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Newsbriefs: Wii VC Releases, Agatha Christie Wii, MapleStory NA Subscribers

[UPDATED: 10:51am PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include the latest games (including Namco classic Splatterhouse) released on the Wii's Virtual Console, Agatha Christie heading to the Wii, and Nexon's casual MMO MapleStory
[UPDATED: 10:51am PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include the latest batch of games to be released over the Wii's Virtual Console, an Agatha Christie adventure game heading to the Wii, and Nexon's casual Korean MMO MapleStory surpassing three million registered users in North America. - Nintendo has released three “new” games for download over the Wii's Virtual Console. Purchasable from the Wii's online Wii Shop Channel, the games released today include NES classic ExciteBike for 500 Wii Points ($5), Sega's Ancient developed Beyond Oasis action adventure for the Genesis for 800 Wii Points ($8), and the TurboGrafx-16 version of Namco's visceral arcade classic Splatterhouse for 600 Wii Points ($6). - Niche adventure game publisher The Adventure Company has announced that a version of its PC title Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None is currently in development for the Wii, with a release expected in November. The game's story centers on ten strangers who are invited to a mysterious islands, and are quickly caught up in a string of murders. Explaining how the Wii's controller will be used within the game, a statement released by The Adventure Company explains, “players will have the freedom to control their character’s actions, such as using a digging motion to unearth clues, or spinning the handle of a safe using the Wiimote; and the introduction of timed puzzles where, for example, players must race up a set of stairs from a boat docked below.” - Officials from Nexon America, the U.S. arm of Korean online game publisher Nexon (Kingdom of the Wind), have announced that the company's first release, MapleStory, has exceeded three million registered users in North America. The casual MMO's success comes as Nexon America prepares for the upcoming April launch of Audition, a free-to-play, massively multiplayer online rhythm game. In addition, Nexon also announced that it has issued a second print run for its Nexon Game Cards at Target stores nationwide. The cards allow players to redeem real dollars for virtual in-game items and accessories within MapleStory and the upcoming Audition. - Major publisher and developer Ubisoft has announced a partnership with Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Consumer Products to develop video games based on Sony Pictures Animation's upcoming CG feature film, Surf's Up. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 8, 2007, with the games arriving shortly before on May 22 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and PC. Developed by Ubisoft's Montreal studio, the games will include voice overs from the movie's cast, licensed music, 10 playable characters, and numerous locations and events from the movie. "Keeping with its goal to secure strong partnerships and to be one of the leading developers of movie-based games, Ubisoft has worked closely with Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Consumer Products to develop a video game that captures the adventure and excitement from the movie," commented Tony Key, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft on the announcement.

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