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July 17, 2002 - July 29, 2002 - See More Archived News

Monday, July 29, 2002
[PressRelease] Activision and Jamdat Mobile Team Up - posted by Andy Grieser at 11:55 am CDT


Activision O 2 Action Sports "O2" Extreme Sports Titles To Be Developed for BREW and J2ME Wireless Platforms

SANTA MONICA, CA and LOS ANGELES, CA - (July 29, 2002) - Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of video games and other interactive entertainment products , and JAMDAT Mobile Inc., a leading publisher of entertainment applications and provider of enabling technologies for wireless , today announced that the companies will jointly publish hand-held conversions of Activision's Activision O 2 action sports titles games for wireless phones and deliver them worldwide.

Activision O 2 titles covered under the exclusive deal include Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Matt Hoffman's Pro BMX 2, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder 2, Travis Pastrana's Pro Moto-X and Shawn Murray's Pro Wakeboarding.

"Activision is the worldwide leader in extreme action sports video games and we are delighted to extend team with them to our agreement with them to include co-publish titles for wireless phonesproduct line," said Mitch Lasky, CEO of JAMDAT Mobile Inc. "Quality games content and proven brands , including like Activision O 2 will drive the adoption and future success of next-generation wireless entertainment."

The Activision games will be converted for use with multiple global wireless telephone platforms, including Sun Microsystems' J2ME, and Q UALCOMM's BREW, using JAMDAT's world-class technology product suite. The games will be optimized to take advantage of the larger, color screens and fast download capabilities of new J2ME- and BREW- enabled wireless handsets to deliver an enhanced mobile gaming experience.

"Through our partnership with JAMDAT Mobile we will bring our global success in interactive entertainment to the rapidly emerging wireless market," said Dave Anderson, XXX,Director of Business Development and Licensing for Activision, Inc. "JAMDAT's expertise and premier enabling technologies will allow us to deliver compelling wireless games to mobile phone users around the world."

"Activision's action sports games have been tremendously successful, particularly with the youth market where interest in extreme action sports is especially high," added Ben Jones, Vice President of Sales for JAMDAT Mobile Inc. "This demographic is also a key growth market for the wireless industry, and these titles will be drivers of sales and deeper market penetration."

Friday, July 26, 2002
[PressRelease] Strategy First Will Publish Monte Cristo Games in North America - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:05 am CDT

Strategy First and Monte Cristo proudly announce a multiple title co-publishing agreement for the North American market

Strategy First and French developers, Monte Cristo , are delighted to announce that they have signed a multiple title co-publishing deal, in which Strategy First retains exclusive North American publishing rights for six of Monte Cristo’s most popular PC titles.

Stéphane Grand-Chavin, North America and Export Sales Manager said: “Monte Cristo is very excited to be collaborating with such a key publisher in the North American market. Strategy First’s unique positioning in the marketplace will allow us to strengthen our corporate profile in US and Canada as well as promote our titles to a large retail and consumer market.”

Steve Wall, V.P., of Business Development for Strategy First, said: “We look forward to building a long-term relationship with Monte Cristo and feel that our collaboration will prove to be successful for both companies involved. Monte Cristo has a great line-up of titles that will allow Strategy First to expand its product line into the mainstream market.”

The Monte Cristo games to be published by Strategy First include, Dino Island , The Partners, Micro Commandos, Airline Tycoon Evolution, Fire Department and

About the Games

Dino Island
Thrilling rides, mesmerizing shows and a giant T-Rex! This is one theme park that will never be extinct. Dino Island is the hottest ticket in PC games, letting players create their own breed of dinosaurs and fill a theme park full of fabulous attractions.

Mix and match a kind-hearted stegosaurus with a terrifying T- Rex, give him wings and some teeth, and you have a custom-made Dino Island resident. But be careful! One or two dinosaurs and a couple of rides don’t necessarily mean colossal success. It’s up to each player to keep the crowds coming in…and the dinosaurs happy!

The Partners
Casual Fridays have never been this much fun. Mix one part Ally McBeal and one part The Sims and you’ve got a great case on your hands. The Partners is a life simulation game that puts players in a fast-moving law office where the daily ups and downs are anything but mundane. The watercooler talk is surrounded by deep, passionate love affairs, hateful rivalries and intense jealousy. Relationships can be professional or tawdry, friendly or vengeful and the characters can range from sports loving playboys to cultured career men. Now all this and the fate of the firm is in the player’s hands!

Micro Commandos
When it comes to conquering the human race, size does matter! Micro Commandos are tiny, little aliens that have big issues with the humans surrounding them. Stuck in a human basement, this mini military is trying to gain control of the Ultimate Weapon that will help them bring the entire planet to its knees. To do so, they will have to explore every corner of the house and look for essential resources (food, energy and furniture). They will also have to develop their own infrastructure and transportation from scratch. But conquering mankind is a big challenge, especially when you are 10mm tall and another group of micro aliens and the full size family cat are standing in your way!

Airline Tycoon Evolution
Do everything but fly the plane in Airline Tycoon Evolution , an airline management game that lets players grab hold of a high-flying company and help it soar. Oversee security operations, keep passengers safe and secure in the skies, make sure staff is always smiling and has plenty of pillows and
blankets, create and customize planes and bring every flight in for a safe landing – on time! Airline Tycoon Evolution is the follow up to the hugely popular Airline Tycoon , considered one of the greatest airline simulations ever. Providing hours and hours of entertainment and micromanagement excitement, Airline Tycoon Evolution promises to have PC gamers behind the control panel striving to keep their airline at the top.

Fire Department
Become a real hero with Fire Department¸ a new strategy game that will have players firing up their PCs to get in on the excitement of blazing fires and terrifying rescue missions. Control entire teams of firefighters who are busy trying to save the world and use strategy and management skills to put the flames out. Fire Department lets you bring in fighters depending on the size of the fire and the number of people that need rescuing, call for specialists if things get out of hand, and choose from a large number of vehicles including Aerials, Water Towers, Pumpers , Tankers and even Air Tankers. Overcome obstacles in the heat of battle and find the best points of entry to tackle the flames. Medals are awarded according to team performance, number of people saved and the amount of resources used, and only the best men get out alive.

