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May 08, 2003 - May 30, 2003 - See More Archived News

Friday, May 30, 2003
[PC Gaming] Keira Knightley to Lend Voice to Pirates of the Caribbean Video Game - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:26 pm CDT


Star of Disney's Highly-Anticipated "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" to Narrate New Swashbuckling Adventure for Xbox and PC

May 30, 2003 (Rockville, MD) - Bethesda Softworks® announced today that actress Keira Knightley will narrate the thrilling role playing video game, Pirates of the Caribbean .

Knightley stars in Disney's upcoming feature film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl " which opens in theaters nationwide on July 9th. Slated for a June 2003 release for the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft and PC CD-ROM, the Pirates of the Caribbean game offers players the most realistic pirating action to date.

"We are thrilled to have Keira Knightley join the project," says Todd Vaughn, executive producer of the Pirates of the Caribbean video game. "Adding her talent and voice to the game greatly enhances this deep, rich gameplay experience."

In addition to her role as the female lead in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" , being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Keira Knightley can also be seen in the current box office hit, "Bend It Like Beckham " for which she won the Best Newcomer Award from the London Film Critics. Knightley was recently cast as Guinevere in the upcoming Bruckheimer action film, "King Arthur."

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work on this exciting project," said Knightley. "The Pirates game will be a wonderful extension of the film and I'm sure the gaming public will enjoy it immensely."

Developed by Akella and Bethesda Softworks, the
Pirates of the Caribbean video game is a unique role-playing experience with an intriguing storyline, which gives players the ability to explore everything the world has to offer. Deciding to become a cold-hearted mercenary for hire, a peaceful and profitable merchant or a swashbuckling pirate will influence future interactions. Gaining wealth and experience gives players the opportunity to hire crewmembers, sail larger ships, and uncover priceless treasures.

For more information on the game visit http://pirates.bethsoft.com.

Thursday, May 29, 2003
[PC] CDV Ships Combat Mission Special Edition - posted by Erich Becker at 1:43 pm CDT

Turn-Based RTS Set in World War II Contains All-New Feature Enhancements

CARY, NC - May 29, 2003 - CDV Software Entertainment, one of the leading German publishers and distributors of gaming software, announces that "Combat Mission Beyond Overlord: Special Edition" for the PC is available in retail stores.

Lauded by GameSpot as "one of the best war games ever made for the computer," "Combat Mission" combines turn-based and real-time tactical action. Previously only offered for sale online, the special retail version of this World War II game includes more than 100 additional scenarios, improved in-game environments, and new vehicles, uniforms and enhanced sound.

About "Combat Mission Special Edition"
Combining unparalleled game depth and ease of use with a true 3D environment, "Combat Mission Special Edition" offers turn-based hybrid simulation of WWII tactical warfare.

The game takes the player through historical scenarios and campaigns set in WWII's Western front, from the massive allied assault in Normandy to the end of the war in Europe. As a German or Allied Force Commander, players battle across blockades, tackle a village, drive through the plains, delve into the woods, and slug it out in a city.

Features for "Combat Mission Special Edition" include:

- Enhanced terrains and environments, including trees, roads, sky, and buildings
- More than 125 vehicles, improved for both Allied and Axis forces
- Six different armies, including U.S., Germany, U.K., France, Canada, and Poland
- Soldiers speak in their native language
- More than 150 of the best-rated scenarios

[Xbox] Brute Force Now on Retail Shelves - posted by Erich Becker at 1:05 pm CDT

Lead an Army of Four -- "Brute Force" Muscles onto Store Shelves

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the Xbox exclusive squad-based shooter "Brute Force" is now available at retailers across North America for an estimated retail price of $49.99. Developed by Digital Anvil, "Brute Force" provides gamers with the ultimate in squad-based combat that lets players take on missions with guns blazing, in silent stealth or anywhere in between. Through split-screen or System Link, "Brute Force" also pushes the limits of cooperative play by seamlessly blending single and multiplayer modes.

"We are giving players a very different experience from what they'd expect from typical run-and-gun shooters," says "Brute Force" producer Erin Roberts. "'Brute Force' is not only about action, but also about giving the player the freedom to decide how they want to utilize their squad to complete each mission. Players can choose to march through missions with guns blazing using Tex and Brutus or take a more stealthy pace by sneaking behind enemy lines with Hawk or sniping enemies at a distance with Flint. Everyone will find their own style."

"Digital Anvil has done an amazing job with 'Brute Force', and we're happy to have it join Halo and MechAssault in the Microsoft Game Studios pedigree of quality shooters for Xbox," said senior director of marketing Beth Featherstone. "They've taken squad-based shooters to new heights by creating an interface that's easy to jump in and learn, but also allows players to dig deeper and find new strategies by using their team in different ways."

[PC] Cyber Warrior Inc. Unveils The Gentry - posted by Erich Becker at 1:04 pm CDT

Incentive Program for Early Adopters

FAIR LAWN, NJ - May 29th, 2003 - Cyber Warrior Inc, an independent online game developer, today announced a novel alternative to their standard subscription plans for their upcoming title, Rubies of Eventide.

The Gentry, limited to 3,000 participants, allows consumers to sign up for exclusive benefits. Gentry members receive: 3 certificates good towards a month of access each; a reduction off the normal monthly subscription rate to $9.95; 2 extra character slots; 3 unique magic items; in-game access to secret areas; and a Certificate of Peerage with a unique Gentry number.

The Gentry is a premium-level subscription plan offered at an affordable $50 annual rate, renewable until 2005.

"Our fans are our most important asset," said Julia Howe, Product Manager of Rubies of Eventide. "It's our pleasure to be able to extend this unique opportunity to them."

A special Founder's Fellowship is also currently available until June 1st, 2003, as a special thanks to all Beta Testers. Founders get the same benefits as the Gentry, with a 50% reduction on the regular monthly subscription rate of the game.

Rubies of Eventide is a promising example of change in the MMORPG industry. As a second generation massively-multiplayer game, Rubies defies the "Everquest" template by bringing back the classic strategic RPG turn-based combat, with a twist. Rubies unique combat mode is an "asynchronous real-time turn-based hybrid combat." For players this means planning moves strategically with more attention to tactical rather than split-second decisions. Rubies of Eventide has seven player races and over 95 starting professions to choose from. With this system, no one is ever locked into a stereotypical role based on his or her choice of race and can develop their skills however they please in-game.

[PC] Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Now Available for Free - posted by Erich Becker at 1:02 pm CDT



Mesquite, Texas - May 29, 2003 - id Software(tm) and Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) are enlisting players for frontline combat with the free, online release of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory(tm). Developed by Splash Damage, Ltd, and executive produced by id Software, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory enlists players to battle across multi-level WWII campaigns as one of five classes, gaining skills and promotions, constructing strategic assets, and battling with weapons ranging from tank-mounted machineguns to mortars. Now available free of charge at www.castlewolfenstein.com, the standalone game does not require the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein and is rated "M" (Mature) by the ESRB.

"Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a new breed of online action games," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. "Each battlefield is a unique environment, with terrain ranging from dense foliage to open deserts, and weather conditions like snow and rain. Every distinctive mission requires a different strategy for victory; so while character advancement through battlefield promotions personalizes your appearance and skills, the fire-team communication, dynamic map overlay, and commander's voice facilitate teamwork in constructing defenses, scouting, infiltration and assault."

"With the free, online release of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, gamers can instantly jump into the action and experience the fun of team-based, tactical combat through exciting campaigns in Western Europe and the deserts of Egypt," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. "Splash Damage has created an incredibly unique Wolfenstein experience that fuses the intense action of first person team combat with exciting new strategy, communication and persistent role-playing elements."

Featuring multiplayer support for up to 32 players, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is the ultimate test of communication and teamwork on the battlefield. Players join the fray as one of five distinct character classes each with unique combat abilities. The Covert Ops can steal the uniforms of fallen enemies and perform covert reconnaissance behind enemy lines, while Engineers can plant and diffuse land mines as well as construct battlefield structures including bridges, guard towers and forward operations bases in the midst of combat to gain advantages for their team. Medics provide health and revive fallen teammates, as Field Ops use their binoculars to mark enemy positions for a Soldier's mortar barrage. Each Axis or Allies team can divide itself into smaller fire teams for quick and easy communication using an intuitive messaging system and dynamic command map of the entire battlefield.

No longer does winning a single battle win the war. In Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory multiple objective-based scenarios are linked together over the course of three maps to form a campaign where teams struggle for successive victories. Throughout a campaign, players gain experience in categories like battle sense and light weapons as well as their class specific abilities, each of which persist and accumulate over the course of the campaign. As players reach higher levels in each of the seven categories they are awarded with enhanced abilities as well as battlefield promotions that are represented as ranks on each players helmet. The 28 enhanced abilities range from higher ammunition capacity and faster power-bar recharge times, to the ability to see land mines, revive fallen teammates at full health or use a machinegun instead of a pistol as your secondary weapon.

In addition to objective and campaign modes, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory introduces a team-based Last-Man-Standing game mode, where squad-mates cooperate to ensure their team has the last surviving man on the battlefield. Additionally, Splash Damage has created a new terrain foliage system that allows players to hide or take a sniper position in the cover of long grass or snowy mountaintops. With numerous game modes, epic campaigns, persistent character progression and an arsenal of overwhelming firepower including land mines, mortars, mobile MG-42s and a silenced sniper rifle, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory will have players battling in the trenches for hours

Thursday, May 22, 2003
[Multi] Sam Fisher Returns in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - posted by Erich Becker at 1:04 pm CDT

Sam Fisher Is Back with Exciting New Missions and Online Multiplayer Play Modes

Ubi Soft Entertainment confirms the next Splinter Cell installment: Pandora Tomorrow, the new episode of the critically acclaimed stealth action game.

Ubi Soft, one of the world's leading video game publishers, confirmed today that development has begun on the next Splinter Cell game, subtitled: "Pandora Tomorrow."

This sequel is being developed as a multiplatform title and is slated for release in the first quarter of 2004. The game will bring back more of the single-player intrigue that made the original game a bestseller. With exciting new action scenes and a strong cinematic feel, the player will experience new and even more realistic surroundings. Building on Ubi Soft's strong commitment to online gaming, Pandora Tomorrow will the be the first stealth game ever to feature multiplayer online missions allowing several players to simultaneously share Sam Fisher's shadowy world of espionage.

[PC] The Adventure Company Ships Curse of Atlantis: Thorgal's Quest - posted by Erich Becker at 1:02 pm CDT

The Adventure Company Ships Curse of Atlantis: Thorgal's Quest

Time-Traveling Viking Battles to Save Son

Toronto, Ontario, May 21, 2003 - The Adventure Company announced today that it has shipped Curse of Atlantis: Thorgal's Quest for the PC.

The Adventure Company's latest release sends gamers on an epic journey where they must change the fated future of a mighty Viking warrior's family. Set in ancient times, when Vikings ruled the earth, players take on the persona of Thorgal Aegirsson, a descendant of Atlantis. After witnessing a vision of Thorgal murdering his own son, players follow an intriguing story-line as they seek to solve this magical mystery.

"Thorgal's Quest offers all the elements of a classic adventure game," said Richard Wah Kan, CEO of DreamCatcher Interactive Inc*. "A rich and intriguing storyline, interesting characters and an unforgettable ending combine to make an enjoyable gaming experience."

Based on the popular comic book series in Europe, Curse of Atlantis: Thorgal's Quest is set in beautiful environments where players must search multiple paths solving challenging puzzles and interact with numerous characters they meet to reverse a horrific curse.

[PC] Strategy First and Paradox Entertainment Present Victoria - Empire Under the Sun - posted by Erich Becker at 1:01 pm CDT

Strategy First and Paradox Entertainment Present Victoria – Empire Under the Sun

Montreal, Canada. May 21, 2003 – Publisher Strategy First Inc. and developer Paradox Entertainment have announced their latest title based on the award-winning Europa Universalis engine, Victoria – Empire Under the Sun.

“Paradox has done it again and we couldn’t be happier,” says Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing for Strategy First Inc. “Every gamer that loved the Europa series and Hearts of Iron is going to want to dive right into Victoria.”

In Victoria, players control their nation from the early 19th century to the dawn of the 20th century, and try to progress into an industrialized Great Power by building up their Military Might, Industrialization Power, and finally National Prestige. Gameplay focuses on Diplomacy, Warfare, Economy & Industrialization, Colonization, Technological Development and Political Simulation.

Strategy First and Paradox have worked together in the past on award-winning titles such as the Europa Universalis series and Hearts of Iron and will soon be releasing Chariots of War and Legion Gold.

Victoria is scheduled for release in Q4 2003. For more information on this title, please visit www.strategyfirst.com or www.paradoxplaza.com.

[PC] Shrapnel Games Announces 5 Day Memorial Day Sale - posted by Erich Becker at 1:00 pm CDT

Shrapnel Games announces 5-Day Sale in Honor of Memorial Day

Shrapnel Games announced today their first annual Memorial Day sales event. War and strategy gamers will receive 15% off their purchases at the Gamers Front on Shrapnel Games' gaming products through May 26, 2003. Items already at special pricing will be an additional 15% off the already special price.

[GameCube] Activision Releases Lost Kingdoms II for GCN - posted by Erich Becker at 12:58 pm CDT


Santa Monica, CA - May 22, 2003 - Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Lost Kingdoms II(tm), the sequel to the top-selling, critically acclaimed RPG title Lost Kingdoms(tm), takes gamers on an all-new magical quest with its release exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube(tm). Set 200 years after the events of the original game, the title challenges players to uncover the origin of a new evil force that is threatening to destroy the Kingdom of Argwyll. Lost Kingdoms II is currently available at North American retail outlets for a suggested retail price of $49.99 and carries a "T" (Teen - Comic Mischief, Violence - content suitable for persons ages 13 and older) rating by the ESRB.

