Sega Brings Astro Boy games to America

Jan 27th 2004
SEGA Propels ''Astro Boy'' to U.S. on Playstation 2 & GBA; Partners with Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Tezuka Productions; Yuji Naka to Supervise PS2 Development at Sonic Team

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 27, 2004--SEGA(R) of America, Inc. today announced a partnership with Sony Pictures Consumer Products to bring Tezuka Productions' legendary Japanese comic Astro Boy(TM) to life on the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Game Boy(R) Advance. Astro Boy, created by Osamu Tezuka in 1951, is one of the most recognized characters in Japanese animation and is poised to captivate television audiences as the star of a brand-new animated series on Kids WB

The console version of "Astro Boy(TM)," created exclusively for the PlayStation 2, is currently in development at Sonic Team under the direction of Yuji Naka, the creator of SEGA's world-famous Sonic the Hedgehog(R) series. The Game Boy Advance release, entitled "Astro Boy(TM): Omega Factor," is currently in development at SEGA's Hitmaker studios (in cooperation with legendary Japanese developer Treasure). "We plan to take full advantage of the powerful marketing rollout behind this license, led by the Astro Boy animated series," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of entertainment marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "Bringing the Astro Boy franchise to the PS2 and GBA, in partnership with Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Tezuka Productions, underscores our ongoing commitment to publish exciting, revenue generating licensed content for the U.S. market."

"We're very excited to be partnering with Sega for 'Astro Boy'," said Al Ovadia, executive vice president, Sony Pictures Consumer Products. "Sega is a leader in the interactive entertainment category. We're sure they'll develop a video game that captures all the action packed adventure of the new anime series."

Tezuka, known as the pioneer of Japanese animation and "father of manga," created the Astro Boy character more than 50 years ago. Often compared in popularity to Mickey Mouse, Astro Boy was also the first Japanese animated television show shown in America and, during the 1960s, the highest rated show in syndication. Airing in more than 40 countries and selling more than 80 million comic books and $3 billion in merchandise, the beloved character has amassed a global following that borders on cult status.

Astro Boy Animated Series: Show Description

Astro Boy -- the classic icon of Japanese animation -- was introduced to a new generation on Kids WB with 25 exciting, all new episodes, which premiered Saturday, January 17, 2004. Based on the original manga character from the popular comic book series of the 1950s, Astro Boy tells the story of youthful, atomic-powered robot, Astro, who becomes a reluctant superhero fighting for justice and peace for humans and robots alike. Astro Boy is produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and Tezuka Productions, and distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Television.

"Astro Boy" and "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" are slated for release in the U.S. in Summer 2004.

About SEGA

SEGA(R) of America, Inc. is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. SEGA of America's Web site is located at www.SEGA.com.

About Nintendo

As the worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co. Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems. The systems include Game Boy(R), Nintendo(R) 64, Game Boy(R) Advance and NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM). Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.4 billion video games worldwide, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching such franchises as Zelda(TM) and Pokémon(R). As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America, Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operation in the Western Hemisphere.

About Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP)

Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP), a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), is based in Los Angeles and London. SPCP handles the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television and, through Spider-Man Merchandising, L.P., a limited partnership with Marvel Enterprises, the upcoming motion picture Spider-Man 2(TM) and the Spider-Man(TM) animated series. Additionally, SPCP properties include such theatrical titles as the highly anticipated "Underworld" and "Ultraviolet," the Academy Award winning short, "The ChubbChubbs(TM)," television properties such as "Astro Boy(TM)," "Stuart Little(TM)" animated," and "Jackie Chan Adventures(TM)." SPE is a division of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

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