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August 8, 2008

EA PREPARES FOR WAR AND ANNOUNCES SHIP DATE FOR WARHAMMER(r) ONLINE: AGE OF RECKONING

FAIRFAX, Va. – August 6, 2008 - Hot on the heels of spectacular showings at E3 and Comic-Con, Mythic Entertainment, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) studio, today announced that fans will be able to enter the gritty fantasy world of Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ (WAR) on September 18th, 2008 when the highly-anticipated MMORPG goes live. After three years in development by Virginia-based Mythic Entertainment, WAR will open its North American, European and Oceanic servers and offer players a variety of flexible subscription options. Gamers who pre-order WAR in North American will enjoy special benefits including open beta admission, a live game head start, and bonus in-game items.

Based on Games Workshop’s epic and longstanding tabletop fantasy war game, WAR is a unique MMORPG that features revolutionary Realm vs. Realm™ (RvR) gameplay that will immerse players in a world of perpetual conflict for years to come. WAR has been recognized for its unique play style that appeals to novice MMO players while offering incredible depth for more seasoned players.

Consumer demand for WAR is mounting with all units of the game’s Collector’s Edition having been pre-sold in North America. In addition, the title is receiving significant media attention, picking up numerous critic awards at this year’s E3, including “Best PC Game” from G4’s XPlay, “Best MMO” from IGN and Voodoo Extreme, and “Top 10 PC Game” from GameSpy, as well as being nominated for the prestigious Game Critic’s Awards “Best PC Game”.

“The countdown has officially begun. Mark your calendars! September 18th is the Day of Reckoning,” said Mark Jacobs, founder and general manager of Mythic Entertainment. “For the last three years, the entire team at Mythic has poured their hearts into making Warhammer Online the next great MMORPG. We are so excited to open up this world and share it with the fans that will live in it, quest in it, go to war in it and make it come alive.”

Fans looking forward to laying siege to their enemy’s capital city will have several pricing options available, beginning with a $14.99 monthly subscription. Additionally, collectible 30- and 60-day prepaid Game Time™ Cards will be available at many game retailers. WAR subscription options include:

* Monthly Subscription: $14.99 USD

* 3-Month Subscription: $41.97 ($13.99 per month)
* 6-Month Subscription: $77.94 ($12.99 per month)

Players can now pre-order their copy of WAR to secure their spots on the frontlines with a special pre-order package that includes:

* Open beta admission: Pre-order customers can experience the glory of battle and the thrill of WAR by participating in the open beta test.
* Head Start program: Players can begin their adventures in the Age of Reckoning before the game’s official launch.
* Bonus in-game items: Players can equip their characters with two bonus in-game items by pre-ordering from select retail partners.
* Universal Fighting System™ Battle Deck: The Emperor Karl Franz and Tchar’zanek, dread Champion of Tzeentch, go head-to-head in this exclusive collectible card game from Fantasy Flight Games. (Available in a limited supply from select retailers.)

Participating pre-order partners include Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, Direct2Drive, EAStore.com, EB Canada, EB Games, Fry’s, Futureshop, GameCrazy, GameStop, GoGamer.com, and Walmart.com. (Pre-order offers will vary by retailer.) The European pre-order program is scheduled to begin in late August. For more information about the North American pre-order program, visit www.warhammeronline.com/preorder.

Available for the PC, WAR is rated “T” for TEEN by the ESRB. WAR will be the first MMORPG to launch servers simultaneously in North America, Europe, and Oceania when it goes live on September 18th, 2008. For more information, visit http://www.warhammeronline.com/.

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Rockstar Games Announces Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC

New York, NY – August 6, 2008 – Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is proud to announce that Grand Theft Auto IV will be arriving on the PC on November 18th and 21st in North America and Europe, respectively.

“We are very excited to be releasing the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “The whole team is dedicated to bringing an amazing gaming experience to the PC. The game looks and plays beautifully on PC and we can’t wait for people to play it.”

Developed by series creator Rockstar North and set in Liberty City , the latest installment in the enormously successful Grand Theft Auto series features a painstakingly detailed and life-like city for players to explore; a rich, immersive narrative experience; an original soundtrack highlighting the cultural eclecticism of Liberty City ; and newly expanded multiplayer just for the PC.

For more information please visit: http://www.rockstargames.com/IV

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August 5, 2008

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Launches August 11

SAN RAFAEL, CA, August 5, 2008 – Telltale Inc., the leader in interactive episodic entertainment, is announcing that "Homestar Ruiner", the first of five monthly Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People episodes, will premiere Monday, August 11. "Homestar Ruiner" will release on Nintendo's WiiWare™ download service in North and South America and worldwide on PC simultaneously. WiiWare availability for Europe, Australia and New Zealand will follow shortly.

As the star of the popular Homestarrunner.com web cartoons, Strong Bad has been answering emails (in boxing gloves), pranking his friends, pummeling his enemies, and making people with questionable taste snort milk out of their noses for years. Now he's branching out to star in the monthly Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People series developed in partnership with Homestarrunner.com creators Mike and Matt Chapman.

In the season premiere, Strong Bad's plans to beat the snot out of his rival Homestar Runner backfire, and he ends up with an unwanted houseguest cramping his style. Now he needs to get life back to normal, by any means possible. Comical point-and-click gameplay progresses the story, with side quests, mini games, achievements, and an "extended play" sandbox mode that unlocks after the story is completed rounding out the game experience.

"Homestar Ruiner is a great series premiere and kick-off for the season. The next five months will be filled with lots of surprises," says Telltale CEO Dan Connors. "This is how we always envisioned episodic gaming—monthly releases, straight into the living room. We’re happy to be working with the Chapmans and Nintendo to make it a reality."

New Strong Bad episodes can be downloaded from the Wii™ Shop Channel each month for 1000 Wii Points™. The series takes advantage of the WiiConnect24™ technology by giving players the ability to send Strong Bad-themed emails to Wii friends directly from the Lappy. Photos taken using the in-game camera feature can be attached to emails, allowing players to show off Easter eggs uncovered or hidden costumes collected during the game.

"We are very excited," said a Videlectrix spokesperson from his pretend high-rise office, "Our last game topped out at 8 bits. We've heard this one might reach 9 or 10!"

Downloadable versions of each Strong Bad episode will also be available for the PC exclusively from Telltale's website, with preorders starting today at www.telltalegames.com/strongbad. Episodes can be purchased individually for $8.95 or as part of a five-episode subscription for $34.95. As with Telltale's popular Sam & Max series, customers who purchase the full series from Telltale will later be eligible to get a disc version for the cost of shipping and handling.

After the "Homestar Ruiner" premiere on August 11, storylines in the monthly episodes will run the gamut from political struggles to rock’n roll to the world of videogames (of course), building to the exciting season finale in December. Many fan favorite characters from Free Country USA will appear in each episode, along with special new super 8-bit style mini-games from Videlectrix. Additional details about the series can be found at www.telltalegames.com/strongbad.

About Homestarrunner.com
Homestar Runner was conceived in 1996 by Mike Chapman and friend Craig Zobel as an idea for a weird kids' book they would only make a few photocopies of for friends. In 2000, Mike and brother Matt dusted off the idea and launched Homestarrunner.com, featuring the Flash-animated exploits of the characters. Since 2002, they have updated with new cartoons almost every week including the popular feature 'Strong Bad Email' in which fans get their emails answered by the cartoon's charming antagonist, Strong Bad. Mike and Matt write and animate the cartoons with Matt and Missy Palmer providing voices for the characters. The site has been featured and mentioned in the New York Times, Wired Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and, most importantly, two songs from the site were featured in the Guitar Hero series.

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April 23, 2008

Midway Gamers Day 2008

I recently went out to Las Vegas for Midway's Gamers Day at the Red Rock Resort. They showed a few games: NBA Ballers: Chosen One, Wheelman, TNA Impact, Unreal Tournament 3 Xbox 360, and This is Vegas were playable. They also announced a Mortal Kombat and DC Comics game, which looked like a MK fighter with Scorpion, Sub Zero, Superman, and Batman confirmed as characters. There was a lot of excitement in the crowd about that one. We wondered how the whole fatality thing would play out with the super heroes, for example, would DC want Superman to rip out his opponent's skull and show it to him? They also announced sequels for Game Party and Touch Master as well as Blitz: The League.

