Newsbriefs: Conan Beta, Sony Graffiti, Go Mario!

[UPDATED: 4:00pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Sandlot Games to distribute new casual title Burger Island, 100,000 beta users signing up for the forthcoming MMORPG Age of Conan, and Graffiti Entertainment b
[UPDATED: 4:00pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Sandlot Games to distribute new casual title Burger Island, 100,000 beta users signing up for the forthcoming MMORPG Age of Conan, and Graffiti Entertainment being granted publishing rights for the PS3 and PSP. - Value-priced casual PC game publisher eGames has announced a new agreement with casual game firm Sandlot Games (Cake Mania) to distribute eGames' upcoming fast food-themed Burger Island through online channels. Burger Island represents the third installment of eGames’ recently-initiated internal development efforts, following Boss Hunter: Revenge is Sweet! and Defender of the Crown: Heroes Live Forever. eGames officials note that additional titles from the company are currently in development as well. Free trials of Burger Island will be available soon at the newly relaunched eGames website, as well as on the Sandlot Games site and other online game portals. - Co-publishers Funcom and Eidos have announced that over the Easter holiday weekend more than 100,000 users signed up for the public beta for the PC version of the forthcoming MMORPG, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. In addition, the first 24 hours following the official opening of the beta earlier this month saw more than 50,000 gamers sign up to test the game, despite what the companies call a “demanding sign-up process.” First announced as a co-published effort in July 2006, SCi/Eidos will be publishing the boxed version of the game in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, while Funcom will retain the digital distribution rights to the game, and will operate servers and provide customer service for the game, as well as collect and retain subscription revenues. The PC version of game is currently being slated for an October 30th release, and while the game is also in development for the Xbox 360, little information concerning that version has been released since it was first announced. - Officials from Signature Devices subsidiary Graffiti Entertainment (Crazy Frog Racer) have announced that Sony Computer Entertainment America has granted the Redwood City headquartered company North American publishing rights for both the PlayStation 3 and PSP platforms. The news comes following a similar announcement from Graffiti Entertainment earlier this week, confirming that the company had also been granted publishing rights from Nintendo for both the Wii and DS platforms as well. According to Graffiti Entertainment, the company is now evaluating an unspecified number of titles for release on both platforms, with plans to have a selection of products available within the “next few months.” - A new album called “The Best of the Best: A Tribute to Game Music” will be available on May 1 exclusively from Game Music Central. The album will feature a collection of musical tracks performed by a “select group of celebrity video game composers.” Among those games represented in the collection will be The Legend of Zelda, Myst III: Exile, World of Warcraft, Metroid Prime, Medal of Honor, and Final Fantasy. In addition, the album will also include a Super Mario Bros. inspired track arranged and performed by composer Winifred Phillips, who has composed original music for several video games including God of War and the forthcoming Shrek the Third movie adaptation. Titled “Go Mario! (Super Mario Brothers)”, the music will serve as a tribute track saluting the 20th anniversary of the release of the original game. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at the 10 most influential games for the Amiga, an examination of 'Real Robots', and an episode guide to the popular Japanese show Game Center CX. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include news of WILL Interactive being issued a grant from CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield to introduce a pair of serious games into five D.C. charter schools to address school violence and drug abuse. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Blizzard Entertainment, Day 1 Studios, Destineer, Double Fusion, Electronic Arts Mobile Montreal, id Software, LucasArts, Massive Entertainment, Midway Games, Propaganda Games, Radical Entertainment, Riot Games, Snowblind Studios, Ubisoft, Vigil Games, WildTangent, and WXP3D. [UPDATE: April 13th, 4.30pm PST - Fixed erroneous crediting on game music news item.]

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