"Lost Kingdoms II takes the franchise's immersive real-time action/RPG experience to the next level by delivering improved graphics, expanded quests, unlimited battle areas and new abilities that allow players to transform into different creatures," said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. "The game also features an enhanced card-based battle system, where gamers can collect and power up a variety of new Creature Cards that can be summoned to fight in real-time battles against hordes of evil monsters."

Developed by FromSoftware, Inc., Lost Kingdoms II places players once again in the perilous realm of Argwyll, this time as a new heroine named Tara - an abandoned child raised by a gang of thieves who possesses a magical Runestone. As Tara, players must use the Runestone to summon both supernatural and mechanical Guardian Creatures as they travel through more than 26 vivid worlds filled with forests, mountains and fortresses. Drawing upon their deck of more than 200 Guardian Creature Cards - including 100 all-new cards, players can battle more than 200 enemies ranging from fighting skeletons and fire-breathing dragons to new mechanized beasts. Additionally, a new Card Transformational Ability enables gamers to turn into a variety of creatures giving them the opportunity to launch devastating power attacks, overcome obstacles, solve puzzles and venture to hidden areas throughout the game.

In addition to the single player story mode, Lost Kingdoms II also includes an expanded multi-player option where gamers can pit themselves against one another to battle in two-player Versus Mode.

Monday, May 19, 2003
[Xbox] New MechAssault Downloadable Content Deployed - posted by Erich Becker at 1:41 pm CDT

"MechAssault" Downloadable Content #2 Deployed

Microsoft today announced that the second batch of new downloadable content is now available for "MechAssault" via Xbox Live. This second update adds the highly anticipated Capture the Flag mode with two new maps for flag games: Midtown Mayhem and Desert Storm. Two new 70-ton BattleMechs, Loki and Hellbringer, have also been added to the fray. Thanks to the Hellbringer's loadout, a new weapon also appears in "MechAssault" -- the Flamer. (You'll never guess what it shoots!)

But wait, there's more! Update #2 also ushers in some changes to make playing online a little smoother. A rematch option has been added for players who want to immediately jump back into the action with the same people they were just playing. Also, it is now easier to tell who is talking, both in the lobby and during the game. In the lobby, the Gamertag of the person speaking will now flash. During play, when a person is speaking, that Gamertag will flash with a "talk" icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

[Hardware] Logitech Announces Dual Action Pad (PC/Mac) - posted by Erich Becker at 1:39 pm CDT


New Gamepad For PC and Mac Rich In Features

Fremont, CA - May 19, 2003 - Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI) (Switzerland:LOGN) today announced that the Logitech(r) Dual Action(tm) Pad, previewed last week at the E3 tradeshow in Los Angeles, will be available this summer on retail shelves in the U.S. and at www.logitech.com. Pricing is not yet available.

"Many of today's games require dual analog control, but until now there have been few good dual analog controllers available," said Fred Swan, Director of Marketing for Logitech's Audio and Interactive Entertainment Business Unit. "The Logitech Dual Action Pad boasts a new, smaller design, and is loaded with features that gamers need to help stay at the top of their game, including dual analog control."

The lightweight design features two rubber-capped analog joysticks that provide total control with a silky smooth 360-degree motion, while an eight way D-pad allows for precise movements within a game. In addition, four responsive triggers and six buttons give gamers the right stuff for eliminating the competition with ease. Compatible with both a PC and a Mac, the gamepad offers a "plug and play" USB connection.

The Logitech Dual Action Pad includes the acclaimed Logitech(r) Gaming Software for PC that allows gamers to customize many aspects of the gamepad's performance. Also included on the disc are two software packages from GameSpy Industries, Inc. The GameSpy(tm) Arcade(r) offers many features to enhance online gaming and also includes Roger Wilco(tm), a voice chat application that allows gamers to talk to each other while playing multiplayer online games.

[PC] Sony Online Entertainment Ships PlanetSide - posted by Erich Becker at 1:38 pm CDT


- First Planned Post-Launch Features Announced, Includes New Vehicles and Game Options-

SAN DIEGO, CA - May 19, 2003 - Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, announced that its highly-anticipated massively multiplayer online first-person action game, PlanetSide(tm), has shipped to U.S. and Canadian retail stores. The groundbreaking game allows thousands of players to fight online in an all-hours-of-day global war that has never been seen before in the first-person action genre. The company also announced its first planned post-launch additional features including several new vehicles and game options. PlanetSide has a suggested retail price of $49.99, and includes a 30-day subscription to the game.

"PlanetSide provides an awesome action-filled adrenaline rush as players experience the game's vast online world and deep gameplay that is unlike anything ever seen before," said Michael Lustenberger, director of product marketing at Sony Online Entertainment. "With dozens of specialties, vehicles, weapons and ten continents to explore and conquer, PlanetSide is THE game for anyone who enjoys action games."

The first new features planned for release post-launch include three new vehicles: a bomber, an airborne vehicle transport and a four-wheeled anti-aircraft buggy. New game options include the ability to form three squadrons of ten men each into one large platoon and Sanctuary strikes, where empires can strike at previously untouchable bases, and outfit competitions, pitting squads against one another in unique challenges.

After the included 30-day subscription period, PlanetSide will carry a monthly subscription fee of $12.99 for continuing access to the game world. Players can subscribe for additional months using a credit card, or by purchasing PlanetSide 90-day Game Cards, which open the PlanetSide universe to those who choose not to use a credit card. Additionally a subscription to PlanetSide is included in Sony Online Entertainment's recently announced SOE All Access(tm) subscription. The $21.99, SOE All Access subscription gives loyal customers the opportunity to play all SOE published premium entertainment content with a single account, including EverQuest® II (when released), PlanetSide, EverQuest®, EverQuest® Online Adventures(tm), Infantry, Cosmic Rift and Tanarus. For more information about the SOE All Access subscription and SOE's current roster of premium titles, please visit http://www.soeallaccess.com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
[E3 2003: Hardware] Ideazon Unleashes New Customizable Keyboards at E3 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:32 pm CDT

Ideazon Inc. Breaks New Ground with Diverse Interface Launch Zboard (tm) Interfaces Revealed for Games, Digital Animation and Web Design at E3

Los Angeles, CA (Electronic Entertainment Expo) - May 14, 2003 - Ideazon, Inc., designer and developer of next-generation keyboard systems, expanded its arsenal today with the launch of several new Zboard(tm) interfaces, custom designed for heavy hitting gamers, web designers and animators. The newest releases include interfaces developed for Madden NFL(tm) 2003 by EA Sports(tm), America's Army(tm), Delta Force - Black Hawk Down(tm) by NovaLogic(r) Inc., Macromedia(r) Flash(tm) MX, Macromedia(r) Dreamweaver(r) and 3Ds max(tm) 5 by Discreet(r).

Through intuitive commands and customized keyboards, the Zboard(tm) system offers a distinct competitive advantage and enhanced user experience. PC users can play harder and work better.

Delta Force(r) - Black Hawk Down(tm) players can immerse themselves in realistic missions, select weapons and carry out combat tactics with logically grouped commands that do not distract from the game.

"The Zboard brings the excitement of Delta Force - Black Hawk Down right into the hands of the player," said NovaLogic President, Lee Milligan. "Commands on the Zboard interface are strategic, streamlined and efficient, allowing the player to react to in-game situations faster."

