LOS ANGELES - March 7, 2006 - The moment that North American NARUTO fans have been waiting for has arrived - BeliEve it! D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, and TOMY Corporation today announced the release of SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO: Clash of Ninja for the Nintendo GameCubeTM and NARUTO: Ninja Council for Game Boy Advance. These titles represent the first video games based on VIZ Media's hit anime series SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO to be released in North America. D3PA and TOMY will release two additional NARUTO games, one for Nintendo GameCubeTM and another for Game Boy Advance in the second half of 2006.
"I have watched SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO become a phenomenon in Japan over the past few years and we are very proud to be able to finally bring these video games to the millions of fans in North America," commented Yoji Takenaka, executive vice president and COO for D3PA. "NARUTO has been compared to Harry Potter, in both the storyline and its popularity, and we think the NARUTO fever is just beginning in North America."
"We have very high expectations for the success of NARUTO in North America and are pleased to bring these exciting games to both long-time NARUTO fans and those that have recently discovered these amazing adventures," said Isamu Takahashi, chairman of TOMY Corporation. "TOMY has had the honor of working with VIZ Media from the beginning on the NARUTO video game series and we have no doubt now that our relationship with D3Publisher of America will result in further success in North America."
A smash-hit when originally released in Japan, NARUTO: Clash of Ninja (Gekito Ninja Taisen) for the Nintendo GameCubeTM and NARUTO: Ninja Council (Saikyo Ninja Daikesshu) for Game Boy Advance follow the storyline of the popular graphic novels. In a world where ninja hold the ultimate power, Naruto Uzumaki is infused with the spirit of a once fearsome Nine-Tailed Fox and is a ninja-in-training who is learning the art of Ninjutsu with his classmates Sakura and Sasuke. The trio studies under the instruction of their teacher, Kakashi, who helps the group face dangerous and daunting tests and challenges. Through their adventures, the young ninjas learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right versus wrong.
NARUTO: Clash of Ninja for the Nintendo GameCube is a fighting game for 1-2 players where gamers may choose to play as one of eight different NARUTO characters. Using special character-specific moves, players take on challengers in one-on-one fights to determine who is the greatest ninja. Developed by 8ing, NARUTO: Clash of Ninja for the Nintendo GameCubeTM is available with a MSRP of $39.99 and an ESRB rating of "T" for cartoon violence.
Featuring seven levels of side-scrolling action, NARUTO: Ninja Council for Game Boy Advance allows gamers to play as either the unpredictable Naruto or the steady Sasuke. All the favorite characters from NARUTO are in the game, each with specific ninja moves fans will recognize from the series. Developed by ARC Systems, NARUTO: Ninja Council for Game Boy Advance is available with a MSRP of $29.99 and an ESRB rating of "E10+ " for cartoon violence and mild suggestive themes.
Featured exclusively in the monthly SHONEN JUMP Magazine, NARUTO adventures by creator Masashi Kishimoto are read by over 750,000 readers in the US. NARUTO stories are also available in graphic novels from VIZ Media at bookstores and retailers nationwide.
NARUTO recently debuted on Cartoon Network in the US and YTV in Canada, achieving phenomenal launch ratings with Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14. In Japan, since publication began in 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump, and based on the manga's popularity, the anime made its debut on TV TOKYO in 2002. Since then, NARUTO has become one of the most popular animated shows achieving immense success as a TV title as well as a licensed property for toys, trading card games and video games.
D3Publisher of America, Inc. is a subsidiary of D3Publisher, with headquarters in Tokyo. D3Publisher of America's strategic focus is on licensed and original titles from leading third-party developers that appeal to mass-market consumers or gaming enthusiasts. Based in Los Angeles, D3Publisher of America distributes and publishes software for personal computers and the major console platforms including Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCubeTM, Nintendo DSTM, PlayStation game console, PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, PSPTM portable entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. For additional information on D3Publisher of America and its products, visit the website at http://www.d3p.us
TOMY Corporation is a subsidiary of TOMY Company, Ltd, with headquarters in Tokyo. The newly created Consumer Software Division's mission is to develop and publish game titles for the North American marketplace, based both licensed and original intellectual properties. TOMY currently publishes for the Nintendo GameCubeTM, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DSTM. TOMY also develops and manufactures a portfolio of toys and games including: Thomas and FriendsTM. Constructables, and Gearation brand toys and games. Information on TOMY and TOMY products can be found at http://www.tomy.com/tc/
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN
JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and at www.VIZ.com.