto'' and ``Mortal Kombat'' do not rival the works of Locke or Mill, the First Amendment makes no distinction when protecting them.
JOHN HRABE is president of the California Legislative Institute, a non-partisan public policy think tank. He wrote this article for the Mercury News.
$1,000,000 Tournament Grand Prize Largest in Video Game History
'RYL: Path of the Emperor Video Game' Now Available for Pre-Order at 1,800 Retail Locations
COSTA MESA, Calif., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Planetwide Games (http://www.ryl.net) announced today that leading video game retailer, EB Games, has begun selling "RYL: Path of the Emperor" in its North American and Canadian stores, according to Kevin Donovan, President of Planetwide Games. "RYL" is one of the world's most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.
As of today, EB Games stores have made available the "RYL: Path of the Emperor" pre-order box featuring a trial version of this brand-new Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Paying Game. The pre-order box is available in stores for $5.00, which counts as a down payment towards the $49.99 retail box that will be available June 21, 2005. The pre-order customers who purchase the game at retail or online at http://www.ebgames.com will be qualified to enter the $1,000,000 tournament that starts on July 1, 2005. These customers will also be delivered an exclusive virtual item that will be inserted into the player's account, once the full version is purchased.
"Planetwide Games is pleased to be working with and distributed by EB Games in North America and Canada," said Kevin Donovan. "'RYL: Path of the Emperor' has become a live interactive global community. "RYL" is the first fantasy MMORPG to be comprised of true Player vs. Player and Guild vs. Guild action. RYL's 100% realistic 3D game engine features one the most advanced and highly intuitive combat system in the video game industry."
"RYL: Path of the Emperor" is the first MMORPG to offer a $1,000,000 Grand Prize to the winner of a Player vs. Player Skill-Based Tournament. The "RYL" qualifying tournament will start July 1, 2005 and will end April 30, 2006, culminating in a "RYL: Path of the Emperor" Final Tournament event to be broadcast live and to take place in conjunction with the E3 Video Game Expo in May 2006. Interested players can view more details about the tournament rules and regulations at http://www.RYL.net.
"RYL: Path of the Emperor" is a persistent universe or role-playing game (RPG). "RYL" players start off at Level 1, with minimal skills and abilities, but over time they gain experience points, through achievement, which allows them to advance to Level 2, and beyond. As "RYL" players advance to each level they discover new and stronger skills, which assist them in their ability to try and survive during all encompassing battles against powerful monsters.
In the game, players can choose from 20 character classes and assume the role of a Warrior, Cleric, Mage, and Assassin and then explore the many exotic locations within boundless miles of terrain and virtual real estate. In "RYL: Path of the Emperor," players meet other players in a diverse real time environment where thousands of players simultaneously compete and take part in specific quests and missions, fight monsters and other players, battle in Guild vs. Guild duels, buy, sell and trade virtual merchandise, build fortresses and even raise their own virtual Dragon. Lastly, "RYL" players have the chance to receive the ultimate gaming reward; to become the actual Emperor of RYL, Rule over the Land and win $1,000,000.
Some of the many innovative features of "RYL: Path of the Emperor" include:
-- True Player vs. Player (PVP) Action
-- Guild vs. Guild Battles
-- Customized Character Creation
-- Hundreds of Quests
-- Compelling and Intuitive Combat System
-- Innovative, Customizable "Skill System"
-- Upgradeable and Limitless Armor and Weapons System
-- Build Fortresses
-- Raise a Virtual Dragon for Battle
-- Create Flying Siege Gliders
-- Commandeer Battering Rams
-- Persistent Universe
-- Thousands of Miles of Treacherous and Exotic Terrain
-- Virtual Real Estate Ownership
-- Become the Emperor and Rule the Land
About Planetwide Games
Based in Costa Mesa, CA, Planetwide Games (a Bluetorch On-Line Games, Inc. company) is establishing itself as a provider of leading online video games and interactive entertainment. Planetwide Games also develops proprietary online technology, software products, and is building a worldwide network of affiliates to distribute their games. Visit http://www.RYL.net or http://www.PlanetwideGames.com.