Animators familiar with 3Ds max(tm) 5 can take advantage of features, controls and commands used to streamline the tasks involved in creating high-quality digital animation such as controlling illumination and mapping co-ordinates, making the lengthy process of creating animation for films, television and games more efficient and less labor intensive.

Macromedia(r) Flash(tm) MX users can increase productivity when designing elements and content for the Internet and applications with the Zboard(tm) interface. Design tools, workflow features and application commands are instantly recognizable, bringing the user's work to life and to the Web quickly and easily, saving costs and time.

The Zboard(tm) interface custom-designed for America's Army(tm) enables players to seize airfields, thwart terrorists, issue commands and take part in physical training with simplified and easy-to-understand controls created specifically for the game. With the Zboard(tm) interface for America's Army(tm), players can access the game's rich functionality at the touch of a button to dominate opposing forces.

"We're expanding our product line-up with knock-out titles," said Ideazon President, Ron Hulse. "We're crossing the boundaries between gaming and applications and are proving that Zboard(tm) technology is a valuable tool for an endless number of audiences."

The Zboard(tm) is the world's first computer keyboard system with interchangeable key-face technology for business and game-specific software applications. The keyboard interface snaps into a single base, instantly launching a PC game or application.

Ideazon's Zboard(tm) interfaces for Macromedia(r) Flash(tm)MX, Macromedia(r) Dreamweaver(r), 3Ds max(tm) 5 by Discreet(r), Madden NFL(tm) 2003 by EA Sports(tm), America's Army(tm) by the U.S. Army and Delta Force(r) - Black Hawk Down(tm), by NovaLogic, Inc, will be available towards the end of June 2003.

The suggested retail price of the Zboard(tm) Starter System is $39.99US. The suggested retail price of the interchangeable keyboards for Macromedia(r) Flash(tm) MX, Macromedia(r) Dreamweaver(r) and 3Ds max(tm) 5 by Discreet(r) is $39.99US. Madden NFL(tm) 2003 by EA Sports(tm), America's Army(tm) by the U.S. Army and Delta Force(r) - Black Hawk Down(tm), by NovaLogic, Inc. is $19.99US.

Ideazon will be located at Booth 6557 in Kentia Hall at E3 in Los Angeles, May 14-16, 2003.

[E3 2003: PC] Linden Lab to Launch Second Life in June - posted by Erich Becker at 1:29 pm CDT


Rapidly Growing 3D Online World Set to Expand After Successful Beta

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (May 14, 2003) - Linden Lab(tm) today announced plans to launch Second Life(tm), its highly-anticipated new online world, in June. The freely downloadable service will be priced at $14.95 per month, with discounted longer term memberships also available.

Thousands of Second Life residents have been working together since March 2002 to create a remarkable, rich 3D society where you can dance the night away with friends, explore exotic cities, battle in underground tunnels, or sit quietly in your backyard and watch the sun go down over the hills.

"Second Life is the first service which captures the passion of online adventurers to create a world of their own design," said Philip Rosedale, CEO and founder. "In less than 6 months, our beta members have created a world with a range of experiences rivaling the real world. As we rapidly add new land to support our incoming members, the exploration and possibilities of Second Life will become truly endless."

Second Life residents begin by creating their in-world avatar, with an easy-to-use tool that allows them to recreate their exact 'real-world look or to craft a whole new persona, from dark angel to Japanese warrior to beauty queen. Each resident also begins with enough money to shop for clothes or accessories, buy some land and build a small home. Daily events, including games, classes, parties and treasure hunts, help them make friends, earn money, or become increasingly skilled at creating whatever they can imagine. Before long they are fully immersed in the society of Second Life.

"In five months I built two homes, a wizard's staff, an island, a wizard's tower, an Arcade and Casino, arcade and gambling games, a Church with a graveyard and the common room of an Inn," said Ama Omega, a Second Life resident since December, 2002. "I have joined two city communities, an 1800's haunted village community, and created a community of my own. I have met hundreds of people from all over the world and won lotteries. I have taken classes and taught classes, been to town hall meetings, house warming parties, lottery drawings, trivia competitions, sports games, and game shows. And I've only started."

Second Life will initially be available for Windows-based PCs, with Mac and Linux versions following by the end of 2003. "We deeply support open, cross-platform products, and will complete ports of Second Life to the Mac and Linux PC before the end of the year. Our server network runs on Linux, and we use open standard products wherever possible, such as Open GL and the Ogg-Vorbis sound format," said Cory Ondrejka, vice president of product development.

Becoming a part of Second Life is easy and fun, with a simple 10MB download that gets residents into the world in less than 5 minutes, with a free 5-day trial. Second Life works on any broadband internet connection, and has similar system requirements to most recent 3D games.

The Second Life service will be priced at $14.95 per month of membership, with reduced pricing for longer commitments. Additionally, the company will be offering a limited number of "Charter" lifetime memberships. And as an expression of appreciation to Early Creators and beta testers, long-term and lifetime memberships will be offered to them at a substantially discounted rate.

In the future advanced users, teams of players, or software developers will be able to lease "Private Islands" within the Second Life world. Each of these 16 acre islands will reside on a dedicated server capable of supporting large development projects, themed communities, or specialized game experiences.

[E3 2003: Multi] Logical Vice Announces New Multi-Genre Game for PC and Xbox - posted by Erich Becker at 1:28 pm CDT

Logical Vice Announces Multi-Genre Game for PC and XBox

Orlando, FL – May 14, 2003 – Unsigned Independent Developer LogicalVice, an Orlando based Interactive Entertainment and Games Studio announced today its plans to release a multi-genre video game for the PC/X-BOX. The game, "BoomTown" is based on a loose interpretation of the American Wild West frontier, its players, and the mystique of witchcraft, and is scheduled for the 3rd quarter of 04. Boomtown will host single player campaigns and multiplayer online scenarios in a third person default, or first person perspective. Running on Epic Games' Unreal Warfare and the Karma Physics Math Engine it infuses a fresh look and an untapped genre with action packed scenarios and gaming modes like Last Man Standing, Dueling, Siege, or 25 Card Draw. It is six-shooters and sorcery. It is bullets and blood sacrifice. It is a game that will reshape the vivid landscape of pulse-pounding, white-knuckle

Players will saddle up as one of 25 frontier personalities. Choose from Bryce Blackburn, a steely gunslinger that makes "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" look more like "The Meek, The Lame, and The Puny" to Elspeth, the spiritual leader of a displaced witches' colony capable of hurling an arsenal of deadly spells. Bryce, Elspeth, and an assortment of other colorful characters will traverse stunningly detailed terrain, eerie settlements, and amazingly textured towns either on foot or more quickly by horseback, stagecoach, or train. In addition, over 30 different weapons will be at the player's disposal. Classic western favorites like the Colt 45 Peacemaker and Parker Shotgun will announce their presence with authority. Finding mystical alternatives like the Angelic Bone Sword and Mace of Devouring will unlock a whole new way of disposing of your enemy. Multiplayer demo available

LogicalVice is committed to developing pulse pounding interactive entertainment by creating riveting game stories, balanced environments, immersive character interaction, and gameplay. LogicalVice is producing a scalable, and profitable series of gaming products and services for the global market that bring an unmatched level of interactivity to game play, drive the innovation of software, hardware and Internet technology, and deliver unparalleled customer care to consumers. For more information, log onto www.logicalvice.com

[E3 2003: PC] Darkfall Dungeon Design Contest - posted by Erich Becker at 1:26 pm CDT

Darkfall Dungeon Design

Do you want to contribute to the world of Darkfall? The D3 competition is your big chance to do so.