Thundering helicopters overhead, wet muddy weather and tragic casualties surrounding the ground you crawl along. All the excitement of the big screen is finally coming to the small screen in Platoon, the first action RTS set during the Vietnam War. Based on the action-packed film that marked a generation, this new adventure title that has the rights to the
official MGM license will bring all the real war-time events to today’s PC community. Follow the career of newlywed Martin Lionsdale of the 1st Airborne Cavalry Division, and take part in some of the most thrilling moments of the conflict, controlling an entire platoon of soldiers (up to 30 men) through 15 missions based on historical events. A soldier’s rank and abilities depend upon his level of experience, and performance is continuously affected by the environment, terrain and combat situation. Learn US army tactics in the tutorials and take advantage of a wide range of weaponry, vehicles and support units. Take part in one of the world’s most groundbreaking wars and its most legendary war movie – Platoon!

For more information on the games and their release dates, log onto www.strategyfirst.com or www.montecristogames.com .

[PressRelease] Strategy First Brings Earth 2150 Sequel to North America - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:01 am CDT

Strategy First, Reality Pump and Zuxxez Entertainment Strike a Deal to Bring the Third Installment of the Earth 2150 Trilogy to the North American Market

Montreal, Quebec. July 26, 2002 – Strategy First announced today that it will publish the third installment of the award-winning trilogy Earth 2150 titled ‘Earth 2150: Lost Souls’ for the North American market in September of this year.

Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, ‘ Earth 2150: Escape from the Blue Planet’ and ‘ Earth 2150: The Moon Project’ , Lost Souls is sure to wow fans of the series.

“Strategy First is pleased to be working with Zuxxez on this title, “ says Steve Wall, Vice President of Business Development for Strategy First. “Earth 2150 is a successful series and Lost Souls is a great addition. We look forward to its release later this year.”

“With Strategy First we found the right partner with a great market knowledge of the North-American Entertainment industry. Together with SFI we are able to support the huge EARTH-Community”, says Alexandra Constandache, Development Director at ZUXXEZ Entertainment AG.

It is the 7th of December, 2150 and the Earth is quickly coming to an end. An ongoing feud between the Eurasian Dynasty and the United Civilized States has left the planet in disarray – people are hungry, resources are scarce and agricultural production has stopped. But the situation is getting even worse. A series of nuclear explosions near Antarctica have altered the Earth’s orbit around the sun, making glaciers melt and the seas rise to threatening levels and the catastrophe has been worsened by meteorite showers that have buried whole parts of the planet.

Thanks to a group of scientists from the Lunar Corporation, a long forgotten colony on the Moon, many people have managed to escape the terror and make their way to the nearby safety of Mars, but an unlucky few – the Lost Souls – have been left behind. And now they are seeking revenge. In a rage of resistance, the group has decided not to give up, and is working to scrape together the last of the Earth’s resources in an attempt to escape the pending disaster.

Infogrames will distribute ‘Earth 2150: Lost Souls’ exclusively in North America

[PressRelease] Jagged Alliance Gold Pack Announced - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:00 am CDT


Montreal , Quebec - July 26, 2002 – With the recently formed partnership between Strategy First and Sir Tech Canada , whereby Strategy First obtains the rights to manage the Jagged Alliance franchise, Sir Tech Canada and Strategy First announced today that they are developing a Jagged Alliance 2: Gold Pack, scheduled for release later this summer.

Featuring an enhanced version of Jagged Alliance 2, the Gold Pack will offer players some unique twists on the original Jagged Alliance 2.

“Jagged Alliance 2: Gold Pack is a great addition to the market, “said Steve Milburn, Director of Marketing for Strategy First. “Both Jagged Alliance 2 and Unfinished Business did very well when they were first released and by combining both of them, players receive two quality titles for the price of one.”

“It’s very exciting for us to have been able to enhance Jagged Alliance 2 with the improvements that were made for JA2: Unfinished Business. We’re also very pleased to have Strategy First handling the product and hope that this gives new players the opportunity experience Jagged Alliance”, said Ian Currie, original Creator of Jagged Alliance.

Jagged Alliance 2: Gold Edition features the wildly popular strategy titles Jagged Alliance 2 and its mini-sequel, Unfinished Business. The Gold Edition immerses players into an elaborate universe where they will interact with more than 150 characters, recruit their own band of soldiers and create their own custom mercenary to win back the territory of Arulco .

With improved enemy AI, weapons balance, interface and a brand new “Iron Man” mode, Jagged Alliance 2: Gold Edition promises to provide players with hours of addictive gameplay.

About Jagged Alliance 2

The small country of Arulco has been taken over by a merciless dictator. The helpless nation has little chance against the dictator’s brutal army and their only hope rest in the hands of a ragtag bunch of rebels. In cahoots with the rebels, players must fight with some of the world’s best mercenaries to retain control of Arulco.

Player must use a fine balance of negotiation, strategic tactics and battle strength to claim victory.

About Unfinished Business

Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business extends the original storyline of Jagged Alliance, putting Arulco under attack once again, but this time, from powers within. Ricci Mining and Exploration Co., who ran the country’s mines before the recent civil war, want to reclaim their mines and are based in the neighboring country of Tracona where they will launch a missile attack on Arulco. Players must cross the border into Tracona, find the missile base, destroy it and make their way home safely .

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.

About Sir Tech
Sirtech Canada is the creator and developer of Jagged Alliance 2, Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business, Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games, Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure and Wizardry 8.

Thursday, July 25, 2002
[PressRelease] Strategy First to Publish Robin Hood (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 2:38 pm CDT

Robin Hood, a new game of tactics and action, thrusts players into an amazing and realistic medieval environment where they are hauled from the depths of Sherwood Forest to the ramparts of Nottingham Castle.

