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Author Topic:   Industry news
Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted January 29, 2002 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Opening a new forum for other webmasters and industry types to post announcements. If you've got a new product, article, site or anything else related to computer or console gaming, post it here.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted January 30, 2002 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Zuxxez:

Worms, Germany, January 30, 2002 --

REALITY PUMP STUDIOS the award winning development team from ZUXXEZ Entertainment , responsible for the highly acclaimed "Earth 2150 Series" and other award winning titles, is now able to confirm the release date of their current top title for September of this year.

KnightShift sets new milestones in graphics and game play for in the year 2002. The brand new Earth-III-engine allows a level of detail never seen before. Objects are based on a model using Bezier Curves and a newly developed bone system, making it the standard for gaming graphics of the future.

KnightShift takes advantage of this new technology and shows a living 3D-world, only looking as if it has been pre-rendered.

The game itself is an RTS/RPG mix about very funny, gallant knights and even funnier, stupid cows in a middle aged fantasy world of flying witches, dark priests, giants and also a lonely dragon. Each of the characters has its own personality and interacts with other characters and inhabitants of this spell binding game thus not releasing the player from it`s own spells to quickly...

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 01, 2002 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
World War II Online Free 14 Day Trial Available At Gigex

Bedford, Texas - February 1, 2002 -- Playnet.com, Cornered Rat Software and
Strategy First announced today that a 14 day free trial of their massively
multiplayer online game, World War II Online is available for download
through one of the web's leading download services, Gigex.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to expose World War II Online to
players who haven't experienced the virtual battlefield and we're excited at
the opportunity to see thousands of new players join our growing player
base," says Al Corey, Marketing Manager for Playnet.

Gigex's extensive network, including such popular sites as Yahoo!, AOL
Canada, PC Gamer, CGW, Stuff, and Men's Health (Ed's note: Not to mention ESCmag!) allows Playnet and Strategy
First to gain exposure from a diverse range of consumers, in both the
hard-core gaming community, as well as the more mainstream market.

Players can download the free trial version of the game and play for up to
14 days with all the game's features including operating tanks, field guns,
aircraft, supply vehicles and boats or choose to play as a trooper- all with
and against thousands of other players in the 3D world set in 1940 war-torn
Europe. At the end of the 14 Day trial, players will be able to retain their
characters by getting a full retail version of the game and activating their
full subscription.

[This message has been edited by Andy Grieser (edited February 01, 2002).]

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 04, 2002 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Austin, TX, February 4, 2002 - NCsoft Corporation, the world's largest
independent online game company, today announced that Lineage for the Mac is
now available for beta play. Gamers wishing to participate in the beta can
download the full version of the game from http://www.lineage-us.com/macdownload/. All Mac users who wish to
participate will be accepted into the beta. For those who do not prefer to
download the game, a free game CD may be requested from the Web site and
NCSoft will ship the disc via U.S. mail.
Anticipation for the Macintosh version of Lineage has intensified in the
last month. The game received a Best of Show award at last month's Macworld
Conference and Expo in San Francisco, one of only two games to capture the
honor.
The beta will allow players to enter into the actual Lineage world, not a
separate "test server," and all beta participants will be provided with free
game access for the duration of the beta period. This will allow beta
players to experience all of the elements of the most popular online game in
the world. The game currently boasts more than four-million active
subscriptions and 330,000 concurrent users worldwide.
Mac users and PC users will be able to play alongside each other in the
Lineage Mac beta. The game raises the concepts of community, social
interaction, and combat to new levels with the introduction of Blood
Pledgesong alliances with friends and allies in the game world. Once a
Pledge is formed, the players can develop a strategy for overtaking a
castle. But winning the battle only means the game of politics and
negotiation is just beginning. Keeping your castle is sometimes harder than
capturing it.
Lineage players can choose from four different character archetypes-a heroic
knight, clever wizard, nimble elf, or royal prince/princess. Creating a
character is quick and easy. New players can immediately jump into the game
and learn the ropes in a Lineage new player area where they may quickly
level up and learn the basics in preparation for the adventures and perils
that lie ahead. And unlike other subscription-based games, Lineage offers
FREE regular updates that expand the game world to exotic new lands filled
with fierce creatures.
Subscribed customers will receive future CDs free as part of the service.
The www.lineage-us.com Web site has helpful information about playing
Lineage and also includes online manuals, account management tools, news,
game support areas and community message boards.
After the beta periods ends Lineage for Mac will come with a 30-day free
trial. After the trial period, players are charged US$15 per month. Players
can save money by purchasing four months at a rate of US$11.25 per month. An
Internet connection is required to play Lineage.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 05, 2002 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mountain View, CA, 01-31-2002

Thought Guild Inc is pleased to announce that City Overseer 3D, the latest
addition to "Overseer 3D" line of RPG assistant tools, is now available for
purchase by the general public.

