Hollywood Reporter PC Game Announcement

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The following appeared in the Hollywood Reporter on March 18, 1996. The citation is Hettrick, Scott (1996-03-18). Turner lets Virgin put spin on new Quest CD-ROM $1 mil marked for game based on toon. The Hollywood Reporter.

Just two months after closing its interactive unit, Turner New Media has licensed CD-ROM rights for what will surely be its highest-profile title to date. Virgin Sound and Vision has started production on a $1 million title tentatively called, Escape From Quest World, which will be based on Turners upcoming new animated series from Hanna-Barbera, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.

The CD-ROM is the latest element of Turners companywide Jonny Quest initiative that was announced two years ago. That initiative was to be built around a live-action feature film from Turner Pictures based on the 1960s primetime cartoon TV series revolving around the exotic adventures of an 11-year-old boy who accompanies his scientist father on his missions around the world. Interestingly, that film, which was to have begun production last year, is still languishing in the development phase while many other Turner movies have been pushed ahead of it. Even a live-action version of The Jetsons, another Hanna-Barbera cartoon series that was to be transformed for the big screen after Jonny Quest, is further along in the development stage, according to Turner Entertainment Group exec vp Susan Binford.

A live-action Jonny Quest movie will likely arrive no earlier than 1997 and will now have to stand on its own, Binford said. Nonetheless, the company is proceeding with plans surrounding the launch of the new animated TV series, which is set to premiere simultaneously on three Turner cable networks on Aug. 26, also a year later than originally announced. Those plans have included the first home video release of episodes from the original series and the second TV movie based on the series, which premiered on Turners TNT cable network. A slew of licensing and merchandising projects are also under way.

Virgin Sound and Vision CEO Tom Turpin said his company is working feverishly to meet a planned Oct. 1 release of the new two-disc Quest CD-ROM title. VSV will handle all marketing, sales and distribution of the title but will work with Turner on cross-promotions. In keeping with the focus on childrens products by VSV, a subsidiary of Virgin Communications that is not part of former sister company Virgin Interactive Entertainment, the new Quest title will be aimed at youngsters ages 8-12. But Turpin said its the kind of game that will encourage the participation of parents to help children solve some of the puzzles contained in the various worlds the player must explore.

The Quest CD-ROM will be the third title in VSVs new line of Virgin Adventure series, which will feature action that does not rely on violence, according to Turpin. The first two titles in that series, TerraTopia and Mysterious Island, are scheduled for release in August. The new Quest title, which will carry a suggested retail price of $36.95, will feature clips, scenes and art from the new series that will be incorporated into an original story line with 20-25 hours of game play for adults or about 80-100 hours of game play for children.

The new series and the game depict Jonny Quest as a teen-ager, who now must interact with the teen-age daughter of Dr. Quests partner, Race, who was introduced in the original cable movie produced for the USA Cable Network. Turpin said VSV will wait to see how well the title performs before considering a possible sequel CD-ROM title. The licensing deal with Turner gives VSV the rights to personal computer CD-ROM games based on the series for a year. VSV has no plans to produce video game versions of the title.

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