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March 07, 2002 - March 22, 2002 - See More Archived News


Friday, March 22, 2002
 
[PressRelease] MechAssault (Xbox) Rumbles on to the Xbox - posted by Erich Becker at 7:58 am CDT

“MechAssault” Rumbles Onto Xbox

Popular “BattleTech” Franchise to Make Its Console Debut With Online Features

REDMOND, Wash. - March 22, 2002 - Microsoft® Game Studios today announced that “MechAssault,” a sci-fi action/shooter game based on the highly successful “BattleTech” franchise, will be available this fall exclusively for the Xbox™ video game system.

“MechAssault,” a futuristic sci-fi third-person shooter game, will allow gamers to command a huge walking tank known as a BattleMech. Players will battle foes and take out enemy structures while maneuvering the huge BattleMech, or ’Mech, through a variety of environments. A dozen powerful BattleMechs will be available in “MechAssault,” each with massive firepower. “MechAssault” will feature complete destruction on a level never seen before — everything in the world can be destroyed bit by bit. Gamers can play a variety of missions with multiple objectives that require tactics and skill. “MechAssault” on Xbox also will include online features.

“We are going to blow action gamers’ minds when they unleash the massive firepower and military strength of ‘MechAssault,’” said Pete Parsons, director of marketing for Microsoft Game Studios.

“MechAssault” is being developed by Day 1 Studios.

About Day 1

Day 1 Studios is an independent developer dedicated to the craft of creating revolutionary, interactive entertainment through superior design, artistic and technical processes. Day 1 Studios is currently developing “MechAssault” for Microsoft. This “BattleTech” action game will be available only on Xbox. With a heritage spawned from premier development houses, Day 1 operates studios in Chicago and Hunt Valley, Md. For additional information, contact Denny Thorley at (312) 258-0500, ext. 248.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide games company with two core businesses: games development and publishing (http://www.microsoft.com/games/) and Zone.com. Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/) is the Internet’s largest game site.

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 North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (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.

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[PressRelease] Microsoft Calls European Xbox Launch a Success - posted by Erich Becker at 7:46 am CDT

Xbox European Launch a Success

Preliminary Reports Show Xbox Has Taken Europe by Storm

LONDON - March 21, 2002 - The dust has cleared from the European launch of the Xbox? video game system, the future-generation console from Microsoft Corp., and preliminary reports indicate it's a runaway hit.

Thousands of gamers lined up at stores in the 16 European launch countries on the evening of March 13 to be among the first to purchase Xbox, resulting in a near sell-out in its first day at retail. Early reports also show a huge demand for games and accessories, with most customers leaving stores not only with an Xbox system, but with several games and accessories. Top-selling games include "Halo?," "Project Gotham Racing?," "RalliSport Challenge?" and "Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee?" from Microsoft® Game Studios, as well as "Dead or Alive 3" from Tecmo, "Max Payne" from Take-Two Interactive, "WRECKLESS: The Yakuza Missions?" from Activision and "JSRF - Jet Set Radio Future?" from SEGA®.

"We have been pleased with Xbox sales over its first weekend," said Lisa Morgan, commercial director for GAME and Electronics Boutique. "Hardware sales were particularly impressive on launch day and we've seen a good attachment rate covering both first- and third-party games. The strong lineup of day-one games has undoubtedly contributed to a successful console launch for Microsoft."

Microsoft's replenishment strategy means that a steady supply of Xbox systems will be hitting retail outlets weekly, helping ensure there is enough product to meet current demand. Microsoft expects to ship between 4.5 million and 6 million Xbox systems worldwide by the end of June. Xbox is the only console manufacturer with a European factory (in Sárvár, Hungary), which means stock can reach any retail outlet in Europe in less than three days.

"I'm excited to finally see Xbox in the hands of gamers," said Sandy Duncan, vice president of Xbox Europe at Microsoft. "I've always known that Xbox is the best video game system ever, but after playing games with people at launch I see that gamers also recognize the amazing power and intense fun that only Xbox can offer. European gamers have welcomed Xbox into their hearts and into their homes in a big way."

Word-of-mouth recommendations and stellar reviews are driving gamers to the great games available on Xbox, including "Halo," which earned a perfect 10 score from the influential European gaming bible Edge.

Twenty Xbox titles are now on sale, with more lined up in the next two weeks, such as "F1 2002" (Electronic Arts), "Genma Onimusha" (Capcom), "Championship Manager: Season 01/02" (Eidos) and "Shrek?" (TDK Mediactive, Inc.). A steady stream of titles will support Xbox up to June 2002, including "2002 FIFA World Cup" (Electronic Arts), "International Superstar Soccer 2" (Konami), "Moto GP" (THQ Inc.), "Spider-Man®: The Movie Game?" (Activision), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"(Electronic Arts) and "Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex?" (Universal Interactive, Inc.).

"We had a very good weekend with Xbox," said Bruno Bonnell, founder and CEO of Infogrames Entertainment SA. "We have had to produce more copies of 'JSRF - Jet Set Radio Future,' one of our Xbox launch titles, to keep up with demand. 'TransWorld Surf' is also doing well for us. This is a very good sign for the long-term success of Xbox, and we look forward to a long relationship."

The buzz surrounding the launch of Xbox manifested itself in many ways. A survey of new Xbox owners by Amazon.co.uk (Amazon.com's U.K. division) suggested that 74 percent were planning to take a day off work to stay home and play games - nearly half (46 percent) were going to feign illness as an excuse.

About Xbox

Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers never-before-seen gameplay experiences. With more than three times the graphics performance of the latest generation of game consoles, Xbox empowers game designers with the technology to realize their vision of great games that are challenging, exhilarating and fun. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (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.

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[PressRelease] Dungeon Siege (PC) Goes Gold! - posted by Erich Becker at 7:43 am CDT

The Adventure Begins! Dungeon Siege Goes Gold

The Kingdom of Ehb is now closer than it ever was! Microsoft today announced that Dungeon Siege has gone gold and is expected to hit North American store shelves by April 5. Dungeon Siege will be available for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.).

Dungeon Siege has been in development for three years by Chris Taylor and Gas Powered Games. "Everyone at GPG has worked hard to finish the game that we originally envisioned, and we are extremely happy with the way it all came together," Taylor said. "We hope that everyone enjoys playing it as much as we did creating it."

Taylor will make an appearance at the local EBX store at the Redmond Town Center in Redmond, Washington (16475 NE 74th Street) around noon on April 5. He is looking forward to witnessing the launch of Dungeon Siege first-hand and meeting fans who have supported the game throughout its development.

Dungeon Siege is an action fantasy role-playing game featuring an immersive fully 3-D environment. The game plunges players into a continuous 3-D fantasy world on a quest to stop a mysterious evil that has been unleashed. Beginning with a single character, players can travel through the world and gather a party of up to eight characters, or choose to face the challenge alone. The action role-playing in Dungeon Siege propels players into one over-the-top battle after another as the storyline unfolds.

