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February 20, 2003 - March 04, 2003 - See More Archived News


Tuesday, March 04, 2003
 
[Multi] Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 12:49 pm CDT

BLOCKBUSTER BRAND JUMPS BACK INTO ACTION WITH PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME

Ubi Soft and Jordan Mechner announce a fresh take on the legendary Prince of Persia series for Holiday 2003.

San Francisco, CA - March 3, 2003 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced it is developing a brand new Prince of Persia game: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia, is working hand in hand on the latest title in the series with Ubi Soft's Montreal production studio, most recently renowned for creating Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Scheduled to ship for all platforms starting in Q4 2003, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is poised to become the latest success story in a series of hit games from Ubi Soft.

First recognized for groundbreaking cinematic techniques in games like Karateka, The Last Express and, of course, Prince of Persia, Mechner is now widely heralded as one of the world's premier computer game designers. Ubi Soft's partnership with Mechner is a reflection of its ongoing strategy to work directly with the industry's best and brightest.

"With Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ubi Soft and Jordan Mechner are channeling their combined talents to breathe new life into the action/adventure genre. They're creating rich characters, white-knuckle action and a plot with more twists than the exotic, elaborate castle featured in the game," said Serge Hascoët, Editor in Chief, Ubi Soft Entertainment. "We're thrilled to move forward with the legendary Prince of Persia brand and eagerly await the launch of the next masterpiece from our world-famous Montreal studio."

A new Ubi Soft brand, Prince of Persia is credited with changing the face of computer gaming in the 1990s by introducing lifelike animation and story-driven action. The franchise was one of the first to gain success based on an appealing human lead character and a dramatic storyline. The first three games in the series boast combined sales of more than 3 million units.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time takes place within an exotic, mysterious world representing Persian architecture, animals and attire. After his father invades the palace of the Maharajah, the Prince, tricked by a treacherous vizier, uses a magic dagger to release the dangerous Sands of Time from an ornate hourglass. With the aid of a beautiful, mysterious, and potentially untrustworthy ally, players embody the Prince to recapture the Sands of Time and restore peace to the land.

©2003 Ubi Soft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubi Soft and the Ubi Soft logo are trademarks of Ubi Soft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Prince of Persia is a trademark of Jordan Mechner.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

About Jordan Mechner
Jordan Mechner is a video game creator, filmmaker and screenwriter. He is represented by Adam Kaller of Behr, Abramson, Kaller.


 
[Multi] EA To Release Medal of Honor: Rising Sun for all Systems - posted by Erich Becker at 12:47 pm CDT

EA STORMS THE PACIFIC THIS FALL WITH MEDAL OF HONOR RISING SUN

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - March 3, 2003 -Step into the boots of a Marine Corporal, survive the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, and drive the Japanese Army from the Pacific in Medal of Honor Rising Sun from Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS). Developed by EALA, Medal of Honor Rising Sun creates an immersive and authentic WWII experience in either single-player or multi-player modes. Medal of Honor Rising Sun will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft in the fall of 2003.

Set for the first time in the Pacific Theatre of Operations from 1941-1944, Medal of Honor Rising Sun gives players a sense of the courage it took to fight the Japanese from Pearl Harbor to the shores of the Philippine Islands. Players will assume the role of Marine Corporal Joseph Griffin, as he survives the attack on Pearl Harbor, leads the assault of Guadalcanal, and finally rescues his brother from a Japanese POW camp in the Philippines. Armed with his wits and a variety of authentic weapons, it's up to players to stop the Japanese war machine in its tracks. Players can even team up with a friend in the all-new co-op multiplayer mode to battle the Japanese forces. Along the way, players will earn awards and medals for their meritorious service in defeating the enemy.

As with the original Medal of Honor(tm), the producers sought council from numerous outside sources to make certain the game is as historically authentic and realistic as possible. EALA continues to work closely with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to ensure Medal of Honor Rising Sun reflects the ideals and integrity of the prestigious Medal of Honor. In addition, Capt. Dale Dye, who served as military technical advisor on the previous titles in the Medal of Honor franchise, continues his efforts with the Medal of Honor Rising Sun team to ensure the authenticity of the game.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA GAMESTM, EA SPORTS BIG(tm) and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.

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[PC] Ubi Soft to Release CSI: for PC - posted by Erich Becker at 12:46 pm CDT

Ubi Soft Entertainment Creates Authentic CSI: Crime Scene Investigation(tm) PC Game

The CSI cast and crew is featured in an interactive game with a script by CSI author Max Allan Collins and technical consulting from Las Vegas crime scene investigator Daniel Holstein

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 4, 2003 - Ubi Soft(r) Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced that the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation PC game will have the same look and feel as the show by featuring the likenesses and voice talents of the CSI cast, and a script by written by Max Allan Collins, author of three CSI novels. Ubi Soft Entertainment also consulted with Las Vegas Senior Crime Scene Analyst Daniel Holstein to validate the accuracy of the CSI forensics referenced in the game. Scheduled to hit store shelves March 25, the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will challenge players to solve a series of crimes, acting as members of the Las Vegas CSI team.

"Working very closely with CBS Consumer Products, our goal was to create a compelling gaming experience completely authentic to the CSI license," said Tony Van, Executive Producer for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. "I think fans of the show as well as gaming enthusiasts will be impressed with high quality game play."

A classic, first-person adventure, the CSI game will test players' nerves and intellect as they question witnesses, examine crime scenes, and analyze evidence utilizing the latest in forensic equipment. In CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, you become a CSI agent working alongside Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the rest of the CSI team. In addition to rendering character models to look exactly like each of the actors, all eight cast members provided their voice talents for their respective characters in the game. To recreate the CSI labs and offices seen in the television show, interactive artists used pictures taken directly from the CSI sets to build the 3D environments in the game and show a high level of authenticity.

"There seems to be a synergy between people who watch the show, and people who will want to play this game," commented Paul Guilfoyle who plays Jim Brass on CSI. "For CSI fans who want to enter the experience of crime-solving and puzzle-solving, this game offers a great way to interact with the show."

Award-winning writer Max Allan Collins, author of three CSI Novels, provided the script for the PC game. Collins is best known for his New York Times best-selling novel, Road to Perdition, which is the basis of the acclaimed feature film starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. Collins has been hailed "the Renaissance man of mystery fiction" with credits including movie and television tie-in novels such as Line of Fire, Air Force One, and Saving Private Ryan.

To add another level of realism, Ubi Soft Entertainment consulted with Daniel Holstein, Sr. Crime Scene Analyst for Las Vegas Metro. Holstein was the crime scene investigator that CSI creator Anthony Zuiker followed while doing research for the show. In fact, the main character, "Gil Grissom," is modeled after Holstein, a 20-year veteran in Las Vegas, who is also a consultant for the show. Holstein's help was vital in the development of the crime-solving PC game that stays true to the science of crime scene investigation.

About CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Nominated for six Emmy awards in 2002, the series launched in October 2000 to critical acclaim, and was named Favorite "New Series of the Year" in 2001 by TV Guide. CSI airs on CBS Thursday nights in the US, to an average of 28.7 million viewers every week. It is also seen on several TV channels throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Currently CBS's top rated show, every broadcast dominates key demographic categories, including the 18-34, 18-49 and the 25-54 age groups. The series centers on a team of Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigators, who crack perplexing and seemingly unsolvable cases through expert study and analysis of the evidence. The show features a highly realistic and sometimes graphic portrayal of the scientific tactics used to track down criminals, and appeals to a broad, affluent audience of computer savvy fans who love suspense, mystery and reality TV.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

About CBS Consumer Products

CBS Consumer Products, a division of CBS Enterprises, manages the worldwide licensing, merchandising and video activity for a vast slate of properties from CBS Productions and King World Productions, Inc. To learn more visit www.cbs.com

 
[PC] Ubi Soft to Publish Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria - posted by Erich Becker at 12:44 pm CDT

Ubi Soft Signs Agreement with Infinite Interactive to Publish Warlords(tm) IV: Heroes of Etheria

Critically Acclaimed Series Gets Spectacular New Graphics, Tactical Battle System

San Francisco - March 4, 2003 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the top ten video game publishers in the world, today announced a deal with Infinite Interactive to publish Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria, the next installment in the extremely popular series of fantasy turn-based strategy games. Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria is expected to ship in Q4 of 2003.

Infinite Interactive is headed by Steve Fawkner, creator of the Warlords series. The Strategic Studies Group, previous developers of the Warlords games, recently split into two companies, with Infinite Interactive taking over development responsibilities for the Warlords series. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia.

""We are excited to have Steve Fawkner developing Warlords IV," said Dexter Chow, Executive Producer for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "As the Warlords creator, his personal attention will ensure that Warlords IV reflects the high-quality gameplay values and attention to detail that gamers have long associated with the Warlords brand."

Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria is a fantasy turn-based strategy game in which players build heroes - their main characters - as battles progress, gaining new skills, spells, and levels, and ultimately becoming the mightiest force in the Realms of Etheria! Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria features a brand new engine, and introduces players to a new level of resolving battles with the addition of tactical battles.

"We think the new features in Warlords IV will make the fans very happy," said Steve Fawkner, President of Infinite Interactive. "The Speed Tactical System adds a whole new element to the gameplay and speeds up strategic game play without giving up the tactical element to the game. Even traditionalists should be pleased."

Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria Features:
" STS: Speed Tactical System - Innovative new combat resolution system which greatly speeds up combat and allows unit control of traditional tactical combat systems without the micromanagement of movement of units and terrain effects.

" Terrain - All new lush 3D rendered height-mapped terrain. Dozens of terrain and animation effects.

" Persistent Heroes - Your hero improves after every battle, and the same hero can be used in campaign, skirmish or multiplayer. There are a huge number of development options for a hero.

" Enhanced Computer AI - The proprietary AI gives you unparalleled and incredibly cunning opponents.