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There was a lot of talk, especially from Midway execs like Mark Booty, Interim President and CEO, about how Midway is reaping the benefits of centralization and standardization. The different studios share assets like game engines and design tools as well as knowledge. You could see how licensing the Unreal Engine and then using it to build every game is paying off in terms of how the games look, how complex the game play is, and how quickly they can come to market.

The big focus was on This is Vegas. The game is being made by Surreal Software in Seattle - they've been working on it for three plus years. It's an open world of a likeness of Vegas where you gamble, party, race, and fight. It's an ambitious project to create a world that big. This gives players the chance to live out "their Vegas fantasy." It looked OK, nothing special in terms of graphics or audio. The focus has definitely been on game play. I did the dancing mini-game, the same that was shown during the press conference. I thought that it was fun. I wonder about it conceptually though. My concern is that by offering many types of game play it may end up asking players to play in ways that they don't want to play, for example, the guy who wants to drive around and beat people up may not be the same guy who wants to enter a dance contest. But I talked to Darci Morales about this concern and she said that if you don't want to play a particular mini-game you don't have to. The point of all the mini-games is to build your buzz and gain experience and you could choose to do that however you want. I'm mainly interested in seeing how all of the different games and gaming mechanics translate into a holistic gaming experience. I think This Is Vegas is noteworthy because it looks like it'll be a hell of an achievement for Surreal and Midway when it is done and it deserves merit if only for being a massive effort at establishing an open game play world with lots of variety. I'm not sure whether that translates into being a successful game in an overall sense. I'd get a better idea from a more in depth demo where I could see how the player goes from one mode to the other, how fluid that is, and how all of the different modes combine.

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January 20, 2008

UbiSoft 2008 Preview

I met with Ubisoft the other day and talked to them about the games that they are working on for 2008. I saw a bunch of demos, and played some games. They even brewed a fresh pot of coffee for me.

Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 - It's the 10 year anniversary of the franchise and it returns with a bigger (meaning more game play) story. Due out in March 2008. There's a greater degree of character customization in equipment and experience points can be applied to better weapons. Enemy and squad AI is better. There's been a huge expansion of co-op game play - friends can jump in and out of the game on the fly without restarting levels. It's the same core game play as version 1 with simple team controls. They've worked hard to add verticality to the levels such as looking up and seeing an enemy through a skylight and then having to go outside and climb up onto the roof to get him. There's destructible cover so you can't sit in one spot and hide. You sort of have to think and plan rather than charge right in. There are 7 locations and each location has multiple scenarios.
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Far Cry 2 - They set out to keep the best parts of the original. The intention is to keep it real yet exotic so this version takes place in Africa. There's 50 square kilometers of open game world, mostly savanna with some jungle. All objects are coded meaning that nothing is just a stupid graphic so trees grow while you're playing and everything can take damage. There's wind and light from the sun that change as the day progresses. No mission will ever be exactly the same because there's a randomness about how enemies are deployed; they're not always in the same place at the same time. It's fast paced and from what I saw there was a lot of fire which is always a good thing. One fascinating thing that Clint Hocking (Creative Director) brought up is that it is now cheaper in terms of utilizing system resources to create vegetation procedurally than it is to make it animated. The game is due out roughly around holiday 2008. It will be the same game on console as on PC with the PC version having higher resolution.
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Petz Bunnyz - This cute little DS game is basically targeted at young girls who want to play with fluffy bunnies at Easter time. It's not my kind of game, but if you have a daughter who wants to raise a virtual bunny and play with it then this would be a hit.

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November 11, 2007

NBA Live 08 Review

Review by Matt Congdon
Score: 2 out of 5

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The first EA Sports game that I played was Madden 64. I was horrified. I explicitly asked for NFL QB Club 98 for Christmas, but I was stuck with madden (what does my mom know about football or games). In my eyes this game sucked hard. How can you make a game without an NFL license or endorsements? When wanting to play as the Patriots I was stuck with some team named “Foxboro”, not to mention that the graphics sucked and so did the game play. I would describe it the pinnacle of boring. I promised this would be the last EA Sports game I would buy.
Later in life, I got a PS2 and decided to give EA Sports another chance on a different console. I was thrilled at Madden 2001,. The game kicked ass, and it kept getting better as the years passed. EA Sports produced a string of brilliant games and that kept getting bigger and better. I thought this was the kind of company that was out for the players not the dollars. Their hockey and basketball games all were a lot of fun to play and somehow the developers improved them from year to year.
Of course, EA Sports let me down. They suck again, They have started a long down spiral, passing mediocre a year or two ago and they are now about as bad as I can imagine [[I’m trying to avoid obscenity. Sucks is ok, but I draw the line at shit. MDS]]. NBA LIVE 08 illustrates this point. This game is crap. EA Sports just threw money and a deadline at a development team. It is inexplicable to me how a company can mess up basketball so badly after having good editions for last generation consoles. The game looks alright on an HDTV, but on an SDTV looks very distorted and odd. It seems like there are a lot of fisheye type replay angles. There are so many flaws that, the decent game they might have had for PS2 is now damaged goods.

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October 15, 2007

Bioshock Review

Bioshock
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Rated M for Mature
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review by Matt Congdon

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There are a few rare games out there that force you to play them; once you lay down that cash, you're sucked in until you finish. Sure, many games have great stories (Final Fantasy X), and some have great game play (God of War), but few combine both into something so special that you just can't quit. One such title this year that shouldn’t be missed any adult gamer looking for a bit of adventure.. The game creates an intriguing story, but it’s the gameplay that makes the story come alive. Too many games these days have stories that aren't connected with the actual gameplay, but rather just feature boring cut scene movies--which the typical ADD gamer (such as myself) doesn’t really like to sit through. Bioshock’s story is delivered mostly through audio, which is transmitted to you via radio, so you're listening to the story while shooting, dismembering and electrocuting baddies through Bioshock’s Levels.

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February 27, 2007

Pogo Update

I had the opportunity to chat with Beatrice Spaine of EA about Pogo.com last week. It was really interesting. This whole casual games thing intrigues me because I'm a hardcore gamer, my friends are hardcore gamers, and I sort of target my reviews at hardcore gamers. But these casual games are taking off like wildfire. The most interesting thing is that casual gamers rarely even see themselves as gamers - they're just having fun. In fact, a lot of them spend a helluva lot of time on Club Pogo so maybe they are hardcore. It sort of makes me question the whole use of the term "hardcore".

Here's an example. My father got a Pocket PC last summer and he brought it down the shore for the weekend. He was literally glued to the thing for the whole weekend because he was playing some game where he had to match the color of some balls. I think he even brought it to dinner one night and my mother made him put it away (we had a similar incident earlier in the season when I brought my DS and Nintendogs to the table - hey, Teddy and I were in the middle of a walk). My father is in no way a hardcore gamer, but his behavior reminds me of myself when I get a new game that I fall in love with. What is the real difference between my father playing this ball game and me staying up for 72 hours so I could play through Metal Gear Solid or Medal of Honor? Yes, there was an incident here several years ago with Medal of Honor Rising Sun where my neighbor came downstairs at 2 am to ask me to put the war on hold.

I guess the major difference between my gaming and my father's gaming is the twitch and coordination factor. One has to be reasonably adept in order to target and shoot, whereas it's pretty easy to point at balls with a stylus. But in terms of the love of the game it is the same. I think that's the significant part. People love to play games. Actually, it almost seems like everything alive (with half a brain) loves to play. Not to trivialize the issue, but are my cats casual or hardcore gamers when they're chasing a catnip mouse around the apartment?

So I think I've just stumbled on the bottom line. Gamers want to have fun, pick up a little diversion, and perhaps be challenged. Casual or hardcore, we're all the same on a basic level. And at the risk of sounding silly, game on everyone. Kick back, have fun. Michael Franti and Spearhead sing that "it's not who you love, but do you love", and I think I'm ready to say "it's not what you play, but do you play?"

