London, UK - 7 April, 2006 - Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it has signed a strategic non exclusive licensing agreement with TV TOKYO Corporation and SHUEISHA Inc., to develop games based on the hugely popular Naruto anime series for the Microsoft Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The new titles will be available in North and South America and European territories in 2007.
With Naruto, Ubisoft will develop for the first time a game based on a Japanese property. Naruto was first launched as part of SHUEISHA's weekly manga magazine in 1999 and Naruto manga books have sold more than 50,000,000 copies in Japan alone. Manga books are published in the US and major territories of Europe as well. Naruto anime series debuted on TV TOKYO in 2002 and has already spawned several successful video game titles in Japan as well as multiple character merchandise and two movies. Now, Naruto anime is aired with tremendous success on Cartoon Network in the US
NARUTO takes place in a world where ninja are the ultimate power. Uzumaki NARUTO 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 a series of 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 will broaden our portfolio and contribute to achieving our strategic goal of earning 25% of our turnover through licences," said Christian Salomon, Director of Worldwide Licensing at Ubisoft. "Naruto is part of a wave of Japanese manga and anime that appeals to kids and adolescents alike, and we plan to deliver them every bit of the excitement they have experienced in Naruto's books, movies and TV shows."
"I'm confident Ubisoft will manage to create an exciting Naruto game, while respecting the anime's spirit of passing on positive values and a lot of fun" said Hayato Date, Naruto anime series director.
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Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through its strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge videogame titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated revenue of 538 million for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, an increase of 8 percent over the previous fiscal year at constant exchange rates. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.
About TV TOKYO:
TV TOKYO Corporation is a leading Japanese content producer and broadcaster with particular strength in animation, high-concept infotainment and business news. Many of programmes are licensed by TV TOKYO Medianet (its distribution arm) to non-affiliate local stations as well as overseas broadcasters and distributors. TV TOKYO has been the home of the hit animation series such as "Yu-Gi-Oh!", "Shaman King", "Pokemon", "Sonic X" and "Beyblade".
To learn more, please visit http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/
About SHUEISHA Inc.:
SHUEISHA Inc., founded in 1926, is the Japan's top sales publisher and publishes 40 magazines including comic magazine, women's, men's, sports, literary, etc. as well as trade books. Its most successful comic magazine, "Shonen Jump", is printed 3 million copies weekly in Japan alone and many animations such as "Yu-Gi-Oh!", "Dragon Ball" and "Shaman King" are based on Shonen Jump. Beyond publishing, Shuesiha strategically works with other media and carries out many activities such as producing animation and merchandising for its strong properties.
To learn more, please visit http://www.shueisha.co.jp/