Video Games Go Active - The Growth of Exertainment
Kids these days have so many entertainment options when it comes to staying preoccupied - movies, video games, surfing the web, instant messaging, listening to music, talking on the phone, shopping and the list goes on and on. How many times do you find yourself saying, "I wish we had this when we were kids?" Before you answer that question, hold that thought and now ask yourself "What did I do for fun when I was a kid?" Chances are most of things you did when you were a kid are not what kids are doing today. Let's look at one example.
History: Jason has worked in the interactive entertainment industry for over nine years and the music industry for three years. Since joining Konami in 1999 he has worked on Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Contra, Silent Hill, Karaoke Revolution, DDR and more.
Highlights: Responsible for bringing the home version of DDR stateside and launching it in 2001, total cumulative sales of Dance Dance Revolution have exceeded 2.5 million units in North America.
Currently: Jason is currently a product manager for Konami Digital Entertainment - America based in Redwood City, California. He has launched nearly 40 titles on every major platform and most recently launched Metal Gear Acid for the PSP.Remember when we would come home from school and immediately drop our bags to go outside and play with friends? We played well into the evening and always dreaded hearing our parents call us in for dinner, but once dinner was done, we were back outside playing and having fun until dusk. On occasion, we would skip going outside to play with toys or video games, but these other forms of entertainment could never compare or replace playing outside.These days kids have more entertainment options vying for their available time and most of these activities are indoor focused. Young people today spend forty-four-and-a-half hours a week using media (TV, music, handheld or console gaming, going online, movies, reading, etc.)—the equivalent of a full time job with overtime—and they spend more time with media than any other activity besides sleeping.1 The multitude of indoor options available to kids has created a generation where playing outside would be considered boring or unattractive. This increasing trend in sedentary activities has led to an inactive lifestyle where kids are less responsive to daily physical activity. Research has shown the incidence of obesity and other health-related problems increases with more time spent in sedentary activities.2Video games are becoming more of a sedentary activity, as the player remains engrossed in the gameplay experience for longer intervals of time. Advances in video game technology have turned playing a single video game into a major time investment. Action games typically run 10-20 hours on average, RPGs run 25-50 hours on average and online games offer limitless hours of gameplay. That's a considerable shift compared to the early days of gaming where games were played in short bursts and playing more than an hour was rare.Just as technology has the power to keep kids preoccupied indoors, it also has the power to get kids up and active in a way that appeals to them. This is where buzzwords like "exertainment" come into play. While the concept of exertainment is relatively new, it is a growing trend that fuses electronic entertainment and fitness. For example, take your normal exercise bike and add an LCD screen. Now the rider can race other competitors in an on-screen video game. The simple addition of racing competitors makes the usual act of hitting the exercise bike for 30 minutes a lot more enjoyable and interesting.
New Multi Arcade Game Sale Today
Mile High Pinball
Press release supplied by Games Press 17:54 02/05/2005
Play pinball like you've never played before with the frighteningly addictive "Mile High Pinball" on the N-Gage game deck. Collect points, collectibles, and power-ups as you ascend through 80+ pinball stages. Go up against mini-bosses or challenge a friend as your love of pinball keeps liftin' you higher and higher to never-before-seen boards.
Developed by Bonus.com, "Mile High Pinball" offers a Beat-My-Challenge feature where players create their own pinball map and upload it to N-Gage Arena for others to beat. Gamers can also upload rankings, trade balls and a slew of strategic power-ups, and even create their own tournaments.
"Mile High Pinball" is scheduled to be in retail stores this fall.
AREA 51, Midway Games/Inevitable
While it doesn't all make perfect sense and Duchovny's monotone voice can grow tiresome, there's still plenty of amusement to be had in blowing away an assortment of aliens, including skinny gray beings, mutant soldiers and robotic assassins. With an assortment of environments to explore and a huge arsenal of weapons, Area 51 offers plenty of variety but little rest -- you'll be constantly ducking and covering from the fire of your all-too-smart enemies.
