Nintendo and Sega revealed that their rival mascots will return for another licensed Olympic-themed game on Nintendo DS and Wii, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
, releasing late this year.
The announcement follows just a week after Sega disclosed its worldwide agreement
with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the International Olympic Committee's exclusive licensee, to continue as the sole approved video game publisher across all platforms for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Sega of Japan is developing the title under the guidance of Mario creator and Nintendo's senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto. While Sega will handle publishing duties across Europe and North America, Nintendo plans to publish Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
The game will add several new faces to its diverse cast of playable characters taken from the Mario and Sonic franchises, and will feature new Olympic Winter Games events from the official competition schedule, such as Alpine Skiing and Speed Skating.
The Wii version will include support for the Wii Balance Board peripheral and focus more on both co-op and competitive multiplayer experiences, while the DS release concentrates more on competitive elements using the system's wireless capabilities.
The original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
, released in November 2007 ahead of the the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, was the first game to bring the two characters together and went on to sell over 10 million copies for Nintendo DS and Wii worldwide.
"We are extremely happy to again team up with Nintendo and ISM on what promises to be another global success." says Sega of America and Sega Europe CEO Naoya Tsurumi. "Sonic will partner with Mario once more beneath the spotlight of the legendary Olympic Games. Together they will face new athletic challenges that will provide gamers with more of the exciting experiences unique to this series."
Nintendo of America COO and president Reggie Fils-Aime adds, "SEGA has been a valued publishing partner of Nintendo for many years and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
is the ultimate representation of that relationship. We look for this game to continue the tradition its predecessor started by bringing new events, new characters, and new gameplay experiences to fans worldwide."