" A New Campaign - Choose any hero and any side to battle over the whole of Etheria with our new open-ended, dynamic, non-linear Campaign. Fight duels, beat off invasions, capture territory and use your hard-won cash to purchase powerful magical artifacts.

" Unique Multiplayer Features: STS combat will allow faster gameplay for both allied play and free-for-all (up to 8 players) over the Internet.

" Ten Different Sides - Ten unique sides all feature their own tech-trees, buildings, units, and playing styles.

" Spells - Automated combat casting and high quality graphical effects .

" Almost 120 Different Units - That's a huge number of fantasy creatures and Heroes for a strategy game.

" CD Quality Orchestral Score - Almost half an hour of original Celtic/orchestral music provides a soundtrack to your epic accomplishments.

" Victory Conditions - The game offers a wide variety of victory conditions and scripted victory events in both single and multiplayer.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.


 
[Industry] NCsoft Acquires ArenaNet Studio - posted by Erich Becker at 12:43 pm CDT

NCsoft Acquires ArenaNet Studio with Creative Ties to Hit Games Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo To Join NCsoft Family

Seoul, South Korea, December 12, 2002-NCsoft(tm) Corporation, the world's largest online game company, today announced the acquisition of ArenaNet(r), a Seattle-based game development studio with a creative pedigree that has connections to some of the most successful computer games ever developed. The announcement was made during the opening day of the Korea Amuse World Game Expo 2002 (KAMEX) taking place in Seoul, South Korea.

ArenaNet was established in 2000 by three key members of the Blizzard Entertainment Development team. The Founders were involved in leadership roles in the creation of the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo game series, and were responsible for the creation of the Battle.net gaming network. ArenaNet's mission is to create a state-of-the-art, interactive game network and to design and publish premier multiplayer online games for dedicated game players.

"We are pleased to announce the newest member of our NCsoft family," said Tack Jin Kim, president and CEO of NCsoft Corp. "The people at ArenaNet have an established track record in this industry of creating some of the most innovative and successful game titles ever. We're very excited to bring this gifted and talented team to NCsoft. They will make an already strong online product lineup even stronger."

"We are excited to become part of NCsoft," said Patrick Wyatt, who co-founded ArenaNet with Mike O'Brien and Jeff Strain. "We are confident that our development strengths will greatly contribute to NCsoft's continuing worldwide leadership in the online game market."

About NCsoft
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft is the world's largest independent online game company. Established in 1997 as a systems integration company, NCsoft has leaped to become Korea's and the world's leading online game software company. In Korea, its blockbuster hit game Lineage(tm) (http://www.lineage.com) commands a 47% market share and attracts the greatest number of concurrent users in the world. NCsoft is a public company and is traded on the KOSDAQ Korean stock exchange. . In fiscal year 2001, NCsoft posted revenues of 124,735,958,000 Korean won or approximately US$95 million. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.ncsoft.net.

About ArenaNet
Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.ArenaNet, located in Seattle, Washington, was founded by key members of the creative teams that developed the hit game series Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, as well as Battle.net, the most-successful gaming network in the world. ArenaNet will create a state-of-the-art, interactive game network and will design and publish premier multiplayer online games for dedicated game players. More information about ArenaNet can be found at http://www.arena.net.

NCsoft is a trademark of NCsoft Corp and Lineage is a trademark of NC Interactive. ArenaNet and Arena.net are trademarks or registered trademarks of ArenaNet, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 
[Nintendo] Rayman 3 Ships for GBA and GameCube - posted by Erich Becker at 12:42 pm CDT

RAYMAN 3 SHIPS FOR THE NINTENDO GAMECUBE(tm) AND GAME BOY® ADVANCE

First Versions of Latest Game in 11-Million-Plus Selling Series Headed for Retail Today

San Francisco, CA - March 4, 2003 - Rayman®, the only gaming hero with no arms, no legs, helicopter hair, and brand new powers, is headed for store shelves! Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced that Rayman® 3: Hoodlum Havoc for the Nintendo GameCube and Rayman 3 for the Game Boy Advance have both shipped for retail.

"With movie-caliber graphics, celebrity voices, Groove Armada's music, edgy humor and a great story, Rayman 3 offers something for everyone," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Plus, the state-of-the-art connectivity between the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance systems makes these versions even more special."

Using a cable to connect their Game Boy Advance to their Nintendo GameCube will allow players to enjoy an exciting multiplayer game and unlock exclusive content. Both Rayman 3 titles carry an 'E' (everyone) rating from the ESRB.

ABOUT RAYMAN 3

STORY
When Rayman's trusty sidekick Globox accidentally swallows the Lord of the Dark Lums, Rayman must face the Hoodlums, a bumbling yet deadly army of evil bent on recovering their leader from Globox and overtaking the land. Rayman's only chance? Quest to find a cure for the manic Globox, scour the land for unearthly new powers, and win the allegiance of a fierce warrior tribe known as the Knaaren.

KEY FEATURES
- Epic Storyline
Dark, funny, and utterly engrossing, Rayman's compelling narrative and movie-like production values deliver surprises around every corner and create an unparalleled, immersive gameplay experience.

- Rich, Zany Characters
Upgraded character design maximizes the potential of next-generation hardware - Rayman himself enjoys 200 animations, while John Leguizamo (Globox) and Billy West (Murfy) bring Rayman's pals to life.

- Get "Madder"
The song "Madder," from GRAMMY-nominated group Groove Armada's new album "Lovebox" provides the sonic backdrop for the rollicking in-game running demo and pre-release trailer

- State-of-the-Art Combat
Blast into battle with the fanatic Hoodlum Army, hordes of outlandish creatures, and huge transforming bosses. With advanced AI, specific strengths, and merciless group fighting tactics, these villains are trained to demolish - Rayman will need killer strategies to survive the chaos.

- Heavy-Duty Superpowers
With a blazing arsenal of brand new time-based powers and Double-Fist fighting action, Rayman's ready to rip the Hoodlum Army a new one.

- Bizarre Cartoon Fantasy
Experience the extravagant imagination of Rayman's world, a living universe filled with trippy, eye-popping visuals, intense 3D vertigo platforming action, and hyper-stylized environments.

- Dark and Uncharted Underlands
Travel across treacherous terrain and never-before-seen, magical worlds, each with its own personality - including the Swamp, the Moor, and the Deadlands.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified lineup has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.



Monday, March 03, 2003
 
[Mac] Tony Hawk, Sims: Unleashed, and NASCAR Shipping for Mac - posted by Erich Becker at 9:17 am CDT

The Sims™ Unleashed, NASCAR® Racing 2002 Season and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater™ 3 shipping!

The Sims Unleashed is the latest expansion pack for the number one selling PC game of all time, now easily converted for our Mac audience. The game allows your Sims to care for a variety of different animals which changes some of the play dynamics. Look for it on store shelves soon.

NASCAR Racing 2002 Season is the latest from Papyrus Racing Games and Sierra which allows you to take on almost every part of racing a stock car in NASCAR and going for the Winston Cup Championship. You take the wheel with 42 other drivers as you go toe to toe to bring home the gold.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is the award winning sequel to Neversoft's excellent Tony Hawk 1 and 2. The game features the same gameplay you have grown to love, and the awesome control and soundtrack you would expect from a game of this caliber. Look for it soon.

For more information on these releases and any upcoming Mac games be sure to check out Aspyr's Webpage by clicking here.

 
[Mac] SimCity 4 Officially Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 9:12 am CDT

Clearing up some news from last week I forgot to post on Friday:

Aspyr has announced that they have secured the rights to bring over Electronic Arts' critically acclaimed SimCity 4 for the Mac.

The game is set to feature everything the PC predecessor includes, and hopefully additional tweaks to make it run better that the PC counterpart which, as reviewer Michael Smyth points out, "Everything that makes SimCity 4 so entertaining initially will make it tremendously frustrating in the long run."

You can read Michael's full SimCity 4 (PC) review, right here.

 
[PC] Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield Single Player Demo This Week - posted by Erich Becker at 9:07 am CDT

Ubi Soft and Red Storm are set to release the single player demo of Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six 3: Raven Shield this week. We will be sure to get a download link up as soon as possible, but until then, take a look at what the demo is set to include.

-- Single Player
-- Featuring the Oil Refinery mission.
-- Playable in all 4 Custom Mission modes (Practice, Terrorist Hunt, Lone Wolf and Hostage Rescue) with three levels of difficulty for each.
-- 16 weapons are available (M12, Mac11/9, MP5A4, MP5K PDW, MP5SD5, P90, Uzi, AK-47, M1 shotgun, Dragunov, PSG-1, RPD, 92FS, AP ARMY and USP) and all of them can be equipped with weapon gadgets (Mini-Scope, High Capacity Magazine, Sound Suppressor or Thermal scope)

Again, look for the demo this week.

 
[Community] WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne Preview at LoneGamers - posted by Erich Becker at 9:05 am CDT

LoneGamers have put up a new preview of the upcoming WarCraft III expansion The Frozen Throne from Blizzard which has just entered beta testing. You can find a preview of the Humans in the game, along with some screenshots of new units and such. Hit the links below for each.

LoneGamers WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne Preview

WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne Screens

 
[PC] Out of the Park Baseball 5 Released - posted by Erich Becker at 9:02 am CDT

Out of the Park Baseball 5 Released

ATLANTA, GA --- .400 Software Studios is pleased to announce that our award-winning baseball simulation, Out of the Park Baseball 5 has been officially released. The game is available for $34.95 at www.ootp5.com and www.400softwarestudios.com, and may be purchased and installed completely online.

Out of the Park Baseball 5 is a comprehensive baseball simulation featuring multiple play options, a career mode, an exhaustive financial model, an open-ended design allowing you to completely customize your gaming experience and much more.