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Hellgate London Preview

I met with Andrew Wong of EA and Bill Roper of Flagship Studios a few days ago to talk about the upcoming action RPG Hellgate London. Overall I was pretty impressed with it and stayed to talk to Bill for a long time.

I'm trying something new with this entry. I took notes during the demo and I'm writing this directly from the notes so it probably won't flow as well as most of my entries by will probably contain more information. My guess is that you probably came here for information and not for beautiful prose.


They wanted to make the starting area compact and simple for players to navigate. The London Underground is a safe zone so when you're there you don't have to worry about getting attacked. Everything starts with a tutorial. NPCs have quests for you so you have to walk around and talk to all of them. If the quest is blue then it is part of the major story arc. The cool thing about the game is that it is both single player and MMO, so in theory there's tons of replayability which is somewhat refreshing today. You can buy the box and play on your own for about 30-40 hours, then you can go online where there will be additional game modes and story lines. Flagship intends to work tightly with community to tailor the game to be the experience that players want.

Every time you go out on an adventure the area and all the contents are randomly generated. Two people can do the same level or quest and have two totally different experiences. My general impression is that the game looks good and has nice shadowing and fire effects. There's actually a huge mothership kind of thing that casts a massive shadow over the city so shadows come and go and the effect is very cool. The point of the game is to fight demons on the surface, and they're an ugly bunch. There's a lot of finding, buying and selling items which is always a big element of these games.

Flagship has made every effort to make the game playable for both hardcore and nonhardcore gamers. They've tried to simplify menus and also make keys context sensitive so you don't have to hunt for certain functions. For example, the left shift can make you sprint during combat. Alt brings up the action menu, your inventory is drag and drop, as is modding your weapons and leveling up your skills. The automap and quest log shown on the screen.

There is pretty good diversity in game play for the different classes. The hunter is more like an FPS than an RPG where you aim with a reticle and shoot from the hip. The first person features were designed in from the beginning so it feels right. If youŕe hunter with engineering skills (thank you hellgateguru.com) you can build drones that help you fight, drop health, project shields and more. The templar is melee based third person only; he can use the grappler which is a cool weapon that drags enemies in so you can bash them. This can be very useful for enemies with ranged attacks or flying enemies. The game is very playable using each different character class. All of the character classes have to be able to complete the game solo and all character classes have to be playable in solo mode. The cabbalist is a spell caster who uses the powers of the demons against them. They us focus items to channel the energy

One interesting thing is that armor is color themed meaning that individual pieces now match instead of giving the usual patchwork feel. Also you can make a guild color theme and share it with your guild. You can also mod your weapons to enhance capabilities. The armor colors and the mods on weapons are ways to individualize yourself within the game. Using different items require different attributes which creates a whole system of trade offs.

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February 1, 2007

KUMA REALITY GAMES ANNOUNCES NEW KUMA\WAR EPISODE FEATURING IRAQ TROOP SURGE

New York (February 1, 2007) – Episodic game maker Kuma Reality Games announced today the release of “Baghdad Surge,” the 81st episode of its video game series Kuma\War, which turns headline news into first-person suspense. Modeling Haifa street – a notorious stronghold of Sunni insurgents just outside of Baghdad’s Green Zone – the “Baghdad Surge” game-episode depicts the real-life battle of January 24, 2007 in which Iraqi and US troops fought to re-assert government control of the war-torn neighborhood. Built from satellite photos and first-hand news reports, Kuma\War Episode 81: “Baghdad Surge” will be available for free public download at Kuma Games (www.kumagames.com) beginning Thursday, February 1.

“Each month hundreds of thousands of gamers experience critical real world events for themselves through Kuma’s 3D game technology,” said Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Games. “As success in Iraq hinges ultimately on the actions and abilities of Iraqi troops, we felt it was essential to put the player in the position of an Iraqi soldier, giving American gamers a view of Iraqi efforts in this important fight.”

Created within one week of the January 24 events, “Baghdad Surge” puts players in the role of an Iraqi soldier charged with taking back the capital, following a rise in sectarian violence. Using leadership, marksmanship and a little help from U.S. forces, players have the opportunity to fight the insurgent forces in realistic, first-person firefights along stunning recreations of the streets of Baghdad.

As with every Kuma\War mission, “Baghdad Surge” comes accompanied with news reporting, media footage, satellite images, military tactical analysis and eyewitness accounts to help gamers understand a world in crisis. For more than two years, Kuma\War has expanded the boundaries of news reporting through accurate and timely re-creations of real-world military events. As the leading force in episodic games, Kuma is committed to turning around missions for its audience just days or weeks after real-world events take place. Kuma\War episodes are powered by Source – the same award-winning game engine technology Valve® created to power Half-Life® 2 – and are available for free download at www.kumagames.com.

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January 31, 2007

Out of the Park Baseball 2007 springs into life

Wednesday 31st January 2007 – With spring training around the corner Sports Interactive, the sports management development specialists, have announced that Out of the Park Baseball 2007 will be available, exclusively via digital download in time for the new season.

In OOTP Baseball 2007 players get the chance to do almost anything a real life general manager can do to guide their team to glory. Players can also create their very own fictional baseball universe, create and import fantasy teams and players or simply compete with other human players in an online league.

“No baseball simulation on the planet offers you this much flexibility and this much fun,” said Marc Duffy, Product Manager at Sports Interactive. “OOTP Baseball 2007 is ideal for historical, fictional, and online fans alike”.

Available for PC and Mac, franchise managers are able to set their line-ups, replace aging veterans with a rookie from the minor leagues, send their scouts to comb the upcoming amateur draft pool, or get a closer look at that free agent pitcher from Japan.

"We’ve spent a long time listening to our fans,” commented Markus Heinsohn, Lead developer of OOTP Baseball 2007. “The last version was a giant step forward for the good of the game and this year sees the addition of some of their most requested features."

Out of the Park Baseball 2007 will be released on March 23rd 2007 priced at $34.99 / €29.99. Pre orders, blogs and further information can be found at www.ootpbaseball.net

Key Features and improvements

Improved interface and usability

OOTP Baseball 2007 features some great user interface improvements that make the game easier and more enjoyable, including: a league creation wizard, a simplified navigation model with intuitive icons, a detailed in-game help system, improved in-game screens, and manager and online league commissioner “portals” that centralize the most commonly-used tasks.

The ultimate control over your baseball universe

OOTP Baseball 2007’s flexibility in configuring a baseball universe is unparalleled. Players have complete control over the structure, rules, and finances of their world, including the new abilities to add or delete leagues at any time, to have leagues “feed” players into other leagues and many other new league options. No simulation game has ever been this flexible.

Huge advances in the historical league experience

Historical leagues now feature an automatic expansion mode, including protection lists and expansion drafts. OOTP Baseball 2007 can also now import the history of a league prior to the selected year, giving players complete historical data and record books! Other new historical features include automatic adjustment of league financials, league strategies and rules (i.e. playoff format, schedule length). Sports Interactive re-introduce the concept of ghost players and the new option to block fictional players from reaching the major leagues. Combined with vastly improved statistical accuracy in historical leagues, the end result is the best possible way to replay the history of baseball starting in 1901, but yet with OOTP Baseball 2007 characteristic flexibility. A historical fan’s dream.

Fictional

Fictional leagues come to life like never before, thanks to the help of a wider variety of league news & stories, a player morale and popularity system and the ability to create fictional player portraits using the FaceGen technology.

Online

The online league mode of OOTP Baseball 2007 has never been more user-friendly and functional than in this year’s edition. The new commissioner portal will greatly reduce the administrative burden of running a league. Online GMs benefit from new features as well, such as an automatic waiver pullback option and an adjustable draft pool date that will give online leagues much more flexibility in processing amateur drafts. Commissioners can also now add and edit league news items and write game recaps, which will display both in-game and on league HTML reports. Commissioners can also send messages to all users and manually select all-star team members and award winners, including a new custom award of player’s choice! These features are available in solo play as well!

