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Round-Up: New Mobile Game Releases

What's been hitting your handsets in the past week...

In an industry as fast-moving as mobile gaming, it's tough to keep track of new developments in the product sector - with key licenses and releases pouring through every day. In this new regular section, we'll round up the most important licensing announcements and product launches from the past week, helping to keep you up to date with what's hot on handsets around the world.

Halo on your Handset

Probably the biggest licensing news story of the week is the new deal between mobile publisher IN-FUSIO and videogames giant Microsoft Game Studios, which will see the enormous Xbox franchise Halo coming to mobile handsets.

The deal extends the existing relationship between Microsoft and IN-FUSIO, which has already produced titles based on titles such as Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Midtown Madness and Rare properties Sabre Wulf, Banjo-Kazooie and It's Mr Pants.

What's not clear yet is what form the games based on Halo will actually take - but the legions of Halo fans have nothing to fear, according to IN-FUSIO vice president Julian Corbett, who reassured that the deal is "first and foremost a creative one focused on delivering mobile applications true to the Halo universe."

Synergenix takes a Total Overdose

Another major console title making the leap to mobile devices this week is Total Overdose, the latest release from British publisher Eidos, which is heading to handsets courtesy of Synergenix.

The game is an intense action title which puts the player in the shoes of an escaped convict blasting his way through the Mexican criminal underworld in search of the architects of his father's untimely death, and has been performing strongly on PS2 and Xbox since its release late last month.

Synergenix boss Martin Forsling promises that the game will faithfully convert that experience to handsets, delivering "a totally new experience to mobile gamers."

"The blend of fast-paced action, dark humour and intense gameplay adds a whole new dimension to the title and creates something entirely unique," he enthused. The game will feature four different environments, a range of vehicles and weapons, and will duplicate the slow motion system from the console titles.

Atari classics head to i-Mode

O2's shiny new i-mode service for the UK and Ireland looks set to continue the "something old, something new" tradition, with Manchester-based mobile publisher iFone providing a channel packed with classic Atari titles on the service.

Games including Asteroids, Breakout and Pong will appear on the channel, which will be offered to users of the new i-mode system for a mere GBP 3 per month and will also feature wallpapers, screensavers and competitions for subscribers.

More SNK for I-Play

The deal between legendary arcade game firm SNK PlayMore and London-based mobile games publisher I-Play has clearly been a successful one, with the two companies this week announcing that they're set to launch sequels to the headline titles launched under the arrangement.

Metal Slug Mobile Impact will be following on from the original Metal Slug Mobile, and sees more hectic military platform adventures far behind enemy lines, while one of the world's favourite beat 'em up franchises, The King Of Fighters, also gets a mobile update in the form of The King Of Fighters M2.

The new mobile King Of Fighters promises to deliver a fully featured experience, with Story, Survival and Battle modes, as well as a number of quick sub-games which allow players to perform a range of special moves in battle.

Mark Ecko gets up on Mobile

Videogames publisher Atari is hoping to break into the youth lifestyle market with trendy console title Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, due out later this year - and Glu Mobile has signed up the rights to the franchise on mobile handsets.

Set in a gritty urban environment run by a corrupt and oppressive government, the game places the player in the boots of a rogue graffiti artist who tries to incite revolution by transforming the colourless city into a bright, colourful place.

The game is endorsed by Mark Ecko, the creator of several popular youth brands - or so we're informed. We have to confess that nobody here at MobileIndustry.biz had ever heard of him, which probably means we're all getting old. The mobile version will include many of the features of the console game, including a range of ninja-style moves in horizontal and vertical environments, and twenty-seven levels set across three environments.

Glu is also publishing ringtones and wallpapers based on the game, which is currently rolling out to carriers worldwide.

Fast, Furious... And 3D

Only weeks after unleashing its first 3D game, Major Carnage, on networks worldwide, mobile publisher I-Play has a second 3D title on the market - 3D The Fast and The Furious, an update of the firm's popular movie licensed title.

Based on the 2001 movie from Universal Pictures, the game delivers eight fully 3D tracks to players, or 16 in the rather larger BREW version, and was developed for I-Play in the UK by Juice Games.

"Although 2006 will be the year where 3D titles reach a greater maturity and presence in the market, its important for the continuing growth and development of the market that we show what can be achieved on a 3D engine," explained I-Play COO David Gosen.

Funky Cops get Overloaded

Mobile developer and publisher Overloaded, based out of Amsterdam, has picked up the mobile rights to French kids' animation firm MoonScoop's popular new series Funky Cops, which airs on networks including FOX and MTV around the world and is targeted at eight to twelve year olds.

The company is planning a range of games based on the property (which follows the exploits of a duo of incompetent cops with a passion for disco music - no, seriously!), starting with Funky Cops Disco Pinball, which began rolling out late last month. Ringtones, wallpapers and video clips based on the franchise will also be released by Overloaded.

The deal between Overloaded and MoonScoop was negotiated by specialist mobile media agency TV For Mobile, and according to Overloaded managing director Ashu Mathura, the games based on the Funky Cops franchise will have a unique hook - they "will be among the first mobile games out there where music will play a key role within the games and gameplay," he claims.

Did we miss one? To ensure that your games are included in this round-up in future, please mail all your release announcements to contact@mobileindustry.biz.

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