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Gaming News Round-Up: February 10th, 2005

Today's round-up include a change of office for Z-Axis, an EyeToy-alike kids game console from Hasbro, and a notable change for a 2005 IGF finalist. - Activision's Z-Axi...
Today's round-up include a change of office for Z-Axis, an EyeToy-alike kids game console from Hasbro, and a notable change for a 2005 IGF finalist. - Activision's Z-Axis studio, creator of titles including Aggressive Inline, has moved its headquarters from Hayward, CA to Foster City, CA, to accommodate the developer's expanding staff. The new offices comprise a 23,000-square foot area, which Z-Axis intends to fill with an additional 50 employees, bringing its headcount from 90 to 140. "We currently have two high-profile games in development based on popular comic book characters [X-Men and Iron Man]," said Craig Alexander, general manager of Z-Axis, "and the additional space will allow us expand both of our teams, as well as to ramp up for pre-production on some exciting new projects." - Playskool Toys is launching a new standalone unit called the ION Educational Gaming System (EGS), which uses motion-capture technology similar to Sony's EyeToy peripheral for edutainment-based games. The system will come bundled with the camera and a disk with five games included, which will be based on preschool and elementary-level school subjects. Playskool has also lined up child-targeted licenses such as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Blue's Clues for use in the ION system. - Star Chamber, the Nayantara-developed PC online CCG finalist in the 2005 Independent Games Festival competition, has been picked up by Worlds Apart, creators of the Lord Of The Rings Online Trading Card Game, for further development and distribution. Worlds Apart has hired Paul Dennen, Star Chamber's creator, to assist in porting the card-based game over to Worlds Apart's technology, and to lead further Worlds Apart-sponsored content in the game. "With overwhelmingly positive reviews, including a perfect 10 for gameplay from Gamespot, Star Chamber has a huge amount of potential that we plan to realize with this collaboration," said Scott Martins, president of Worlds Apart.

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