The legend of Sherwood.

England, late 12th century. King Richard the Lionhearted, is back from the Crusades, and has been taken prisoner at Durensteien Castle in Austria. His chances of escaping are slim; his ransom, exorbitant. In his absence, his brother, Prince John, has taken over the throne with the help of some powerful Norman barons. Extortion, racketeering, taxation of all sorts, and the proclamation of unjust laws have become par for the course. The people of England are bending to the will of these unscrupulous individuals. But North of Nottingham, in the heart of Sherwood Forest, one man refuses to give in to the Normans. This rebel, an outstanding archer, calls himself Robin Hood.

In one of the most exciting PC games of the year, players are immersed into the magical world of Robin Hood. As Robin Hood, players are sworn to return the throne to King Richard. To do this, they must collect enough gold to pay the King’s ransom and chase Prince John from the Kingdom.

There are over 40 separate missions of three different types;

• Robbery and Infiltration: here players must find their way into enemy castles in order to seize riches amassed by the Normans on the backs of the poor; free hostages; attend secret meetings; or prevent the marriage of Marian to the despicable Guy of Guisbourne.

• Castle Attack: here players must help the Saxons to conquer an enemy-occupied castle. They must weaken strategic Norman posts in order to make an invasion by the Saxon army possible.

• Ambush: a smaller mission in Sherwood in which players must stop the tax collector’s convoy by trapping and attacking its escort or weaken enemy troops on their way to sieges.

Before every mission, players select five team members on the basis of their individual abilities. To successfully complete the operation, players must rely on their skill as tacticians and utilize the competencies of each of their companions, without getting them captured or killed.

The simple and highly intuitive interface enables players to easily coordinate the actions of all five of the characters. For example, while Friar Tuck is taking down a guard, Stutely is putting the final touches on the trap he is setting, and Robin is crawling between two bushes, positioning himself for the arrival of the tax collector’s carriage.

At any point, players may choose to turn on the ”view cone” or ”detection cone” displayed for only one enemy at a time that enables them to determine their field of vision. The system is coupled with a set of small icons that are displayed above the heads of all enemies appearing in a scene and symbolizes their mood: exclamation points for alarm, question marks for worry, storm cloud for annoyance, etc. In addition, the color of the symbols represents the intensity of the emotion: a red exclamation point indicates a maximum state of alarm.

There is no imposed linear order for the missions. Players have a choice of several missions of different kinds. They can proceed as they wish, even favoring certain types of missions over others if they so desire.

Scenarios involve all of the most memorable faces of the Robin Hood legend: Maid Marian, Little John, Friar Tuck, and others. As players move through the story line, they recruit new companions, each with their own special talents. For example, when a player has saved Maid Marian, she joins the ranks of the rebels.

More than nine places have been modeled: Sherwood Forest, Nottingham Castle, Lincoln, York, Leicester, Derby and 3 forest intersections. Each of them offers one or several different atmospheres: day, night or fog. The ability to interact with the environment is also highly advanced. Players can open doors, enter buildings, go upstairs, leap onto ramparts, cling to vines, set off traps, lower drawbridges, and so on.

From castle dungeons to York Cathedral, all decors have been extensively researched in order to recreate an authentic medieval atmosphere and ensure an impressive level of detail and an unparalleled feeling of realism.

Join the excitement and adventure of Robin Hood scheduled to hit retail stores in Winter 2002.

For more information about the game log onto www.wanadoo-edition.com or www.strategyfirst.com

Spellbound Entertainment AG and Spellbound Studios GmbH create innovative and highly acclaimed computergames. Founded as Spellbound Software in 1994 the company so far released “Perry Rhodan – Operation Eastside“, “Airline Tycoon“ and “Desperados – Wanted Dead or Alive“. In 2001 company founder Armin Gessert split Spellbound Software into Spellbound Entertainment, to aquire new business partners and the Spellbound Studios which are focussing on creating new games and new game concepts.

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.

[PressRelease] Download the Plateosaurus in Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs - posted by Erich Becker at 2:36 pm CDT

Plants are Trembling -- Download the Plateosaurus for "Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs"

Zookeepers have another dinosaur they can now use to attract park attendees, the Plateosaurus. Microsoft Game Studios and Blue Fang Games today made the herbivore available for use with the "Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs" expansion pack. Plateosaurus can be added to a park by visiting the game's official site, at www.zootycoon.com/dinosaurdigs.

Plateosaurus, otherwise known as "flat lizard," first roamed the Earth approximately 220 million years ago. With its long neck and tail and powerful hind legs, Plateosaurus possessed the ability to reach foliage high above ground. A typical Plateosaurus was 27 feet in length, and when standing on its hind legs could reach heights of more than 14 feet. Even though it was not known for being the wisest of the dinosaurs, Plateosaurus was smart enough to travel in packs to avoid attacks from the meat eaters.

It is no secret that the folks at Blue Fang Games are keeping busy developing projects for the "Zoo Tycoon" franchise. Nevertheless, Blue Fang was able to take time out to develop the Plateosaurus download, adding to an impressive list of downloadable content. The team is back in the drawing room developing new ideas, several of which are based on feedback from "Zoo Tycoon's" loyal and devoted fans.

Now on store shelves, "Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs" is the latest addition to the "Zoo Tycoon" franchise. A fun and creative expansion pack, "Dinosaur Digs" works with the existing "Zoo Tycoon" game by enabling players to evolve their zoos with more than 20 ferocious dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts. The family-friendly PC game allows players to uncage their imaginations and create the ultimate zoo - using dinosaur-themed buildings and attractions, new staff members and prehistoric objects such as volcanoes and tar pits - while six new scenarios test their zoo management skills. "Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs" was developed by Blue Fang Games LLC.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulatorä" and "Zoo Tycoonä"; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as "Haloä," "Project Gotham Racingä" and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com (http://zone.msn.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "OutSmartä."