League expansion wizard

The new league expansion wizard helps you expand your league much more smoothly by scheduling an expansion draft and handling the submission of protection lists.

Trading

The trading model in OOTP Baseball 2007 has been vastly improved. GMs can now mark players as “untouchable” or “on the block,” with a corresponding effect on that player’s morale! The “shop player” feature allows you to quickly identify desirable trading partners and new trade-related reports put all of the information you need right at your fingertips. A “make this work now” button asks player’s trading partners to tell them exactly what is needed to make a deal under negotiation to happen immediately!

In-game experience

The experience for those players who enjoy playing out each game has improved greatly in OOTP Baseball 2007, including: strategic one-pitch mode, more natural play-by-play text, a “short PbP” option that displays just the outcome of the play and many other improvements to the in-game screens. Additionally, players can now write their own recap of the game that will appear in a game news article and will be saved along with the history of their game!

Improved AI and player development

The AI does a better job of managing its team than ever before and extensive statistical analysis and testing results in the most realistic player development system in any baseball simulation game.

Returning fan favorite features

Based on popular demand, a number of “fan favorite” features from previous versions of OOTP will return in OOTP Baseball 2007, including: an optional star-based rating system, adjustable AI player evaluation based on statistics/ratings, weather, ghost players, bullpen warm-up, and team focus.

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January 30, 2007

Midway Winter Gamers Day

I spent a few days in Las Vegas last week to visit Midway. They booked The Joint at the Hard Rock for a great event that highlighted several of their 2007 and 2008 titles. They had some great sushi and the scotch was flowing freely; what could be bad?

BlackSite: Area 51 This FPS is due to ship summer 2007 for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3. The story is pretty cool. You're sent into an area because some troops are missing and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose. There are all sorts of creepy crawlies that come after you. My favorite are the ones that you kill but their heads pop off and continue to pursue you. Midway promises realistic sound, but I couldn't tell because it was in a crowded noisy room. The graphics look great and lighting effects were very cool. The massively destructible environment is another cool thing. All in all, the short level that I played was a whole lot of fun. There's also a basic squad based element, which I mainly used to order my guys ahead on point. There were some performance issues, but it's a very early build. All in all, this is a title that I'm looking forward to.
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Hour of Victory This Xbox 360 WWII FPS is built on the Unreal Engine 3 so it looked fantastic. The innovation with this title is the ability to switch between 3 characters. There's the brawny charge ahead and gun Nazis down character, the stealthy slit their necks from behind character, and the eagle eyed sniper. At various points in each level you are given the opportunity to switch guys. Interestingly, you can do any part of the game using any character although some are better at certain parts than others. I found that using the brawny charge ahead and gun Nazis down character made this game feel exactly like Call of Duty. Not a bad thing for me, because I love these WWII shooters. In fact, I can remember a night when the guy in the apartment above me asked me to stop storming the beaches at Normandy (Medal of Honor) because it was 2 in the morning. I wonder how many other people like them. How much of a market is there for them? Very little was said about multiplayer modes, although the level looked like a good multiplayer design. The other cool thing is that you can take over turrets, planes, tanks, etc. That's always tons of fun in multiplayer.
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They also showed Stranglehold which looks like so much fun. I've written about it several times before.
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They showed a trailer for The Wheelman with Vin Deisel. I can never tell very much about a game from the trailer. It's too early for me to have anything to say about this one.

They showed a great video about the controls for Mortal Kombat: Armagedon for Wii. This looks like a lot of fun. It's basically a combination of swipes and motions with the remote and a little button pushing. I'm really looking forward to playing this one.
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And finally they had playable The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar which is a MMO for PC. They announced that it will ship on April 24, 2007. They just started a pre-order program which gets you the game for $9.99 per month or $199 lifetime. It looked good and there was a lot of excitement about it.

Continue reading "Midway Winter Gamers Day" »

January 29, 2007

MIDWAY CONFIRMS THEORY IS A FACT: BLACKSITE: AREA 51 IS COMING SUMMER 2007

CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 29, 2007 – Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment industry publisher and developer, today announced BlackSite™: Area 51®, an action packed, first person shooter experience which pits gamers against alien enemy forces using the infamous U.S. government landmark, Area 51®, and the surrounding areas as the battlefield backdrop. BlackSite: Area 51 is currently in development for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and for the PC.

Developed by Midway Studios - Austin, BlackSite: Area 51 is a next-generation game that will redefine the first person shooter (FPS) genre. While other FPS titles claim to feature
“action-packed, highly realistic gameplay,” BlackSite: Area 51 takes next-gen gaming to an
all-new level integrating cutting edge technology, game design and story writing to create the ultimate entertainment experience. The player’s modern-day emotions and fears are driven into a world charged with grave responsibility affecting lives hanging in the balance and eventually finding himself torn between his professional orders and his own ethical standards. In the end, only the actions of the player and his squad can shape the outcome of BlackSite: Area 51 during this potentially pivotal moment in history.

“BlackSite: Area 51 gives players the opportunity to experience next-generation, first person shooter action in one of the world’s most intriguing and mysterious environments,” said Denise Fulton, studio head, Midway Studios - Austin. “Gamers will be instantly immersed in the game’s seamless storyline, set in the desert and small towns surrounding Area 51 that feature highly detailed environments that transform themselves into awesome battlefields. Without question, BlackSite: Area 51 will raise the bar in the next generation FPS genre with its stunning visuals, life-like squad interactions and its multitude of online multiplayer modes.”

Continue reading "MIDWAY CONFIRMS THEORY IS A FACT: BLACKSITE: AREA 51 IS COMING SUMMER 2007" »

January 24, 2007

EA Demo Night

The other night my good friends at EA invited me to come over and see some of their upcoming titles. Overall, it looks like they have a strong spring liineup. I spent so much time there that they were kidding me that I should help pack up.

Command and Conquer 3 - The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative and The Brotherhood of NOD continues as the third Tiberium war begins. This is a pretty solid RTS for Xbox 360. I was surprised at how easy it was to command my troops across the whole map. The PC version ships on March 28 and the Xbox 360 version ships in Spring 2007.
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Def Jam: Icon - What can I say, these Def Jam games are massively popular. This one integrates hip hop music and fighting like never before. The music actually affects the fight. Drive him down with a series of punches that grow stronger because they match the bass line. Environments pulsate and debris flies along with the music. There's also an all new single player story mode that takes you from nobody to hip hop mogul as you build a record label, discover new talent, and become a hip hop icon yourself.
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Medal of Honor Vanguard - I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Everyone likes killing Nazis. This latest installment of the highly successful WWII FPS is back and it looked great. They've simplified the HUD and gotten rid of the medpack system. Now when you're hurt you go hide in the corner and heal. This ships in March 2007 for PS2 and Wii.
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NBA STREET Homecourt - Featuring a brand new game engine that will knock your socks off, this wild street trick basketball game returns. This game is totally next gen with guys sweating, muscles rippling, cloth physics, all very smoothly integrated into game play. A new animation engine makes all the crazy moves you can pull look fluid. New controls let you create hundreds of tricks on the fly. Get ready to defy gravity and practice saying "Not in my house"!
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Continue reading "EA Demo Night" »

January 12, 2007

Xbox 360 Outsells Wii and PS3 This Holiday

The results are in

Consumers have cast their votes and Xbox 360 was the best-selling next-generation console of the 2006 holiday season in the United States , outselling the PlayStation 3 and Wii combined in December and outselling all next-generation consoles in November and December. The Xbox 360 garnered a 51% market share in the United States for December 2006. ( US NPD, January)

Gamers get into Gear

Like “Halo,” “Grand Theft Auto,” and “Zelda,” “Gears of War,” is tracking to be one of the best-selling video games of all time. By the end of next week, “Gears of War” will have sold more than 3 million copies to consumers worldwide in just 10 weeks.

Following on the success of “Gears of War,” 2007 will quite simply be the best year for great games in Xbox history.

