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.