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[Community] Gamer's Hell Reviews Hero X - posted by Erich Becker at 2:34 pm CDT

Here is the latest from Gamer's Hell.

"When I got the secret and heroic (can be discussed) mission to review Hero X I knew it was a game where I would have the opportunity to play as a super hero. At least that was what I thought I knew (explanation later)..."

Related Links: See The Full Review of Hero X

[Community] Cultures 2 Review at Khabal Gaming - posted by Erich Becker at 2:33 pm CDT

Check out the latest game review from Khabal Gaming.

Game Review: Cultures 2: The Gates of Asgard

"Unlike other strategy games out in the market where you rush at breakneck speed to build fortifications, barracks and other engines of war before your enemy can do the same, Cultures always struck me as a kinder, cuter and… in a way, more personal sort of game..."

Related Links: Check Out the Full Review!

[PCGaming] Summer of Shattered Galaxy Warming Up - posted by Andy Grieser at 1:59 pm CDT


(July 25, 2002 - Santa Clara, CA) The "Summer of Shattered Galaxy" will be heating up the month of August! Starting Monday, July 29, registered Shattered Galaxy gamers will be able to enter a series of two contests to have a chance to win some very cool prizes, including the DHT7100 "Home Theater in a Box", DVD Home Theater System courtesy of SONICblue, and the Kodak DX3900 EasyShare three megapixel digital camera.

From July 29 to August 9th, in the "Search 'n' Destroy" contest, registered players search the Shattered Galaxy website for images of five units from in the game. When placing their mouse pointer on the units, they'll reveal text to enter when registering for their chance to win any of several prizes. From August 19 to August 31, in the Score Some Booty contest, gamers adventure through the in-game tutorial of Shattered Galaxy, to find the missing word from the passages of text in the tutorial. By finding all five passages, you can register for a chance to win awesome prizes.

"We're always happy to bring more fun and excitement to the online gaming world." said Terry Park, Game Director for Shattered Galaxy. "The Summer of Shattered will definitely do that. We can't wait to see which lucky players will get their hands on these prizes!"

For further details visit the official Shattered Galaxy website (http://www.sgalaxy.com). Download the Shattered Galaxy game free to experience award-winning warfare online for the PC, and then register with a game account to have a chance winning outside the game too!

Set in deep space in the distant future where the remnant of humanity fights for survival and glory, Shattered Galaxy is an award-winning massive online warfare game for the PC. To find out more about Shattered Galaxy, and to download the 14-day or 50 hour free play demo updated with the latest and greatest patches and enhancements, visit http://www.sgalaxy.com.

[Community] Cyberathlete Professional League Crowns 2002 Summer Champions - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:18 am CDT


Team Schröt Kommando From Sweden Beats Out 90 Teams To Claim $25,000 Prize

Dallas, TX, July 25, 2002 - Displaying lightning fast reflexes, the ultimate in gaming strategy, and a knack for delivering in the clutch, team Schröt Kommando from Sweden were crowned champions at the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) Pentium 4 Summer Championship Event. Over 2,500 spectators from all 50 states and over 60 countries witnessed Schröt Kommando outlast all challengers over the five day event. Team Schröt Kommando received $25,000 for winning the event. Overall, $100,000 was awarded to the top teams.

"The past five days have been among the most exciting and competitive in the history of professional computer gaming," said Angel Munoz, president and founder of The CPL. "The crowd and team reaction was amazing when Schröt Kommando won the Counter-Strike $100,000 tournament. I think that many attendees who had doubts about considering computer game competitions a professional sport were convinced that very moment."

The main tournament game was the popular Half-Life modification Counter-Strike version 1.5, developed by Valve Software (www.valvesoftware.com. Intel Corporation, a lead sponsor of the CPL, provided more than 120 high-performance Pentium 4 processor-based systems for the tournament.

Runners-up included:

2nd - GameOnline (SWE), $15,000
3rd - Esports-United (SWE), $10,000
4th - Domain of Pain (USA), $7,000
5th - The Speakeasy Offensive (USA), $6,000
6th - Infinity-eSports (UK), $5,00
7th - Gamers-X (USA), $4,000
8th - Riot Squad (USA), $3,000


Launched on June 26, 1997, the Cyberathlete Professional League was the first organization in the world to establish computer game competitions as a viable spectator sport. Today, the CPL is the global leader in competitive computer gaming, holding massive events in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Holland, Norway, Singapore, Australia and Brazil. The CPL events offer: computer game tournaments with cash prizes of up to $150,000, music concerts, computer case competitions, product exhibitions, spectator arenas, workshops, and large BYOC areas. The CPL website is located at: www.thecpl.com.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002
[PCGaming] Space HoRSE ship date delayed - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:46 am CDT

Space HoRSE ship date delayed
Delay due to printing and duplication issues.

Cary, NC, July 24, 2002 - Shrapnel Games announced today that its upcoming release Space HoRSE has had its ship date moved to August 5th. More information on Space HoRSE can be obtained at the Shrapnel Games website at http://www.shrapnelgames.com.

Richard Arnesen, of Shrapnel Games, stated, "This is our first product to be printed in a DVD case format, and due to this we have had some issues with the duplication folks. These have been cleared up and the new ship date appears to be solid. It won't be too much longer now before people can start trading resources!"

Space HoRSE is available for pre-order purchase direct from Shrapnel Games at http://www.gamersfront.com and retails for $29.95. A demo is also available.

[PCGaming] Rails Across America Releases New Patch - posted by Andy Grieser at 8:44 am CDT


Montreal, Quebec. July 24, 2002 - Strategy First and Flying Labs announced today that they have released a patch for their award winning strategy game, Rails Across America . The patch allows players to navigate the map and view financial reports even while the game is paused, giving them more time to make decisions and to explore the Rails Across America environment. The patch also includes a new map editor that allows players to create their own maps (for single player mode only), as well as some minor bug fixes and tweaks to gameplay.