* By holiday 2007, there will be more than double the 160 next-generation games available on Xbox 360 today, including highly anticipated MGS titles such as “Halo 3,” “Blue Dragon,” “Crackdown,” “Forza Motorsport 2,” “Lost Odyssey,” Mass Effect,” “Project Gotham Racing 4” and “Shadowrun.”

* Third party publishers continue to flock to the Xbox 360 for its high definition fidelity, ease of development and unmatched online capabilities. Surefire hits coming from third parties in 2007 include “Assassin’s Creed” (Ubisoft), “Dance Dance Revolution Universe™” (Konami), “Grand Theft Auto IV” (Rockstar), “Guitar Hero 2™” (Activision) and exclusives like “BioShock” (2K) and “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” (Ubisoft).
* This week, we announced more than 20 million Xbox Live Arcade games have been downloaded to date, including “Assault Heroes,” “Small Arms,” “DOOM” and this week’s release “Ms. Pac-Man.” Other popular games will join Xbox Live Arcade's library as the platform’s popularity continues to grow, including the highly anticipated "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night" from Konami and "Heavy Weapon" from PopCap.

Xbox Live—The Largest Social Network in the Living Room

With more than 5 million active members, two-million messages crossing the network a day, and three-billion game play hours logged to date, Xbox Live has become the largest social network on television. And Xbox Live innovations like Achievements, Gamerscore, and Reputation are changing the way people play games and share their games and entertainment experiences with friends.

Xbox Live is also an on-demand culture, where entertainment powerhouses like CBS, Lion’s Gate, MTV Networks, Turner Broadcasting, Paramount Pictures, UFC, and Warner Brothers are entertaining one of the most captive 18-34 year old communities online today. Seven weeks ago, Xbox Live and its studio partners began offering hit TV shows and movies in high and standard definition for download. According to the studios, the social games and entertainment network has already become #2 in Internet downloads of hit TV shows and movies, but #1 in high definition and #1 in the living room—where it matters most.

The countdown is on

200 million Windows gamers around the world can mark their calendars as the availability of Windows Vista on January 30 draws near.

During the CES keynote address, Bill Gates and Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista-based PC to friends who play on Xbox 360 using “UNO” (Mattel Inc.) — one of the many new, upcoming casual games optimized for Windows Vista and one of the top casual games currently on Xbox Live.

At CES, Microsoft also announced the Games for Windows portfolio, which includes “Shadowrun” and “Halo 2,” the first titles to utilize Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360. And who doesn’t want one Gamertag, one friends list, one set of achievements, as well as voice chat and game invites across Xbox 360 and Windows Vista? It’s something only Microsoft can offer the world’s largest population of game players.

Continue reading "Xbox 360 Outsells Wii and PS3 This Holiday" »

January 8, 2007

RAZER™, THX® UNVEIL RAZER MAKO™ 2.1 BI-AMPLIFIED SPEAKER SYSTEM AT CES 2007

January 8, 2006 – Las Vegas – Razer, a leading manufacturer of high-end precision gaming and lifestyle electronics peripherals, will unveil and provide hands-on demonstrations of the new Razer Mako™ 2.1 speaker system, Razer DeathAdder™ infrared sensor mouse, Razer Pro|Type™ iPod docking keyboard and Razer Pro|Click Mobile™ Bluetooth notebook mouse at CES, January 8 – 11, 2007, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in South Hall, Booth 35160.

“Razer’s new line of products being showcased at CES, which include the Razer Mako, Razer DeathAdder, Razer Pro|Type and the Razer Pro|Click Mobile, truly reflect the future of interactive entertainment,” says Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, president, Razer Group. “This new product lineup continues to express the originality of our ideas by aggressively pursuing what consumers want in design and engineering. We did not get to where we are today by ‘playing by the rules’; we arrived here by setting them.”

Razer, the creators of the Razer Barracuda gaming audio system, is proud to introduce the Razer Mako 2.1 THX Certified bi-amplified multimedia speaker system at CES 2007. The Razer Mako represents a groundbreaking new desktop speaker design from the sound engineers and scientists of gaming industry leader Razer and audio industry pioneer THX Ltd. The Razer Mako 2.1 is the first desktop speaker system to incorporate THX Ground Plane™ and THX Slot Speaker™ technologies, which raise the bar for acoustic fidelity and performance in the desktop category. Whether the listener has connected their desktop computer, gaming console, television, CD deck, or portable MP3 player as the Razer Mako’s input source, the system will deliver sonic presentations that are the best-in-class for any 2.1 desktop speaker system.

“The advantage of multimedia and PC speakers is that they can be conveniently positioned on desktops and bookshelves. But, sound reflecting from desktop surfaces interferes with the direct sound, creating uneven frequency response at the listener’s ear level,” said Laurie Fincham, chief scientist at THX. “The Razer Mako 2.1 is the first multimedia speaker system designed from the ground up to provide optimal performance on the desktop. The THX Ground Plane and Slot Speaker technologies ensure the speaker drivers are very close to the desktop surface, doubling the output and delivering smooth and even response at all frequencies.”

Features:

* THX Certified for premium sound quality and performance.

* Patented THX Ground Plane and THX Slot Speaker downward-firing mid-range drivers and tweeters design which creates a spacious soundstage that turns any desktop surface from an acoustic hindrance into an integral part of the soundstage.

* True, bi-amplified satellites with two channels of 50W with full digital DSP control.

* An overall system frequency range of 30-20,000 Hz and Axial Response Limits of +/- 2dB at 40-18,000 Hz (-6dB at 30 and 20,000Hz).

* 300W of total system power, with 6 channels @ 50W each.

* ClassHD™ Digital Amplifier technology with full DSP control that makes previous-generation Class AB and Class D amplifiers obsolete.

* ClassHD™ technology scales power in sync with the music, resulting in operation at a much higher efficiency curve, improved Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), improved EMI, reduced idle consumption, and lowered amplifier delay.

* For those moments when surrounding silence is needed, the Razer Mako offers an amplified headphone jack on the wired remote control. This allows for improved headphone performance over the standard pass-through found in normal desktop systems.

* The sleek Razer design created with premium materials and finishes will deliver best-in-class acoustic performance while maintaining attractive desktop aesthetics.

The Razer DeathAdder 3G infrared sensor gaming mouse is a quantum leap over current generation optical technology. Fully optimized for high speed motions, the Razer DeathAdder features everything needed for high-performance gamers.

Features:


· 1800 dpi 3G infrared sensor technology for enhanced precision.

· 1000 Hz Ultrapolling™/1ms response providing pinpoint accuracy and lighting fast speed.

* Five programmable, ultra-large non-slip buttons with Hyperesponse™.

* A 16-bit ultra-wide data channel.

* Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ Teflon fleet.

* Always-On™ instant response.

* Award-winning On-The-Fly™ sensitivity drivers.

* Right-handed form factor.

Razer has been building quality input devices since 1999, which makes it one of the select manufacturers in the industry. As the worldwide leader in high-performance input devices for the quickly growing field of motion control, Razer Pro|Solutions are precision instruments built to last, and to deliver increased productivity, control and precision to professional users that demand the best from their electronic peripherals.

Sleek, streamlined and functional, the Razer Pro|Type is the first keyboard to integrate a universal iPod dock into its design, facilitating a lifestyle element prevalent in today’s culture. The pairing of the iPod dock in the keyboard allows for easy synchronization and charging of all iPods without the hassle of additional wiring.

Features:

· 10 customizable profiles where consumers can easily configure keyboard profiles according to their needs.

· 10 programmable keys where consumers can switch profiles and launch applications with just a touch of a button.

· Ultra touch sensitive keys for enhanced and extremely precise key response.

· On-the-fly profile switching that allows viewers to swap keyboard profiles upon program detection.

· A one-touch hub for multi-media programs and everyday computer functions, which includes line-out and two USB ports for convenient connection to other peripherals.

· A full set of media hot keys that provide one-touch access to media programs.

· A gently sloping wrist rest giving way to an ergonomic design, resulting in a mixture of comfortable usability and a clean minimalist design with a pure white exterior paired with blue ambient light.

The Razer Pro|Click Mobile is the most precise Bluetooth notebook mouse in the world today, catered for individuals on the go or whenever space is a constraint.

