Perfect pitch: ‘Idol’ game for new media

Cyberbiz Brief

“American Idol” will be turned into a vidgame by U.K.-based publisher Codemasters in the latest extension of the hit Fox TV show into other media.

Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson will be featured in digital form on the title, to be released for the Sony PlayStation 2 vidgame console and PCs this holiday season. Codemasters secured worldwide rights from FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, the show’s owners. Title is described as a “music-based rhythm-action game, allowing players to create, style, train a character and compete as a singer.”

The show already has proved to be a hit in the wireless world, where a deal with AT&T Wireless allowed viewers to vote on contestants in the show; as a concert that will tour the country; and as a new sort of product placement deal, where Coke is prominently featured in the program.

Codemasters is betting the mass market that “American Idol” commands will translate well to the PlayStation 2, far and away the most successful vidgame console now available, with an estimated 40 million units sold worldwide already. An expected cut in the price of the machine should further widen its distribution, allowing for mass-market licensed titles such as “Idol” to flourish.

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