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Gaming News Round-Up: November 2nd, 2004

Today's distinctly non U.S. election-themed, light-hearted round-up includes GameCube dance madness, Majesco's Swedish vacation, and the warm fluffiness of the rapturousl...
Today's distinctly non U.S. election-themed, light-hearted round-up includes GameCube dance madness, Majesco's Swedish vacation, and the warm fluffiness of the rapturously awaited Hello Kitty MMORPG. - Peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz Interactive today announced plans to publish its first video game. Entitled MC Groovz Dance Craze, the game is the first dancing game for the GameCube, and will be bundled with a packed-in dance pad for $49.99 USD, or as a stand-alone title for $29.99 USD. MC Groovz Dance Craze will feature 29 songs from artists, including Jessica Simpson, Kevin Lyttle and Jewel, and modes of play including: Just Dance, Dance Together, Dance Face Off and Dance Workout. The game is due this holiday season, carrying the ESRB rating of “E” for everyone, and is an interesting move into what the peripheral maker must think is an unexplored, kid-friendly niche for GameCube owners wanting to play Dance Dance Revolution-styled games on their consoles. In somewhat related news, popular Andamiro-created Korean dancing game Pump It Up Exceed has been announced for Asian release on the PlayStation 2 later this month, featuring more than 100 songs and a packed-in dance mat, although a Western release has yet to be confirmed. - New York-based publisher Majesco and Swedish developer Starbreeze this afternoon announced that the two have teamed up to develop an as yet non-specific next-generation console title. Starbreeze, best-known for the criticially acclaimed The Chronicles Of Riddick for Vivendi Universal Games on the Xbox, are the latest product acquisition in an expansion from budget titles for Majesco, which recently announced a deal to publish Tim Schafer-created psychedelic action game Psychonauts, as well as a Jaws-licensed shark attack game from Ecco The Dolphin developers Appaloosa Interactive. In other Majesco news, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed today that Majesco is looking to extend its BloodRayne vampire action game franchise into new mediums. Following prior comic book and film announcements, the filing mentioned that Majesco is currently in negotiations to develop a BloodRayne animated series, action figure line, and other merchandise. The company recently shipped the Terminal Reality-developed BloodRayne 2 game for multiple SKUs. - Hong Kong-based publisher, Typhoon Games and Sanrio jointly announced today plans to launch a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) based on the long running Hello Kitty franchise. The game, named Hello Kitty Online World, is due by the end of 2004, timed to coincide with the series' 30 year anniversary, and will have players assuming the role of up to three characters, each with their own name, appearance and personality. Hello Kitty Online World will put an emphasis on player friendships and communication for in-game problem solving, and will include 15 occupations (teacher, trader, doctor, actor, etc) and five shops for players to use. While price is unknown, Hello Kitty Online World will carry a modest monthly subscription fee when launched in Asia later this year, and claims to offer players the chance to "play a MMORPG in the realm of love and friendship."

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