SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 12, 2007) - Namco Networks, a leading publisher and developer of wireless games and content, today announced plans to bring the classic arcade hit Popeye to mobile phones through a partnership with King Features, the world's premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to newspapers, and one of the world's most experienced organizations in merchandising and entertainment licensing.
Since his first appearance in comic strips in 1929, Popeye has been one of the most iconic characters of the 20th century. While he has appeared in cartoons, as toys, in theme park attractions, and more, Popeye has also "muskled" his way to success as a videogame hero, starring in a hit arcade game as well as on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
"Popeye is a mass-market icon that has been entertaining adults and kids alike for decades," said Scott Rubin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Namco Networks. "We are excited to add Popeye to our lineup of top-selling arcade classic mobile games, which includes PAC-MAN, Ms. PAC-MAN, Galaga, Dig Dug and others."
Capturing the spirit of the classic '80s arcade hit, the game lets players be Popeye on his perennial quest to win back his sweetie while overcoming the antics of his rival Bluto. Collect the hearts, musical notes and cries of "H-E-L-P" that a captured Olive tosses down, while avoiding the Sea Hag's bouncing skulls, Bluto's punches and other dangers. True to the series, Popeye is "strong to the finich" if he gets his spinach, temporarily gaining the strength to go after Bluto and knock him off the screen.
Unlike other versions of the game, the mobile edition will include bonus features, like networked components and an enhanced mode with additional game play, and cameos by other characters from the Popeye series.
"With a strong, clearly defined personality, Popeye has enjoyed universal popularity, " said Ita Golzman, Vice President of North American Licensing for King Features. "We believe that combining Popeye, a classic icon, with Namco's proven record for developing innovative and fun mobile games will result in a mobile game enjoyed by consumers of all ages."
Popeye's North American mobile game debut is scheduled for fall 2007. For more information on other mobile games by Namco Networks, visit www.namcogames.com.
About Namco Networks
Since 2002, Namco Networks America Inc., a subsidiary of Namco Bandai Holdings (USA) Inc. and a worldwide leader in the high-tech entertainment industry, has used cutting-edge technology to provide fun, quality entertainment to mobile consumers throughout the Americas. For more information about Namco mobile games, please visit: www.namcogames.com.
About King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines The Hearst Corporation's cable network partnerships, television programming activities, and newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is the world's premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games, distributing some 150 features to nearly 5,000 newspapers around the globe. It is one of the largest and most experienced organizations in merchandising and entertainment licensing. Among its most beloved and successful classic characters are "Popeye," "Betty Boop" and "Blondie." In recent years, the company has diversified and now represents properties such as the trendy apparel and accessory brand, David & Goliath; the publicly displayed, life-size art sculptures GuitarMania and The Trail of Painted Ponies; the conscientious-living brand, "Mutts"; and "SeeMore's Playhouse," an award-winning, pre-school series airing nationally on public television that teaches safety and well being.
®2007 King Features Syndicate, Inc.
TM Hearst Holdings, Inc.