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Round Up: Jade Empire PC, Kotick Speech, Viva Pinata Cartoon

Today's round-up includes news of Jade Empire coming to the PC, Activision's Robert Kotick presenting at the Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference, and th...
Today's round-up includes news of Jade Empire coming to the PC, Activision's Robert Kotick presenting at the Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference, and the cartoon adaptation of Viva Pinata premiering this Saturday, as well as the latest Game Career Guide updates, Serious Games Source posts, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings. - Take-Two publishing arm 2K announced that it will publish the PC version of BioWare's action RPG, Jade Empire, which was originally released for the Xbox in 2005. Titled Jade Empire: Special Edition, the new version will feature enhanced graphical resolutions and a number of new additions when it reaches retail in early 2007. Among the new features added into the PC version will be new fighting styles, as well as new monsters and enemies with enhanced AI. The game will also include customizable controls and a new art book in the box. "With Jade Empire's extensive list of accolades and BioWare's industry-wide respect as a developer, 2K is delighted to bring the beloved Jade Empire franchise to the PC," said Christoph Hartmann, President, 2K. - Activision today announced that its chairman and CEO, Robert Kotick, will be presenting at the upcoming Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference on September 12. The presentation will take place at 9:45am PT at The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Kotick will join other video game executives scheduled to speak at the event, including THQ's president and CEO Brian Farrell and Electronic Arts' chief financial and administrative officer Warren Jenson. In addition to being heard by those in attendance, all presentations at the conference will also be made available online via simultaneous webcast. - Viva Pinata, the 3D-animated cartoon series developed concurrently with the upcoming Rare-developed Xbox 360 title of the same name, makes its debut tomorrow morning on the Fox Network's Saturday morning lineup in the United States. The show follows a number of sentient piñatas who inhabit Pinata Island, waiting for the day that they are chosen to fulfill their roles as suppliers of candy at parties and events. Created by U.K.-based developer Rare, Viva Pinata is set to debut on the Xbox 360 this November. In addition, a product line of Viva Pinata-inspired merchandise across multiple categories will debut in 2007. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at Grasshopper-developed Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked for the PlayStation 2, Sid Meier and Will Wright parodied in horrific ways, and an officially licensed NRA game from Crave. - The latest updates on Gamasutra's sister site Serious Games Source include news of a new software promotion from Autodesk to aid the development of training and simulation-based serious games. - News on Gamasutra's game education sister site Game Career Guide includes news of James Haldy appointed as the new Academic Director for The Art Institute of Phoenix's Game Art & Design and Visual & Game Programming degree programs, alongside a new feature with exclusive stats from the 2006 Game Developer Magazine Salary Survey on average salaries for programming, art, game design, and quality assurance jobs. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Disney VR Studio, HumaNature Studios, Kush Games, Namco Networks America, NaturalMotion, NCsoft Europe, and Pronto Games.

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