Released in 2001, Rails Across America won several Editor ’s Choice awards and has received widespread support from rail enthusiasts and casual gamers alike.

About Rails Across America

Rails Across America depicts a network of hundreds of tracks with thousands of trains crossing the entire continent.
Players focus on strategic decisions, such as where to expand, where to compete, and when to engage in a well-timed price war. Rather than simply operating individual trains, players must build and monitor the rail network, moving cargo from one destination to another. Similar to the “SimCity” model, the level of direct control is limited, but the subtleties that arise are immense, which makes it possible to control large numbers of trains. While freeing players from managing the "train dispatcher" functions that are common in games such as Railroad Tycoon 2, Rails Across America allows them to focus on higher-level decisions. While many games use money as their sole victory condition, Rails Across America players will compete for ‘prestige’, which is earned by good railroad management and specific goals for different eras.
Multifaceted victory points will mean players will be less likely to find economic loopholes by which to dominate the game.
Multiplayer mode allows up to eight players to interact with one another both cooperatively and competitively.
They must react to competitive pressures and strike deals with their competitors to play one off against another.

Saturday, July 20, 2002
[PCGaming] Wilco Announces A320 Pilot in Command - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:27 am CDT

New Add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002

DROGENBOS, BELGIUM (July 19, 2002) -- Get ready to climb into the cyber-cockpit of the most realistic Airbus A320 this side of your local airport! Wilco Publishing’s upcoming A320 Pilot in Command, due to hit PCs this fall, promises to do even more for virtual pilots of the popular single-aisle jetliner than the company’s highly acclaimed 767 Pilot in Command did for desktop captains of the wide-bodied Boeing. The new title will offer all the features of its predecessor plus the first 3D active panel in a flight sim aimed at the general public, complete freedom of movement about the cabin, and other exclusives that raise the realism altimeter to new heights.

Developed and tested by an active Airbus pilot, Wilco’s new add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 will again give simmers the meticulously detailed panels, the true-to-life Flight Management Computer (called the Flight Management and Guidance Computer in Airbus-speak) and dozens of nerve-wracking malfunction simulations that earned multiple industry awards for 767 Pilot in Command.

In addition, A320 Pilot in Command will deliver exclusive new features made possible by Wilco’s proprietary new FS NAT (New Animation Technology). These firsts include:

· Fully integrated active 3D cockpit, enabling armchair pilots to control the aircraft directly from FS2002’s virtual cockpit without switching to a 2D flat panel. Pan and zoom around the flight deck to your heart’s content, then click any button or switch to activate the autopilot, grab the throttle, access the FMGC, or perform any other operation right from the 3D view. It’s the way to really fly virtually.

· Complete cabin navigation, allowing simmers to move anywhere in the aircraft. Leave the cockpit, walk through the cabin, take a seat, activate the TV monitor, go to the kitchen, open the overhead luggage bins, and more. No more halfway measures that leave you trapped at the cockpit door or a few feet beyond.

· Realistic fly-by-wire simulation, modeling the behavior of the A320’s digital flight control system more accurately than any other add-on to date. If you pull the nose of the aircraft up too far, for example, the program will immediately refuse your command. Other sims faced with a similar situation will wait for the jetliner to reach stall speed before taking corrective action something a real A320 would never do. Other flight controls ranging from ailerons to all gear, flap and brake circuits will also be realistically simulated.

· Interior turbulence and turning effects, allowing desktop aviators to watch their flight panels shudder and shake during turbulence and heavy turns for the first time. Everything in the pilot’s field of view will move in response to the aircraft’s motion, whether in the cockpit or outside the windshield. See it feel it and enjoy the ride.

· Multiple monitor display with one PC, making it possible to display the active 3D panel on your main monitor and drag Electronic Flight Instrument Systems (EFIS) to supplementary screens for quicker access and/or better readability. User preferences can be saved for future use.

The panels will provide soup-to-nuts views of the complex instrumentation that faces a working A320 pilot, including the view from the captain’s seat, the overhead panels, the pedestal, the flap and spoiler controls, the FMGC window, the backup flight instrument window for use during systems failures, and the hydraulic shutoff panel.

Simmers will also get the most accurate and comprehensive A320 FMGC on the market as well as some 25 other flight computers ranging from air data modules to centralized fault and display, electrical management and digital engine control systems. The fully implemented Air Data and Inertial Reference Units will drive all navigation instruments, with simulated alignment procedures, IRS drifts and NC map shifts.

Other features will include a complete Ground Proximity Warning System, a Traffic Collision Avoidance System, a precisely recreated autopilot system, a five-mode Nav Display, dozens of real warnings and advisories, a complete Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) with upper and lower screens and a selectable status screen, and more.

The airliner itself will come with a choice of worldwide liveries, multiple day and night high-resolution textures, fully animated components, and a panoply of visual effects from contrails and reflective textures to tires that smoke at touchdown.

Available first in a downloadable version and later in a boxed package, A320 Pilot in Command will ship with a comprehensive installation and flight training manual, flight checklists, flight procedures, and detailed descriptions of the aircraft systems and flight instruments.

Minimum system requirements will include Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 and a 700 MHz Pentium with 128MB RAM. A Pentium 1400MHz with 256MB RAM and a 3D graphics accelerator card are recommended.

Wilco Publishing is the publisher of the Airport 2000 Volumes 1, 2 and 3, 767 Pilot in Command, Tahiti Scenery and Grand Canyon add-ons to Microsoft Flight Simulator, Wilco’s 737 for Fly!, and Hangsim, a PC-based glider simulation. 767 Pilot in Command has received the SimFlight Achievement of the Year Award for Best Aircraft and Best Panel, the AVSIM Award of Excellence, and top honors from FlightSim.com and PCPilot. The company takes its name from the aeronautical abbreviation for “Will Comply.” Founded in 1997, Wilco Publishing is based in Belgium and can be reached at www.wilcopub.com or via phone at 011 32 2 331 32 90.