For more information about Dungeon Siege, visit the official Web site
at:

http://www.microsoft.com/games/dungeonsiege/

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[PressRelease] LucasArts Announces Star Wars: Bounty Hunter for PS2 and GCN - posted by Erich Becker at 7:23 am CDT

LUCASARTS' STAR WARS BOUNTY HUNTER FEATURES STAR WARS: EPISODE II's JANGO FETT, THE MOST FEARED MERCENARY IN THE STAR WARS GALAXY

Father of Legendary Bounty Hunter Boba Fett Highlights Action Game for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- March 21, 2002 -- The hunt begins! Jango Fett, the most ruthless and feared mercenary in the Star Wars galaxy, will make his spectacular interactive debut later this year in the action-packed Star Wars Bounty Hunter from LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC. Through Jango -- father of Boba Fett, one of the most intriguing and enduring characters in the Star Wars universe -- players will plunge into the dark, deadly world of a bounty hunter, a role Star Wars game fans have long awaited to play. Star Wars Bounty Hunter is expected to release fall 2002 on PlayStation 2 and GameCube.

Inspired by events between Star Wars: Episode I and II, Star Wars Bounty Hunter presents an original, compelling third-person action game experience which establishes Jango Fett's place in the Star Wars galaxy, and his connection to the notorious clone army.

Star Wars Bounty Hunter draws players into Jango Fett's sinister and seedy world, where thieves, assassins - and worse - thrive. Using his cunning and a host of deadly skills, Jango Fett ventures into the rarely explored dark side of the Star Wars universe to track down the elusive leader of a mysterious and deadly cult. All the while, he'll compete against a brutal rival from his past in a quest to capture the ultimate bounty, dead or alive.

"Because of Boba Fett's amazing legacy Star Wars fans have been requesting a bounty hunter game from LucasArts for years," says Tom Byron, director of product marketing for LucasArts. "Star Wars Bounty Hunter will make their wait well worth it, delivering the intense, suspense-filled experience players want and expect. Like his legendary son, Jango Fett is mysterious and powerful. He's the ultimate anti-hero who defines much of what's cool about Star Wars."
Gameplay emphasizes intense combat and physical action in the relentless pursuit of prey across six fantastic worlds and 18 levels. Jango Fett faces off against an onslaught of the worst scum in the universe, including crime lords, corrupt politicians, enemies of various species, and a ruthless competitor from his own mysterious past. He is equipped with an arsenal of powerful weapons such as dual blaster pistols, a flame thrower, missiles, and a distinctive jet pack soon to be familiar to Star Wars fans.

The development of Star Wars Bounty Hunter utilizes the unique, world-renowned talents of LucasArts' sister companies Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound. This marks the first time other companies in the Lucas group have combined their expertise in the production of a LucasArts game. ILM is generating cinematics for Star Wars Bounty Hunter, and Skywalker Sound is creating sound effects for the game.

A preview trailer of Star Wars Bounty Hunter can be found as a bonus on the recently released Star Wars Jedi Starfighter game disc, now available at all major video game retailers.

About LucasArts
LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC is a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for a variety of computer and console platforms. Based in San Rafael, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts is one of five companies in the Lucas group which include Lucasfilm Ltd., Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC, Lucas Licensing Ltd., and Lucas Learning Ltd. Lucasfilm is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm's businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucas Digital, which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, provides visual effects and audio post-production services to the entertainment industry. Lucas Licensing is responsible for the merchandising of all Lucasfilm's film and television properties. Lucas Learning creates engaging interactive entertainment products that provide learning opportunities through exploration and discovery.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2002
 
[Community] 3DSpotlight Reviews ECS' Socket 478 L4S5A Motherboard - posted by Erich Becker at 1:55 pm CDT

3D Spotlight has posted a review of ECS' new Socket 478 L4S5A motherboard based on the SiS 645 chipset. Supporting 166 MHz DDR memory and a FSB of up to 400 MHz and an extremely attractive price, we've got to see what ECS had to sacrifice (in any) to bring us one of the cheapest P4 motherboards you can get around...

Check out the review at:


 
[PressRelease] Themis Group Announces New Report on Online Gaming - posted by Erich Becker at 1:52 pm CDT

Themis Group Announces New Report on Online & Mobile Gaming Industry - 3/20/2002

Stamford, Connecticut – March 20, 2002 – The Themis Group (http://www.themis-group.com), the leading provider of player relations services for massively multiplayer games, announced today the forthcoming release of its new report on the online and mobile gaming industry.

The Themis Report will provide a detailed analysis of the state of the industry, with hard data as well as case studies on major players. Authoring the report are noted industry experts Greg Costikyan and Jessica Mulligan. Mr. Costikyan is co-founder of mobile game firm Unplugged Games and author of the well-received 1999 analyst’s report The Future of Online Games. Ms. Mulligan is president of Themis, the author of the bi-weekly industry column “Biting the Hand,” and co-author of the 2001 DCF Report on the game industry.

“The Themis Report draws on the collected experience of two of the most insightful minds in gaming,” said Alex Macris, CEO of the Themis Group. “It will be of interest to anyone who wants to know where online and mobile gaming is heading and what the critical factors for success are in the industry.”

The report will be released at the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Exhibition and will be available for $1000.00. Interested parties can review the table of contents and selected content at http://www.themis-group.com/uploads/The Themis Report - Preview.pdf.


About The Themis Group
The Themis Group is the industry’s leading provider of player relations outsourcing and consulting solutions and services. Led by one of the most experienced teams in the industry, its expertise in community-building, customer care, and online operations is unparalleled. Themis Group, Inc. is headquartered in Stamford, CT. For more information, visit the website at http://www.themis-group.com or contact info@themis-group.com.



 
[PressRelease] NCsoft Announces Lineage II - posted by Erich Becker at 1:50 pm CDT

NCsoft Announces Lineage II

Powered by the Epic Games' Unreal Engine, Prequel to World's Most Popular Online Game to Feature Advanced 3D Graphics and New Game Structure

AUSTIN, Texas, March 20, 2002 - NCsoft(tm) Corporation, the world's largest independent online game company, today announced Lineage(tm) II, the prequel to the most popular online game in the world. With more than four million subscribers and 330 thousand concurrent users, Lineage set the standard for subscription-based online games. Lineage II promises to advance the world of Lineage by adding an amazing array of features, graphics, gameplay, fantasy and depth.