Try to build a dynasty with your favorite team through trading, acquiring free agents and making good selections in the amateur draft. Play consecutive seasons and follow the careers of your players as they develop, age and retire. Or, use Out of the Park Baseball’s connectivity with The Baseball Archive (available for free at baseball1.com) to create your own "season disks," and replay any single season in baseball history. You can even combine history and fantasy by creating a new career league that starts with a historical season from baseball's past, and moves forward through a future that you shape! Out of the Park Baseball is truly a sports simulation unlike anything you have ever seen - or played - before.

Last year's version, Out of the Park Baseball 4, earned a nomination in GameSpy's 2002 Sports Game of the Year category, and was honored with Operation Sports' Staff Pick for Baseball Game of the Year in 2002. Version 5 contains over two-dozen new features and enhancements, including Manager Mode, which allows you to compile a record as a big league manager. Manager Mode also includes an optional role-playing element - get married, build a family, and if you are lucky, maybe one of your kids will show up in the amateur draft pool later in the game!

Out of the Park Baseball can be purchased online using our innovative eLicense model, or customers may place offline phone orders through our distribution partner, ViaTech. For more details on purchasing Out of the Park Baseball, or to learn more about the game, please visit the official game site at www.ootp5.com or www.400softwarestudios.com.

 
[Community] 2003 Junk Food Girls Contest Begins - posted by Andy Grieser at 6:55 am CDT

Who's the hottest of them all? The ESCmag/Misc. Etc. forums are hosting another Junkdown, where you can gawk at pictures of scantily clad stars and vote on who's the hottest.


Thursday, February 27, 2003
 
[GameCube] Lotus Challenge set for GameCube and PC CD-ROM in May - posted by Erich Becker at 2:56 pm CDT

Motor Trend® Presents Lotus Challenge(TM) set for a repeat performance with release on Nintendo® GameCube(TM) and PC CD-ROM

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ? February 27, 2003 ? Xicat Interactive announces the May 2003 release of Motor Trend® Presents Lotus Challenge(TM) for Nintendo
GameCube(TM) and PC CD-ROM. With the March 18 release for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, Lotus Challenge will excite race game lovers with superior graphics, challenging courses and fast-paced action.

"Lotus Challenge for Xbox is being very well received and is chalking up good reviews,? said Jaimee Wolf, CEO of Xicat Interactive. ?Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge for GameCube and PC CD-ROM is already garnering huge interest in the marketplace and enjoying good previews," said Wolf.

Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge marries outstanding graphics, varied gameplay, and intense realism to create a complete driving experience. With these releases on GameCube and PC, gamers on nearly all of the next-gen formats will enjoy this one-of-a-kind title.

"At Kuju, we've worked extremely closely with Lotus to bring the thrill of driving these amazing cars to both GC and PC owners. We believe that the experience of Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge is the next best thing to sitting behind the wheel of one of these incredibly stylish and powerful sportscars," said Ian Baverstock, business development director for Kuju Entertainment.

Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge features:
* Five game modes: collection, championship, single play, multi-player and
challenge, which features a story line with races, stunts and missions.

* 38 licensed Lotus cars including new models, famous classics and concept
cars.

* 28 different races and 22 different stunts and challenges.

* New controller system offers a more realistic driving experience.

* The first driving game to feature realistic vehicle damage.

* Soundtrack by cutting-edge electronica/breakbeat artist Hybrid.

Xicat Interactive maintains its incredible velocity with the May 2003 release of Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge on Nintendo Gamecube(TM) and PC.

For downloads of new screens, video trailers and images of the game and other upcoming releases visit Xicat?s online pressroom at www.xicat.com/media .

About Xicat Interactive:
Publishing award-winning games for PlayStation2®, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy® Advance, Xbox and Personal Computers, Xicat Interactive, Inc.,
(http://www.xicat.com/) is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with offices in London and Zurich. A fast-growing innovator in the world of interactive entertainment software publishing, Xicat?s popular titles include Metal Dungeon, Sniper: Path of Vengeance, ChopLifter: Crisis Shield, U.S. Special Forces: Team Factor, Jane's Attack Squadron, Top Angler, X-Plane, and Gothic which can be found at software retailers throughout North America.

About Kuju Entertainment:
Kuju Entertainment is one of Europe's leading independent game developers. Located in three studios in the UK, with over 130 staff, Kuju has a substantial multi-platform multi-team development capability. With over thirteen years game development experience, Kuju is currently creating five games for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube and PC platforms. Recent releases include the hit title Microsoft Train Simulator on PC, Fireblade and Reign of Fire of PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Kuju Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuju PLC. Kuju PLC successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in May 2002 (LSE AIM: KUJ). www.kuju.com

About PRIMEDIA:

Motor Trend is published by PRIMEDIA. One of the world's most innovative media companies, PRIMEDIA is pioneering the concept of targeted scale through its combination of traditional and new media properties. The company capitalizes on its focused content across print, television, the Internet and live events to offer highly effective integrated advertising and marketing solutions in some of the most sought after advertising demographic sectors including teens, automotive, outdoor, luxury, real estate and business-to-business segments. With 2001 sales from continuing businesses of $1.6 billion, PRIMEDIA is the #1 special interest magazine publisher in the U.S., producing more advertising and editorial pages through its more than 250 titles including Seventeen, Automobile, Motor Trend, New York, Fly Fisherman, Power & Motoryacht, Telephony, Ward's Auto World and American Demographics, than any other media company. It is also the #1 producer/distributor of specialty video with 18 satellite and digital video product lines, including Channel One Network; and the #1 news and information group on the Internet, led by About.com. More information about the company can be found at http://www.primedia.com .

About Group Lotus PLC:

Group Lotus PLC is regarded by many as the finest sportscar manufacturer in the world. The British based company currently builds the multi-award winning Lotus Elise and the archetypal supercar the Lotus Esprit. With a heritage of motorsport wins in just about every sector of motor racing including the Indy 500, Le Mans, and seven Formula World Championships. Past Lotus sportscars such as the Seven, Elite, Elan and Europa have become motoring icons and legendary drivers who have raced for Lotus include Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinnen.

 
[Multi] NCsoft President to Deliever Keynote at GDC - posted by Erich Becker at 2:54 pm CDT

NCsoft President Tack Jin Kim to Deliver Keynote at GDC
Background to online game success and future prospects for online gaming will be focus

Seoul, South Korea, February 27, 2003---Online games are fast becoming the focus of the global game industry. Tack Jin Kim, CEO & President of NCsoft(tm) Corp., has been invited to deliver a keynote address on March 7 at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) where he is to introduce the Korean and Asian online game business, outline future prospects for the online game industry and present NCsoft's strategies.

The 17th Game Developers Conference will take place March 4-8 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. The conference is a forum for game experts from all over the world to get together and participate in lectures, debates, and workshops to share information on latest game development trends and discuss future prospects for the industry.

In his business and legal keynote, President Tack Jin Kim of NCsoft Corp. will reveal the story behind the rapid growth of online games in Asia and the company's strategies for the future.

In South Korea, where online computer games are quickly becoming a national sport, there are more than 26,000 Internet Game Rooms, or PC Baangs. Lineage(tm), NCsoft's flagship product, has more than 2.5 million active subscriptions and 120,000 concurrent users in a country of nearly 50 million people.

Mr. Kim expressed hopes that through his speech he'll "enhance the position of Korea's game industry by introducing the business environment and strategies that make online games a success in Asia."

In addition, Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft's North American subsidiary in Austin, Texas, will moderate a panel at GDC on the Korean gaming industry. The panel will include representatives from Sony Online Entertainment, Korean game publisher Nexon and the Korean Game Industry Alliance. "Korea, Where Multiplayer Gaming is King" will take place Thursday, March 6.

Other NCsoft speakers scheduled to present at GDC and their topics are:
* March 6-8, Sean Riley, software engineer, "Python in the Gaming Industry"
* March 7, Carly Staehlin, design manager, "Master Cat Juggling in Just One Hour: Managing Designers"
* March 8, Starr Long, producer, "Online Product Development Management: Methods and Madness"
* March 8, Paul Sage, designer, "Reputation Systems: Saving Your Service"

About NCsoft Corporation
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corp. (President & CEO Tack Jin Kim, KOSDAQ:36570) is the world's leading developer and publisher of online games. Established in 1997, NCsoft quickly turned its flagship product, Lineage (http://www.lineage.com), into a blockbuster hit. The game currently commands a 42% market share and attracts more than 300,000 concurrent users and 3,200,000 active users around the world. NCsoft has joint venture offices located in Tokyo, Hong Kong and operates its North American business out of Austin, Texas. NCsoft is a public company and its stock is traded on the KOSDAQ Korean stock exchange. In fiscal year 2002, NCsoft posted revenues of KRW154.8 billion or approximately US$123.3 million. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.ncsoft.net.

NCsoft is a trademark of NCsoft Corp and Lineage is a trademark of NC Interactive. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 
[Multi] NDL to Launch Gamebryo at Game Developers Conference - posted by Erich Becker at 2:01 pm CDT

NDL to Launch Gamebryo(TM) at Game Developers Conference

The Next Step in the Evolution of Game Development

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – February 27, 2003) - NDL announced it will unveil the next step in the evolution of game development, Gamebryo, at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, March 4-8. Gamebryo is a cross-platform 3D graphics toolkit and engine that offers developers unparalleled flexibility with crafting cutting-edge 3D technology in their games. Gamebryo also gives developers the unique ability to leverage and extend their legacy tools in creative ways.

Gamebryo is based on NDL's popular NetImmerse technology, which has been used in a number of recent top-selling and critically acclaimed games, including: Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot and its first expansion pack Shrouded Isles, Irrational Games' Freedom Force, and Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Tribunal. Other NDL customers include Firaxis UDS, Lodestone, Timegate and Codemasters.