[PCGaming] Wilco Returns to the Skies with Airport 2002 Vol. 1 - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:26 am CDT

Dynamic Airport Life, First-Ever 3D Cockpit with Active Panel

DROGENBOS, BELGIUM (July 19, 2002) -- After three successful editions of its Airport 2000 scenery for virtual pilots, Wilco Publishing is expanding its franchise with Airport 2002 Volume I its first add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002.

Scheduled for third-quarter release, the new title will feature seven all-new 3D airport models powered by exclusive new Wilco technology called FS NAT (New Animation Technology) that is capable of delivering more complex animations, more static and dynamic objects, more sounds, and higher resolution than any other add-on today without severe impact on PC performance.

For flight sim enthusiasts, this means that wheels on the ground vehicles will turn, doors and cargo bays will open and close, jetways will extend and retract, and much more all in the proper sequence. It also will result in an active 3D cockpit allowing all switches and buttons in the program’s Boeing 737-700 to be controlled from the Virtual Cockpit view rather than requiring simmers to switch to a 2D flat panel. No other add-on offers these capabilities.

Airport 2002 Volume I will include precise recreations of the world’s seven busiest airports: Paris Charles de Gaulle, London Heathrow, Munich International, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles International, Atlanta Hartsfield, and Dallas Fort-Worth International. (The Munich and Texas airports are firsts for the series.) Get ready for:

· Step-by-step animations Thanks to FS NAT, all activity outside the aircraft will be displayed in dynamic detail. Simmers will be able to hear the engines shut down after landing, see the jetway moving toward the aircraft, and observe ground vehicles go through their paces with realistic motions ranging from docking to unloading, and so on all with no significant effect on the frame rate.

· New sound effects Animations will be accompanied by directional 3D sound effects for the first time. Simmers will be able to hear gates moving into position, truck doors slamming, engines cranking, and other noises in sync with the relevant actions.

· Realistic night lighting effects Ground vehicles will be illuminated and lit at night, complete with white backup lights and red ambulance warning lights. Other airport activity will also be illuminated for day/night differentiation.

· More graphic elements Each airport will depict more aircraft liveries, airport buildings, gates, roads, trees, street signs and other objects in greater detail than in any previous edition, with reproductions based on Wilco’s exclusive behind-the-scenes visits. Building resolutions in particular will be so high that the images will be indistinguishable from photographs. There also will be more ground vehicles, including catering, fuel, fire, police, baggage and maintenance vehicles as well as passenger buses.

· Active 3D cockpit Building on the capabilities of FS2002’s enhanced virtual cockpit, the new Wilco scenery will add the ability to fly its Boeing 737-700 directly from the 3D view. There will be no need to switch to a 2D flat panel to turn on the autopilot, grab the throttle, or consult the FMC. Simmers can pan and zoom all around the cockpit, using the mouse or shortcuts to reach preferred views in a flash.

· Highly detailed 737 Passenger doors, the hydraulic undercarriage, flaps, rudders, ailerons, spoilers, reversers, cargo hatches and wheels will be fully animated. Each instrument panel will replicate its real counterpart down to the locations and sizes of the gauges. The FMC will include flight plan management, editable leg data, fictive waypoints, flight plan progress actuated in real time, and more.

Airport 2002 Volume 1 will include a manual including airport maps, Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) and Standard Instrument Arrival Routes (STARs), plus charts permitting 1:1 scale printing. Minimum system requirements are Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 and a 700 MHz Pentium with 128MB RAM. A Pentium 1400MHz with 256MB RAM and a 3D graphics accelerator card are recommended.

Wilco Publishing is the publisher of the Airport 2000 Volumes 1, 2 and 3, 767 Pilot in Command, Tahiti Scenery and Grand Canyon add-ons to Microsoft Flight Simulator, Wilco’s 737 for Fly!, and Hangsim, a PC-based glider simulation. 767 Pilot in Command has received the SimFlight Achievement of the Year Award for Best Aircraft and Best Panel, the AVSIM Award of Excellence, and top honors from FlightSim.com and PCPilot. Wilco takes its name from the aeronautical abbreviation for “Will Comply.” Founded in 1997, Wilco is based in Belgium and can be reached at www.wilcopub.com or via phone at 011 32 2 331 32 90.

[PressRelease] Competition Evolved: Halo National Championship Registration Begins - posted by Andy Grieser at 7:19 am CDT

Competition Evolved: Halo National Championship Registration Begins

Microsoft Game Studios today announced the Halo National Championship in conjunction with iGames and Electronics Boutique. Halo players nationwide can stop trying to make Warthogs fly and start winning some serious prizes. Prizes at stake include an RCA 50-inch plasma flat screen television, Bose Lifestyle 35 surround sound audio systems, Xbox video game systems, controllers, and stacks of Xbox games.

The initial qualifying rounds will take place at iGames centers nationwide on August 10 and 11, 2002. Regional qualifying rounds will be on August 17, 2002 at 16 select iGames centers. The finals will be held on August 30, 2002 on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA.

To participate, gamers must register online in advance at http://www.ebgames.com/ebx/ads/promos/halotournament/. Once successfully registered, players will be emailed the date and time they've been assigned to compete at the designated iGames center in their area.
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulatorä" and "Zoo Tycoonä"; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as "Haloä," "Project Gotham Racingä" and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com (http://zone.msn.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Outsmartä."

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.

Thursday, July 18, 2002
[PressRelease] EA Signs Pierce Brosnan to James Bond 007: Nightfire (Xbox, PS2, GCN) - posted by Erich Becker at 10:38 am CDT


Star of Current Bond Films to Cross Over Into Original Interactive Bond Game

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 18, 2002 - Electronic Arts announced today that it has reached an agreement with Pierce Brosnan to use the famous Bond actor's likeness in their upcoming video game, James Bond 007: NightFire(tm). The game, which uses an original storyline created exclusively for the interactive project, is based on the Bond universe and will be released worldwide the same month as the newest 007 film starring Brosnan, "Die Another Day" produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. NightFire is currently under development and is scheduled for a simultaneous release on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(tm) and PC-CD.

