American Idol announced

Codemasters announces that it has secured the worldwide rights to publish games based on the reality TV show American Idol.

UK-based Codemasters has today announced that it has secured the worldwide interactive video game rights to the reality TV show American Idol. Under license from Fremantle Media and 19 Entertainment, Codemasters plans to release a music-based rhythm-action game based on the show for both the PC and PlayStation 2 this fall.

"To secure one of the most talked about, widely watched and most fascinating entertainment brands of recent years is a major landmark in Codemasters' acquisition strategy," said Gary Rowe, Codemasters’ head of business development. "With the gaming industry established as a mass-market entertainment platform, the American Idol game will have an enormous impact."

In the game, players will be able to create, style, and train their own singer before attempting to take them all the way from show auditions through to the grand final. The gameplay will not be dissimilar to that of the Parappa the Rapper series of games, as characters perform one of the 40-plus top 10 music tracks featured in the game to a standard determined by the player's rhythmic button pressing. Players who perform badly risk the wrath of the often brutal Simon Cowell, who will appear in the game as a computer-generated character alongside both Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

"The American Idol video game is an incredibly exciting project for us and we’re delighted to have Codemasters as our worldwide publishing partner," said Dom Wheeler, UK licensing manager at Fremantle Brand Licensing. "Codemasters has an excellent history for bringing extremely popular big-brand video games to market in the US and throughout the world. We strongly feel that working with Codemasters and Hothouse Creations, we have a game that truly reflects the show and gives everyone the chance to have the American Idol experience."

"To have a video game based on the dominating American Idol series is a major success," added Mike Hayes, Codemasters group marketing director. "The power branding of American Idol, combined with an excellent music rhythm-based game has immense appeal to the far-reaching gaming audience on PlayStation 2 and PC."

American Idol is currently in development at Hothouse Creations and is scheduled for release this fall. An announcement concerning a localized Pop Idol version of the game for the UK is expected to be made in the not too distant future.

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