Game developers are already excited about the potential NDL's Gamebryo holds for their future projects. "We've used NetImmerse for several projects over the last four years, and with each we have been impressed with the progress made by NDL. With our latest release, Dark Age of Camelot: Shrouded Isles, thanks to NDL GameSpot concluded that the graphics are ‘easily the best we've seen in an online RPG to date'. The flexibility that is built into the Gamebryo tools, and the ability to plug it into our art pipeline, is why we plan on using it on future expansions and projects," said Rob Denton, chief technology officer at Mythic Entertainment. The complete power and flexibility of Gamebryo will be demonstrated at the Game Developers Conference in booth # 1536.

About NDL
NDL, with offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been developing innovative 3D graphics software and tools for nearly two decades. NDL's technology is used by leading game developers and publishers for high-profile projects, including Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot & Shrouded Isles, Irrational Games' Freedom Force, and Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Tribunal. Touted for their ease of use and flexibility, NDL's tools allow developers to save time – and money – while making their Windows, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube games look fantastic and play well. To learn more, please visit www.ndl.com.

About Mythic Entertainment
Mythic Entertainment is one of the most successful online gaming developers in the industry today. With twelve online games to its credit, Mythic has been a major part of all of its distribution and publishing partner's pay-for-play games including AOL, the Centropolis Gaming Center, Gamestorm, and ENGAGE. Their titles include some of the most popular online-only games of all time including Spellbinder: The Nexus Conflict, Aliens Online, Starship Troopers: Battlespace, Silent Death Online, Rolemaster: Magestorm, Darkness Falls, Darkness Falls: The Crusade, Splatterball, Godzilla Online, and Dragon's Gate. Mythic was named one of Deloitte & Touche's national "Technology Fast 500" companies, and regional "Technology Fast 50" companies. For more information about Mythic Entertainment, visit www.mythicentertainment.com .


 
[Console] Sony Adds Additional Server for Everquest Online Adventures - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:46 pm CDT

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT ADDS ADDITIONAL SERVER TO MEET EVERQUEST(r) ONLINE ADVENTURES(tm) DEMAND
Experience The Adventure of EverQuest And Make New Friends With Thousands of People Online! -

SAN DIEGO, CA - February 27, 2003 - Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, announced that it is adding a new server to meet customer demand for EverQuest(r) Online Adventures(tm), exclusively for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system. The new server will allow thousands of new players to join the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game where people create characters from a number of fantasy classes and meet people from the real world online as they embark on exciting adventures in a vast virtual world. The new server is scheduled to go online Friday, March 7, before noon Pacific Standard Time.

"EverQuest Online Adventures is already bringing thousands of people into the amazing online world of EverQuest and giving them the adventure of a lifetime," said Michael Lustenberger, director of product marketing for Sony Online Entertainment. "By adding another server, new players have the opportunity to get in at the ground floor and see what everyone is talking about as they begin unique adventures with a world full of new friends."

EverQuest Online Adventures includes a free 30-day trial and gives players what they've been looking for with non-stop action, the opportunity to explore an exciting new land, a world of fun and interesting people to meet and play with, quests, combat and more. The game has a suggested retail price of $49.99, which includes a 30-day free trial to the game's online world, and all that it has to offer. Additionally, EverQuest Online Adventures carries a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 per person for continuing access to the game world. Players can subscribe for additional months using a credit card, or by purchasing EverQuest Online Adventures Game Cards, which open the world of Norrath to PlayStation 2 owners that choose not to subscribe with a credit card.

 
[PC Gaming] New World Order Goes Gold - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:44 pm CDT

New World Order Shoots For Gold

Montreal, Quebec. February 27, 2003 ? Co - Publishers Strategy First and Project Three Interactive with developer Termite Games announced today that their tactical, team-based first-person shooter, New World Order , has gone gold for North America.

? New World Order is going to be a great new title for the first-person shooter market,? says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing for Strategy First Inc. ?With its $29.99 MSRP, it will let a whole new category of gamers get in on the excitement of this genre.?

Terrorism doesn?t stand a chance
In New World Order , players meet Agent John Dobbs, one of the best military operatives in the world and GAT?s (Global Assault Team) newest recruit. Formed by some of the world?s most powerful nations, the GAT is a top-secret organization that has been brought together to stop The Syndicate, a group of militant separatists and terrorists who have set out to fill the world with fear, chaos and destruction?unless Agent Dobbs and his team get to them first.

New World Order serves up over 15 real life weapons including the M-16, Desert Eagle and AK-5 in 5 different game modes: team deathmatch, hostage rescue, plant the bomb, team escape and fallout. Players can also take on the AI-opposition together in cooperative gameplay. The Next-generation DVA? engine features spectacular and accurate effects that immerse you into the world of international terrorism on three different levels of difficulty: easy, normal and hard in singleplayer mode or you can take on fellow gamers in multiplayer mode on a LAN or the internet.

For more information on New World Order , please visit
www.strategyfirst.com or
http://www.p3int.com/center.asp .


 
[Multi] Massive Online Gaming Returns in March - posted by Erich Becker at 7:40 am CDT

MASSIVE ONLINE GAMING Returns!
IMGS Releases MOG #2 in March

When "Massive Online Gaming" ("MOG") debuted in October 2002, it received rave reviews as the first and only print magazine devoted exclusively to the unique culture of massively multiplayer online gaming.

Fans of the first issue were disappointed, however, when the second issue failed to appear as scheduled. Unfortunately, MOG's original publisher had gone out of business, putting the magazine on hold as we searched for a new publisher.

Now we are pleased to announce that we will be publishing MOG ourselves, with issue #2 scheduled to appear at the end of March 2003. (Who are we? See "About Incan Monkey God Studios," below.)

We're also making several exciting changes to the magazine:

* MOG is now MONTHLY.

* Each issue will continue to be full color, with about 144 pages per issue.

* Each issue will sell for $5.99 via internet sales (less than 40% of the price for issue #1). Canadian subscriptions are $7.99 USD per issue; all other international sales are $9.99 USD per issue. The purchase price DOES include postage and handling worldwide, but not sales tax for Texas addresses.

* MOG will not be distributed to retail outlets (at least for awhile). It can only be purchased online, by anyone in the world.

* There are many things that are staying the same. We are keeping all of the premium features, news, updates, "Ping" thumbnails, columns, interviews, screenshots and other content that made MOG #1 so popular. (Want to see PDFs of MOG #1 or the contents of our next issue? visit www.mogonline.com)

* MOG may be accepting a limited number of paid ads (less than 10% of the pages). You told us you wanted to see a few ads, but only ads that directly relate to massive online games. That's what we'll be giving you.

Issue #2 contains articles on A Tale in the Desert, Adellion, Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Asheron's Call 2, Ballerium, Dark Age of Camelot, DarkSpace, Dransik, Earth & Beyond, EverQuest, Furcadia, Horizons, Meridian 59, Neocron, Star Wars Galaxies, The Sims Online, Ultima Online, Warhammer Online, and World War II Online, plus thumbnails on over 150 MOGs.

****** ONLINE SUBSCRIPTIONS ******

MOG will be sold and marketed under an exciting new concept that takes full advantage of the ease and convenience of e-commerce, as well as the universal internet connectivity of our readers.

The primary way to buy MOG will be through internet subscriptions. By "subscription" we mean something basically identical to your monthly game subscriptions. When you sign up for MOG, your credit card will be charged when the issue ships. You will be charged again each month (when each issue
ships) until you cancel your subscription.

The subscription price DOES include all postage and shipping and everything else (except sales tax for Texas subscribers ‹ sorry!).

(Those who really, really want to subscribe to a specific number of issues, or who just don't do e-commerce, may pay by check ‹ as many issues as you want at the regular subscription price per issue. Subscription forms will be available in downloadable format on the MOG website, and in the magazine.)

Online subscriptions are now being accepted at www.mogonline.com. Gift subscriptions are also available there.

For those who like to see what you're buying before you pay for it, PDFs from MOG #1 are posted at www.mogonline.com, so you can see exactly the depth and quality you can expect from future issues.

(MOG will not be offered immediately through traditional retail magazine distribution. However, retailers or distributors who wish to purchase copies in bulk for resale may contact wholesale@mogonline.com for terms.)

****** ABOUT INCANMONKEY GOD STUDIOS (AUSTIN, TEXAS) ******

For six years IMGS has made its name as the most respected production house for computer game strategy guides, particularly in massively multiplayer online games. IMGS has created successful and respected official guides for Ultima Online, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, Asheron's Call 2, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Earth & Beyond.

Now IMGS is leaving behind the strategy guide business, to concentrate exclusively on making "Massive Online Gaming" magazine *your* source for complete coverage of massively multiplayer online games.

 
[Xbox] Kung Fu Chaos Available for Xbox Now - posted by Erich Becker at 7:38 am CDT

Behold: "Kung Fu Chaos" Brings Fun and Good Fortune to Xbox

Hilarious New Game Tops Must-Have Lists of Gamers of All Ages

REDMOND, Wash. - Feb. 26, 2003 - Martial arts masters, gaming gurus and b-movie buffs worldwide are slicing, dicing, kicking and chopping in celebration today as Microsoft Game Studios releases "Kung Fu Chaos," a comical new '70s-style brawler designed for the XboxT video game system. With a madcap cast of kitschy characters - the illusive Ninja Fu Hiya, lethal roller-skating hottie Candi Roll, wisecracking Master Sho Yu, Captain Won Ton and many others - "Kung Fu Chaos" is a tribute to the cult phenomenon of martial arts movies and promises to bring players good fortune and hours of sidesplitting entertainment.

In "Kung Fu Chaos," players battle on parodied movie sets using a dramatic combination of death-defying leaps, highflying kicks, dizzying spins and special moves unique to each character. Besides dealing with each other, players must contend with sinking ships, crumbling movie sets and other back-lot calamities to earn points and new weapons. Songs such as '70s hit "Kung Fu Fighting" and the theme from "Enter the Dragon" set the mood and complete the scene.