Placing gamers in an entirely new online world, Lineage II will feature state-of-the-art 3D graphics, powered by the latest Unreal technology from Epic Games. The graphics are among the most ambitious visuals ever attempted in an online game and will allow players to be further immersed in the fantasy world that is filled with a new set of adventures, interactions and challenges. The game, set 150 years prior to Lineage, will also feature an easy-to-learn interface, an intuitive game structure, a variety of classes, and a new focus on group battle. In addition, politics, economics and morals play crucial roles in Lineage II. "Lineage is the most popular online game in the world because players are captivated by the game's core gameplay elements," says Richard Garriott, executive producer at NCsoft's Austin, Texas office. "Lineage II will provide players with truly state of the art gameplay and visuals, while maintaining the feel and excitement of the original." "Epic eyes the Korean marketplace with great interest," said Jay Wilbur of Epic Games. "We are especially delighted to be working with NCsoft, Korea's foremost massively multiplayer game developer, as a licensee of our Unreal Engine for use in the prequel to their smash hit game Lineage." The concepts of sieges and pledges will be carried over from Lineage, however the sieges in Lineage II will take place in a full 3D environment. This new form of battle will allow players to develop and implement new strategies and tactics. The pledge will remain the base of society in the game, and Lineage II will expand on the concept by adding a pledge chatting channel, a more robust safe house system and a dedicated pledge homepage. Further details of Lineage II, including screen shots, character descriptions and an FAQ are available at .

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 () 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 .


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Tuesday, March 19, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Wanadoo and Strategy First to Publish Druid King - posted by Erich Becker at 12:57 pm CDT

Wanadoo and Strategy First to publish Druid King

Paris, March 19th, 2002

Wanadoo and Strategy First join together to conclude a publishing deal with Bulgarian developer Haemimont Games, in order to release the strategy game Druid King.

French publisher Wanadoo, in association with the North American publisher Strategy First, announces it has concluded a deal with Sofia-based studio Haemimont Games to publish and distribute Druid King, its new real time strategy game (RTS). It will be released in Western Europe (except Spain) and Japan by Wanadoo, and in North America jointly by Wanadoo and Strategy First.

The game is scheduled for release on PC in the third quarter (tbc) of 2002.

After its recent deal with the Japanese developer Tecmo, Wanadoo is very proud of this new partnership with Strategy First, the American leader of strategy games, and Haemimont Games, the famous developer of Tzar. The agreement enhances the Wanadoo strategy to develop a worldwide net of partners who share its philosophy of delivering the most innovative and alternative games to people worldwide.

The opportunity to work with Wanadoo and Haemimont Games for the release of Druid King is very exciting for Strategy First. The partnership allows Strategy First to broaden their worldwide reach and add an innovative new title to the game market. Strategy First hopes that this is the beginning of a long term partnership.

Haemimont Games is impressed with the abilities of Wanadoo and Strategy First to deliver Druid King to a wide audience of gamers. The deal supports the company?s vision to develop innovative products and opens new possibilities for future projects.

Druid King is a RTS that mixes strategy and role-playing elements, with online multi-player features.

The adventure takes place in ancient Gaul. Four mighty forces battle for power: the brave Gauls, the mighty Romans, the vicious Teutons and the mysterious Druids who `weave the patterns` that make nations prosper and states decay. Using various military tactics and strategy the player must control the actions of the Gaul hero Larax and lead him to victory. Find more on the Druid King website: www.haemimont.com/druidking

WANADOO is one of Europe?s top Internet companies. The group is successfully driving robust development in its different businesses as an ISP, a designer of portals and specialized websites, an e-merchant, a publisher of online and print directories, and a provider of Internet solutions for businesses. Its subsidiary WANADOO EDITION produces, publishes and distributes video games on consoles, CD-Roms and Internet. Wanadoo Edition?s development strategy centers around three key points: to develop alternative video games for all software platforms, to publish large audience games of all major genres (action, adventure, sport, race, strategy and MMG) and to distribute worldwide.

Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly, publishing major games in the industry and simultaneously developing its own in-house titles such as O.R.B., Disciples II, Nexagon: The Pit and Zero-G Marines. After winning numerous awards for games such as Disciples: Sacred Lands, Europa Universalis, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Steel Beasts, Strategy First continues to push the gaming envelope with its own groundbreaking titles, while maintaining its reputation as a unique alternative for independent developers seeking to market their games to a worldwide audience.

Haemimont Games is dedicated to video and computer game design and development, creating products of the highest quality in the RTS and RPG genres. Its key strategy is to employ tallented young people and allow them to use their creative skills in the game creation process. Haemimont Games is a division of Haemimont-Smartcom AD - a leading privately-held Bulgarian technology group.


 
[ESCMAG] Creature's Isle Interview - posted by Erich Becker at 12:55 pm CDT

We recently had a chance to ask the Creature's Isle team over at Lionhead/EA about thier most recent release, Black & White: Creature's Isle. They came back with some great responses, check it out!

Related Links: See Our Full Feature


 
[PressRelease] Strategy First Releases Diggles (PC) to Retail - posted by Erich Becker at 12:53 pm CDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, Quebec. March 19, 2002 They're cute, they're cuddly, they have attitudes and they're on their way to retail stores today. Strategy First and Innonics are pleased to announce that Diggles: The Myth of Fenris has shipped to retail stores across North America.

'This game is being compared to such titles as The Sims and Creatures, which makes us confident that players will embrace this title,' says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing at Strategy First.

The Diggles are an intelligent dwarf dynasty that passes on its characteristics, good and bad from one generation to another. They cook mushrooms, raise hamsters, produce tools and invent machines. They enjoy their leisure time as well by going bowling, playing cards or visiting the Pub!

The adventure of the diggles begins when godfather Odin sends them out on a dangerous mission to the center of the earth to disarm and chain the hound of hell, fenris. Fenris was once Odin's watchdog, but since he ran away, he has become aware of his power and strength and has been using these attributes to bring terror to the underground world. The chain needed to dismantle Fenris's power is one only the Diggles can forge. It's a dangerous mission, one that only the Diggles can accomplish.

Experience countless adventures, dive into the complex and thrilling non-linear story and get to know the individual characters that range from stubborn and nasty to hard-working and cuddly.

Infogrames will distribute Diggles: The Myth of Fenris exclusively throughout North America. Suggested retail price is $39.99 US.

About Innonics

Innonics is a leading german developer and European-wide publisher of PC entertainment software. Founded as a publisher-only in 1998, Innonics has grown into one of Germany's most successful developers with three in-house teams and more than 40 employees, publishing hits like Jagged Alliance2-Unfinished Business and developing chart breakers like Thandor (released in 2000, No. 2 in the charts) and the award-winning title Diggles (2001, No. 3 in the charts). Future titles like Sabotage, The Reef and Holiday Park have already received attention in Germany's biggest PC magazines.

About Strategy First Inc.

Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly, publishing major games in the industry and simultaneously developing its own in-house titles such as O.R.B., Disciples II, Nexagon: The Pit and Zero-G Marines. After winning numerous awards for games such as Disciples: Sacred Lands, Europa Universalis, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Steel Beasts, Strategy First continues to push the gaming envelope with its own groundbreaking titles, while maintaining its reputation as a unique alternative for independent developers seeking to market their games to a worldwide audience.