Features:

* 1200 DPI Infrared Sensor.

* Bluetooth 2.0 (with Adaptive Frequency Hopping).

* Ambidextrous design.

* Long Battery Life.

Continue reading "RAZER™, THX® UNVEIL RAZER MAKO™ 2.1 BI-AMPLIFIED SPEAKER SYSTEM AT CES 2007" »

Windows Vista Ushers in New Era of Gameplay

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2007 — Kicking off the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with a bang, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled revolutionary games, technologies and partner support for the first-class gaming platform, Windows Vista™.

CES attendees will get hands-on experience with 15 of the hottest Games for Windows® titles, including some of the first games to deliver stunning graphics and gameplay through Microsoft® DirectX® 10 that will challenge any game for superiority in visual fidelity: “Crysis™” (EA Partners/Crytek) and “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive Ltd./Funcom). Gamers will also experience “Shadowrun™” from Microsoft Game Studios, the first of many titles that will bring the Live games and entertainment network on Windows Vista for true cross-platform gameplay.

In addition, during the CES keynote address, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista-based PC to friends who play on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system for a cross-platform game challenge with “UNO®” (Mattel Inc.) — one of the many new upcoming casual games optimized for Windows Vista.
Connecting Windows Vista and Xbox 360
Delivering on a vision that Microsoft presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Microsoft Game Studios’ “Shadowrun” and Mattel’s “UNO” are part of the first wave of Live titles that bring the benefits of Xbox Live® to gamers on Windows Vista, including an active community of nearly 5 million gamers, a single identity for each gamer across Windows and Xbox 360, as well as Achievements, which redefine what it means to conquer a game and share accomplishments with friends. The Live gaming and entertainment network will enable gamers to play and communicate online across both of Microsoft’s gaming platforms, bringing more players and their friends together to play and connect in new, exciting ways. In addition, “Halo® 2” for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed “Halo 2” campaign — a first for any “Halo” title on any platform.
Optimized Casual Games for Windows Vista

Puzzle-playing, fun-loving casual game players also will benefit from Windows Vista-optimized gameplay, with new titles available on MSN® Games (http://games.msn.com/en/vistagames). Bringing realistically detailed graphics and enriched gameplay features to casual players, the downloadable Windows Vista-based titles will be launched in conjunction with the new operating system in late January. The feature-length games include updated versions of the popular puzzlers “7 Wonders of the Ancient World for Windows Vista” (Mumbo Jumbo) and “Luxor 2 for Windows Vista” (Mumbo Jumbo); the all-new action and adventure game “Bliss Island for Windows Vista” (Codemasters); the crystal-collecting, quick-shooting fun of “Crystal Quest for Windows Vista” (Codemasters); “Spinword for Windows Vista” (Slam Games), a brainteaser combining word puzzles and arcade action; the gem-filled matching puzzle “Jewel Quest® 2” (iWin); and the updated and graphically enhanced action adventure “Darwinia for Windows Vista” (Introversion). In addition, the ever popular “Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved” (Bizarre Creations) will be making its debut on the PC. Requiring fast thinking and an even faster trigger finger, the PC version of this retro-inspired title will, along with most Windows Vista-optimized titles, support gameplay with both the keyboard and the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows.

Windows Vista itself caters to the casual game player. Updated versions of game classics such as “Minesweeper,” “FreeCell” and “Solitaire,” as well as all-new titles such as “Chess Titans,” “Mahjong Titans” and the family-friendly adventure game “Purble Place,” will be included with Windows Vista from the start and will be easy to discover by way of the new Windows Vista Games Explorer.

Games for Windows Portfolio

Taking advantage of the new operating system’s revolutionary technology and more user-friendly gaming features, the diverse Games for Windows portfolio of titles includes something for everyone, from the most hard-core enthusiast to casual players. Games such as “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek) and “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) exploit the DirectX 10 technology in Windows Vista with vivid new levels of graphical detail and depth, while the highly anticipated titles “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio) and “Halo 2” (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will be the first to utilize Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360.

The Games for Windows portfolio includes the following titles:

· “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom)

· “Age of Empires® III: The Warchiefs” (Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios)

· “Alan Wake” (Microsoft Game Studios/Remedy)

· “BioShock” (2K Games/Irrational Games)

· “Company of Heroes” (THQ Inc./Relic Entertainment)

· “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek)

· “Disney·Pixar’s Ratatouille” (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios)

· “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios/ACES Studio)

· “Frontlines: Fuels of War” (THQ/Kaos Studios™)

· “Halo 2” (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios)

· “Hellgate: London ” (EA Partners/NAMCO BANDAI Games/Flagship Studios)

· “LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy” (LucasArts/TT Games)

· “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” (Midway/Turbine Inc.)

· “Marvel Universe Online” (Microsoft Game Studios/Cryptic Studios)

· “Rail Simulator” (EA Partners/Kuju Entertainment)

· “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio)

· “Supreme Commander” (THQ/Gas Powered Games)

· “World in Conflict” (Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment)

· “Zoo Tycoon® 2: Extinct Animals” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

· “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania®” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

· “Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

DirectX 10
The DirectX 10 API (application programming interface) in Windows Vista is built from the ground up to provide gamers with a rich and incredibly detailed graphic experience. Consumers can see this technology in action in the Games for Windows booth at CES with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800, the first DirectX 10-enabled discrete video card to hit the market, powering demos of “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) and “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek). DirectX 10 utilizes the new Windows Vista Display Driver Model and Shader Model 4.0, giving developers the tools to bring amazing game environments to life and maximize the power of the latest video card technology.

Games for Windows Brand Momentum Continues

Games for Windows has allied with new publishers that are committed to making it easier, safer and more fun to game on Windows. Atari, LucasArts, Midway, Turbine Inc., and 2K Games join THQ, Vivendi Universal, Microsoft Game Studios and other leading publishers in releasing new Windows-based titles that feature the Games for Windows branding bar, which assures consumers that the games will deliver great new gaming experiences on the operating system. Newly announced branded Games for Windows titles include “Disney·Pixar’s Ratatouille” (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios), “Frontlines: Fuels of War” (THQ/Kaos Studios), “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” (Midway/Turbine Inc.), “Supreme Commander” (THQ/Gas Powered Games), “World in Conflict”(Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment) and “Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games). Those games, alongside previously announced branded titles, will meet a set of technical guidelines including easier installation, increased reliability and support for key Windows Vista features such as the Games Explorer and parental controls.

As part of the packaging and branding initiative, Games for Windows branding will be displayed in gaming sections of Circuit City, CompUSA, GameStop Corp. and Wal-Mart. Consumers can explore the Windows platform and titles in stores nationwide, which will help make their experience of finding and buying Windows games faster and easier.

In anticipation of the Windows Vista launch, GameStop is installing playable Games for Windows demo kiosks in 750 GameStop stores across the United States in January, enabling gamers to experience firsthand the latest in Windows games.

In addition, retailer backing for Games for Windows has begun to expand globally, with the first European retailers, PC World and Virgin, rolling out Games for Windows-branded signage and in-store promotions in time for the launch of Windows Vista.

Continue reading "Windows Vista Ushers in New Era of Gameplay" »

November 22, 2006

HARLEY-DAVIDSONR: RACE TO THE RALLY ROARS INTO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

Minneapolis, MN – November 21, 2006 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI ), is giving gamers the chance to stop dreaming and start riding in Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Charge out on the highways and bi-ways across America on fully-upgradeable classic and late-model Harley-Davidson® motorcycles while facing outrageous road challenges.

“Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally offers gamers the chance to ride some of the most recognizable motorcycles in the world in this fast-paced, open-road adventure,” said David Oxford, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Players experience the thrill of saddling up an American icon and the camaraderie of its brotherhood from their living room.”

Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally takes gamers from coast to coast across America exploring classic rides centric to “Harley-Davidson” and the biker lifestyle such as Big Sur, historic Route 66, and the Badlands . Each of the 20 authentic Harley-Davidson® motorcycles including the Dyna®, Softail®, Touring®, and Sportster® are fully customizable and upgradeable with licensed parts and accessories, so there are thousands of possibilities on which to perform the gravity-defying jumps, and high-speed turbo boosts in this game. Plus, it features a soundtrack that captures the attitude of “Harley-Davidson” with tracks by George Thorogood, Heart, Poison, Great White and more.

Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally is available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The PC version will be available on November 28 for a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game has been rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB.

About Activision, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $1.47 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006 .

Continue reading "HARLEY-DAVIDSONR: RACE TO THE RALLY ROARS INTO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE" »

Latest Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Gaming News

Two weeks ago, on Tuesday, November 7, Peter Moore took the stage at the BMO Capital Markets – Interactive Entertainment Conference in New York, where he confirmed Microsoft’s continuous force in the interactive entertainment industry and shared exciting news about truly breakthrough experiences that are coming to Xbox 360 this month.

As we near the anniversary of the Xbox 360 launch, we are on track to have sold 10 million units by holiday, and have delivered on the plan to offer a console that revolves around “you” - your choices, your friends, and your entertainment. In New York, we outlined our new one-stop digital marketplace for high definition content in addition to our full lineup of 160 game titles by holiday 2006. Add to that a suite of accessories that enable gamers to customize their own entertainment experience to fit their lifestyle; Xbox 360 is the console of choice for gamers who want to have choice.

What they want, when they want it

Beginning November 22, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console to bring standard and high definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution directly to consumers. We announced agreements with CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS Inc.), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to bring an initial lineup of more than 1,000 hours of hit TV shows and movies to Xbox 360 owners by the end of 2006.

The current lineup of content includes but is not limited to:

o “Robot Chicken” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” from Adult Swim

o “CSI,” “Survivor” and “Star Trek” from CBS

o Emmy and Peabody award-winning “South Park” and “Chappelle’s Show” from COMEDY CENTRAL

o “The Real World” and “Pimp My Ride” from MTV

o “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and ”SpongeBob SquarePants” from Nickelodeon

o “Skyland” and “The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival” from Nicktoons Network

o “M:i:III,” “Nacho Libre” and “Jackass: The Movie” from Paramount Pictures

o “Carpocalypse” and “Raising the Roofs” from Spike TV

o “Race Rewind” provided by NASCAR.COM

o Select episodes of the original season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and the “UFC: All Access” shows from the UFC

o “Breaking Bonaduce” and “Hogan Knows Best” from VH1

o “The Matrix,” “Superman Returns” and “Batman Forever” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Making it their own experience

This holiday season nothing pairs with the library of Xbox 360 entertainment experiences quite like our accessory lineup. With the Xbox 360 wireless Headset, Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, or the Xbox Live Vision Camera gamers can choose how to create their own experience, whether they want the most realistic race they’ve ever driven, or the most realistic movie they’ve ever seen.

On November 7, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, packaged with Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” and the universal media remote, began shipping to North American retailers and is making its way to store shelves. This accessory allows Xbox 360 owners to experience “the look and sound of perfect” with such films as “Serenity,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Batman Begins.”

Gamers can get the most mileage out of their accessories with the Xbox 360 Gaming Receiver for Windows, which lets the Wireless Controller, Wireless Headset and Wireless Racing Wheel work on the Windows PC. For those who want to build their ultimate interactive entertainment system, the best accessories, the most games, and the greatest experiences are on Xbox 360.

Revolving around great games

With accessories that customize gameplay, to a colossal game library that brings action, excitement and thrills, this holiday season we are set to bring forth a myriad of fun from friendly Piñatas to battles of epic proportions to bite-size action, pick up and play fun.

Earlier this month, “Gears of War” (Epic Games) emerged to a successful – and enormous – launch, expected to sell more than one million copies worldwide this holiday season, setting a new mark for the fastest-selling original game for Xbox. The frenzy continues this Sunday November 12th, “Emergence Day,” with online tournaments, including a 24-hour marathon event, bringing gamers more of the hyper-realistic and intense combat graphics and immersive beauty of the cinematic story that has sparked such a furor among consumers. The review scores are pouring in and this is the highest rated next-gen game to date with multiple perfect scores from around the world.

“Gears of War” (Epic Games) is just the beginning of the holiday excitement. “Viva Piñata” (Rare) bursts onto store shelves with its launch on November 9. With more than 60 piñata species to attract to your garden and engaging characters to interact with, Viva Piñata is sure to be the game played by kids of all ages on the Xbox 360. Brand momentum continues to build, following the success of the Saturday morning TV show, “Viva Piñata,” which airs on 4Kids TV (FOX) -- having quickly become a Saturday morning “must watch” for many kids. Licensing efforts are also well underway with the recent partnership announced with Playmates as the master toy licensee and American Greetings to create a social expressions line of products (greeting cards, gift wrap, etc.)

This month has also brought great titles to store shelves including: “Need for Speed Carbon” (EA) which hit November 1, “Call of Duty 3” (Activision) and “Tony Hawk’s Project 8” (Activision) were released November 7. The thrills don’t stop there, later this month we will also see: “WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007” (THQ) on November 14, “Superman Returns: The Videogame” (EA) on November 20 and “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas” (Ubisoft) on November 28. For a full list of upcoming titles check out: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/calendar.aspx?WT.svl=nav

For gamers looking for a quick gaming fix, Xbox Live Arcade has a diverse library with more than 40 independent, original development and classic retro titles slated to be on the service by end of year which has driven more than 12 million game downloads to date. Not to mention, next year Atari fans can revisit old favorites like “Centipede/Millipede,” “Battlezone,” “Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe,” “Missile Command,” “Tempest and Warlords” - with high-definition graphics, enhanced sound, leaderboard, multiplayer and a variety of achievements.

While on the casual games front, Microsoft Casual Games (MCG) is now touching 120 million players around the globe every month. MCG is the go-to provider of casual arcade-style gaming offering these 120 million players more than 400 titles across MSN Games, Windows Live Messenger, XP “in box” operating system games and Xbox Live Arcade.

Windows Vista went gold on November 8, whetting the appetite of Windows gamers. The first available DirectX 10 hardware was also announced by NVIDIA on November 8, making the countdown to Windows Vista truly tangible for gamers around the world.

What the numbers say

This holiday, we will have more than 160 high definition titles available for Xbox 360. October’s NPD data, the industry standard for tracking US momentum and market share, continues to illustrate the breadth and depth of the console’s services and features.

o Our record setting software attach rate is soaring at 5.2 games per console, which reflects the enthusiastic consumer response to the depth and breadth of our software library keeping the record for this period in the lifecycle.

o With our lineup of accessories it is clear why the Xbox 360 accessory attach rate rose this month to 3.0, setting another record for this stage in the lifecycle.

“Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent,” (Ubisoft) released last month, has soared its way to the top of the charts. Since its debut, gamers have been carefully living the life of double agent Sam Fisher and his international espionage adventures, making the title # 2 across all consoles on the U.S. sales chart.

Top Five Selling Xbox 360 Titles for October:

1) “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent” (Ubisoft)

2) “Tiger Woods 2007” (EA)

3) “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” (Activision)

4) “Madden 2007” (EA)

5) “NBA 2K7” (Take-Two)

Continue reading "Latest Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Gaming News" »

November 11, 2006

IN HONOR OF VETERANS DAY, KUMA RELEASES PLAYABLE RECREATION OF ONE OF THE WWII¹S MOST SIGNIFICANT BATTLES

New York (November 10, 2006) – This Veteran’s day, Kuma Reality Games honors America’s fighting men and women, both past and present, with the release of “Battle of the Bulge,” an all-new multiplayer “game-isode” that coincides with the November 10 episode of ‘Shootout!’ on The History Channel®. Kuma Games (www.kumagames.com) is also hosting two multiplayer events this weekend, inviting gamers to join the “Prize Giveaway” server for the opportunity to play and win. Players can participate in two team-based, red-on-blue multiplayer games, where the gamer with the highest score from each team wins, scoring a DVD of ‘WWII: The Pacific’ from The History Channel.

