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Gaming News Round-Up: December 15th, 2004

Gaming News Round-Up: December 15th, 2004

December 15, 2004 | By Simon Carless

December 15, 2004 | By Simon Carless
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Today's round-up includes a gleefully awaited sequel for Katamari Damacy, some serious real-world money for virtual real estate in Project Entropia, and Majesco's latest game acquisition, courtesy of Microsoft Japan.

- Namco has announced the spring 2005 Japanese release of Katamari Damacy 2, the follow-up to the unconventional but popular PlayStation 2 'object aggregation simulation' which debuted earlier this year. The official teaser site for the game shows pictures of the lead character, the Prince, rolling around a Japanese classroom environment, but little additional information is yet available about the sequel, whose official title currently translates to Everybody's Favorite Katamari Damacy.

- According to Swedish developer MindArk, its 'virtual world' Project Entropia has generated the largest virtual real estate auction ever, with an Australian player apparently paying $26,500 in real-world money for an 'extensively rendered virtual treasure island' in the game. However, the winning bidder will generate revenue from his ownership of the island, since he "will obtain all taxation rights on hunting and mining on the island... [and] additional revenue potential through the selling of housing lots and market places." Project Entropia was launched in 2003 and has reached over 180,000 registered accounts.

- American publisher Majesco, fresh from a number of significant game signings, including Tim Schafer's Psychonauts and an un-named game from Chronicles Of Riddick developer Starbreeze, has announce it will publish Microsoft Game Studios Japan-created title Phantom Dust in North America. Phantom Dust is an action-strategy Xbox title, for which a hidden Japanese-language demo was recently shown on an American Official Xbox Magazine cover-disc, and recently received a creditable 34 out of 40 in Japanese magazine Famitsu. The title is scheduled for North American release 'this winter'.


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