 
[PressRelease] EA Launches Agent Under Fire for GameCube and XBox - posted by Erich Becker at 12:30 pm CDT

EA GAMES EXTENDS TOP SELLING JAMES BOND 007 IN... AGENT UNDER FIRE WITH THE ARRIVAL OF NINTENDO GAMECUBE AND MICROSOFT XBOX VERSIONS

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 19, 2002- The world of James Bond is brought alive on the next generation console systems with the release of James Bond 007 in...Agent Under Fire(tm) for the Nintendo GameCube(tm) and the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft in North America. In partnership with MGM Interactive for the highly coveted 007-license, Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) is publishing the games under the EA GAMES(tm) brand. The games follow the top selling* PlayStation® 2 version released last fall. The Xbox version will be available on March 26.

Similar to the PlayStation 2 version, gamers of the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube systems will engage in a first-ever 007 experience on the respective platforms. The game delivers a unique and complete Bond adventure that immerses the player in the exciting world of secret agent 007 through 12 mission-based levels -- comprised of first-person action, covert stealth and fast driving -- spread out over 10 exotic worldwide locations.

The action levels will give players the option of blasting their way through each area using high tech weaponry, quietly relying on spy-craft tricks and state-of-the-art gadgets as well as nerve tingling stealth to accomplish mission objectives or a combination of all three.

The driving levels, developed by the team behind EA's award-winning Need For Speed(tm) series, will feature an array of 007 exotic cars and other vehicles inspired by the Bond movies, including the BMW Z8(tm), Aston Martin DB5(tm), as well as a MGF-34 combat tank. True to the Bond universe, the vehicles are filled with Q-lab weapons and gadgets including rockets, guided missiles, machine guns, oil slicks, smoke screens and more.

Helping to enrich the game experience, both versions feature new enhancements including a more robust multiplayer mode - specifically, the addition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots - that is set in 12 unique arenas and five varying modes. In addition, players can select between three difficulty modes - Operative, 007 and 007 Agent - in between each level if they chose to do so.

Agent Under Fire for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox consoles was produced by Electronic Arts in Redwood City, CA and Electronic Arts Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia. More information can be found on the official EA product web site www.007.ea.com. Both versions carry an ESRB rating of "T" (Teen) and MSRP of US$49.99.

James Bond was first introduced to movie audiences in 1962 when Danjaq, LLC and United Artists, released Dr. No. The Bond films are one of the most valuable franchises in film history. More information about the films can be found on the official James Bond web site from MGM at: www.jamesbond.com, or at the Danjaq site at: www.007.com.

ABOUT MGM INTERACTIVE
MGM Interactive, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE: MGM), manages business development and production of interactive products for a variety of multimedia platforms, as well as talent and developer relationships. MGM Interactive's upcoming games include new versions of Agent Under Fire, an innovative content game chronicling the world-renowned super-spy James Bond from Electronic Arts; Rocky, from U.K.-based Rage, based on the unforgettable Academy Award-winning film; The Great Escape, from SCi, derived from the action-packed cult classic; and The Pink Panther, which casts the world's coolest cat in all-new games from France-based CRYO.

ABOUT DANJAQ, LLC
Danjaq, LLC is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced nineteen James Bond films since 1962. The Bond films make up the most successful franchise in film history and include the recent blockbuster films, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World Is Not Enough produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Danjaq, LLC and its affiliate Eon Productions Limited, control all worldwide merchandising of the James Bond franchise.

ABOUT ELECTRONIC ARTS
Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.3 billion for fiscal 2001. 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.

*According to TRST Report, December 2001
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Thursday, March 14, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Kohan Developers Nominated for Rookie Studio of the Year by IGDA - posted by Erich Becker at 2:59 pm CDT

For Immediate Release

KOHAN DEVELOPERS - TIMEGATE STUDIOS? - NOMINATED FOR
ROOKIE STUDIO OF THE YEAR BY IGDA

Houston, TX. (March 13, 2002) ? TimeGate Studios?, Inc. announced today that it has been nominated as ?Rookie Studio of the Year? by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) for their March 21, 2002, Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony in San Jose, California.

?Earning the nomination for Rookie Studio of the Year by our industry peers is the most flattering of all the awards that TimeGate Studios have been nominated for yet,? said TimeGate?s Managing Director, Adel Chaveleh. ?In such a competitive industry, to be recognized as an independent developer in this light is a huge honor.?

Nominations for the Game Developers Choice Awards were free and open to all professional game developers, regardless of membership or affiliation with IGDA, who stresses that the openness ensures nominees are a reflection of the game development community?s true opinions. TimeGate Studios? has earned nearly 30 awards for their debut title, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, released in March 2001. For a full list of awards visit www.timegate.com.

About Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns

This real-time fantasy strategy game is sure to appeal to a large market of gamers because of its unique blending of different game play styles. While adhering to some of the basics of traditional RTS style games, Kohan's distinctive economy model eliminates the need for micro-management of resources, leaving the player with more time for strategic combat. Kohan will also appeal to the tactical wargamer with its company based combat system and use of military concepts such as formations, visual range, supply range and even morale. Not only will the more strategic and tactical players enjoy the game, but RPG gamers will also feel at home with the game's gripping storyline and role-playing elements, such as leaders and units gaining experience, leaders being carried over from one quest to another and, of course, the lush and visually stunning fantasy land of Khaldun, where dragons, spells and swords are common place.

Immersed in a fantasy setting, players take on the role of an immortal being known as the Kohan. The Kohan were once the ruling power of the world, but were wiped out in a series of massive cataclysms; however, they did not die an eternal death, and have since been reborn and reawakened in a new world, unlike the one they once knew. They must come to grips with their past glory, their present hardship and their future destiny. The player must try to solve the mystery of their race?s destruction and attempt to return the Kohan to their rightful glory.

About TimeGate Studios, Inc.
TimeGate Studios?, Inc., http://www.timegate.com/ is committed to being a premier content provider for all popular gaming platforms. Founded in 1998 in Houston, Texas, TimeGate has gained the recognition of industry leaders by meeting the demands of fantasy real-time strategy players above all else. Their debut (RTS) project, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, has earned nearly 30 awards for its innovation and superiority. Future projects for TimeGate Studios include expanding its existing line of strategy titles and entering the online multiplayer market.


 
[Community] Creative SoundWorks SW320 Review @ 3DSpotlight - posted by Erich Becker at 2:57 pm CDT

The Creative SoundWorks SW320 is one of the latest additions to the Cambridge SoundWorks 2.1 Speaker systems, which based on what Creative's website says, should be considered into the Music listening speakers category. So for $49.99 (actually a bit less than that), is this system really a worthwhile buy for those of you who are more interested in good musical reproduction than positional audio for Games?

