SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT UNITES WITH VIRGIN COMICS TO CREATE
*Leading Game and Worldwide Comic Companies Join Forces to Develop and
Publish Massively Multiplayer Online Video Game Based On the Popular
Ramayan 3392 A.D. India-Mythology Inspired Comic Book Series***
*SAN DIEGO, California & NEW YORK, New York (AUGUST 9, 2007)* ? Through
a deal that joins two of the world?s most innovative entertainment
brands, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), a global leader in the online
gaming industry, is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson and Deepak
Chopra?s Virgin Comics to bring the popular, India-based *Ramayan 3392
A.D.* comic book universe to life as an MMO video game initially for the
The deal was announced today by John Smedley, President of SOE and
Sharad Devarajan, Co-Founder and CEO of Virgin Comics.
?Ramayan has inspired the lives of millions of people through the ages.
The re-imagining of this great ancient epic through the creativity of a
game platform re-affirms the fact that Ramayan is one of the greatest
stories ever told,? said Deepak Chopra. ?The fact that the same creative
team of young Indians that created the story will be involved in working
with SOE?s game development team, is a testament to the innovative and
mythic minds of these gifted Indian creators who will take a new
generation to new frontiers across the seas of consciousness into new
realms of mystery, magic, adventure, and transformation.?
Through this exclusive multi-year, worldwide license agreement, SOE will
develop and publish an MMO based on Ramayan?s story of mythological
lore. Virgin Comics will serve as a creative consultant on the project.
Virgin?s creative involvement with SOE?s game development team will be
spearheaded by its President and head, Suresh Seetharaman, who has also
overseen the development of the comic series. Also involved is acclaimed
filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, a co-founder of Virgin Comics.
?Virgin Comics approached us with a portfolio of amazing comic
properties based on Indian lore. We particularly love Ramayan 3392 A.D.,
as we feel Virgin Comics? telling of The Ramayana is particularly
gripping, graphically brilliant and lends itself extremely well to an
MMO,? said Smedley. ?This a fantastic time for us to expand our games to
include this culturally rich storyline and we are honored to do this
with a diversified, creative and experienced company like Virgin Comics.?
Virgin Comics? Ramayan 3392 A.D., initially released as a comic in late
2006, re-imagines one of India?s greatest epics into a futuristic realm.
Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics? Chief Creative Officer commented, ?While
many of the characters and settings remain familiar to the original
lore, we never intended to re-tell the story, but essentially use it as
the key inspiration for something fresh. What remains intact to our
story are some of the core universal themes like duty, honor, sacrifice,
and fraternity while also mining uniquely Indian ideas like karma (how
action and consequence are linked) and the malleability of time itself.
To bring all of these ideas into a game with SOE is just awesome.?
Devarajan concluded, ?In a world increasingly dominated with games
influenced by a western Tolkien mythos, Ramayan will offer gamers a
chance to experience a whole new universe of characters and archetypes
derived from one of the oldest cultures on Earth. Our mission at Virgin
Comics has always been to allow this generation of Indian youth to have
a creative platform through which to speak to the world. Through this
collaboration with the likeminded visionaries at SOE, our young Indian
creators will make gaming history worldwide.?
*About Virgin Comics*
Virgin Comics is a character entertainment company creating original
stories and epic myths for worldwide audiences. The company was founded
in November 2005 by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Enterprises Ltd.,
alongside author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and
entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman.
Virgin is developing new stories with acclaimed filmmakers, actors and
musicians including John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Terry Gilliam, Dave Stewart,
Ed Burns, Nicolas Cage, Duran Duran, Sachin Tendulkar and others.
Feature films based on Virgin Comics? characters are also in the works,
including an animated feature The Secrets of the Seven Sounds and
theatrical live action feature films, The Sadhu in development with
actor Nicolas Cage as well as Gamekeeper in development with Warner
Bros. In India, Virgin Comics recently established a partnership with
Studio 18 to pioneer the Indian ?teen-horror? genre and a separate
partnership with UTV Motion Pictures to develop new Indian superheroes.
Virgin Comics also formed a joint venture with NBC-Universal to create
new science fiction properties for graphic novels and television with
the Sci Fi Channel. www.VirginComics.com
*About Sony Online Entertainment
*Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in
massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of
subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides
compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console
and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit
titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®,
Untold Legends?, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars
Galaxies?, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and
the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres
on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with
additional development studios in Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX, Seattle,
WA, Denver, CO, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in
development. SOE is owned by Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Computer
SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest and PlanetSide are registered trademarks of
Sony Online Entertainment LLC. Untold Legends is a trademark of Sony
Online Entertainment LLC.
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