4Kids Licenses Shaman King to Konami
Under the agreement, Konami intends to publish a game for both Sony PlayStation®2 and Nintendo Game Boy® Advance. The games are expected to be released in North America in summer 2004 and in Europe in 2005.
"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 build SHAMAN KING's popularity. This agreement also strengthens our relationship with Konami, a global leader in the development and production of video games worldwide."
Kazumi Kitaue, Chief Executive Officer at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., said: "SHAMAN KING follows YU-GI-OH!(TM) as the second franchise that we have developed into video games 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. Our mission is to listen to our consumers and deliver entertainment appropriate to the target markets. 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."
In 1998, SHAMAN KING was serialized in Shonen Jump, which is distributed by the Japanese book publisher, Shueisha. It has since sold over 20 million comic books and spawned a highly rated show on TV Tokyo in Japan. SHAMAN KING was added to the U.S. version of Shonen Jump in March 2003.
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 to deliver an exciting gameplay experience for players of all ages. Gamers will battle numerous enemies and a nefarious organization that plans to stop the Grand Tournament from taking place.
SHAMAN KING for Nintendo Game Boy® Advance puts players in an exhilarating side-scrolling adventure where gamers will use Yoh's inherent ability to control ghosts and spirits in order to defeat his enemies.
4Kids Entertainment is the exclusive agent for SHAMAN KING, representing merchandise licensing rights worldwide outside of Asia and television distribution rights in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
About 4Kids Entertainment
Headquartered in New York City with international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE - News) is a global provider of children's entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing; television, film, music and home video production and distribution; media planning and buying; product development; and Web site development. For further information, visit the Company's Web site at www.4KidsEntertainment.com.
About Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
Konami Digital Entertainment was established in Los Angeles in October this year as a new base for the Computer Video Game Division. The CEO is Kazumi Kitaue, an Executive Corporate Officer at Konami Corporation and Manager of the Computer and Video Games Division. In working to increase market share Konami aims to obtain important licenses, establish an original brand, and develop a product line-up, which are all based on the needs of the overseas market.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Due to the fact that the Company faces competition from toy companies, television networks, motion picture studios and other licensing companies, and the uncertainty of public response to the Company's properties, actual results or outcomes may differ materially from any such forward-looking statements.
This release and prior releases are available on the Company's Worldwide Web site at www.4KidsEntertainment.com.
You may register to receive 4Kids Entertainment's future press releases or to download a complete Digital Investor Kit(TM) including press releases, regulatory filings and corporate materials by clicking on the "Digital Investor Kit(TM)" icon at "http://www.kcsa.com/" www.kcsa.com.