 
[Community] Logitech Internet Navigator Keyboard Review @ Gaming in 3D - posted by Erich Becker at 2:57 pm CDT

Logitech Internet Navigator Keyboard Review

"Taking it out of the box, I'm instantly thinking this thing is merely a media-key-happy version of the Deluxe Access. It has the same mid-range sturdiness of the Deluxe Access, as it could twist a little bit. It also has a very rounded, elliptical look to it, again like the Deluxe Access. I noticed a change for the better quite quickly, though. The wrist rest held onto the keyboard a bit better than on the DA...props to Logitech on this one, as that was one of my quibbles with the DA."

Related Links: See the Review


 
[PressRelease] Ubi Soft Files New Claim Against Take 2 In Italy - posted by Erich Becker at 2:55 pm CDT

Ubi Soft FILES NEW CLAIM against Take 2 IN ITALY

Paris, March 14, 2002 Ubi Soft® Entertainment has filed a claim against Cidiverte JOAG Italy Spa at civil courts in Gallarate, Varese (Italy) for the producing and selling of unauthorized copies of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six™ Rogue Spear™ on PC in Italy in 2001. Cidiverte JOAG Italy Spa is a fully owned subsidiary of Take Two Inc.

In the summer of 2001, Red Storm and Ubi Soft Entertainment have repeatedly received information indicating that quantities of the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six™ Rogue Spear™ game on PC were appearing on the Italian market in a version neither produced nor marketed by either Red Storm or Ubi Soft. Various investigations revealed that an Italian company had been commissioned by Cidiverte JOAG Italy Spa to proceed with the duplication of the game.

Alain Corre, Ubi Soft Managing Director for Europe, Asia Pacific and South America commented: “Our company has been disadvantaged with what looks pretty much like piracy and we will definitely seek to restore our rights.”

This latest development comes in addition to the current litigation started by Red Storm, a UbiSoft company, against Take Two Limited in the United Kingdom.


 
[PressRelease] Activision Announces Lost Kingdoms (GCN) - posted by Erich Becker at 2:36 pm CDT

ACTIVISION UNLEASHES MAGIC AND MAYHEM ON THE NINTENDO GAMECUBE(tm) IN LOST KINGDOMS

Santa Monica, CA - March 14, 2002 -- Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) is taking gamers on a mysterious journey to confront a malevolent force that threatens the future of the world in Lost Kingdoms, the first real-time action RPG for the Nintendo GameCube(tm). Partnering with premier Japanese software publisher and developer FromSoftware, Inc., Activision will publish Lost Kingdoms worldwide excluding Japan, Korea, and China. The game will be available this spring and carries a "T" (Teen) rating for comic mischief and violence from the ESRB.

In Lost Kingdoms, the player takes control of a beautiful heroine, Princess Katia, on a quest to rid the land of a deadly menace intent on engulfing the five Kingdoms of Argwyll. During the adventure, the player must find and gather the cards that hold the power to unleash incredible creatures into battle, fighting off the endless hordes of monsters that stand in their way.

"Lost Kingdoms invites players to experience an epic fantasy world filled with magic, monsters and mystery," states Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. "The game delivers a fantastic 3D experience with guardian creature cards that you can collect, control and use to battle against an evil power and its dominions."

Throughout the game, players will explore over two-dozen graphically rich 3D worlds as they uncover the mystery that threatens to destroy the Five Kingdoms of Argwyll. Along the way, gamers will have the opportunity to collect over 100 unique Guardian Cards that can be used to release powerful creature allies such as fighting skeletons, ravaging wolves and fire breathing dragons. Each creature has its own special attack moves, which increase in range and power as Katia gains experience.

In addition to the single player story mode, players can take on friends in
two- player versus mode, and pit their guardian creature card collection against one another in a battle to the finish.

Established in 1986, FromSoftware is one of Japan's premier software companies developing interactive entertainment products across all major platforms. FromSoftware's office is located in central Tokyo, Japan. More information regarding FROM Software can be found on the company's World Wide Web site www.fromsoftware.co.jp.

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 $620 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, 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, 2001, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings.

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[PressRelease] Final for RtCW 'Battle on the Beachhead' Tournament - posted by Erich Becker at 2:34 pm CDT

FINALS ARE SET FOR ID SOFTWARE’S RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN “BATTLE ON THE BEACHHEAD” TOURNAMENT

SANTA MONICA, CA — March 14, 2002 — The finals are set for Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and id Software’s Return to Castle Wolfenstein™ “Battle on the Beachhead” tournament. This Thursday, March 14, teams “Doctors” and “DarkSide” will battle it out in online multiplay as Axis versus Allies forces in a final assault of epic proportions. Over 1000 players on 128 teams have competed in the six week tournament.

Hosted by the Online Gaming League (OGL), the finals are being held at http://wolf.worldogl.com. Fans can listen to a live play-by-play broadcast of the championship match via shoutcast, courtesy of Team Sportscast Network. Pre-match interviews and commentary begin at 7:00 p.m. CST, while game action kicks-off at approximately 8:30 p.m. CST. Simply log-on tohttp://www.tsncentral.com/ to listen-in on all of the action.

Both teams will square off against one another in an Axis versus Allies battle for the beach. The scenario includes a set number of mission objectives that must be completed as quickly as possible. In a round, each team has an opportunity to play the scenario as both the attacker and defender, and the team that completes the offensive objectives in the shortest amount of time wins the round. The first team to win three rounds is declared the winner and tournament champion.

Prizes will be awarded to each member of the winning team, including an NVIDIA® GeForce3™ video card, a Nintendo GameCube™, a variety of Activision games and a dedicated port on a Return to Castle Wolfenstein game server with administrative access for one year from the Speakeasy Network, home of the largest broadband gaming community and the official ISP of the OGL. Runners-up will receive a Game Boy® Advance hand-held video game system and copies of DOOM© and Commander Keen©.

About id Software
id – Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth – has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D®, DOOM®, DOOM II™, QUAKE® and QUAKE II™. With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id’s games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. And, in keeping with tradition, id Software has amplified the world of adrenaline pumping 3-D gaming with the release of their latest action titles, QUAKE III Arena™, QUAKE III: Team Arena™ and the executive production of Return to Castle Wolfenstein™. id’s advanced QUAKE III Arena engine is leading the next revolution in 3-D interactive games with both single and multiplayer technology. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.

About Activision, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted revenues of $620 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, 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, 2001, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2002
 
[PressRelease] NCsoft to Publish City of Heroes (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 7:23 am CDT

NCsoft to Publish Cryptic Studios' City of Heroes
World Wide Launch Planned for Highly Anticipated Superhero Massively Multiplayer Online Title


AUSTIN, Texas, March 11, 2002 - NCsoft(TM) Corporation, the world's largest independent online game company, announced today that it will publish one of the most anticipated online game titles currently in development, Cryptic Studios' City of Heroes(TM). The game will bring the concept of superhero role-playing to the massively multiplayer (MMP) genre and add yet another impressive title to NCsoft's growing list of online games.

