Activision Publishing said Tuesday that it signed a deal to develop and publish video games based on Zhu Zhu Pets -- fake hamsters that have sparked a toy craze this holiday season.
Activision Publishing signed the agreement with Zhu Zhu creators Cepia LLC, which is headed by Russ Hornsby, the person also responsible for Powerpuff Girls action figures.
The robotic rodents emulate real hamster behavior by moving around terrain, and acting affectionate with owners. The toys have been recognized on numerous toy of the year lists, and retail for $10, although markups have seen them hit four times that much, according to news reports.
Activision Publishing said that it believes the Zhu Zhu craze will continue into the new year -- the Zhu Zhu video games aren't due until next spring. "Zhu Zhu Pets' success in 2009 speaks for itself and we're confident it will be even bigger in 2010," said Activision Publishing's David Oxford.
Natalie Hornsby, director of marketing strategies at Cepia added, "Ever since Zhu Zhu Pets exploded in popularity, launching a video game has felt like a natural fit in product evolution."
Activision and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based GameMill will create and market the Zhu Zhu Pets games. The first game from the deal will release for Nintendo DS, and is currently under development by Springfield, Missouri-based BlackLantern.