The spirited party brawler game was developed by the creative minds at Just Add Monsters (JAM) to satisfy the competitive needs of gamers. Even if parents can't keep up with the comical insults and backstabbing twists, they will still enjoy jamming to the familiar '70s tunes on the game's upbeat music track and watching the final cut of their multiplayer battle rendered in classic Kung Fu music fashion.

"We're excited to be launching our 2003 portfolio with a game that has cross-generation appeal to teens as well as their parents," said Beth Featherstone, senior director of Games Marketing at Microsoft. "'Kung Fu Chaos' adds the perfect offbeat kick to the Xbox lineup."

"Kung Fu Chaos" includes the following key features:

. Combat with a twist. It will take more than just a cool move to win this game. "Kung Fu Chaos" features an in-depth combat system with signature moves, multiple combination attacks, blocks, counterattacks and interrupters. Players can also pummel opponents with taunts that eventually lead to power-ups. With a total disregard for manners, "Kung Fu Chaos" is the only game that rewards its players for talking smack.

. Amazing environments. Huge animated structures, traveling movie sets, falling and flying debris, and spectacular action sequences come together to deliver fast-paced, highly competitive and downright outrageous epic battles.

. Gameplay diversity. With single and multiplayer gameplay modes, a wide variety of minigames, customizable '70s-themed audio and cinematic effects, and a rich reward system of unlockable features, "Kung Fu Chaos" is a pick-up-and-play gameplay extravaganza designed for a wide range of players.

More information on "Kung Fu Chaos" is available online at http://www.kungfuchaos.com/. "Kung Fu Chaos" has an ESRB rating of "T" and is available in stores for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.).

About Xbox

Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in the continents of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

About Just Add Monsters

Just Add Monsters' mission is to be the best digital entertainment developer for the social gaming masses. Social gaming is about fun, competitive, state-of-the-art games that everyone can pick up and play. Former Sony Computer Entertainment developers Mike Ball, Nina Kristensen and Tameem Antoniades founded Just Add Monsters Ltd. (JAM) in March 2000 in Cambridge, United Kingdom. JAM became a subsidiary of Argonaut Games Plc. in October 2000 with Jez San OBE joining the board. "Kung Fu Chaos," a Microsoft first-party exclusive for Xbox, is the studios' debut title. For more information, please visit http://www.justaddmonsters.com/.


 
[Community] Hardware-Unlimited Reviews T-Mobile Sidekick - posted by Erich Becker at 7:36 am CDT

Hardware-Unlimited, part of the 3D-Unlimited Network, has posted a review of the new T-Mobile Sidekick. Be sure to check out this phone that offers a full QWERTY keyboard, full web browser, support for three POP3 e-mail accounts, and full AOL AIM messaging. Check it out!

"My first impression of the phone, after seeing a picture, was the phone small enough to carry around all day with a full screen and keyboard. Little did I know, the screen pivots counter-clockwise to reveal the full keyboard beneath it."

You can see the full review right here.

 
[PC] Dungeon Lords on the Web - posted by Erich Becker at 7:34 am CDT

Schanz International Consultants (SIC) is glad to announce Dungeon Lords, the RPG fighter by D.W. Bradley, going up on Heuristic Park’s website at www.heuristicpark.com. Official website of Dungeon Lords is soon to follow.

Simultaneously, Schanz International Consultants announces the closing of an all Asian deal for Dungeon Lords with Typhoon Games (www.typhoongames.com) in Hong Kong.

Director of Business Development, Roletta Lee of Typhoon Games, says: “we are truly excited about the opportunity of publishing this world-class title in Asia. D.W.Bradley is a renowned game designer and the quality of the game is excellent, the atmosphere outstanding and truly a lot of fun to play.

Schanz International Consultants has been instrumental in putting this deal together and we are extremely excited about this opportunity. Their professional service and experience in the gaming industry led us to close this deal quickly and efficiently”.


Wednesday, February 26, 2003
 
[PC Gaming] 3DO Ships Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War Expansion Pack to Retail Stores - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:41 am CDT

3DO Ships "Heroes(R) of Might and Magic(R) IV: Winds of War(TM)" Expansion Pack to Retail Stores
Expansion Pack for Fantasy Turn-Based Strategy Title Now Available

REDWOOD CITY, CA - February 26, 2003 - The 3DO Company (Nasdaq: THDO) today announced that "Heroes of Might(R) and Magic(R) IV: Winds of War(TM)" for the PC has shipped to stores. In the second expansion to the best-selling fantasy turn-based strategy game, players battle fantastic creatures and face fierce armies across 45 action-packed maps.

"'Winds of War' is the most interactive 'Heroes' yet, featuring additional campaign editor capabilities, and six creature generators, as well as twenty maps created by fans," said Jon Van Caneghem, president of New World
Computing. "Newcomers and fans of the 'Heroes' series will enjoy hours of richly satisfying gameplay, the enchanting graphics, and the interwoven tapestry of storylines associated with 'Heroes of Might and Magic.'"

"Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War" is rated E for Everyone, and is now available nationwide at the suggested retail price of $29.99.

Can You Claim the Throne of Channon?
In "Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War," players are transported to the land of Channon, a large and populous kingdom occupying most of Axeoth's northern continent. The shining capital city has become the target of no less than five invading armies who covet its lands and riches.

Players assume the roles of five conquerors, each staging his own uniquely driven invasion, before facing a showdown for ultimate control.

Features for "Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War" include:

* 25 new single-scenario maps created by New World Computing
* 20 contest-winning single-scenario maps created by fans
* Six new "Heroes" campaigns
* Three original fantastic creatures
* New adventure objects, including six creature generators
* Additional Campaign Editor features, including a customizable object painter
* New hero storylines for the campaigns
* Includes new music

Developed by New World Computing, a division of The 3DO Company, "Heroes IV: Winds of War" is the latest game in the best-selling "Might and Magic" line. Selling more than 4.5 million units worldwide and translated into
over a dozen languages, the "Might and Magic" series is a proven success.

For more information about this expansion pack and other "Might and Magic" products, please visit www.3do.com.

 
[Console] Inside Pitch 2003 Coming to XBox - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:38 am CDT

INSIDE PITCH 2003 TO DELIVER CLOSE PLAYS, MONSTER HOMERS AND BASEBALL EXCITEMENT TO XBOX

Xbox Live-Enabled Game to Feature Nomar Garciaparra, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver

Microsoft Game Studios announced today its first baseball title for the Xbox video game system, "Inside Pitch 2003." This Xbox Live-enabled title will begin turning double plays, throwing brush back pitches and clearing the fences for the 2003 Major League Baseball season.

Nomar Garciaparra will appear on the cover and serve as spokesperson for ?Inside Pitch 2003.? Joining the All-Star shortstop on the ?Inside Pitch 2003? roster is the top broadcast team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

Garciaparra participated in an in-depth motion capture session, while Buck and McCarver recorded more than 25,000 lines of dialogue, play-by-play, stories and insight for the game. Buck and McCarver will also take fans back to relive and participate in key moments of the 2002 season.

?I?ve always wondered what it would be like to have my own video game,? said Garciaparra. ?Microsoft Game Studios has done a great job capturing the way I play baseball. From my routines at the plate to my plays deep in the hole, Inside Pitch delivers the goods.?

Gamers will be able to create their own superstar, hone their baseball skills and challenge their friends online using Xbox Live. Want to learn how to play the carom off of Fenway Park?s Green Monster? ?Inside Pitch 2003? will include special training sessions for each position to help gamers perfect their baseball skills.

In addition, the exciting Championship Challenges feature offers gamers the chance to reproduce some of the greatest feats of the 2002 season and determine if they can match or surpass the performances of some of today?s most talented stars.

?With a baseball icon like Nomar Garciaparra, two of the elite voices in baseball today, all the players, full animations and accurate batting stances, ?Inside Pitch 2003? will provide gamers with a thrilling experience throughout the 2003 season,? said Dave Curtin, studio manager at Microsoft Game Studios.? ??Inside Pitch 2003? builds on Microsoft Game Studios? powerful line-up of fast-action, high impact sports franchises, such as ?NFL Fever? and ?NBA Inside Drive.??

?Inside Pitch 2003? includes a variety of features:
? Championship Challenges put gamers in actual memorable situations from the 2002 season. Gamers can try to break the 7-7 tie in the 2002 MLB All-Star Game
Ô where some crafty base running and a key hit will avoid the stalemate, or surpass cover athlete Nomar Garciaparra?s three home-run and 8 RBI day on his 29th birthday.

? Online features using Xbox Live allow gamers to download content such as new stadiums and roster updates, track their online win/loss record, batting and pitching stats and view opponents? stats for matchmaking purposes.

? ?Inside Pitch 2003? will allow gamers to use their created players, augmented by success in the training sessions and the Championship Challenges, to get the upper hand in online competition. Online voice communication during gameplay will increase the importance of a tough mental game, as top competitors will undoubtedly be vocal about their success.

? Single game, season and playoff modes allow gamers the opportunity to guide their teams against a number of worthy opponents.

? Home Run Derby
Ô mode allows gamers to test their power and coordination in the popular All-Star break contest.

? The Training Tracks mode enables gamers to bolster their created players by participating in 18 different fielding drills, five different pitching drills and six different hitting drills.

?Inside Pitch 2003? is scheduled to hit store shelves in May and will be Xbox Live enabled.


 
[Console] Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb Debuts on XBox - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:36 am CDT

LUCASARTS' INDIANA JONES AND THE EMPEROR'S TOMB DEBUTS ON XBOX TO OVERWHELMING CRITICAL ACCLAIM

Hailed for Realistic Cinematic Quality New Game Tops Editors' Choice Lists

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- February 26, 2003 -- Indiana Jones is back -- better than ever and on store shelves today. LucasArts Entertainment Company today announced the retail availability of the epic action-adventure game Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb on the Xbox( video game system from Microsoft, which brings everyone's favorite archeologist to life as never before.