City of Heroes is a 3-D superhero-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The game is set in Paragon City, a modern day metropolis full of super powered villains, alien invaders and underground monsters. Players take on the roles of Paragon City's superhero defenders and will be able to create their own hero, choose statistics, skills, and powers and design their own superhero costume.

"We're delighted to have City of Heroes in our publishing family," said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft's Austin, Texas subsidiary. "The online world has been waiting for a game based on comic book-styled superheroes. Cryptic Studios has assembled a team of incredible talent to deliver a game that will have far-reaching appeal." "NCsoft is exactly what we were looking for in a publishing partner," said Cameron Petty, Cryptic Studios(tm) CEO. "The company has a proven track record in launching subscription-based online games in a global market. NCsoft also has a clear understanding of online content development and we're excited about working with them to make City of Heroes the best it can possibly be." Plans for a City of Heroes public beta test will be announced later this year. NCsoft and Cryptic Studios will be showing City of Heroes at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, May 22-24. More information about City of Heroes can be found at . .

About NCsoft
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corp. 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 commands a 47% market share and attracts the greatest number of concurrent users in the world. Earlier this year, NCsoft announced plans to provide service for Sony Online Entertainment's massively popular EverQuest® in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Currently NCsoft is positioning itself to fund online titles for worldwide distribution, and is now actively recruiting more subscription-based online titles for publishing in Asia and other territories. NCsoft is a public company and is traded on the KOSDAQ Korean stock exchange. In fiscal 2001, NCsoft posted revenues of 124,735,958,000 Korean won or approximately US$95 million. More information about NCsoft can be found at .


About Cryptic Studios
Cryptic Studios, Inc., located in San Jose, California, was established in July of 2000 and is an independent developer of massively multiplayer online games for the PC and next generation consoles. Its first game, City of Heroes, is currently in development and will launch a virtual world where thousands of people play simultaneously, take on the role of superheroes, fight villains and help create a dynamic story in a visually-stunning, 3-D graphical world.

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[PressRelease] World War II Online Blitzkrieg Special Offer Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 7:15 am CDT

World War II Online- Blitzkrieg Special Offer Announced for International Gamers

Bedford, Texas
March 11, 2002

Playnet.com today announced details of a limited offer to international gamers who want to experience the virtual battlefield of World War II Online- Blitzkrieg, the award winning massively multiplayer online game. The program, which kicks of Monday March 10th, provides players from outside North America the ability to purchase an activation key online. The purchase of the key for $9.99USD is followed by a full, no-cost download of the Windows-based game and a 7-day FREE trial. Once the free trial expires, a monthly subscription for $9.99USD is needed to continue play.

We've had a large number of players begging for a way to start sharing the battlefield with the players from North America, so we decided to run this limited offer prior to a full retail launch for international markets at a later date, says Al Corey, Playnet?s Marketing Manager. This will definitely bring a more international feel to the gameworld which is set in 1940 Europe.

Playnet will be partnering with PayPal.com for international payment processing of both the activation key transactions and monthly subscription fees giving players from over 35 countries a way to subscribe without extra charges.

We think PayPal is an excellent choice for our international players who want a fast and easy way to get into the game and start playing.

World War II Online- Blitzkrieg is a combined arms simulation in an online, persistent, action-packed 3D world. Players can command and crew a variety of accurately modeled vehicles and aircraft or sling a weapon and fight as a foot soldier with and against thousands of other players. It recently won numerous user choice awards including GameSpy's Gamers' Choice Sim of the Year, beating out Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2002. It was also awarded the IGN Readers' Choice Persistent World Game of 2001.

More details on the offer can be found at the official website
(http://www.wwiionline.com/international.jsp)

About Playnet Inc:
Playnet, Inc is an Internet technologies company that specializes in design and development of massively multi-player online games (MMOG) at its in-house software development studio, Cornered Rat Software (CRS); and through its Playnet.com division operates an independent Internet-based online publishing center and interactive entertainment destination website, www.playnet.com that offers dynamic and customizable global delivery of a channelized line up of e-content, games, and advertising products through its own web sites and dozens of affiliated game and content sites. Established in April of 1999 and located in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of Texas, Playnet publishes online titles World War II Online, Wildcards and DarkSpace.


Related Links: Visit World War II Online


 
[PressRelease] Freedom Force (PC) Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 7:12 am CDT

I am excited to report that Electronic Arts and Crave Entertainment today announced that their upcoming PC game, Freedom Force, has officially GONE GOLD and will ship on Tuesday, March 26, 2002.

Fight for all things good and just! From a distant corner of the galaxy, the sinister plans of an alien race threaten Earth. Humankind's only hope lies within the world's most powerful superheroes -- the Freedom Force. Assume control over a squad of comic book heroes, each with unique powers, and duke it out with the forces of evil. Create your own superhero or battle your best friend/arch nemesis online as comic books come the life in this tactical RPG.

Freedom Force is an exciting new PC title that is being co-published by Electronic Arts and Crave Entertainment and developed by Irrational Games. For more information on this upcoming title, visit the official product website at www.myfreedomforce.com.


Monday, March 11, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Virgin Interactive Announces Lotus Arcade (XBox) - posted by Erich Becker at 7:21 am CDT

VIRGIN ENTERS THE X-BOX TERRITORY

International software publisher Virgin Interactive and cutting-edge sportscar pioneer Lotus have signed a ground-breaking licensing deal to develop and publish Lotus Arcade, an X-Box racing arcade featuring the most exciting sportscars in the company's history.

Developed by simulation specialists KUJU, Lotus Arcade affords players the opportunity to drive some of the world's most desirable cars: from the Lotus 7 driven by Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner, the Esprit driven by Roger Moore as James Bond to the latest 340R and last year's amazing new Elise.

Lotus Arcade mixes simulation,arcade and stunt modes to create one of the most complete driving experience to date. Players can opt for pure adrenaline rush or a more tactical long-haul race. Each course is set across a variety of landscapes and tracks, and will see players racing around such diverse and amazing locations as London ,Hethel (Official Lotus test track), Tokyo rainbow bridge, Minato-ku, the Tokyo Bay tunnel, Arizona speedway and Jupiter Beach Raceway in Florida.

The special effects are particularly outstanding, with rain, storms, snow, fog, dirt and mud all gloriously represented. Advanced real-time particule systems handle the dirt, smoke and damage effects. For instance, drive across grass, wheelspin in gravel or handbrake turn in sand and you'll notice your tires pick up grit, but work themselves clean after racing for a time. Scrape your Lotus down the side of a tunnel at over 100 miles an hour and see scratches, and dents realistically form on the bodywork. Whilst multi-pass rendering, projected shadow casting and directional light make each frame-and there are 60 of them per second-a work of art.

A range of challenges awaits each player-from lapping the fastest, to completing trials or missions. The challenge mode mixes gaming styles, with players able to choose different characters, each with a different path through the game. These modes are based on the fictional exploits of a world-famous Lotus Challenge Team, which not only race in world championships across the globe, but is also called upon to perform stunts for film sets, or take part in a tire commercial on an oil rig. In addition, players can race through rush-hour traffic and fly past speed cameras in the English countryside, ensuring that Lotus Arcade lives up to its name.