"Pierce Brosnan and Bond have created an unbeatable combination for the franchise over the past few years, so we're excited to have Pierce aboard to help deliver to fans the ultimate Bond experience," says Chip Lange, VP of Electronic Arts marketing. "I am confident that together, Pierce Brosnan, EA and NightFire will make for the most dynamic and appealing Bond game yet."

NightFire promises to stay true to the tradition of the James Bond property. The game will feature more than 10 stunning exotic locations from around the globe and outer space, as well as offer an all-star cast of villains and allies, including sexy Bond women, both new and familiar to the 007 universe. Each of the mission levels will offer enormous, highly detailed 3D environments that can only be experienced through the eyes of Bond.

Neil Haldar, Vice President of Production and Business Development for MGM Interactive, observes, "We welcome this fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Brosnan, who so masterfully personifies James Bond, and to re-team with a great partner like Electronic Arts on Nightfire to deliver the finest integration of creativity and technology to date."

James Bond 007: NightFire is being produced by EA. Gearbox Software, based in Dallas, TX, is developing the PC version and the console development is a partnership between UK-based Eurocom Entertainment Software and EA. EA will publish and distribute the game worldwide in late 2002 under the EA GAMES(tm) brand. More information on the game can be found on EA press site at www.info.ea.com.

James Bond was first introduced to movie audiences in 1962 when Danjaq, LLC and United Artists, released Dr. No. The 20th film in the franchise, Die Another Day, is currently in production and scheduled to debut nationwide on November 22, 2002. 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 this fall's latest installment to the James Bond videogame franchise, James Bond 007: NightFire, 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. For more information about MGM, visit MGM Online at http://www.mgm.com.

About Eon Productions/Danjaq, LLC
Eon Productions/Danjaq, LLC is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced nineteen James Bond films since 1962. The James 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. Eon Productions is currently in production of the twentieth James Bond Film, Die Another Day, which is due for release in the U.S. and international markets in November 2002. Eon Productions and Danjaq, LLC are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising of the James Bond franchise.

About Electronic Arts
Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA GAMESTM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and EA.COMSM.


[PressRelease] Origin Systems Announces Ultima Online: Age of Shadows (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 10:17 am CDT


For the First Time, UO Players Will Be Able to Design and Build Their Own Houses

AUSTIN, Texas, July 16, 2002 -- Origin Systems, an Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) development studio, today announced the development of Ultima Online: Age of Shadows*, the most ambitious expansion in the award-winning Ultima Online (UO) series. In Age of Shadows, fans will be introduced to two new professions and an exciting new realm to explore and settle. In addition to the expanded availability of housing, a ‘House Design Tool’ will also be included in this latest version.

"Housing has been one of the key features of UO since its launch in 1997, “said Ben Noel, vice president and chief operating officer of Origin Systems. “We are continuously looking for ways to improve and expand the fun factor of owning a home in Britannia. Not only will Age of Shadows create more housing availability, but the new custom-design feature will allow all our players much more creativity when building a house."

The immersive nature of Ultima Online’s world continues to expand through the introduction of the House Design Tool. This tool, accessible to anyone who owns a house within the game, will allow players to build new houses from scratch or modify existing ones with compelling new structures, spatial elements and textures.

In addition to building homes, players will have two new professions to master: a Paladin and a Necromancer. The chivalrous Paladin is a courageous warrior fortified with awesome new powers and the cunning Necromancer is a wielder of the darkest magic and forbidden secrets. As players role-play either of these two opposing forces they will discover a large new landmass to conquer and settle.

As players explore this new area within the game, they will be able to utilize an enhanced magic system featuring new spells and powerful items. Additionally, new combat techniques and weapons add more depth and challenge to the fighting experience, and will be useful when facing the dozens of new monsters roaming the dark realm.

Age of Shadows will debut in early 2003 and will offer continuing new intrigue through ongoing fictional scenarios in which players often determine the outcome.

Ultima Online has 225,000 subscribers and is played in 130 countries located in every time zone.

About Electronic Arts

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

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Related Links: Electronic Arts

[PressRelease] Shox Announced for GameCube and PlayStation2 - posted by Erich Becker at 10:14 am CDT


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - July 17, 2002 - Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, today officially announced plans to go off-road with Shox for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Nintendo GameCube. Shipping in Fall 2002, racing rookies as well as seasoned speed demons will hit the circuit to compete in amped-up arcade-style rally car racing.

Jumping into one of 24 licensed high voltage vehicles from famous makes like Audi, BMW, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lancia, and Ford, players race through three-lap circuits of snow, desert, or jungle landscapes. Sliding through dusty roads, slipping on ice, and shredding through foliage, it's crowded on the open road, as six competing cars try to muscle into prime position, wreaking havoc along the way. Additionally, up to 4 players can compete for top rankings in a multiplayer split-screen mode.

Within each track are "Shox Zones" where players are awarded Bronze, Silver, and Gold placements based on their driving skills. Earn the Gold in all "Shox Zones" on a single track and a new circuit will be unlocked. Players can also put their own cars up as collateral in races with opponent in Wagering Mode to collect the ultimate off-road vehicle collection.

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 $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EA GAMESTM, EA SPORTS BIG(tm) and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.


Related Links: Electronic Arts

Wednesday, July 17, 2002
[PressRelease] Microsoft Launches Combat Flight Simulator 3 Website - posted by Erich Becker at 8:06 am CDT

Return to the Unfriendly Skies - Official "Combat Flight Simulator 3" Site Launches

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that combat pilots can receive preflight instructions at Microsoft’s official "Combat Flight Simulator 3" site, http://www.microsoft.com/games/combatfs3. Those who visit the newly launched site will find a list of game-specific features, numerous screenshots, downloadable movies, desktop wallpaper, pilot bios, news links and a gallery of plane nose art used in "Combat Flight Simulator 3."