LucasArts' highly anticipated latest installment in the Indiana Jones series is already topping many editors' lists as the hot game of the season. Official Xbox Magazine selected Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb as its game of the month for March, awarding it a 9 out of 10 review, and its coveted "Editor's Choice Award." GameNow recommended Indy as a top title of the month in February, and it was cited as "Most Wanted in 2003" by GameSpy.com, and received high marks from Game Informer (8.5 out of 10).

Editors at Official Xbox Magazine enthused, "Not only does it sound, look, and feel like an Indy movie, but the plot is actually interesting - you will watch all these in-game cinemas to find out what's going on, and... enjoy the story. The Indy character is highly responsive... it is playability that counts... and Indy has it by the satchel-full."

"Reviewers have praised Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb and we're eager to introduce the game's unique brand of edge-of-the-seat adventure, rich storytelling and compelling gameplay to next generation console players," says Liz Allen, director of marketing at LucasArts. "We've been able to take fans' favorite elements of the Indiana Jones character - his adventurous spirit, quick wit and resourcefulness - and combine them with action-packed gameplay for an unparalleled interactive experience."

Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb offers hours of entertainment in 10 levels of intriguing gameplay, all set in unique locales such as a 15th century castle that looms over Prague, an underwater palace in Istanbul, and a mountaintop fortress in China. Players join the daring archeologist and adventurer as he travels to 1935 China to prevent a powerful artifact from falling into fiendish hands. Racing against evil Nazis and the Asian underworld, players whip, kick, punch, leap, swim, and climb their way through exotic locales to capture the mysterious "Heart of the Dragon."

Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb for Xbox debuts in stores this week and will release on Windows PC in late March and PlayStation( 2 this May. The game was developed in collaboration with The Collective, Inc.


Tuesday, February 25, 2003
 
[Community] Games Xtreme is Back Online - posted by Erich Becker at 9:09 am CDT

Games Xtreme is back online, as of yesterday, sporting a new design and back the the old grind. Be sure to check them out today. Remember to tell them ESCape sent you.

 
[PC] Freelancer (PC) Demo Available - posted by Erich Becker at 9:02 am CDT

Today Microsoft released the first demo for the highly anticipated Digital Anvil product, Freelancer. The demo offers the chance to explore the entire Liberty System, giving access to more than a dozen bases and five flyable ships. Players will be able to experience the trading system, sample the open-ended nature of the game and immerse themselves in the intense combat. The full retail version of Freelancer will ship to retailers in North America on March 4, 2003 with an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.).

Related Links: Download the Demo Today!



Monday, February 24, 2003
 
[PC] Activision Announces Empires: Dawn of the Modern World - posted by Erich Becker at 3:29 pm CDT

ACTIVISION PRESENTS THE NEXT ERA IN STRATEGY GAMING WITH EMPIRES: DAWN OF THE MODERN WORLD FROM STAINLESS STEEL STUDIOS

Santa Monica, CA - February 21, 2003 - Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) marks a new era in the historical strategy genre with the announcement of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World from acclaimed designer Rick Goodman and Stainless Steel Studios. A real-time strategy game of epic scope and breadth, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World lets players command legendary civilizations as they battle to forge mighty empires during the days of longbows and charging knights to the awesome land, air and sea battles of WWII involving Tiger Tanks, Storm Troopers, Spitfires, and stealthy submarines. Empires: Dawn of the Modern World has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

"Empires: Dawn of the Modern World spans more than 1000 years of history and offers players an unequaled mix of unique units, special abilities and epic combat," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president of Activision Worldwide Studios. "Fighting by air, land and sea, players will have their strategic skills put to the test as they attempt to conquer enemy civilizations in one of the most realistic and deep gaming experiences of all time."

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is unmatched in its depth and attention to historical detail. "It's like no other historical RTS game that's ever been done before," said Lead Designer and Stainless Steel Studios' President, Rick Goodman. "Players will be able to build up massive empires by utilizing each civilization's totally unique and distinct historical abilities, battlefield weapons and special technologies. The differentiation between these historically-based civilizations is really unprecedented."

Stainless Steel Studios, Inc., founded by Rick Goodman in 1997 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts previously developed the award-winning title, Empire Earth(tm), which was released in November 2001. Prior to founding SSSI, Rick was the co-founder of Ensemble Studios and lead designer for Microsoft's award-winning Age of Empires®.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted revenues of $786 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at www.activision.com.

The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Activision's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. These important factors, and other factors that could affect Activision, are described in Activision's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings.

 
[Community] GX Reviews Project IGI 2: Covert Strike (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 3:28 pm CDT

Our good friends over at GX have popped up a review of Codemasters IGI 2 for PC. Be sure to hit the link below for the full review after reading this provided snippet:

"David Jones is back in the new and much improved sequel to the game, Project IGI. Project IGI 2: Covert Strike is set after the events of the first game and continues the exploits of our hero, Mr Jones as he and the IGI agency attempt to thwart global terrorism and restore world peace, something Tom Clancy would be proud of no doubt. The sequel builds and greatly improves upon the game mechanics of the first game by leaps and bounds, since GX gave IGI an 82% score last time I was curious to see if the game had been improved. I am glad to say that it has, and this is why."

Related Links: See the Full Review!


 
[Multi] Rayman3.com Goes Live from Ubi Soft - posted by Erich Becker at 3:26 pm CDT

RAYMAN BLOWS UP ONLINE!

Rayman3.com Boasts Game Trailer, Screenshots, Extensive Information About Characters, Worlds, Game Features and More

San Francisco, CA - February 24, 2003 - Want the scoop on the only gaming hero with helicopter hair and no arms and legs to hold him back? Ubi Soft Entertainment's Rayman 3 site, available today at www.rayman3.com/us, is the place to go! The site delivers the goods on Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, the next installment in the 11-million-plus best-selling Rayman series, including the official trailer, which shows Rayman vanquishing enemies to the beat of GRAMMY-nominated Groove Armada's infectious tune 'Madder.'

"Today, Rayman gets a Web site that matches his personality - friendly and fun, with lots of action, edge, humor. The site, like Rayman's tripped-out universe, boasts a rollicking soundtrack, intense visuals, and plenty of detail," said Mona Hamilton, group brand manager for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Fans have been clamoring for the full story on the new game, and now they can find all of the best stuff in one place."

In addition to the game trailer, the site offers comprehensive information and eye-popping Rayman 3 visuals including:

- Key game features - learn about the epic storyline, the brand new superpowers, the tactical combat
- Stunning screen shots - enjoy a little tease of the gaming extravaganza to come
- The motley crew of characters - get the dirt on Rayman's friends, enemies, bosses and more meet the whole gang, from trusty, bumbling Globox to the hideous Hoodlums, fierce Knaaren and peaceful Teensies
- Rayman's trippy, psychedelic universe - check out the incredible array of worlds, from lush forests to snow-capped mountains to swampy swamps and barren wastelands
- Reviews, news and announcements - keep a finger on the pulse with this up-to-the-minute source for all things Rayman
- Links to Raymanzone.com - visit the worldwide Rayman community, where fans can join the Lums Quest, connect in the Forums, and find even more Rayman stuff

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is scheduled to ship for all platforms in March 2003.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is a global producer, publisher and international distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably. As well as developing original properties, Ubi Soft has also steadfastly partnered with several high-profile companies and is dedicated to delivering consumers with quality videogame titles while offering blockbuster franchises. Founded in 1986, the company has offices in 21 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Finland and China and sells its products in over 50 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, visit http://www.ubi.com .

Related Links: Rayman 3 Online


 
[PlayStation2] Splinter Cell Date Confirmed - posted by Erich Becker at 3:24 pm CDT

Ubi Soft was able to confirm, late last week, that Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for the PlayStation 2 will be available April 8, 2003. Mark your calenders...

 
[Tools] Trymedia Systems Releases ActiveMARK 4.0 and Software Development Kit - posted by Andy Grieser at 10:47 am CDT

TRYMEDIA SYSTEMS RELEASES ACTIVEMARK 4.0 AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT KIT

Game Developers Can Now Harness Breakthrough Digital Distribution Technology to Combat Piracy and Generate Revenues Online and in Peer-to-Peer Networks

San Francisco, CA, February 24, 2003 ? Trymedia Systems, a leading provider of digital distribution technology and services for the videogame industry, today announced the availability of version 4.0 of its ActiveMARK Content Control and Monetization solution.

For the first time, the company has also made a free Software Development Kit (SDK) available to aid game developers in the production of titles that are ready for immediate or future secure distribution on the Internet, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Networks, and via CD/DVD.

Leading entertainment software publishers and independent developers alike have found ActiveMARK to be a significant revenue-generating alternative to ?try and die? demos and hacked versions of their software floating around on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Internet.

Trymedia?s patent-pending ActiveMARK technology enables game developers and publishers to simply and securely make games available to consumers in any digital format.

Content appears to the consumer in trial mode, with sophisticated marketing interfaces that encourage them to purchase and unlock the full game. Anytime game files are shared among users ? whether by CD/DVD, Email, Peer-to-Peer, IM or any other method -- they revert to trial mode, creating a new sales opportunity for the game developer/publisher.

The new ActiveMARK 4.0 release offers increased security, the ability to sell more than one game title (i.e. multipacks ) at volume pricing, a fully customizable Download Manager, advanced compression, and full in-game registration and interface options to preserve the look and feel of the game throughout the try and buy process, among other major and minor enhancements.

?With nearly 10 million legitimate game downloads in 2002 alone, ActiveMARK has proven to be the most trusted and robust solution for the digital distribution of games,? said Trymedia?s VP of Strategy and Communications, Gabe Zichermann. ?Version 4.0 of our breakthrough platform incorporates hundreds of features that ensure even greater success for our publishing partners in 2003 and beyond.?

