CYPRESS, CA - October 7th, 2005 - Heeding the call of NARUTO fans, Bandai Games Inc. today announced that they are publishing "NARUTO: NARUTIMATE HERO" for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in the United States. Scheduled for release in Q1 2006, this fan favorite promises explosive ninja fighting action faithfully adapted from the anime series now showing on the Cartoon Network
"The NARUTO series has proven to be wildly popular in Japan, inspiring over 28 volumes of graphic novels and 113 episodes of the anime," said Naruo Uchida, Vice President of Bandai Games Inc. "Gauging from American fan requests, websites, and cosplayers dedicated to the series, we are confident that an enthusiastic reception awaits 'NARUTO: NARUTIMATE HERO' in the United States."
First introduced into the Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine in Japan in 1999, NARUTO, by revered creator Masashi Kishimoto, quickly became Japan's most popular ninja manga. In 2000, NARUTO was expanded into a series of graphic novels with over 50 million copies sold in total in Japan. NARUTO consistently ranks as one of the most popular titles serialized in SHONEN JUMP and one of the top graphic novel titles in the U.S. VIZ Media was named the Master Licensor in February 2005, obtaining the television, home video and merchandising rights to NARUTO for North America and Latin America.
Developed by CyberConnect2, the creative minds behind the best-selling ".hack" series, this fighting title promises intense martial arts action wrapped in the cell-shaded ninja world of "NARUTO." With 14 playable characters, "NARUTO: NARUTIMATE HERO" features a variety of fighting moves, including base, combos, super, and projectile attacks. With lush environments playable on two different planes, this much-anticipated game offers four exciting gameplay modes and a series of collectible items, including trading cards, toys, music, and movies.
"NARUTO: NARUTIMATE HERO" is scheduled to ship Q1 2006. For more information visit www.bandaigames.com.
About Bandai Games Inc.
Bandai Games Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bandai America Incorporated and a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software for popular videogame systems such as the PSPTM entertainment system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo DSTM, Nintendo GameCubeTM, and the Game Boy® Advance. Unique characters and stimulating game experiences highlight Bandai Games Inc.'s distinctive product lineup which include hit titles such as Inuyasha and Digimon. Bandai Games Inc. is headquartered in Cypress, California. For more information and press downloads please visit: www.BandaiGames.com.
About VIZ Media, LLC
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 web site at www.VIZ.com.
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BANDAI logo is a registered trademark of Bandai. Published and distributed by Bandai Games Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Rannie Yoo and Robin Rosales