“Viva Piñata” Makes Its TV Debut September 9
CG animated series acts as springboard for new franchise from Microsoft, Rare and 4Kids Entertainment with Xbox 360 video game and full-range licensing program coming soon.
REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 8, 2006 — Viva Piñata™ — one of the most buzzed-about new kids’ entertainment properties of the year — from Microsoft Corp., Rare Ltd. and 4Kids Entertainment Inc. will make its debut this Saturday morning on 4Kids TV on FOX. The computer graphics (CG) animated series produced by 4Kids Entertainment and Bardel Entertainment will act as a springboard for the new franchise, which will also include an Xbox 360™ video game from Microsoft Game Studios and other licensed merchandise.
Created by U.K.-based developer Rare, Viva Piñata is the first property to be introduced as part of an alliance between Microsoft and 4Kids Entertainment. It not only marks Microsoft’s efforts to broaden the Xbox 360 audience beyond core gamers, it solidifies 4Kids’ role as a leader and innovator in the world of children’s entertainment marketing and licensing. Families can also gear up for even more piñata fun with the “Viva Piñata” video game, developed by Rare exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system; the game will be launched this holiday season.
“Today is an exciting day as we continue to reach out to new audiences and introduce families to a vibrant world that will not only entertain, but also inspire creativity and imaginations on many levels,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “People of all ages are invited into the Viva Piñata universe, where they will meet a cast of wacky characters and enjoy an immersive interactive experience with the Xbox 360 game and Viva Piñata merchandise.”
In addition to the Saturday morning 3-D animated television series, the Viva Piñata brand will offer a number of entertainment elements for everyone, from kids to adults, to enjoy. The Xbox 360 video game, which will hit store shelves in November, invites gamers to create their own environment where they can attract and host more than 60 species of wild piñatas and customize piñata-filled adventures in their unique, ever-growing world. “Viva Piñata” gameplay will continue to evolve with new content available via the Xbox Live® network and the ability to play, trade and interact with millions of gamers via the online gaming and entertainment network. An extensive product line of Viva Piñata-inspired merchandise across multiple categories will debut in 2007. The new “Viva Pinata” Web site, http://www.vivapinata.com, will be officially launched Sept. 11 and will feature the sights and sounds of Piñata Island.
“This is a brand the world will grow to know and love, thanks to a dynamic partnership with Microsoft Game Studios and Rare,” said Alfred R. Kahn, chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “The animated series premiere marks the first in a long line of exciting opportunities for kids and creative minds of all ages to interact with Viva Piñata, a brand that has the power to attract a diverse, worldwide audience.”
Following the strategic alliance announced in January 2006 with Microsoft, 4Kids’ exclusive representation agreement includes all broadcast, home video, music and merchandise licensing rights on a worldwide basis for the Viva Piñata property.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 24 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.
About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Microsoft® Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®”; Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as the upcoming “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo®,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport™”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”
About Rare Ltd.
Rare Ltd., one of the world’s leading video game developers, was founded in 1985 by Chris and Tim Stamper. Based in the United Kingdom, Rare is the mastermind behind some of the most popular video games available, including multimillion-dollar sellers “GoldenEye 007,” “Perfect Dark®,” “Banjo-Kazooie®” and “Donkey Kong 64.” In November 2005, Rare released “Perfect Dark: Zero™” and “Kameo™: Elements of Power™” for Xbox 360, the second-generation video games console from Microsoft, and continues to entertain the world with the upcoming release of “Viva Piñata.” For further information visit www.rareware.com.
About 4Kids Entertainment
Headquartered in New York City with an international office in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE), is a global provider of children’s entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing; product development; television, film, music and home video production and distribution; media planning and buying; and Web site development. For further information, please visit the Company’s Web site at www.4KidsEntertainment.com.
About 4Kids TV
4Kids TV, 4Kids Entertainment’s four hours of children’s programming broadcast Saturday mornings on FOX, features popular animated series for both boys and girls including Magical DoReMi™, Winx Club™, Bratz®, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®, Sonix X™ and G.I. Joe Sigma 6™. For more information, please visit www.4Kids.TV.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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