The official site currently features the game's complete and highly intense four-minute intro video. In addition, the plane section showcases rotating screenshots of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and P-47 Thunderbolt. Would-be airmen can also read up on the careers of each of the nine pilots starring in "Combat Flight Simulator 3."

Built with the "Flight Simulator 2002" physics engine, "Combat Flight Simulator 3" furthers Microsoft's reputation for building the best-selling PC-based flight simulators franchise.* Developed by Microsoft, "Combat Flight Simulator 3" puts players in a dynamic 3-D world and features a new advanced graphics engine designed to showcase realistic low-level terrain, ground objects and superbly detailed aircraft during high-speed, down-and-dirty combat missions. "Combat Flight Simulator 3" also updates the franchise with more than 18 realistically rendered World War II aircraft with stunning 3-D cockpits. Combat missions are created dynamically with tactical objectives changing each time the enemy is engaged. Cooperative multiplayer missions and free-for-all dogfights via the Internet and LAN also bring a heightened sense of excitement and challenge to "Combat Flight Simulator 3."

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon"; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as "Halo," "Project Gotham Racing" and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com (http://zone.msn.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Outsmart."

* * *

Related Links: Visit the CFS 3 Site Today!

[Community] Gamitopia Reviews Cuboingo (PC) - posted by Erich Becker at 8:05 am CDT

What do you get when you cross Tetris and a Rubik's Cube?? You get one fast-paced mind-bender that will stand up, look you squarely in the eye, and demand you give it every last second of your free time.

Related Links: See The Full Review>>

[Contest] Asheron's Call 2 Name That Monster Contest from Microsoft - posted by Erich Becker at 8:03 am CDT

Announcing the "Asheron's Call 2 Name That Monster Contest"

Winner Invited to Participate in AC2 Beta

Microsoft Game Studios and Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. today announced that "Asheron's Call 2" fans will have the chance to participate in the making of their next massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) through the "Asheron's Call 2 Name That Monster Contest." Those who enter will be able to submit name proposals for one of the game's boss monsters. In addition to having their name selection edged into the lore of "Asheron's Call 2," the winner will receive a beta account. The crew at Turbine will judge and choose the winning name, which will be announced at a later date.

The boss monster is based upon the Ero-bal, a unique creature race in the game. The Ero-bal are Tumerok undead who have lived on Dereth in secret for millennia. They continue to accrue new members, either through appealing to the individual's greed or vanity, or through compulsion. The Ero-bal (a Tumerok spiritual term roughly meaning "prolonged grief") are also sometimes created when the graves of Tumerok are disturbed. There are Ero-bal for each caste of Tumerok as described in "Asheron's Call Dark Majesty," such as Rea-bal hunters, Awaro-bal warriors, and even mighty Tahro-bal chiefs.

To see what this race looks like, and to enter the contest, visit the "Asheron's Call 2" Insider site at: http://zone.msn.com/asheronscall2/.

"Asheron's Call 2," the sequel to the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) "Asheron's Call," will advance the MMORPG genre with the advanced Turbine Engine G2 graphics engine, providing some of the most sophisticated graphics available on a PC. Scheduled for U.S. release this winter, "Asheron's Call 2" features a dynamic, evolving fantasy world that reacts to players' behavior and actions. Developed by Turbine Entertainment Software Corp., the game includes features such as a revamped combat system and new in-depth crafting system that gives players a chance to pursue noncombative skills.

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulatorä" and "Zoo Tycoonä"; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as "Halo," "Project Gotham Racing" and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com (http://zone.msn.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Outsmart."


Related Links: Enter Today!

[PressRelease] NCSoft Launches Lineage Episode XI, Game Updates Included - posted by Erich Becker at 8:01 am CDT

NCsoft Launches Next Episode for Lineage
Episode XI: Oren Unveils Frozen Terrain, Cool New Monsters and Introduces Important Updates to the Lineage Magic System

AUSTIN, Texas, July 17, 2002---NCsoft(tm) Corporation, the world's largest independent online game company, today launched on its North American service, the latest episode in its highly successful Lineage(tm) massively-multiplayer game series. Episode XI: Oren adds an entirely new land for players to explore. Oren is an icy, snowy region that adds several new monsters including the Ice Queen who can kill entire bands of players with her icy-cold breath. The land of Oren is highlighted by the massive Ivory Tower, an eight-story building created from magic, which includes hunting grounds, quest areas, teleportation sites and also acts as a central stage for newly created magical activities.

Magic is a central theme to the Oren update. New spells have been added to the Lineage magic system and a specialized magic system for Elves is introduced. The Episode XI launch comes on the heels of other major improvements to the overall look and feel in Lineage. Earlier this summer NCsoft upgraded the terrain, flora and building art in several beginner-level regions of the game including Hidden Valley and Singing Island. Other regions are due for a facelift in the near future. Later this summer, frame rates for character animations will be increased significantly to present a more smooth-scrolling character movement experience for players. Lineage is currently available via free download at http://www.lineage.com or players can request a free CD via U.S. mail from NCsoft. Lineage comes with a 30-day free trial period. After that, a subscription of US$15 per month is required to continue playing. Customers can save money by purchasing four months in a single transaction at a rate of US$11.25 per month.

About NCsoft
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corp. is the world's largest independent online game company. Established in 1997, NCsoft has become the world's leading online game software company. In Korea, its blockbuster hit game Lineage commands a 42% 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's North American subsidiary is located in Austin, Texas where a staff of more than 70 people is developing new games and supporting NCsoft's product lineup in North America. 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 www.ncsoft.net.


[Community] Thrustworld Gives Away Consoles - posted by Andy Grieser at 4:53 am CDT

ThrustWorld is giving away a choice of an XBox, GameCube, Playstation 2 or DVD Player to a lucky winner in their latest competition. They are also giving away 2 MP3 Players. Details of the competition are available here.


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