Four Games To Be Released Based on Mega Hit Ninja Series
LOS ANGELES - Oct. 17, 2005 - D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, today announced a North American co-publishing agreement with TOMY Corporation for video games based on VIZ Media's hit anime series - SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO. The agreement calls for the release of four games: one title each for the Nintendo GameCubeTM and Game Boy® Advance in early 2006, and in the second half of 2006.
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.
"The co-publishing agreement with TOMY represents an excellent opportunity for D3PA to leverage a superb property in SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO," commented Yoji Takenaka, executive vice president and COO for D3PA. "The success of NARUTO in Japan has eclipsed the Dragonball Z franchise, so we are looking forward to these releases in North America and the prospect of working with VIZ Media and TOMY."
NARUTO takes place in a world where ninja hold the ultimate power. Infused with the spirit of a once fearsome Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto Uzumaki 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.
"We already knew we had a potential hit on our hands based on our experience with NARUTO in Japan" said Isamu Takahashi, Managing Director & Chief International Operating officer of TOMY Company, Ltd. "However, we needed to translate not only the games, but the compelling qualities of the NARUTO property. We met with many publishers in the U.S. and were impressed by D3Publisher of America's knowledge of interactive entertainment, awareness and enthusiasm for TOMY's Naruto titles and the enthusiasm with which they pursued the arrangement. We are confident that along with VIZ Media and Nintendo, the partnership with D3PA will recreate in North America the phenomenal success NARUTO enjoyed in Japan."
A smash-hit when originally released in Japan, TOMY and D3PA will release several of the popular titles in 2006 including: NARUTO: Clash of Ninja (Gekito Ninja Taisen) and NARUTO: Clash of Ninja 2: (Gekito Ninja Taisen 2) for the Nintendo GameCubeT and NARUTO: Ninja Council (Saikyuo Ninja Daikesshu) and an additional title for Game Boy® Advance.
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, PlayStation®2 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, newly creates Consumer Software Division, whose 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/.