Hunker Down and Pray for Daylight: âGears of Warâ Emerges Today to Storm Retailers Worldwide
REDMOND, Wash. â Nov. 7, 2006 â Hailed as the most-anticipated video game launch of 2006 and punctuated by incredible demand from gamers, âGears of Warâ begins appearing in the first retail outlets today, with continued rollout to retailers worldwide. Microsoft Corp. forecasts that âGears of War,â an exclusive title for the Xbox 360â¢ video game and entertainment system, is expected to sell more than 1 million copies worldwide this holiday season, setting a new mark for the fastest-selling original game for XboxÂ®. Starting now, gamers can run for cover and crush the enemy on their own, or take the seasonâs hottest action title online via Xbox LiveÂ®, the worldâs largest online gaming and entertainment network, which boasts 4 million members.
âGears of War,â developed by Epic Games Inc. and published by Microsoft Game Studios, made its debut to great fanfare at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2005 and has captured the gaze of industry watchers and fans ever since. The intense, genre-defining game thrusts players into humankindâs epic battle for survival against a nightmarish race of creatures known as the Locust Horde. With its combination of cinematic, visceral gameplay, dramatic storytelling and intense action, and with single-player and multiplayer online play via Xbox Live, âGears of Warâ is a seminal title for Xbox 360, providing one of the best next-generation interactive entertainment experiences today.
ââGears of Warâ is a title we know will deliver on all of its promise, and we expect the game to reach 1 million copies faster than any new titles for Xbox,â said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. âThis holiday is an extremely important one for the entire industry, and Xbox 360 will offer the world unparalleled experiences available only on this console. Weâve put an enormous emphasis on bringing new and exciting titles to market, and âGears of Warâ is a key example of Microsoftâs commitment to developing original and immersive titles for gamers everywhere.â
Anticipation for the gameâs launch today has been growing for several months. Microsoftâs âMatch Made in Hellâ promotion, a series of pre-release celebrations held throughout October, provided fans with their first opportunity to play the game before it reached store shelves. Headlined by a celebrity launch party in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery , the âMatch Made in Hellâ events were besieged by anxious gamers, desperate for their first opportunity to play the game. âGears of Warâ has received several highly coveted awards, including the Game Critics Awardsâ Best Console Game and Best Action Game of E3 2006, IGNâs E3 2005 Best Xbox 360 Action Game, and a GameSpotâs E3 2006 Peopleâs Choice Award, and has already garnered praise in early reviews, earning a perfect 10 out of 10 score from Official Xbox Magazine and a perfect 5 out of 5 score from G4 TVâs X-Play; that episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. EST.
âThe reception that âGears of Warâ has received has been tremendous,â said Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer for âGears of Warâ at Epic Games. âDesigning âGears of Warâ has been a labor of love, and weâve poured everything we have into the title. We expect this game to be huge, and itâs exhilarating to see that people are as excited about âGears of Warâ as we are.â
âWeâve seen tremendous excitement and demand for âGears of War,â as Xbox 360 fans packed our stores across the country during our special after-hours events for their first chance to play the game,â said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of Merchandising at GameStop Corp. ââGears of Warâ is hands down one of the most anticipated games this holiday, and the pre-order numbers weâve received are astounding and second only to âHaloÂ® 2â for the Xbox platform.â
âGears of Warâ from Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios is a third-person tactical action/horror game available exclusively on Xbox 360. It is available now at select retailers and will be available widely beginning Nov. 12, 2006, in the U.S. for the estimated retail price of $59.99, or $69.99 for a special Limited Collectorâs Edition, which will include a collectible embossed metal box, the âDestroyed Beautyâ hardbound art book, and a bonus DVD that features the making of âGears of War,â the âArt of Gears of Warâ trailer and the MTV program âGears of War: The Race to E3.â
Microsoft and Epicâs celebration of the gameâs release continues on Nov. 12, with a full slate of activities scheduled on Xbox Live, including a 24-hour leader board tournament for online multiplayer matches, hourly sweepstakes drawings offering the chance to win one of several Samsung HT-P29 Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound systems, Game with Fame sessions with âGears of Warâ fans Megadeth and members of the Epic development team, and much more. A full list of scheduled events can be found at http://www.xbox.com. In addition, due to the popularity of the highly rated MTV âGears of War: The Race to E3â broadcast, MTV will feature its follow-up to the program, âGears of War: The Race to Launch,â which follows the birth of the game through the eyes of eager fans waiting for its release and the real-life characters that created it; the program will air on MTV Nov. 13 at 8:30 p.m. and on MTV2 at 9:30 p.m. EST/MST/PST.
About Epic Games
Epic Games Inc., based in Raleigh , NC and established in 1991, is a developer of cutting-edge computer and video games. The company is best known as the creator of hit PC 3D action games Unreal and Unreal Tournament, both award-winning blockbuster hits having each sold more than one million copies. Epic is also responsible for the Unreal Engine, which is the underlying technology for a wide range of games including, 2002 Console Game of the Year winner, âTom Clancyâs Splinter Cellâ¢â by Ubi Soft; PC Gamerâs 2000 Game of the Year, âDeus Exâ from Ion Storm/Eidos; âAmericaâs Army: Special Forces,â by the United States Army, and âHarry Potter and the Sorcererâs Stoneâ (PC) by Electronic Arts. Additional information can be obtained through Epicâs Web site at http://www.epicgames.com/.
About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the WindowsÂ® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as âAge of EmpiresÂ®,â âFlight Simulatorâ and âZoo TycoonÂ®;â Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as the upcoming âGears of Warâ and franchises such as âHalo,â âFableÂ®,â âProject Gotham RacingÂ®â and âForza Motorsportâ¢â; and MSNÂ® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as âBejeweledâ and âHexicÂ®.â
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in 37 countries by the end of this year. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 24 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq âMSFTâ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.