ActiveMARK?s simple Web-based interfaces allow game developers, publishers and retailers to create customized business rules for their digital content in seconds. Once the ActiveMARK technology is in place, software and game companies can chose to manage their own distribution process, or select from a menu of distribution services offered by Trymedia.

The new ActiveMARK SDK provides game developers a way to further integrate digital distribution assets such as end-user purchasing interfaces designed to look and feel like the game itself.


 
[Community] Screenplay Comes to Broadway for the Third Year - posted by Andy Grieser at 9:45 am CDT

SCREENPLAY COMES TO BROADWAY FOR THE THIRD TIME

Screenplay is an annual festival for everyone who?s ever been fascinated by computer games and the impact they have on our culture and environment. Makers, Thinkers, Players will take place on March 15 at Broadway Cinema (14-18 Broad Street, Nottingham NG1 3AL). Every year Broadway brings together a panel to review and debate the state of games in the context of the industry, the arts and wider culture.

Highlights of the day will include a panel discussion in Screen 2, featuring amongst others, David Doak of Freeradical Design, who created Timesplitters, and Professor Steve Benford from the University of Nottingham?s Mixed Reality Lab (who collaborated with theatre group Blast Theory to create the BAFTA award-winning Desert Rain, a game/performance labelled by The Times as "possibly the most technologically ambitious art installation ever made"), a gaming tournament in the Cafébar for under-16s, a matinee screening of War Games and exhibitions of technology-based artwork as well as virtual reality and simulator machines.

Screenplay will offer a prime opportunity for young people and others to network and to access information about pathways into the games industry as a career, by obtaining contacts and learning about developments.

There will also be the chance to chance to see some of the latest developments and research projects, as well as an exhibition of retro games, back by popular demand from the last Screenplay event.

The success of the previous two events in 2000 and 2001 highlights the need for a regular event addressing the interests and needs of a range of figures from the industry, from experimental research programmes in interactive media, and academic and journalistic critics, to artists and players ? as a space which is free from the incursion of commercial directives. The event reveals an industry and culture to those participating in it, those on the fringes, those interested in it and those who want to find entry to it, crucially, young people and children.

Full details of the event programme will be available shortly: if you would like to receive these or want further information, please contact Rasheeqa Ahmad on 0115 952 6600 or email rasheeqa@broadway.org.uk.



Thursday, February 20, 2003
 
[PC] Ubi Soft Relaunches Strategic Simulations Line - posted by Erich Becker at 3:19 pm CDT

Ubi Soft Relaunches Strategic Simulations Line

Company Strengthens Commitment to Combat Simulation Category

San Francisco - February 20, 2003 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the top 10 video game publishers in the world, today announced the relaunch of the company's line of combat simulation games under the Strategic Simulations brand. The category will include three highly anticipated upcoming games, IL-2 Sturmovik : Forgotten Battles, Larry Bond's Harpoon 4, and Lock On : Modern Air Combat, as well as three unannounced combat simulations targeted for 2004 and 2005.

Games in the Strategic Simulations line will span the greatest eras of historical and modern warfare, and will have a consistent look in packaging. The new line look will roll out with IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles.

"Ubi Soft has had tremendous success in the combat simulation category," said Tony Kee, vice president of Marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "With the already proven strength and longevity of the Strategic Simulations brand on our side, we're solidly committed to the genre, and we have some great titles coming out over the next several months that we're really excited about."

Ubi Soft also announced the expected ship dates for the first three titles in the Strategic Simulations line. IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles, sequel to the extremely popular IL-2: Sturmovik, will ship to retailers in March. Larry Bond's Harpoon 4, the latest modern naval warfare simulation in the highly successful franchise established by Larry Bond, will launch in early May, and Lock On: Modern Air Combat, the premier modern combat flight simulation, will be released in July.

About IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles
IL-2: Forgotten Battles is the full-featured sequel to the hugely popular, multi-award winning IL-2: Sturmovik World War II combat flight simulation. Created by 1C Maddox Games, IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles adds new maps and missions for both single and multiplayer play, as well as dozens of new World War II aircraft, including the American P-47 "Thunderbolt" and German Ju-87 "Stuka," a new dynamic campaign system, and several other features for almost limitless replayability. For more information, visit www.IL2sturmovik.com.

About Larry Bond's Harpoon 4
The newest title in the popular franchise, Larry Bond's Harpoon 4 is the ultimate simulation of modern naval warfare. The real-time game features over 1,000 ships, subs, aircraft, and ground formations, a highly detailed and customizable map of Northern Europe, and a variety of single and multiplayer missions, including a special campaign written by best-selling techno-thriller author Larry Bond. For more information about Larry Bond's Harpoon 4, visit www.harpoon4.com.

About Lock On: Modern Air Combat
Stunningly realistic yet accessible for all players, Lock On: Modern Air Combat presents the ultimate in modern combat flight simulation. The game features eight flyable combat jets, including the American A10A Warthog and Russian and German MiG-29 aircraft, breathtaking 3D terrain with incredible detail and dynamic lighting, at least 36 individual missions, and scalable realism and detail for both the beginner and expert pilot. More information about the game can be found at www.lo-mac.com.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment

Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

2003 Ubi Soft Entertainment. All rights reserved. Ubi Soft Entertainment and the Ubi Soft logo are registered trademarks and IL-2: Sturmovik, IL-2Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles, Larry Bond's Harpoon 4, and Lock On: Modern Air Combat are trademarks, of Ubi Soft, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

# # #

 
[PC] IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 3:17 pm CDT

IL-2 Sturmovik(tm): Forgotten Battles Goes Gold

Full-featured sequel to award-winning combat flight sim to hit stores in March

San Francisco - February 19, 2003 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the top ten video game publishers in the world, today announced that the highly anticipated World War II combat flight simulation IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles has gone gold. The game, part of Ubi Soft's Strategic Simulations line, will ship to U.S. retail stores March 4, 2003.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles is the full-featured sequel to the hugely popular, multi-award winning IL-2: Sturmovik World War II combat flight simulation. Created by 1C Maddox Games, IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles adds new maps and missions for both single and multiplayer play, as well as dozens of new World War II aircraft, including the American P-47 "Thunderbolt" and German Ju-87 "Stuka," a new dynamic campaign system, and several other features for almost limitless replayability. For more information, including a complete list of all new aircraft, maps and features, visit www.IL2sturmovik.com.

"Fans of the original IL-2: Sturmovik, as well as newcomers, should be thrilled with the sheer amount of new content in this sequel," said Matt Wagner, producer for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "From the new Dynamic Campaign, to the new maps dedicated to multiplayer, and dozens of added features, there's a lot for sim fans to enjoy."

About 1C: Maddox Games
Maddox Games was founded in 1992, developing more than 40 games and multimedia products for MS-DOS, Windows and Pen Pad platforms. The company developed music players, puzzles, simulators, 3D-shooters as well as serious products like special electronic maps and scientific software tools. Maddox Games is a multi-award winning software company in Russia, earning several national prizes in different contests. In 1999 Maddox Games joined the 1C company, the largest Software House in Russia, giving the team a new name - 1C:Maddox Games. Years spent in research and development by the team, produced a good and stable base to build upon with making games in various genres, from 3D strategy games and vehicles simulators, to flight and space simulators.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.


 
[PC] NCsoft Releases Lineage Episode XII: Aden - posted by Erich Becker at 3:15 pm CDT

NCsoft Releases Lineage Episode XII: Aden
Latest Lineage chapter unveils new lands and the Great Castle of Aden; Update introduces significant social, political and economic system enhancements

AUSTIN, Texas, February 19, 2003---NCsoft(tm), the world's largest online game company, launched the latest chapter to its successful massively multiplayer game, Lineage(tm), in North America today. Episode XII: Aden represents the final segment in Part I of the ongoing Lineage saga. Lineage first launched in 1998 and has grown to more than three-million active subscribers worldwide.

In Episode XII, players can explore the city of Aden and its surrounding lands that include the Twilight Mountains, where giants run amok, the Tower of Insolence, a mysterious place where only the best adventurers survive, or the Scar of Lindvior, a crater made when Lindvior the wind dragon crashed to the earth. In the center of town lies the Great Castle of Aden, which offers enormous rewards to the players who conquer its walls. Siege and triumph over Aden, and you'll become the ultimate ruler of all the land and wield influence over Lineage's other six castles.

Aden also introduces new game systems to enhance the player experience. The hometown system allows players to register as a resident of a village. The selection of the town's mayor is based on each registered players' contribution to protecting the area. All players who register with a village, city or town are paid a monthly dividend for their contributions to keeping it safe. This "cyber-community" within Lineage represents a redistribution of power and wealth through more democratic means. Additionally, the new alliance system means pledges in Lineage can band together to become more powerful than ever.

Future plans for Lineage will be announced soon, as NCsoft prepares to roll out Part II of the Lineage story and bring even more enhancements to the game's experience.

Lineage is currently available via free download at http://www.lineage.com or players can request a free CD via U.S. mail from NCsoft. Lineage comes with a 7-day free trial period. After that, a subscription of US$15 per month is required to continue playing. Customers can save money by purchasing four months in a single transaction at a rate of US$11.25 per month.

About NCsoft Corporation
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corp. ( KOSDAQ: 36570) is the world's leading developer and publisher of online games. Established in 1997, NCsoft quickly turned its flagship product, Lineage (http://www.lineage.com), into a blockbuster hit. The game currently commands a 42% market share and attracts more than 300,000 concurrent users and 3,200,000 active subscriptions around the world. NCsoft has joint venture offices located in Tokyo, Hong Kong and operates its North American business out of Austin, Texas. NCsoft is a public company and its stock is traded on the KOSDAQ Korean stock exchange. In fiscal year 2002, NCsoft posted revenues of KRW154.8 billion or approximately US$123.3 million. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.ncsoft.net.