City Overseer 3D is a unique product for RPG gamers. Game masters can now
create fully realistic 3D environments for any gaming session and share designs
easily via the Internet. Players can explore fantasy cities, villages, and
dungeons in breathtaking 3D. Tabletop combat sessions can be streamlined with
virtual 3D miniatures and the Combat Manager(tm). City Overseer can convert
Campaign Cartographer(tm) 2 and City Designer(tm) 2 maps into fully interactive
3D worlds. All key functionalities are exposed to users via the innovative
OverseerScript language, which allows the changing or adding of any additional
functionality. With a TV-compatible video card, City Overseer 3D allows regular
RPG sessions to be played in full 3D on a TV.

"City Overseer bridges a technological gap between tabletop RPGs and 3D computer
games," says Maximilian A. Skibinsky, CEO and President of Thought Guild Inc.
"Now tabletop gamers can enjoy the luxury of experiencing their adventures in
full 3D, quickly resolving combat sessions with 3D miniatures, even scripting
common gaming tasks, such as treasure or common encounters - all the while
having the benefit of the depth of RPG rules, software speed and ease of use.
Integrated databases of spells, monsters and items additionally speed things up
and make gaming sessions a truly memorable experience."

City Overseer comes with 1700 unique objects to build your world or create
combat encounters for your gaming sessions. There are 24 high-resolution
monsters to place on your maps; 48 highly detailed NPCs to populate your land
and cities; 112 unique items to stock a shop or build a treasure hoard and 75
fully animated spells and magical effects. Included with City Overseer are 5
adventures by professional game designers for the popular D20 system,
supplemented by 3D maps and reference materials. City Overseer 3D can be used as
a stand-alone product, or as add-on to the popular Campaign Cartographer suite.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 06, 2002 09:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STRATEGY FIRST AND PARADOX SIGN A MULTIPLE TITLE PUBLISHING AGREEMENT

Cannes, France. February 6th, 2002 - Strategy First and Paradox
Entertainment made an official statement from the show floor of the Milia
Expo in Cannes, France today, announcing that they have signed a multiple
title publishing agreement for three of Paradox's upcoming titles.

Strategy First published two of Paradox's previous games, Europa Universalis
and Europa Universalis II. Both games did extremely well in the North
American market, winning several awards and accolades worldwide.

"We are very excited about this long term partnership with Paradox, " says
Steve Wall, V.P., Business Development, Strategy First. " Paradox has
proven itself as a developer of premier strategy titles with the release of
the Europa series last year. Strategy First was able to produce some
tremendous results from that series, winning several editor's choice awards
and end of year nominations. We see the potential in their next line of
titles and look forward to achieving the same kind of success as we've
achieved in the past."

"Strategy First offers us a unique alternative, allowing us to enter the
North American market more easily than if we were to try it on our own, "
says Fredrik Malmberg, Executive Director, Paradox Entertainment. "They
understand and relate to the development side of the business due to their
own experience developing games, and their knowledge, as a publisher of the
North American market is invaluable to us. We look forward to working with
their team again and are confident that they will do their best to promote
our upcoming games to the top of the charts!"

Further information regarding the titles included in the publishing
agreement will be announced at a later date.

For more information about Strategy First and/or Paradox Entertainment, log
onto www.strategyfirst.com or www.paradoxplaza.com. To make an appointment
to meet representatives from Paradox or Strategy First, contact Fredrik
Malmberg at 46 70 444 2732.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 12, 2002 07:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New Contest At G3D - Win 28 nVIDIA Case Badges & More

G3D is throwing up a small shin-dig and giving away a couple freebies. Hey, there are over 28 prizes to win, your odds can't be that bad eh? Check it out.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 12, 2002 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TERMITE GAMES NOW PART OF PROJECT 3 GROUP

Dutch publisher Project Three Interactive today announced they have acquired 100% of the shares in Swedish development studio Termite Games, who are currently developing the highly anticipated tactical first person shooter game "New World Order" for PC.

With the take-over, fast growing Project 3 underlines its ambition to become a groundbreaking developer and worldwide publisher of high quality games software. Project 3 CEO Robert Ercevic said: "We already considered Termite to be a very talented team, so when the opportunity arose for this take over, we moved in very quickly. They have really created a revolutionary 3D engine and with New World Order as the first game being made with it, we think the FPS community will be absolutely amazed. We are just thrilled they're now part of us and look forward to bringing their superb technology and games to various gaming platforms for years to come."