A multi-player option is available for those willing to take on others. These are spread across Championships or decided on a single race. Specific modes and challenges result in hidden tracks or cars being unlocked and available for play in any other mode-so once you have finished a particular section of the game, you'll be able to replay it in a faster car, trashing down lap times in single- or multi-player sessions.

All the formula One cars featured in Lotus Arcade are courtesy of classic Team Lotus representing the Formula One achievements of Team Lotus. The virtual models have been extensively tested by real Lotus test/development drivers to ensure the game is as accurate as can be. Even the world Lotus designers have become involved creating two Lotus concept vehicles for inclusion in the game.

Lotus Arcade will be released for Microsoft X-box, during Q3 published by Virgin Interactive.

About Group Lotus plc

Today three divisions operate within Group Lotus plc : Lotus cars, the prestigious performance sportscar manufacturer, Lotus Engineering the leading engineering performance sportscar manufacturer, and Lotus Motorsport- a new division which is taking Lotus back to the race track.

A Lotus production of cars is greater than at any time in the last 25 years. Demand for the Elise has continued to grow and production of this sports car is running at over 3000 units per year. The Esprit is elevated to even higher levels of performance and refinement drawing upon the strongest demand for this classic supercar in several years.

The Lotus philosophy is to produce exciting and fun cars that people desire with an emphasis on achieving performance through lightweight, fun to drive and great handling. Lotus continues to be one of the most innovative forces the automotive industry and has been throughout its history. Lotus' F1 team was one of the most successful in history with some of the world's greatest drivers honing their skills behind the wheel of a Lotus racing car.For further information on Lotus and its products go to www.lotuscars.co.uk


Thursday, March 07, 2002
 
[PressRelease] Kung Fu Chaos Announced for XBox - posted by Erich Becker at 12:15 pm CDT

For Immediate Release

"Kung Fu Chaos" Hits Xbox

REDMOND, Wash. - March 7, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that "Kung Fu ChaosT," a '70s-style kung fu brawler game, is currently in development exclusively for the XboxT video game system.

"Kung Fu Chaos" allows up to four people to battle it out on huge interactive movie sets that provide an added challenge to the mayhem. In true Hong Kong style, the combat features over-the-top gigantic leaps, suicidal stunts and multiple-opponent action. Gamers can choose from an outrageous cast of characters, each with unique brawling capabilities.

"Kung Fu Chaos" is about fun, competition, glory, humiliation, insults and back-stabbing. "Kung Fu Chaos" features the music track "Kung Fu Fighting" and the soundtrack from "Enter the Dragon." It is being developed by Just Add Monsters Ltd. (JAM) and is scheduled for release in fall 2002.

"Kung Fu Chaos" includes the following key features:

. An incredible cast of characters. "Kung Fu Chaos" features an outrageous cast of would-be superstars. Each character has a unique fighting style, an array of hilarious mistranslated taunts and a repertoire of spectacular special attacks. The cast includes Chop & Styx, the lone samurai with a kid strapped to his back; Ninja Fu Hiya, the ninja who tries too hard; Candi Roll, who's done her fair share of fighting on the casting couch; and Xui Tan Sour, avenger of her father, brother, village and pet goldfish.

. Combat - with a twist. It will take more than just a cool move to win this game. "Kung Fu Chaos" features a combat system with the added twist of humiliation. Pummel opponents with slick moves or power up with taunts that add to the impact. Combat moves are easy to learn but deep enough for experienced players to gain new skills and really go to town on their enemies.

. Amazing environments. Huge animating structures, traveling sets, incidental details and spectacular action sequences all come together to deliver epic battles that are fast-paced, highly competitive and downright funny.

. Gameplay diversity. Featuring a wide range of single- and multiplayer gameplay modes, mini games, team-play possibilities, customizable options and unlockable features, "Kung Fu Chaos" is a pick-up-and-play gameplay extravaganza designed for a wide range of players.

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 and is developing its debut title, "Kung Fu Chaos," as a Microsoft first-party exclusive for Xbox.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide games company with three core businesses: games development and publishing, the MicrosoftR Xbox video game system, and Zone.com. Zone.com (
http://www.zone.com/) is the Internet's largest game site.

About Xbox

Xbox 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 North America and Japan, and is scheduled to ship in Europe and Australia on March 14, 2002. More information on Xbox can be found at http://www.xbox.com/.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (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.

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[PressRelease] Strategy First Releases Patch for Disciples II - posted by Erich Becker at 12:14 pm CDT

STRATEGY FIRST RELEASES A PATCH FOR THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DISCIPLES II: DARK PROPHECY

Montreal, Quebec. March 7th, 2002 - Strategy First announced today the release of a patch for their critically acclaimed turn-based fantasy/strategy game, Disciples II: Dark Prophecy.

Since the game's release in late January, critics and gamers alike have been amazed and dazzled by the Disciples experience. The beautiful artwork and depth of gameplay have earned the game accolades from gamers around the world.

The development team has addressed some multiplayer issues and added several new features to make the gameplay even more rewarding. Here is a list of elements the patch includes;

New features:

- Added several new battle backgrounds
- Added Quest Log to allow players to review previous quest messages
- Added chat messages over all interfaces, not just over the isometric map
- Added encyclopedia for leader abilities in various screens
- Added Direct3D support to Configuration Editor utility
- Added new popup message before battle when human player gets attacked in Hotseat
- Added ability to save game during any player's turn in Hotseat
- Added ability to capture capital cities without ending the game automatically in multiplayer/Hotseat
- Added ability to ally with human players easily
- Added ability to chat from within the battle interface
- Toned down the "easy setting"

Fixes:
- Fixed sound interruption problem in game cut-scenes
- Fixed a few crash bugs
- Fixed other minor bugs

There is also a second patch available for those who have been experiencing error initializing images. Both patches are available on Strategy First's website, www.strategyfirst.com in the Downloads section. For more information on the game, log onto www.disciples2.com.


 
[PressRelease] Strategy First and Auran Sign Licensing Agreement - posted by Erich Becker at 7:28 am CDT

For Immediate Release

DISCREET GMAX GAME PACK INCLUDED WITH TRAINZ
STRATEGY FIRST AND AURAN SIGN LICENSING AGREEMENT

Montreal, Quebec. March 5th, 2002 - Strategy First and Auran are pleased to announce that they have signed a licensing agreement with Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to create, publish and distribute a gmax game pack for their new model railroad simulation, Trainz.

Discreet's gmax will allow users to create and import their own 3D content into the game and extend the incredible capabilities of the Trainz Surveyor even further. Trainz already allows users to create spectacular layouts, but now with gmax they can be populated with objects and locomotives created by people from all over the world and then linked and swapped freely over the net.

