Atari, FUNimation Extend Dragon Ball Pact

FUNimation Prods. Ltd. has granted Atari Inc. a new five-year exclusive license for the highly successful Dragon Ball franchise. Covering the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the new agreement extends Atari’s rights to develop video games based on the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT animated series and characters for all current and future gaming consoles and portable gaming devices.

Since the line’s launch in 2002, Atari has released 12 Dragon Ball games, selling more than 7 million units. The latest installment, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2, was one of the best-selling fighting games released for PlayStation 2 in 2004. The company recently announced plans to release four new Dragon Ball titles in 2005, including Dragon Ball Z: Sagas (Spring 2005), which will be the franchise’s first Xbox entry, and Dragon Ball GT: Transformation for GameBoy Advanced (Summer 2005).

Current plans include the development of Dragon Ball titles for the hot new Nintendo DS handheld gaming device and Sony’s soon-to-be-released competitor, the PSP (PlayStation Portable), as well a next-generation consoles.

In April, FUNimation will release Broly: Second Coming, the next movie in the Dragon Ball Z series, as well as the Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Uncut special editions. Dragon Ball GT airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Dragon Ball Z will return to the network’s Toonami block in May.