Area 51 excels in both its graphics and its audio, which also features such Hollywood talent as Powers Boothe (who barks commands on your radio) and Marilyn Manson (the voice of a crazy, jar-encased telepathic monster). Once you've run through the 15 levels of its single-player mode, up to 16 gamers can complete online. This game does have plenty of strong competition, much of it more innovative (for instance, Doom 3, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, Project: Snowblind and Halo 2), but it does provide an entertaining ride. -- John Gaudiosi
Bandai to Buy Namco for $1.7 Billion in Cash, Stock
May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bandai Co., creator of ``The Power Rangers,'' agreed to buy ``Pac-Man'' designer Namco Ltd. for about 175.3 billion yen ($1.7 billion) in cash and stock to create Japan's second-biggest toy and video-game software maker.
Bandai purchased 6.3 percent of Namco for 10.5 billion yen in cash, according to a joint statement released today. Namco shareholders will then receive 1 share each in a new combined company per Namco share, valuing their stock at 1,597.5 yen a share, about 14 percent higher than April 28's close.
The merged company will have more funds to develop video games for the $20 billion global market, matching increased spending by larger rival Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., formed in a merger seven months ago, and U.S. companies such as Microsoft Corp. A wider range of characters will also help the new company spur sales of toys, arcade games and cell-phone downloads.
``It's positive because they can complement each other's weakness,'' said Ryoji Nagaoka, an equity strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co. ``Bandai has abundant characters but is behind in terms of technology. Namco has graphic technology to develop games for game centers but has no outstanding characters apart from Pac-Man.''
The Tokyo-based companies will combine Sept. 29 under the name Namco Bandai Holdings Inc., which will be led by Bandai President Takeo Takasu and Namco Vice Chairman Kyushiro Takagi. Bandai, which also owns characters such as ``Digimon'' and ``Mobile Suit Gundam,'' and Namco, which makes the ``Tekken'' martial arts fighting series, will meet the press at 4 p.m.
Bandai shares fell 2.5 percent to 2,335 yen as of 2:27 p.m. in Tokyo, after dropping as much as 3.8 percent. Namco shares rose 8.8 percent to 1,530 yen, headed for their biggest gain since November 2003. The companies' shares were suspended for the first one and a half hours of trading, following an earlier report of the merger plan by the Nihon Keizai newspaper.
Japan's stock markets were shut Friday for a public holiday.
Bandai gets more than half of its sales from plastic models, trading cards, and other toys and hobby products, and about a fifth of revenue from video games software and stand-up video games consoles used in arcades.
Namco, which competes with Sega in Japan's amusement center market, gets more than 60 percent of its revenue from arcade machines and earnings from running its own game centers. Sales of video game software, which it makes for consoles developed by Nintendo Co., Sony Corp. and Microsoft, account for about a quarter of sales.
``Merging is one way of surviving in an industry that is very much nearing maturity, especially in Japan where the birth rate is low,'' said Yuuki Sakurai, who helps manage the equivalent of $4.7 billion of Japanese equities at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. ``It's unclear whether this merger will remain positive for the companies in the medium to long-term'' because of the ``difficult'' business environment.
Past merger attempts in the industry have failed. Sega and Bandai scrapped a plan to combine in 1997, citing differences in corporate cultures and product lines, while Namco pulled out of a merger proposal with Sega in May 2003.
Revenue at 17 global video game publishers fell 3 percent from a year earlier to $24.5 billion in fiscal 2004, DFC Intelligence, a San Diego-based market researcher, said on its Web site. Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts Inc. and Microsoft were the top four game software makers, DFC Intelligence said.
The cost for making video game is rising, as faster chips and high-definition graphics require developers to add more detail. Making a video game ``is getting to be more and more like making a movie,'' Microsoft's J Allard, a corporate vice president who helps run the company's Xbox unit, said in an interview in January.