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[PC Gaming] Octagon Seeks Worldwide Publishing for Besieger - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:35 am CDT

Octagon Seeks Worldwide Publishing for Besieger

CHAPEL HILL, NC and MOSCOW, Russia ? 20 February 2003 ? Octagon Entertainment, Inc., the video game industry?s leading agency, today announced an agreement to represent Primal Software to find a worldwide publisher for Besieger, a 3D real-time strategy game set in a medieval fantasy world. Besieger is in development for PC and is scheduled to be completed Q3 2003.

Besieger introduces a world filled with feudal rivalry in which players can wage war as either Viking or Cimmerian warriors. Contenders can build flying vehicles for combat or siege towns on horseback in an effort to conquer factions such as Ogres, Werewolves, Centaurs, and other non-human races. The armored walls of a barricade can be shattered using a battering ram and competitors can pocket enemy buildings and equipment. Players can also retreat and accumulate forces behind their own armored citadel for a counterattack.

Besieger is story-based and players must complete quests to determine the outcome of the story.
Progressive economics allow players to spend resources constructing 40 types of buildings and honing over 50 different units for battle. Workers are created without cost to the player but must be trained for fighting and other special skills. This experience and fighting efficiency carry over as levels are defeated.

The game includes multiplayer options via Internet or LAN, which allows up to 16 players to compete by ?All Against All,? ?Capture the Artifact,? ?Siege,? and ?Tactical Combat.? Players will also be able to design game extensions and new maps using tools provided by Primal Software.

?I am very pleased to be representing Primal Software. Besieger is a fabulous game and I am confident that we will secure a solid deal for it in a timely manner,? said Octagon agent Jerod Kirby.

?Cooperation with such a professional team as Octagon allows us to focus on the creative aspects of game development thus making our title more appealing to RTS players,? said Primal Software Managing Director Petr Petoukhov.

Octagon Entertainment arranges worldwide financing, licensing and distribution agreements for developers and publishers of computer and video games. Octagon currently represents products including EVE: The Second Genesis, Enclave, BloodRayne, Soldiers of Anarchy, Outlaw Golf, and Devastation.

Primal Software is a game development company located in Moscow, Russia. It was founded in 1996 under the name SBG Co. Ltd. and released more than ten full-scale multimedia encyclopedias for a variety of publishers before moving to computer games. In 1999 and 2000 Primal released two national best-selling games: Petka and Petka 2: Judgment Day that sold more than 250,000 units, a record for the Russian market.

In 2001 Primal formed a new company, Primal Software, to reflect its decision to concentrate all of its efforts on providing gamers with their most primal needs: fun & addictive gameplay, cool visuals and bleeding edge technology. Primal?s first international game, The I of the Dragon, was published in Russia by Akella and hit the shelves in autumn 2002. More than 40,000 copies were sold in the first two months.


 
[Console] First Wave of MechAssault Downloadable Content Ready for Action - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:34 am CDT

First Wave of MechAssault Downloadable Content Ready for Action


Microsoft today announced that the first batch of new downloadable content is now available for "MechAssault" via Xbox Live.

In this first update, players will find two new multiplayer maps which support all five of the current gametypes and two agile new 'Mechs: Raven and Corvus.

The new maps include Hell's Kitchen, a fiery volcanic world; and Stone Cold, a frigid snowy
environment. These new items will greatly expand multiplayer play, and this update is available for no additional charge.

Taking advantage of both Xbox Live and the Xbox hard drive, developers can now push the limits beyond traditional console game experiences: Downloadable content not only expands the game itself, but also assures that the community continues to thrive and grow.

?Xbox and Xbox Live make it possible for us to keep fresh new content and gameplay 'in the faces' of our loyal MechAssault fans," said president of Day 1 Studios, Denny Thorley. "These fans are the leaders and influencers in the industry, and we thank them for their support and patience.?

Players can also look forward to the second batch of new content coming soon, which will include the highly anticipated Capture-the-Flag gametype.

MechAssault lets players pilot the most powerful weapons available in the 31st century, a 40-foot-tall walking tank known as a BattleMech ?, or 'Mech. In this third-person action/shooter game, environments are not only fully destructible, they're the weapons. Players choose from a dozen 'Mechs ? ranging from quick 30-tonners to huge 100-ton beasts ? which they configure and optimize to crush their opponents. Gamers can challenge themselves with 20 single-player missions as they prepare for the ultimate multiplayer online experience.

"MechAssault" is currently available only on Xbox in North America for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). For more information, visit http://www.mechassault.com .


 
[PC Gaming] NDL's 3D Graphics Toolkit Being Used in Dragon Empires - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:33 am CDT

NDL's 3D Graphics Toolkit Being Used in Dragon Empires

Online Game to Contain Astonishing Landscapes in Unique Fantasy World

(Chapel Hill, NC - February 20, 2002) ? NDL, a leading developer of 3D graphics technology for the gaming industry, announced today that its graphics engine toolkit is being used to help develop Dragon Empires, Codemasters' highly anticipated Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). Currently in development for PC, Dragon Empires has already built a hugely successful online community as over 90,000 applications from online gamers all over the world hope to serve as beta testers for the game.

Dragon Empires presents a fantasy world where magic is plentiful and the lives of humans and dragons intertwine. The world will be filled with embattled clans, each striving to prove their superiority in head-to-head group combat, as they aim to take political and economic control of the game's 50 magnificent cities. The game combines a state of the art graphics engine with enriched details, making this MMORPG an exceptionally interactive experience. Uniquely, Dragon Empires contains a full weather model over gorgeous terrain resulting in tropical rainstorms, lightning, thunder, wind and snow.

"NDL's 3D graphics toolkit allows us to quickly and efficiently add new objects and graphical features into the game environment," said Ted Carron, Producer of Dragon Empires. "Because of this, our development team has been able to spend more time creating an environment that is both unique and compelling. After a tremendous amount of planning and implementation, we have created a universe unlike anything else online today."

Dragon Empires will contain a variety of features including player-controlled towns and cities, an engaging political system based around supporting friendly clans and undermining your enemies, and a detailed economic model where prices (and profits) fluctuate according to player actions. The game also contains a full clan system with message boards, ranks, titles and crests.

"The Codemasters team is developing an amazingly realistic online environment," said John Austin, President of NDL. "The latest screenshots of Dragon Empires look fantastic and we are very excited to be a contributor to this project."

 
[Community] CPL, Twin Galaxies Form Alliance - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:32 am CDT

The CPL and Twin Galaxies Form Alliance to Crown Champions for the Official Video Game Book of World Records


FAIRFIELD, IA and DALLAS, TX - February 20, 2003 - In a joint announcement, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) and the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard today revealed plans to include the champions of CPL events in the forthcoming edition of Twin Galaxies Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records.

In recognition of the Cyberathlete Professional League's impressive emergence as the premiere organization for competitive computer gaming, the editors of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records have decided to accept the CPL winners as the legitimate champions of the electronic gaming world.

"Until the CPL reached its present level of maturity, we were confused as to who were the legitimate champions of the PC gaming world," admits Walter Day, chief editor of the Book of Records and the founder of Twin Galaxies. "Before the CPL, the gaming community was in disunity with dozens of organizations hoping their contest winners would be recognized as the true world champions."

"But now, because the CPL has demonstrated that it has the power to attract all the genuine champions from about 30 countries, we feel confident in declaring the CPL champions the legitimate world champions in the official book of records."

The Founder and President of the CPL, Angel Munoz said: "We are pleased to become affiliated with Twin Galaxies because we respect their 22 years serving the industry as its official scorekeeper. In fact, we would like to announce that the Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records is now the official record book for the CPL."

Though this alliance focuses mainly on the current superstars of Unreal Tournament 2003, Half-Life Counter-Strike and other CPL championships conducted in recent years, Twin Galaxies will be looking to the CPL to produce the official champions on future titles to be released in the coming years.

Not only will the Official Book of Records reserve more than one dozen pages for the CPL winners, featuring news on events, individual career biographies and photographs, but additional pages will be set aside for life-time and season statistics for single players and teams. In order to properly identify the player and team statistics most suitable for honoring in the forthcoming Twin Galaxies Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, Day expects to be working very closely with the CPL and its partners: CSports.net, iGames.org and GameFixx.com

The book, originally planned for publication later this summer will delay its editorial deadline in order to include the results of the Counter-Strike World Championships to take place at the CPL Summer 2003 Event. The book is expected to come out in the late fall as a 720-page soft-cover edition.

Come August 3, 2003, Chief Scorekeeper Walter Day and his staff of referees will be present at CPL's Summer Event to take the stage and give official certificates of recognition to the players who will be entered into the book of records.

This announcement comes at a historic moment, as the CPL has promised gaming history's largest cash purse for a single game tournament: $200,000 in total prizes with $70,000 slated for the top winner of Half-Life Counter-Strike. This unique accomplishment will be listed in the forthcoming book of records as the largest cash prize ever offered to the top winner of an electronic gaming tournament.

Walter Day added, "This amount of prize money exceeds the $50,000 offered for the Descent III tournament in 1999, the $50,000 offered to the top winner of the Age of Empires II World Championship in 2001 and the $25,000 offered by Mattel and Intellivision for the 1982 Astrosmash World Championship."

"This alliance will benefit all PC gamers throughout the world," predicts Angel Munoz. "By using the Book of Records to historically document the careers of the top professional players and the major tournaments, we have demonstrated that pro-gaming has matured into a genuine sport -- a sport that treasures its valuable tradition of champions."

Twin Galaxies, based in Fairfield, Iowa, has been tracking gaming statistics for the worldwide electronic gaming industry since 1982 and will be releasing later this year the 2nd edition of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, the industry's book of records. Twin Galaxies also conducts an Annual Video Game Festival at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. Twin Galaxies can be found on the Internet at www.twingalaxies.com.

 


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