4/12/2010

DreamWorks rolls out Kung Fu Panda virtual world

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

After 2-1/2 years of work and an investment of about $10 million, DreamWorks Animation has started rolling out its first online virtual world — a browser-based Web theme park tied to its “Kung Fu Panda” movie franchise.

The marketing push for “Kung Fu Panda World,” which comes at a subscription cost of $5.95 per month, but can also be sampled after watching an online ad, kicks off Monday after a soft launch at the end of March.

DreamWorks’ first effort in the virtual world space targets 8- to 12-year-olds, and follows the creation or acquisition of virtual worlds for young demos in recent years by such rivals as Walt Disney (Pixie Hollow, Club Penguin) and Viacom (Neopets, Petpet Park).

Microst Anounces Kin Phone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. unveiled two cell phones Monday that are meant for social networking-savvy teens and twenty-somethings, in an attempt to revitalize its mobile business and regain ground on iPhones and BlackBerrys.

Microsoft said its new touch-screen phones - a short, square-shaped handset called Kin One and a longer, more rectangular one called Kin Two - will be sold exclusively in the U.S. by Verizon Wireless. They are being made by Sharp Corp., which has produced Sidekick cell phones, whose software comes from Microsoft-owned Danger Inc.

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