Design a dungeon located in the human kingdom of Mercia, and - assuming you win - we'll build it, fill it with monsters, and create the in-game quests, rumors and lore associated with it. You will receive full credit for your work, and we'll even publish your original description as an in-game book. Some of you might receive more assignments and/or offers from us based on the quality of your submission.

We guarantee that at least one contribution will be built as a dungeon in the human kingdom of Mercia. If we receive more than one submission of exceptional quality, we'll do our best to create more than just one, giving credit where credit is due.

Even if you don't win, your handiwork might find its way into Darkfall. We' ll read all contributions thoroughly, and if there is anything - a quest idea or a room description, for instance - that we like particularly well, we'll use it and give you full credit.

The setting
Your design needs to be compatible with the basic design of the HUMAN kingdom of Mercia. Please read about The Humans of Mercia before embarking on your project. Fans of other Darkfall races should note that five more competitions will be arranged, each asking you to design a dungeon located within the kingdom of a specific race.

What we want
When we say that we want you to make a 'dungeon,' we mean any small-to-medium-sized adventure area. This could certainly be a monster-infested subterranean tunnel complex, but it could also be a sunken city off the Mercian coast, a forest village haunted by werewolves, or an assassin hideout in Sanguine, the Mercian capital. As long as it's a limited, clearly defined area containing challenges for adventurers, we're happy.

You should, however, bear in mind that outrageously exotic locales stand less of a chance than those that are more down to earth. If you design a dungeon placed inside the ocean-submerged skull of a giant emerald dragon, chances are that we'll have to create all the graphics from scratch. Even if your eccentric idea is brilliant, we may not have the time and resources to implement it in Darkfall. If you base your creation on something more conventional, like a forest village or a tunnel complex for example, you're making it easier for us to maintain the integrity of your vision.

We welcome all contributions between 400 and 4000 words. We're not looking for a room-for-room, monster-for-monster walkthrough of your dungeon: We want general, readable descriptions of its main chambers and features, a background story, and information about quests, rumors and books associated with the dungeon. Which of these aspects you choose to focus on is entirely up to you: Some might want to write the tale of how an adventure area came to be; others might want to describe a dungeon's appearance, and then write about the inhabitants lurking within it. We welcome both approaches.

Please make sure that you don't use locations from other games, or from books, movies or comics that you've read. We want original work.

Important information
Please read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the D3 Competition before entering it. Send your submissions to dungeon@aventurine.gr by June 6th 2003 at 10am GMT. Results will be announced on June 20th 2003 on the Official Darkfall site

We reserve the right to use freely from all contributions to the Dungeon Design Competition. We will give credit for all ideas or elements - small or large - that make their way into the game.

We're asking for submissions in text format but if you feel it's absolutely necessary to include simple drawings or maps to better illustrate your design, feel free to do so - within reason. Please do not send us movies, sounds, or large files. Keep it simple, it's what we're looking for.

Contributions to the D3 Competition will be published in a dedicated section of the Darkfall web page. We reserve the right to not publish entries that contain language or descriptions which we find inappropriate or irrelevant.

While contributions will be published in their original form on the Darkfall webpage, we reserve the right to adjust any details while translating the descriptions into in-game locations.

You may discuss all this in this thread on our message boards. Darkfall designers will be monitoring it and answering *some* questions about the competition. We wanted to give you as much freedom as possible in designing your dungeon, so if you stay within the loose guidelines found here, you can't go wrong.

You may also want to check out the Darkfall Role Playing Forum for inspiration or even for information.

[E3 2003: Mac] America's Army Announced for Summer Release - posted by Erich Becker at 1:18 pm CDT

The Army announced that the free game, developed in part as a recruitment tool, will be available for the Macintosh in June, with a Linux version following in July.

America's Army pits you in the shoes of a service man or women as they train to become part of one of the world's biggest armed forces. More than 1 million people have completed the game's basic training module and moved on further into the game.

Look for more information and, hopefully, a review next month.

[E3 2003: Xbox] Microsoft Lowers North American Xbox Price - posted by Erich Becker at 1:14 pm CDT

Microsoft Announces New North American Xbox Price:
$179.99 (U.S.); $249.99 (CDN)

Add one more reason to buy an Xbox video game system today: a new, lower price. Effective immediately, the world's most powerful video game system will retail for $179.99 in the United States and $249.99 in Canada.

Right out of the box, Xbox enables the most advanced online and offline gaming experiences with its built-in hard drive and built-in Ethernet port. With an attractive new price, a tremendous lineup of games, and the rapidly growing Xbox Live online gaming community, Xbox represents the best choice for a wide range of consumers.

"Our commitment to the consumer is to offer the best system at the best price with the best selection of software," notes Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft's home and entertainment division. "This new price point for Xbox will bring the world's most innovative interactive entertainment system to the broadest audience."

In addition to this new price, Xbox is featuring an impressive line-up of new games for the coming year this week at E3, as well as enhancements to its online gaming service and innovative new entertainment products to expand the definition of video game entertainment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
[E3 2003: PC] Timegate Studios Announces Kings of War (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 11:12 am CDT


Sugar Land, TX (May 12, 2003) - TimeGate Studios, Inc. announced today that it is developing KINGS OF WAR, a fantasy real-time strategy game inspired by TimeGate's critically acclaimed Kohan series.

The first game of the series, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, exploded onto the computer gaming scene in 2001, earning acclaim from fans and critics alike. Kohan went on to win over 30 awards, including "Strategy Game of the Year" from the industry's top media publications.

The original development team behind the Kohan series is now developing an exciting new title that will feature TimeGate's trademark innovation and depth of gameplay.

KINGS OF WAR immerses players in the world of the Kohan as one of the immortals who lead the fight against an ancient evil that has risen again and is bent on destroying civilization forever. The story unfolds as all-out war plunges the world into chaos.

"We are very excited about this project" says Adel Chaveleh, President of TimeGate Studios. "KINGS OF WAR will offer a gaming experience unlike any other on the market today. This game is beautiful, innovative, and very addictive."

KINGS OF WAR features a new state-of-the-art 3D graphics engine that delivers a breathtaking world of magical splendor, heroic deeds, and fearsome enemies. With six unique races and five political factions to choose from, players will head into battle with thirteen potential combinations and will watch in amazement as hundreds of units wage war in intense real-time strategy action. KINGS OF WAR offers countless hours of replayability due to its unique multiplayer game types, and adaptive artificial intelligence, amongst other innovative features.

KINGS OF WAR features TimeGate's ENGAGE technology that is best-known for its flexibility, customization tools, and unique levels of unit control and organization.

