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Newsbriefs: Telltale Does CSI, Age of Conan 360, Sims Greets Seasons

[UPDATED: 3:15pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Telltale Games entering the world of network drama CSI, Funcom's MMOG Age of Conan coming to the Xbox 360, and a seasonal addition for Electronic Arts' Sims.
[UPDATED: 3:15pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Telltale Games entering the world of network drama CSI, Funcom's MMOG Age of Conan coming to the Xbox 360, a seasonal addition for Electronic Arts' Sims. - Publisher Ubisoft has announced that, in conjunction with CBS consumer products, it has begun development on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Hard Evidence, based on the hit CSI tv series, to launch on PC in Spring 2007. The game will be developed by Telltale Games (Bone, Sam'n'Max), and will feature the cast of the show using realistic forensics techniques and lab equipment to solve crimes. New to the CSI game franchise will be, as Ubisoft puts it, "a garage lab for analyzing large evidence such as cars and boats, improved evidence gathering, review and lab mini-games, and more areas to explore," which the publisher promises will add up to a more lengthy gameplay experience. - Officials from energy drink manufacturer BAWLS Guarana announced that the company has donated a year’s worth of its high-caffeine drink to the Child's Play Charity, a gamer-focused toy drive organized by web-comic Penny Arcade. Dubbed “Year O’BAWLS”, the item will be put on the auction block at the event's 2006 Child’s Play Auction Dinner. The charity, now in its fourth year, plans to hold its annual charity auction dinner this week, during which attendees will be able to purchase rare and one of a kind collectibles, with all proceeds going to assist those hospitals within the charity's network. Last year, the charity dinner raised an impressive $82,100, while the drive amassed over $420,000 in donations. Last week Child's Play officials confirmed that the event had already surpassed this value with $495,000 in donations. - Funcom has announced that the company's forthcoming MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has been given the green light from Microsoft for development on the Xbox 360. The PC version of the game, which is being positioned as a showpiece for the forthcoming Windows Vista PC operating system, has been in development for some time, and has garnered a number of accolades from the consumer press, including “Best MMO of E3” from IGN, GameSpot, GameSpy and Yahoo. Funcom officials note that more information concerning the publisher, release date and potential console specific features of Age of Conan will be revealed at a later date. - Electronic Arts has announced the latest expansion pack for its blockbuster franchise The Sims, due February of 2007. Entitled The Sims 2 Seasons, the update will add the full four seasons to The Sims 2, with all the accompanying weather effects, new wardrobes, and seasonal activity. Players' Sims can now freeze, get sunburns, build snowmen, garden and harvest for effect boosting vegetable potions, ice skate, and go fishing. The expansion also adds six new career paths for a Sim, including adventuring, gaming, music, law, journalism, and education. The expansion will be released in Europe on February 23rd, and will follow in America on the 27th. - Officials from Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc (SCEA) have announced the latest installment of its Major League Baseball franchise exclusively for Sony products, MLB 07 The Show, due in Spring 2007 for the PS3, PS2, and PSP. MLB 07 brings in new core features to the series, including a 'Road to The Show' mode, which lets players create their own rookie to try and rise through the ranks to a starting line-up, Online League Play with stat tracking, point benefits and full customization, and a 'My Sliders' feature allowing gamers to create settings to upload to the MLB 07 The Show server for others to try. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at inexpensive gaming choices for the PC and Dreamcast, pictures from the Pinball Hall Of Fame, and impressions of Dynamite Deka Ex for the arcade. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include the announcement of the winners of the recent Serious Games Showcase & Challenge. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include case studies and points of contention surrounding MMO addiction, and a call for papers for the Third Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Offset Software, Reakktor Media GmbH, and THQ.

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