When asked about the meaning of this new partnership and what it will offer players of the game, representatives of Strategy First, Auran and Discreet had this to say;

"We are very excited about this new venture, " says Steve Wall, V.P. Business Development, Strategy First. "Trainz will be one of the first games of its kind on the market that will include the gmax game pack. I am confident that budding artists, modelers and any train or gaming fan will be blown away by the game and what gmax can offer."

"gmax provides the potential for the current Trainz community to virtually reconstruct every significant railroad structure in the world and offer it for download over the internet, " says Greg Lane, CEO, Auran. "The added value gmax brings to Trainz is fantastic!"

?Trainz game pack has a custom user interface, splash screen and some nice tutorials explaining precisely how to get your models into the game; it?s really easy,? said Paul Perreault, gmax product manager, Discreet. "This game pack is clear evidence of Discreet's commitment to help game developers reduce their time-to-market and publishers find new ways to provide greater value to consumers."

Available in stores now, Trainz immerses players into the driver's seat of their favorite locomotives and allows them to create a huge variety of layouts using hundreds of textures and objects from around the world. Players will be able to build their own stunningly realistic routes from a variety of locations, from the busy US East Coast, the picturesque English countryside to the endless plains of the Australian Outback - all using the intuitive and powerful TRAINZ SURVEYOR editor. For more information about the game, log onto www.strategyfirst.com.

About Discreet
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc., is a worldwide leader in digital content creation, management, and distribution tools. Discreet develops systems and software for visual effects, animation, non-linear editing, broadcast production, and integrated infrastructure and workflow solutions. Discreet serves a broad range of markets involved in content creation, delivery, and use, including film and television postproduction, broadcast production, games, animation, multimedia for corporate, government, and education, and the rich media for the web. More information about Discreet solutions, including gmax, is available at http://www.discreet.com/ or by calling 800-869-3504 or 514-393-1616.

About Auran
Auran is best known for creating the successful title Dark Reign, selling over 650,000 copies worldwide. Work is now complete on their award winning Auran Jet® game development platform. Jet® is available commercially for hobbyists and serious game developers with attractive pricing and licensing options. Trainz® is the first of many titles that will be created using Auran Jet® which shortens development cycles and reduces development costs.

About Strategy First
Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly, publishing major games in the industry and simultaneously developing its own in-house titles such as O.R.B., Disciples II, Nexagon: The Pit and Zero-G Marines. After winning numerous awards for games such as Disciples: Sacred Lands, Europa Universalis, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Steel Beasts, Strategy First continues to push the gaming envelope with its own groundbreaking titles, while maintaining its reputation as a unique alternative for independent developers seeking to market their games to a worldwide audience.


 
[GoneGold] James Bond in...Agent Under Fire (GC) Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 7:26 am CDT

Agent Under Fire for the Nintendo GameCube has gone gold and will ship on March 12, with the XBox version to follow at the end of the month. Here is a small press release from the game's publisher, Electronic Arts.

Agent Under Fire for the GameCube and Xbox follow closely on the heels of the PlayStation 2 version, which shipped in November of 2001. The newest versions, in addition to taking advantage of the hardware of the new platforms, will feature AI bots in the multiplayer mode. Players will also have the option of selecting a difficulty setting before each mission.

Agent Under Fire represents the complete Bond experience. Utilizing a completely original single player storyline and with all new characters, the game immerses the player in the 007 universe by incorporating action, driving and stealth, mixed with a healthy dose of girls, gadgets and guns. Agent Under Fire features 12 single player levels in settings throughout the globe. As Bond, the player must prevent the evil Malprave from taking over the world with cloning technology. To accomplish this, the player must use their wits and guile to stop the ultimate criminal mastermind, save the world....and get the girl! In addition, Agent Under Fire supports up to four players in intense split screen action on the GameCube and Xbox and also via the PlayStation 2's multitap accessory. Check out the Agent Under Fire website at www.007.ea.com.


 
[ESCMAG] Civilization III Review Live! - posted by Erich Becker at 7:24 am CDT

ESCMAG proudly presents our review for the strategy sequel, Civilization III. The game, developed by legend Sid Meier, is only one of a few to score our perfect 10 out of 10 score. Here is a snip:

"There was plenty of confusion in the Civ world when Civilization II came out. Check the ESC Magazine archives for reviews of Alpha Centauri, Civilization: Call to Power, and Civ 2: Test of Time. Instead of following the money, all you really had to do with those titles was follow Sid Meier; the real treasure of that bunch was his classic Alpha Centauri. The rest weren’t that good.

This time around, there’s no rush to production, no competing corporations battling each other and getting sloppy in the process. Sid is back, and he’s made a lot of changes. All seem to be for the better. Combined with a sleek new interface and major tweaking in the winning strategies, you will not be disappointed."

Related Links: See Our Full Review Here


 
[Community] Gaming-Unlimited Previews WarCraft III - posted by Erich Becker at 7:19 am CDT

Gaming-Unlimited, part of the 3D-Unlimited Network, has posted a preview of Blizzard's upcoming RPG game, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Also, we have added an exclusive picture of the box of the Collector's Edition of the game, make sure you check out the five page preview!

Erich's View I have seen the box art and the contents of the Collectors Edition of WarCraft III and I was amazed. I was one of the lucky few who got Diablo II as a collectors edition, and still go back to watch the cinematics on the DVD provided. As soon as sites start taking preorders, I am there.

Related Links: See the Full Preview!


 
[PressRelease] RalliSport Challenge (XBox) Is Now Available - posted by Erich Becker at 7:07 am CDT

RalliSport Challenge Races to Store Shelves Today

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that its newest racing game for the Xbox video game system, RalliSport Challenge, is scheduled to hit retail stores in North America on March 6, 2002.

An off-road Rally racing game developed by Digital Illusions, C.E. exclusively for Xbox, RalliSport Challenge offers gamers and racing fans a comprehensive, action-packed off-road racing experience.

RalliSport Challenge provides a unique racing experience by combining four different types of Rally competition into one game - Hill Climb, Traditional Rallies, RallyCross, and Ice Racing. With 29 fully licensed cars from which to choose and 48 tracks on which to race, RalliSport Challenge provides gamers with the thrill of racing fast cars on all types of terrain.

Gamers will be challenged to put their driving expertise to the test as they make their way through a robust career mode with four classes of racing to conquer: Pro, Expert, Classic and Unlimited. Points are earned for each race, which in turn unlock new cars and allows qualification onto the upper race-circuits.

Leveraging the power of Xbox, RalliSport Challenge features advanced graphics including swaying trees, animated crowds and ultra-realistic particle effects as cars run through mud, dirt, snow and water. In addition, RalliSport Challenge delivers distinctive audio effects from the actual cars, enabling racers to distinguish the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO V1 from the Peugeot 206.

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 North America and Japan, and will ship in Europe and Australia on March 14, 2002.


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