KINGS OF WAR is currently scheduled for release mid-2004

[E3 2003: Multi] SOE Unveils Latest Games At E3 2003 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:10 am CDT

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT UNVEILS LATEST VIDEO GAMES AT 2003 ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT EXPO -Incredibly Successful EverQuest(r) Franchise Sees New Directions While PlanetSide Prepares for Launch-

SAN DIEGO, CA - May 12, 2003 - Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, introduced several new video games and provided details on soon-to-be-released titles during the 2003 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The new games announced include Lords of EverQuest(tm), a real-time strategy (RTS) game for the PC and EverQuest(r) Online Adventures: Frontiers(tm), an expansion for North America's only massively multiplayer online (MMO) game for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system. Additionally, SOE provided new information for upcoming titles PlanetSide, the first massively multiplayer action game set in a persistent world and EverQuest II, the parallel universe to the original EverQuest PC MMO role-playing game (RPG).

"The coming year is going to be huge for us," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "The launch of PlanetSide is happening within days of E3 and the reactions to the game during Beta have been incredibly strong. EverQuest II will be happening later this year, with a whole new universe for both those new to MMOGs and hardcore EQ fans to explore. We're also taking the EQ brand in new directions, both on the PlayStation 2 and on the PC." Sony Online Entertainment is located at Booth 846 in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center during E3 from May 14-16.

A brief synopsis of each title follows:

Release: May 19, 2003 Platform: PC Genre: MMO Action Game

PlanetSide(tm) will make history when it launches on May 19, as the world's first massively multiplayer online first-person action game. The groundbreaking game will allow hundreds of thousands of players to fight online in an all-hours-of-the-day massive war. Characters gain experience with every conflict, and can become one of the best in more than 30 combat specialties, including infantry, sniper, stealth commando, engineer, hacker, medic, pilot, driver and more. The company also announced that it will partner with Team Sound to add squad-based voice chat functionality to PlanetSide, further enhancing the experience of fighting together with your squad and growing as a team.

EverQuest II
Release: Winter 2003 Platform: PC Genre: MMORPG

Scheduled to launch in Winter 2003, EverQuest II is a parallel online universe to the hugely successful gaming phenomenon EverQuest. Featuring breathtaking graphics and a vast, beautiful game world to explore, EverQuest II sets new standards in graphical realism as players are immersed in the game's powerful epic storyline with thousands of players online. Not only will current EQ fans enjoy the new game, but players new to both the world of Norrath and MMO games will find the game much easier to navigate and play. Based 500 years after EverQuest, EverQuest II is a new and different game experience in a changed world marred by a fantastic life changing event. Players enter this world by creating their own unique character from 16 races and 48 classes and using a powerful facial customization system for unprecedented player individuality.

Lords of EverQuest
Release: Fall '03 Platform: PC Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Lords of EverQuest is the next-generation of real-time strategy game. Inspired by the lore of the online gaming phenomenon EverQuest, Lords of EverQuest features an enthralling storyline drawing you into the world of Norrath to change the fate of the world. Take command of one of 15 Lords from the dawn of Norrath and lead an army against your enemies in a race to claim a lost artifact. Featuring three different unique factions with which to do battle, and a beautiful game world filled with breathtaking environments, you are able to command more than a hundred troops comprised of Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Fiends and even Dragons! After the story is over, the game has just begun as players take the game online and play via SOE's upcoming matchmaking service.

EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers
Release: Fall '03 Platform: PlayStation(r)2 Genre:

EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers expands the rich, vibrant fantasy world of Norrath with uncharted territories to explore, new items and spells to acquire, fierce creatures to battle, and a new playable race, ogres. The game also adds graphically enhanced player models and armor, allowing for greater character customization than ever before. Using the Network Adaptor for the PlayStation 2, EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers connects seamlessly via modem or broadband to the Internet,
directing players to dedicated EverQuest Online Adventures servers. Gamers simply insert the disc and the adventures of Tunaria are just a few button pushes away.

EverQuest: Evolution
Release: Fall '03 Platform: PC Genre: MMORPG

EverQuest: Evolution is the perfect starting point for players new to the world of EverQuest. This boxed collection gathers everything a gamer needs to enter the world of Norrath in a single package. The original EverQuest and the first five expansions, The Ruins of Kunark, The Scars of Velious, The Shadows of Luclin, The Planes of Power, and The Legacy of Ykesha, are gathered together, along with two maps of the various continents.

[E3 2003: PC] Monster Studios Launches Reaction Engine on Windows - posted by Erich Becker at 11:09 am CDT

Monster Studios Launches Reaction Engine on Windows

Hobbyist Engine designed for programmers learning how to develop a game.

May 12, 2003 - Eugene, OR - Monster Studios announced today the launch of the Reaction Engine through independent publisher GarageGames. The Reaction Engine, used to build the game Chain Reaction, is a hobbyist game engine designed specifically for beginner programmers making small fun games, or prototyping game ideas quickly.

The Windows based Reaction Engine's software development kit (SDK) is extensively documented with over 100 cross-linked pages, and the code base is meticulously commented and entirely integrated into the Microsoft Visual C++ environment. The Reaction Engine comes complete with all source C++ code, a 3D Studio Max exporter, which converts most 3D models for use in the game engine, and several example programs.

"After releasing Chain Reaction we realized there was a real demand for a hobbyist game engine. This is a simple game engine that has a low barrier to entry for those people willing to put in the effort to learn C++,” said Chris Cole, Master Monster of Monster Studios.

“GarageGames is known for our high end Torque Game Engine, but we've always been open to independent developers using any engine. We feel the Reaction Engine is well documented and can be a help to beginning programmers that want to learn C++ game development,” said Jeff Tunnell, President of GarageGames.

The Reaction Engine is available at GarageGames for $59.95 for Windows and is sold with a no-royalty open license agreement. A demo of the Engine is also available. For more information: http://www.garagegames.com/pg/product/view.php?id=14

[E3 2003: Xbox] Microsoft Announces XSN Sports System - posted by Erich Becker at 11:07 am CDT


XSN Sports Marks the First Lineup of Xbox Games Where Sports Fans Compete Beyond the Game

In a move designed to tear apart yesterday’s paradigm of sports games, Microsoft Game Studios unleashed XSN Sports™, the new brand for Microsoft produced Xbox sports games. Featuring “NFL Fever 2004”, “NBA Inside Drive 2004”, “Top Spin”, “Amped 2”, “NHL Rivals 2004” and “Links 2004”, XSN Sports and its exclusive, revolutionary technology was unveiled today at the industry’s annual tradeshow, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California. XSN Sports is destined to unite sports fans and gamers into an intense and competitive gaming community.

Beginning in August 2003 with the launch of “NFL Fever 2004”, sports gamers will be plugged in like never before – on Xbox, on the web, and eventually on cell phone or PDA. All titles within the XSN Sports brand will feature web-based technology empowering gamers to organize leagues, build tournaments and prepare schedules from a centralized website XSNsports.com. For the first time in the history of sports gaming, it will be possible to check stats on a virtual sports page as Xbox Live will automatically broadcast up-to-date scores, standings, tendencies, trade proposals and schedules every 15 minutes on XSNsports.com.

