Game on for News Corp., Artificial Life


HONG KONG -- The first batch of mobile games jointly developed and distributed by News Corp. and Hong Kong-based U.S. firm Artificial Life, will hit the Asian market in September, it was announced Wednesday.

Artificial Life, a leading provider of mobile 3G technology, games and applications, will be responsible for developing a wide range of interactive mobile games and accessories, including wallpapers, ringtones and screensavers, based on content from News Corp.'s Star TV.

"The mobile platform has established itself as a pivotal tool to expand reach with the audience, especially the tech-savvy youth market," a Star TV spokesperson said.

"Blackie's Teenage Club" and "Lollipop," two popular titles from Star's Channel V Taiwan -- which also is seen in Singapore -- will be the starting points for Artificial's mobile development team. The resulting products will be jointly marketed by both Star and Artificial.

"Blackie's" and "Lollipop" have both been tremendous hits in Taiwan, giving birth to two successful pop groups, whose joint Web site clocks up on average 1 million hits per day.

Star TV could not confirm which territories the games will be released in.

"We are in negotiations with a number of telecommunications service providers in Asian countries. However, the negotiations are ongoing and we are not in a position at the moment to pinpoint the specific countries," a Star TV spokesperson said.