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Round-Up:  25 to Life  Takes Heat, MTV Grabs Neopets, Intellivision Lifestyle

Round-Up: 25 to Life Takes Heat, MTV Grabs Neopets, Intellivision Lifestyle

June 20, 2005 | By Nich Maragos, Simon Carless

June 20, 2005 | By Nich Maragos, Simon Carless
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Today's round-up includes news on new violence-related controversy over a forthcoming Eidos title, and lifestyle plans for the classic Intellivision gaming brand, as well as the latest product news and job postings.

- Even before its release, Eidos' upcoming 25 to Life is receiving attention from politicians, who are citing its expected violent content as the worst in games since Grand Theft Auto. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that "25 to Life makes other controversial games like Grand Theft Auto look like 'Romper Room,'" and called on Sony and Microsoft to withdraw their approval for the game. The critical attention comes from the game's gangs-vs-cops focus, and the ability to use a variety of lethal weapons and force against police officers when playing as a gang member.

- Viacom division MTV Networks has announced that it has acquired NeoPets, Inc, the virtual pet-based website that is proving exceptionally popular with the young. According to MTV, more than 25 million members worldwide have created NeoPets accounts, generating more than five billion pageviews per month, largely in the 'casual' or mainstream interactive entertainment space that video games such as Nintendogs hope to reach. In fact, NeoPets has previously been announced for mobile phones courtesy In-Fusio, and additionally unveiled for the PlayStation 2 and PSP from publisher Sony, giving the virtual pet company significant forthcoming penetration into the game space. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

- The Intellivision, one of the earliest console systems in the industry, is making a comeback as part of a new lifestyle brand based around the old games. Intellivision Music and Gear will produce albums and clothing with the classic games as a theme. The first artist signed to the music label is 8-Bit Weapon, a band who performs original compositions using videogame systems as instruments. As for the clothing line, no specific designs have been released yet, but company representatives say that the apparel will feature "subtle nod[s] to Intellivision's classic games and characters."

- Also updated today: product news regarding the Kynapse AI middleware from Kynogon, as well as the latest industry jobs from companies including Blue Fang Games, Mad Doc Software, Microsoft, OGaming, Propaganda Games, Rockstar San Diego, Stormfront, and Zono.


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