“XSN Sports is the breakthrough sports fans have been waiting for,” said Kevin Browne, sports studio manager at Microsoft Game Studios. “Competition, rivalries and online play combine with the digital world to create an experience that sports fans and gamers have never before witnessed.”

XSN Sports is changing the way sports gamers compete online and offline. Experience the “Just Ride” mode in “Amped 2” where the gamer designs the rules of competition with up to eight friends, or utilize the “read and lead” technology in “NFL Fever 2004” to hit a receiver in stride as he breaks on a pattern against AI defenders that have studied and adapted to a gameplan. Whether it is against a strong AI, head-to-head against a buddy, or in the virtual world, XSN Sports is where sports fans compete beyond the game.

Real competition begins August 2003

[E3 2003: Xbox] DOOM 3 Announced for Xbox - posted by Erich Becker at 11:05 am CDT


Santa Monica, CA - May 13, 2003 id Software and Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) confirmed today that id Software's DOOM 3, the most anticipated game of the year, is headed to the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

Built on id's revolutionary new 3D graphics engine, DOOM 3 draws players into the most terrifying and riveting 3D gaming experience ever created. id Software and Activision will feature a new trailer of the PC version at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, beginning Wednesday, May 14, in Activision's booth #1224 in the South Hall.

First released in 1993, DOOM is widely recognized as the catalyst for the first-person action genre. Since its inception, the franchise has been one of the industry's best-selling PC series. A release date for DOOM 3 for Xbox is not available.

[E3 2003: PC] Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC) Hits Shelves - posted by Erich Becker at 11:04 am CDT

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the follow up to the hit GTA3, has been released to stores nation wide. Depending on the size of your retail chains you should be able to find a copy of the game today.

"The top-selling and most critically-acclaimed game of 2002 arrives on the PC today.

The time is now to experience the glorious, deluxe PC edition of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Skinning, customizable radio station, game replays, fully-optimized graphics and audio, and all of the epic gameplay experience that made Vice City a classic on the PlayStation®2."

[E3 2003: PC] Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 11:02 am CDT

Team RAINBOW Returns to Combat with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3(tm): Athena Sword(tm)

First Rainbow Six 3 Mission Pack Delivers A New Mediterranean Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - May 13, 2003 - This Fall, Team RAINBOW is back! The elite multinational squad of counter-terrorist operatives returns in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3(tm): Athena Sword(tm), the first mission pack in the wildly successful Rainbow Six 3 series. They defeated the diabolical plot of a terrorist mastermind in the smash-hit PC game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3(tm): Raven Shield(tm). But a few desperate remnants of the organization remain - and Team RAINBOW won't rest until evil has been vanquished and the world is safe.

"Rainbow Six fans have given high praises to Raven Shield and have named it an instant classic." said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "With new missions, weapons, multiplayer modes, and multiplayer levels, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword will deliver more of what they crave - the action, the realism, and the thrill of fighting clusters of really vicious terrorists as a team."


Developed by Ubi Soft's Milan studio, Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword boasts a host of standout features, including:

- All-new, eight-mission campaign in locations including Italy, Croatia, and Greece
- Eight new Multiplayer levels
- Five new multiplayer game modes
- Three "classic" missions
- Seven additional real-world weapons (for a whopping total of 64)
- Weapon sound effects from the team that worked on the blockbuster film The Matrix


Command Team RAINBOW, the world's most elite, multinational squad of counter-terrorist operatives, as they track the desperate remnants of a dangerous terrorist organization into exotic regions of the Mediterranean to prevent their agenda of international anarchy and destruction.

[E3 2003: PC] Microsoft Announces Dungeon Siege II (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 11:00 am CDT

Delve Into Dungeon Siege II at E3

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Dungeon Siege II, the sequel to the best-selling RPG from Gas Powered Games, is currently in development and is slated for release in 2004. A trailer for Dungeon Siege II will be shown at E3, the annual video game convention taking place in Los Angeles from May 14 through 16. Visitors to the Microsoft booth (South Hall #1246) will be treated to a taste of the vision and direction of this upcoming title. This cinematic feast for the eyes showcases the extraordinary capabilities of the Dungeon Siege II engine, as the entire movie was created in-engine.

"Run to the village and warn the chickens!” said Chris Taylor, president of Gas Powered Games. “At this year’s E3 we are showing the first sneak peek of what we have in store with Dungeon Siege 2. To emphasize the advances we have made in the RPG genre, we created a very special trailer using the actual in-game rendering engine. The future is here and we are all extremely excited to be a part of it with the announcement of the next title in the Dungeon Siege franchise."

Dungeon Siege II is the sequel to Dungeon Siege, an action fantasy role-playing game featuring an immersive fully 3-D environment. The original Dungeon Siege plunges players into a 3-D fantasy world where players can build up a party and move seamlessly from one over-the-top battle to the next.

Thursday, May 08, 2003
[Industry] Jumpgate Announces Commissioned Pilot Program - posted by Erich Becker at 1:48 pm CDT

Jumpgate Announces Commissioned Pilot Program

Durham, NC - May 8th, 2003 - Following on the successful release of Jumpgate: Episode 2, NetDevil Ltd., developers of the massively multiplayer space combat and trading simulation Jumpgate, and Themis Group, Inc., an international provider of outsourcing services and solutions to the interactive entertainment industry, today announced the beginning of the Commissioned Pilot program, a new premium service for Jumpgate pilots.

The Commissioned Pilot program offers a way for Jumpgate pilots to get a quick start in the game. Purchasing a Commissioned Pilot, for a one-time fee of $19.95, gives a player the rank, credits, and political rating to climb into the cockpit of a 26th-rank fighter for his faction, allowing him to immediately take an active role in squad warfare, space trading, and flux-hunting. The service is particularly useful for veteran players who are already familiar with the ranking process and just want or need to get into a top ship for their faction. To sign up for a Commissioned Pilot, visit http://www.themis-group.com/jumpgate/commission.phtml.

[Industry] NCSoft Giving Away a $10,000 Trip at E3 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:44 pm CDT


Multiple Opportunities to win a $10,000 Trip of a Lifetime and Special Autograph Session with Joe Madureira, FamedComic Book Artist

LOS ANGELES, May 8, 2003—NCsoft™ Corporation, the world’s top developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today the company’s special events planned for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo, the largest video and computer game trade show in the world taking place May 14-16 in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Ever wanted to float along the Nile, run with the bulls or visit the North Pole? Well, now NCsoft is turning people’s dreams turn into a reality through a special Ego- Trip give-away each day of the show. NCsoft’s games allow players to travel to other universes and be whatever and whoever they want to be. Attendees of the show will now have the same opportunity. All they have to do is play six games in the NCsoft booth (South Hall #1024) to win the adventure of a lifetime!

