CBS INTERACTIVE PARTNERS WITH ARTIFICIAL LIFE TO OFFER THE FIRST AVATAR-BASED MOBILE GAME BASED ON A MAJOR TV SHOW -- THE CW's "AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL"
Innovative Game Lets Virtual Models Live On Your Cell Phone
New York, Hong Kong, Dec. 8, 2006: CBS Interactive and Hong Kong-based Artificial Life, Inc. will launch the first avatar-based mobile game tied to a major TV show for The CW's "America's Next Top Model," it was announced today by Cyriac Roeding, Vice President of Wireless, CBS Interactive. The innovative mobile game, which lets avatars -- or virtual characters -- live on user's cell phones, will be available in the U.S. immediately and shortly thereafter in Hong Kong and in many other countries as well.
"We are pleased to be joining forces with Artificial Life, one of the best mobile avatar gaming companies out there, to bring the international phenomenon of Avatars to the U.S.," said Roeding, who also oversees mobile operations for The CW. "'America's Next Top Model' is a natural jumping off point for us to introduce this gaming technology given the show's young and mobile-savvy demographic. This offering furthers our strategy of extending our top brands and content to multiple platforms."
In the U.S., the game will be available to Cingular and Sprint users depending on their cell phone. These consumers can download the game by going to either www.cwtv.com, www.botme.com or by sending a text message to a five-digit number advertised via commercials on The CW network.
As part of the agreement with CBS Interactive, Artificial Life will develop several mobile games over a license period of two years.
"We are very excited about this product launch and the opportunity of working with one of the world's leading media companies to produce leading edge mobile games based on such a well known and globally popular TV shows as 'America's Next Top Model' on the CW," said Eberhard Schoeneburg, CEO of Artificial Life, Inc. "After the initial launch in the US we will also launch the game in many other countries around the globe."
To play the "America's Next Top Model" game, players select a virtual representation of his/her favorite and least favorite contestants from the show. The main task is for users to interact with these selected virtual characters -- known as avatars -- as if they were real participants of the TV show. This means players must foster their avatar's modeling career through training and various challenges. The selection of the least favorable character allows players to play tricks on her.
The game for the upcoming 2007 season will also have a viral, player-to-player component where users must send their avatar "on vacation" to a friend's cell phone, thus ceasing to take care of their own character for a while. When sent, the friend will see the character knocking on his/her cell phone screen with a suitcase in hand. If they welcome the avatar in, they will take on the responsibility of taking take care of her for a set amount of time. This send-a-character-on-vacation-to-a-friend option is likely to serve as a teaser to bring new players into the game.
In the U.S., the "America's Next Top Model" mobile Avatar game will be available for an initial price of $5.99 to download the game. The game will be compatible with most mobile phones though some features of the game, storylines and general functionality will vary among wireless devices.
CBS Interactive oversees mobile operations for The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation. The CW launched in the fall of 2006 as the fifth broadcast network with a clear target of young adults 18-34. The division is part of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS), a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW -- a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution Group), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), digital media (CBS Interactive and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products). For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.
About Artificial Life
Artificial Life, Inc. (OTC BB: ALIF - news) is a public US corporation headquartered in Hong Kong and a leading global provider of award winning mobile technology, content, games and applications (www.artificial-life.com).
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Artificial Life, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the "Risk Factors" described in the Company's Annual Report or Forms 10-K, 10-K(SB) or 10-Q(SB) for the recent fiscal years. All information set forth in this press release is as of December 6, 2006 and Artificial Life, Inc. undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.