Konami takes another stab at licensed anime franchises.
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. Signs Agreement to Develop "Shaman King" Video Games
New Los Angeles-based Operation Continues to Build Repertoire of Licensed Content
LOS ANGELES, CA - December 18, 2003 - Leading Los Angeles-based videogame publisher, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. (KDE) (CEO: Kazumi Kitaue), announced today that it has secured the licensing rights to develop videogames based on the internationally acclaimed anime series, "Shaman King"(tm) (by Hiroyuki Takei) for the North American and the European regions. The company will publish games based on "Shaman King" starting with one for Sony PlayStation®2 and one for Nintendo GameBoy® Advance. The games are slated for release in North America in summer 2004 and 4Kids Entertainment (President and CEO: Alfred R. Kahn) will be responsible for the licensing program for this title. The games will also ship in Europe, coinciding with the launch of the animated TV series.
Having earned widespread industry accolades for previous anime-licensed titles such as "Yu-Gi-Oh!"(tm) (by Kazuki Takahashi), the celebrated studio Konami Computer Entertainment Japan Inc. (President: Motoyuki Yoshioka), will develop the new "Shaman King" videogames.
"Shaman King follows Yu-Gi-Oh! as the second franchise that we have licensed from Shueisha and developed into videogames for the North American and the European markets. We are very proud to be expanding our licensed game catalogue and anime content with the addition of the popular Shaman King series," said Mr. Kitaue, Chief Executive Office at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Our mission is to listen to our consumers and deliver entertainment appropriate to the target markets. At KDE, we plan to continue to acquire licensed properties that resonate with our consumers, such as we have done with Yu-Gi-Oh! and now with Shaman King."
"We are pleased to initiate the first phase of our licensing program for Shaman King with the introduction of new, exciting video games from Konami," said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 4Kids Entertainment. "The animated series is one of the featured programs on the FOX BOX, and we expect the successful rollout of the video games to support Shaman King's growing popularity. This agreement also strengthens our relationship with Konami, a global leader in the development and production of video games worldwide."
In 1998, "Shaman King" was serialized in "Weekly Shonen Jump," which is distributed by the Japanese book publisher, Shueisha. It has since sold over 20 million comic books in Japan. "Shaman King" made its U.S. debut on FOX BOX(tm) in September 2003 and is currently featured in the monthly U.S. comic magazine "SHONEN JUMP".
"Shaman King" follows the story of Yoh Asakura who might look like an average student, but behind his laid-back appearance, he holds an amazing secret. Yoh is a shaman, one of the chosen few who can communicate with ghosts and spirits. When Yoh teams up with the ghost, Amidamaru, he begins his incredible quest to be crowned Shaman King in the Grand Tournament held only once every 500 years!
"Shaman King" for PlayStation®2 blends the elements of strategy, battling and role-playing games (RPGs) to deliver an exciting gameplay experience for players of all ages. Gamers will battle against numerous enemies and a nefarious organization that plans to stop the Grand Tournament from taking place.
"Shaman King" for Nintendo Game Boy® Advance thrust players into an exhilarating side-scrolling adventure where gamers will use Yoh's inherent ability to control ghosts and spirits in order to defeat his enemies.
Konami will showcase the "Shaman King" videogames at the Jump Festival held in Japan at the Makuhari Messe on December 20, 2003. A playable version of the PlayStation®2 game will be on display and a video of the GBA version will be shown at the booth.
4Kids Entertainment, Inc. is the exclusive agent for Shaman King, representing merchandise licensing rights worldwide (outside of Asia) and television distribution rights in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.