Project 3, who already had the rights to publish the game worldwide, also said the development of the game will now be accelerated and that a May 2002 release is still very much in the cards. Project 3 further announced it is looking to expand the Termite team and start working on Xbox and PS2 versions of New World Order in the very near future.

Jim Malmros of Termite Games added: "We're extremely pleased to have joined a solid and successful publisher like Project 3 and are eagerly looking towards the future. We have worked with them up close and personal in the past and are glad to now be family. With the team expansion, scheduled console versions of New World Order and then hopefully building on the New World Order franchise, all my dreams seem to come true."

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 12, 2002 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saratoga, CA - February 12, 2002 - MadOnion.com(TM), a leading provider of
PC performance information and web services, today released 3DMark®2001
Second Edition, a major enhancement to its 3DMark® benchmark solution
originally launched in 1998.

Combining DirectX 8.1 support with the latest in 3D graphics,
3DMark2001 SE objectively measures how effectively a PC runs 3D
graphics applications and provides users with an online results
comparison tool that allows them to make informed hardware assessments
and upgrade decisions.

3DMark2001 SE runs a wide range of tests to measure both overall 3D
performance and speed, analyzing and displaying all system
specifications from the driver versions to the exact hardware
components of the PC. A completely new test utilizing pixel shader 1.4
has been incorporated in the new SE version. An updated 'System Info'
now also detects installed hard drives as well as AGP settings that are
crucial for 3D performance. The upgrade detects all the latest
processors such as the AMD® Athlon(TM) XP, Intel® Pentium® 4 and the
Mobile Intel® Pentium® III Processor-M.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 14, 2002 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Partners puts you at the head of a not so ordinary law firm where you can do almost anything you like...

Enter the no-holds-barred world of Benny Sea, Alan Gordon, Angelina Adios, Helen Blanc & co and manage the day to day live of more than 20 lawyers.

Lovers? tiffs, power struggles and jealousy...a 100% sitcom scenario full of thrills !

Features :

- 3 campaigns and 21 missions

- 21 lawyers to manage (7 per campaign) who will interact with secondary characters

- 9 different needs govern their relations: Love, Friendship, sex, success, relaxation, domination, sport, beauty and culture

- more than 250 object actions possible (changing desk size, decorating the offices, improving the life of The Partners!...)

- more than 100 hilarious lawsuits (they have to work sometime!)

The Partners , developed and edited by Monte Cristo, will be released for PC in April 2002

On St Valentine's Day, catch up with the latest adventures of The Partners.

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Andy Grieser
ESCMag Staff
posted February 19, 2002 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Grieser   Click Here to Email Andy Grieser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra On-Line Changes Name to Sierra Entertainment, Inc.

Formerly known as Sierra On-Line, the new name embodies the company's focus

Bellevue, WA (February 19, 2002) -Sierra announced today that it has
officially changed its name to Sierra Entertainment, Inc. A studio of
Vivendi Universal Publishing, Sierra's new name reflects the company's
commitment to developing a broad range of entertainment products, including
games for both the PC and next-generation consoles.

" In choosing Sierra Entertainment, Inc., we have adopted a name that
signifies our commitment to creating extraordinary entertainment, " said
Michael Ryder, President of Sierra. " We wanted a name that conveyed
Sierra's ability to blend innovative, ground-breaking technology with a
broad range of compelling, entertaining and original games.

As a 22 year veteran in the game publishing business, Sierra has a
long-standing history creating some of the best-selling and critically-
acclaimed titles in the industry. Hits such as King's Quest(r), Leisure Suit
Larry(r), Hoyle(r), Space Quest(r), Half-Life(r), Tribes(tm), SWAT(tm), and
NASCAR(r) Racing are among the popular games which symbolize Sierra's
ability to deliver diverse, award-winning products to the marketplace.

ABOUT SIERRA
Sierra Entertainment, Inc. http://www.sierra.com, a studio of Vivendi
Universal Publishing and part of its Games division, is one of the original
developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and
productivity software. Sierra is renowned for releasing critically acclaimed
and award winning titles that represent a wide variety of computer
entertainment on both next generation console and PC platforms.

ABOUT VIVENDI UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING

Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU Publishing), the publishing division of the
world's second largest communications group (Vivendi Universal), is an
international leader in multi-platform publishing and content distribution.
As one of the top three players in the global publishing market and the only
publisher with an international reach, the Company's key content areas
include literature, reference, education, games and consumer press. VU
Publishing publishes content in four major languages, including English,
French, Spanish and Portuguese, and has strong local publishing brands,
including Anaya, Atica, Houghton Mifflin, Knowledge Adventure, Larousse,
Nathan and Scipione. In the games category, VU Publishing is a leading
publisher of online, PC and console-based games. Its studios include
Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra Entertainment, Inc. and Universal
Interactive.

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