In addition to the Ego-Trip, NCsoft is also proud to have Joe Madureira, famed and award-winning comic book artist, on hand to sign autographs. Madureira is best known for his work in Uncanny X-men and Battle Chasers and is currently the creative director for the upcoming online game, Exarch™ developed by Realm Interactive. The game features his character, creature and environment concepts in stunning 3D graphics. Madureira designed an exclusive poster for E3 and will be signing copies of it on Thursday, May 15th from 1-2pm in the NCsoft booth.

NCsoft’s complete line-up of products for the show include: Lineage™ II: The Chaotic Chronicles, City of Heroes™, Guild Wars™, Exarch, Shining Lore™ and a Microsoft Xbox title, Kingdom Under Fire™: The Crusaders. For further details, please visit NCsoft’s website http://www.ncsoft.net/e3.

[PC] Lynda Carter Back for More Morrowind - posted by Erich Becker at 1:40 pm CDT

Lynda Carter Back for More in Bloodmoon Expansion Pack for Morrowind Actress Lends Voice Talent For Expansion to 2002 Game of the Year

May 8, 2003 (Rockville, MD) - Bethesda Softworks® announced today that actress Lynda Carter, best known for her starring role as television's "Wonder Woman", has recently completed voice work for The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon(tm). Slated to hit stores in June, Bloodmoon is the expansion pack that adds all new quests and content for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind®, which was named the Best RPG and Best Game of 2002 by numerous print and online publications.

Carter provides the voices for the female Nords, the native race of the frozen island of Solstheim where Bloodmoon takes place.

"It's great to work with Lynda again," said Todd Howard, executive producer of The Elder Scrolls® series, who has won numerous awards for his previous work. "She did an amazing job with Morrowind, and she's a huge addition for Bloodmoon. Nords play the prominent role in this game, so she really gets to show off now."

"I was extremely impressed with the artistic quality of Morrowind and thoroughly enjoyed my role in making the game," said Carter. "All the awards and accolades it's won to date are so well deserved, and I was delighted to have another opportunity to work with the Morrowind team."

In Bloodmoon, you'll experience snow, blizzards, and new creatures, including frost trolls, ice minions, and wolves...just to name a few. You'll have a choice of stories to follow and have the opportunity to defend the colony, take control over how the colony is built up, and eliminate the werewolves. Or, you can decide to join the werewolves and become one of them, opening up a whole new style of gameplay.

For more information on Bloodmoon and Morrowind, visit the official web site at www.elderscrolls.com.

[PC] Rise of Nations Tournament with Brian Reynolds at E3 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:36 pm CDT

Beat Rise of Nations Developers at Their Own Game at E3

Brian Reynolds to Sign Souvenir Rise of Nations Lunch Boxes and Posters

Gamers who think they have what it takes to beat developers at their own game will have a chance to do so at E3, as Microsoft Game Studios and Big Huge Games present the Rise of Nations Challenge at E3. Gamers who attend E3, the annual video game convention in Los Angeles, May 14-16, will have a chance to play Brian Reynolds and his team from Big Huge Games in a four-player Rise of Nations tournament. Winners of each match will be among the first to receive a signed copy of Rise of Nations, days before the game starts to appear on store shelves in North America on May 20. With Rise of Nations, gamers can change the course of history on their lunch hour; and in keeping with that theme, Reynolds will be on hand to sign Rise of Nations collectable lunch boxes and posters.

Tournament and autograph sessions will take place at the Microsoft booth (#1246) at the following times (all PDT):

Wednesday and Thursday, May 14 and 15
10am - 11pm - Rise of Nations Challenge
11am - 12pm - Brian Reynolds Autograph Session
4pm - 5pm - Rise of Nations Challenge

Friday, May 16
10am - 11pm - Rise of Nations Challenge
11am - 12pm - Brian Reynolds Autograph Session

Rise of Nations combines the epic scope of traditional turn-based strategy(TBS) games with the fast-paced action of RTS games. The game allows players to create new cities, improve their city infrastructure and expand national borders. Players have the option to win through military might using everything from slingshots to cannons to stealth bombers, corner the market on key commodities, and wheel and deal with a wide variety of Nations. Unlike other historical RTS games, Rise of Nations allows gamers to quickly play through eight historical epochs of time from the Ancient Age to the Information age, covering 6,000 years of history. Gamers can play a quick battle on any map as one of 18 nations, or play Conquer the World, the unique blending of TBS and RTS gameplay. This latest title from Big Huge Games Inc. founder Brian Reynolds (designer of Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri) will be available at retailers in North American on May 20, 2003 for an estimated retail price of $49.95 U.S. For more information about Rise of Nations, visit the official site at http://www.riseofnations.com.

[PC] BLITZKRIEG Available Next Week from CDV - posted by Erich Becker at 1:32 pm CDT

Next Generation in WWII Real-Time Strategy Available May 13

CARY, NC - May 8, 2003 - CDV Software Entertainment, a leading publisher and distributor of gaming software, announces that "Blitzkrieg" for the PC will be available in North American retail stores on May 13. Players can assume their rightful place among great generals by commanding Allies, German or Soviets as they advance through the decisive battles of World War II. Rated "T" by the ESRB, more information about the title is available at www.cdv-blitzkrieg.com.

[Community] Console Gold Looks Back on E3 2002 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:31 pm CDT

Console Gold is spending a few days looking back on last year's ground breaking E3. Journey back with them by viewing their coverage right here.

[Industry] NDL's Gamebryo To Be at E3 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:29 pm CDT

NDL's Gamebryo™ Praised by Developers and Publishers

3D Graphics Toolkit and Engine to Power Hit Titles at E3 2003

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – May 8, 2003) – NDL, a leading developer of 3D graphics technology for the computer and video game industry, recently launch Gamebryoä at this year's Game Developer Conference. With NDL's proven record of hit titles such as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind®,, Dark Age of Camelot and Freedom Force, NDL's Gamebryo is setting the pace and providing the next step in the evolution of game development.

NDL's 3D graphics toolkit and engine is helping developers create new hit titles such as Bethesda Softworks' Bloodmoonä expansion pack for Morrowind, Codemasters' Dragon Empires and Mythic Entertainment's Imperator. Currently NDL has 40 titles in development with companies such as TimeGate, Firaxis, Miroids, BlueFang and many others. Several of these developers will be showing demos, powered by the NDL's technology, at their booths on the E3 show floor May 14-16, 2003.

"We have been working with NDL for several years and have been very happy with their support and continual upgrades to the NDL technology," said Rob Denton, CTO at Mythic Entertainment. "Gamebryo provides us with the tools we need and are familiar with that help us save time and money throughout the development process."

For more information on Gamebryo and how to receive an evaluation kit, visit www.gamebryo.com or come meet with NDL at E3 in Kentia Hall #7134 and #7136.

About NDL

NDL, with offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been developing innovative 3D graphics software and tools for nearly two decades. The Gamebryo 3D graphics toolkit and engine empowers game developers to focus their energy and resources on what is most important to them: Creating great gameplay and compelling 3D content. Gamebryo's extremely flexible framework enables developers and publishers to more efficiently create cutting-edge, compelling titles for Windows, Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube while saving time and money in the process. Gamebryo is based on NDL's NetImmerse technology, which has been used to develop more than 60 titles. For more information about NDL, visit www.ndl.com.


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