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Round Up: Sega Fried, Amazon & Wii, Virtual Beaches

Today's round-up includes news of a development partnership between Sega and Deep Fried Entertainment, Wii pre-orders suspended by Amazon.com, and the launch of MTV's ...
Today's round-up includes news of a development partnership between Sega and Deep Fried Entertainment, Wii pre-orders suspended by Amazon.com, and the launch of MTV's Virtual Laguna Beach, as well as the latest Game Career Guide updates, Serious Games Source posts, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings. - Sega has announced a new partnership with Deep Fried Entertainment to develop an as yet unannounced title for the PSP. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Deep Fried Entertainment is an independent development studio launched in 2005 by five industry veterans with experience on titles such as Need for Speed: Underground 1 & 2, NFL Gameday, and Baldur's Gate. "Sega understands the handheld market like few other publishers," said Deep Fried Entertainment chief operating officer Brenda Bailey. "This understanding of the market, coupled with Sega's deep respect for creativity and innovation, makes the company an ideal partner for our team." - According to a statement released by online retail outlet Amazon.com, the company has suspended pre-orders for Nintendo's upcoming Wii console following an hours-long offering on Friday, September 15. Noting that “the rate at which pre-orders came in dramatically outpaced what we had anticipated,” the company is holding off of offering the Wii for further pre-orders until it is able to get a commitment from Nintendo as to how many consoles will be available for sale. Amazon further adds: “Because the pre-order window was so brief, the e-mail many of you signed up for notifying you that pre-orders were available was never triggered to send out.” The Wii is expected to go on sale in the Americas on November 19, with a MSRP in North America of $249.99. - According to a post by The New York Times, MTV has launched Virtual Laguna Beach, an interactive online world based on the popular television program, Laguna Beach: The Real OC. The service allows users to create controllable avatars, and interact with others in virtual versions of the areas popularized by the show. According to the report, Virtual Laguna Beach is the first of three virtual worlds that MTV plans to introduce over the next year in an effort to steer some attention away from online diversions such as MySpace and YouTube. The release of Virtual Laguna Beach comes just two weeks following the dismissal of Tom Freston as chief executive of MTV Networks’ parent. Viacom. The Times report notes that one of the reasons Freston was let go was “that the company had not been aggressive enough in its online expansion.” - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at Japanese retail, an alaysis of home versions of Kaboom!, and a discussion regarding Roguelike dungeon explorer Nethack. - The latest updates on Gamasutra's sister site Serious Games Source includes a new report on a pair of serious games aimed at highlighting issues in the Middle East. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Backbone Entertainment, Blizzard Entertainment, Capcom, Capcom Interactive Canada, Crystal Dynamics, IGT, Iron Lore Entertainment, LucasArts, Perpetual Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Online Entertainment, The Art Institute of Vancouver, and Virtual Heroes.

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