PR: VIZ Media Teams with Direct2Drive for NARUTO Digital Download
San Francisco, CA, November 16, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the availability of the NARUTO animated series for digital download in the U.S. on Direct2Drive, IGN Entertainment’s premiere digital retail store. Episodes of the series debuted sequentially beginning on November 15, 2007 with episodes costing $1.99 each; fans may go to http://www.direct2drive.com to download the first 25 episodes.
NARUTO is the latest animated series to be offered on a Download-to-Own (DTO) basis via Direct2Drive. VIZ Media teamed with the popular outlet earlier this year to offer DEATH NOTE and BLEACH, and both series received an enthusiastic response from fans and Direct2Drive users.
“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with VIZ Media and add this massively popular series to our roster of animated titles,” says Sutton Trout, Vice President of Digital Content for IGN Entertainment. “Direct2Drive is committed to offering the latest premium digital content targeting our early adopter audience, including PC games, popular TV shows, movies, comics and animated titles, directly from the Web to the desktop.”
NARUTO is now one of the most popular and successful manga and animation properties in North America. The general storyline of both the NARUTO manga and animated series depicts the adventures of a young boy named Naruto Uzumaki who trains to become a ninja. Naruto, cursed with the spirit of The Nine-Tailed Fox Spirit sealed within his body, is forced to live a bullied life discriminated against by his fellow villagers. But Naruto is resilient and undaunted and his determination often inspires those around him. Through the adventures, the young ninja learns the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity and right vs. wrong.
“Making NARUTO available for digital download will expand the fan base for the series,” says Daniel Marks, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “Download-to-Own has become a compelling addition to our business model and one we hope to take full advantage of it for popular titles like NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE. We look forward to NARUTO fans revisiting their favorite episodes using Direct2Drive and to having casual fans check out the action-packed series from the beginning.”
Direct2Drive (D2D) is IGN Entertainment’s digital download store (http://www.Direct2Drive.com). Launched in October 2004, D2D allows consumers to conveniently purchase and download the latest premium video games, feature films, popular TV shows, comics and anime titles directly from the Web to their desktops. D2D’s AAA roster of leading game publishers includes Atari, Activision, Blizzard, DrMaster, Entertainment, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Namco, NCsoft, Sega, Sony Online Entertainment, Top Cow, 2K Games, Ubisoft and Vivendi Universal Games. In addition, Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate and Starz Media are making blockbuster movies, TV shows, comics and top anime titles available to users directly via the D2D platform.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.