The first episode of “Battle of the Bulge” takes players back to December 16, 1944, re-creating the opening of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. It accompanies the episode airing tonight on The History Channel where a lightly-armed team of 18 Intelligence and Reconnaissance soldiers must fend off a surprise attack by hundreds of Hitler’s soldiers in the village of Lanzareth. The tiny platoon courageously holds their position, killing over 500 German troops before running out of ammunition and being captured. Subsequent episodes –“Foxhole” and “Scout”– will be released Friday, November 17th and Friday, November 24th respectively.

Kuma’s online games released simultaneously with episodes of ‘Shootout!’ allow viewers and gamers the opportunity to watch the show and then “live” the historical event by playing a 3D game re-creation. Viewers of the show can log onto www.History.com or www.KumaGames.com and download the online game for free immediately after each episode airs. Kuma is expanding on this extraordinary “watch and play” experience by bringing together the gaming community to participate in exciting multiplayer events.

“Shootout!” examines, dissects, and re-creates some of the most famous battles in history, from the Wild West to Guadalcanal to Fallujah. Using heavy 3D CGI animation sequences, players can experience the thick of battle from the point of view of the historical participants themselves.

Tune in to “Shooutout!: Battle of the Bulge” Friday, November 10 at 8:00pmET/PT on The History Channel, and play the re-creation of the episode online at www.history.com or www.KumaGames.com.

Be a part of Kuma’s Veteran’s Day multiplayer events on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12 from 4:00-5:00pmET at www.KumaGames.com.


Continue reading "IN HONOR OF VETERANS DAY, KUMA RELEASES PLAYABLE RECREATION OF ONE OF THE WWII¹S MOST SIGNIFICANT BATTLES" »

November 7, 2006

RAZER™ REDEFINES THE STANDARDS IN GAMING PERIPHERALS WITH THE NEW TARANTULA KEYBOARD

November 6, 2006 – Los Angeles – Razer™, a leading manufacturer of high-end precision gaming peripherals, has announced the availability of the Tarantula™, a hi-tech gaming keyboard, at Circuit City stores everywhere. Currently available now in Circuit City for a price of $99.99, the Tarantula will also be sold at CompUSA and major online retailers (Amazon.com, TigerDirect.com, Buy.com, GoGamer.com and others) starting in mid-November.

“Razer is psyched to add the Tarantula to their growing list of quality gaming gear,” said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. “I honestly believe the Tarantula to be the ‘smartest’ keyboard ever designed and Razer fans will not be disappointed with the Tarantula’s sleek look and fully customizable features, which will empower competitive gamers with seamless control and unparalleled flexibility.”

Designed and engineered from the ground up by the Razer team, the Tarantula is the first definitive gaming keyboard created for gamers, by gamers, that has several innovative features, including:

* 10 key Anti-Ghosting capability to allow for multiple key binds and prevent key jamming when multiple keys are simultaneously pressed

* Optimized Hyperesponse™ Gaming Keytop for reduced key latency and maximum response time

* Headphone-out and microphone-in jacks for convenient access and two USB Ports for convenient peripheral plug-ins
* 10 additional Macro keys with extra symbol keys included
* 95 programmable keys on the Razer Tarantula allow configuration of customized keystrokes and macro commands for optimal control and flexibility

· Keys can be programmed without drivers and up to five different gaming profiles which can be stored on the keyboard itself which makes moving from one tournament to another easy. The onboard memory capability powered by Razer Synapse™, which was first featured in the multi-award winning Razer Copperhead™ gaming mouse.

* Full Multi-media center keys to control media programs like Windows Media Player

· Ambient illumination light source runs underneath the keys, enabling the keys to be adequately lit for gaming in low or no light conditions

Continue reading "RAZER™ REDEFINES THE STANDARDS IN GAMING PERIPHERALS WITH THE NEW TARANTULA KEYBOARD" »

October 27, 2006

Bethesda Softworks Announces Its Return to First-Person Shooters with Rogue Warrior™

October 27, 2006 (Rockville, MD) - Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced its plans to publish Rogue Warrior™, an authentic, tactical first-person shooter based on the best-selling book series by Richard (Dick) Marcinko, former U.S. Navy SEAL and founder of both SEAL Team Six and Red Cell. Rogue Warrior is being developed for the Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Windows by Zombie Studios in conjunction with Bethesda Softworks. Rogue Warrior is scheduled for a fall 2007 release.

“We are very excited to be working on Rogue Warrior, which allows us the chance to bring Bethesda’s creative vision and development expertise to this brand,” said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. “This game marks our return to shooters since our highly successful Terminator series, and we hope to offer fans a true next-generation gameplay experience.”

Rogue Warrior is a story-driven shooter that provides team-based tactical combat set in massive, contiguous levels using Unreal 3 streaming technology. Central to the game’s single and multiplayer experience is the idea of a freeform battlefield, where players are given the freedom to choose how to complete a given objective, allowing for creativity and surprises, rather than heavily scripted events and tightly contained spaces traditionally used in this genre.

An advanced AI system allows NPCs to react and fight realistically, see and hear others, and respond as a team. Rogue Warrior offers a new take on the multiplayer experience, with 10 gameplay modes and a system whereby maps are created using tiles that are selected by each team. Rogue Warrior’s tiling system allows users to experience over 200 maps in both day and nighttime settings. In addition, the campaign features solo and on-the-fly cooperative play for up to four players, where anyone can join or leave an existing campaign game at any time without having to go to menus or save progress.

“Rogue Warrior is the game we’ve been waiting to make for years,” said Mark Long, lead producer at Zombie Studios. “We’re using terrific technology in a way that’s different from other games - we have a unique HUD and control system for your teammates, on-the-fly co-op play, and we’ve really focused our efforts on making multiplayer more fun and challenging by giving you lots of modes and hundreds of maps you can see and play. We’re thrilled to be working with Bethesda on this new initiative using a brand we know and love.”

In Rogue Warrior, you play Dick Marcinko, leader of an elite SEAL unit trapped behind enemy lines in North Korea on a covert mission to assess the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. When war breaks out between North and South Korea, you must try to lead your team back into South Korea while greatly outnumbered and with no support and limited resupply. Your journey will take you through a variety of never-before-seen environments inside of North Korea, including submarine pens, shipbreaker yards, prison camps, and more.

A 30-year veteran with the U.S. Navy, Dick Marcinko served in both the Underwater Demolitions Team and Navy SEAL programs, was a military attache in Cambodia, and conceived, founded, and commanded SEAL Team Six, the U.S. Navy’s first counterterrorism unit. He later created and ran Red Cell, a unit created to test the Navy's anti-terrorist capabilities for highly-secured bases, nuclear submarines, ships, and other purported “secure areas”, including Air Force One. Dick’s experiences as a Navy SEAL were captured in his New York Times best-selling autobiography, Rogue Warrior, and his Rogue Warrior fiction series.

“I think this game has a lot going for it and I’m very excited to be a part of it,” said Marcinko. “You have input from my SEALs and me on everything from animations to equipment to artificial intelligence to tactics to ensure accuracy of the gameplay, plus a story that has lots of relevance with the current events in North Korea, and the expertise in making great games that comes from Bethesda and Zombie…I think it’s going to take names like only a SEAL can.”

Continue reading "Bethesda Softworks Announces Its Return to First-Person Shooters with Rogue Warrior™" »

October 10, 2006

DARK MESSIAH OF MIGHT AND MAGIC GOES GOLD

SAN FRANCISCO – October 9, 2006 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announces that Dark Messiah of Might and Magic™ has gone gold and is scheduled for North American release on October 24, 2006.

Developed in conjunction with Ubisoft, Arkane Studios (for single-player) and Kuju Entertainment (for multiplayer), Dark Messiah of Might and Magic puts players in a first-person perspective, allowing them to encounter ferocious combat within a dark and expansive fantasy environment.

Powered by an enhanced version of the award-winning Source™ Engine created by Valve for its Half-Life®2 video game, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic allows players to immerse themselves in an environment that responds and envelops them like never before, thanks to the Source Engine’s exceptional technological enhancements in areas such as character animation, advanced AI, real-world physics and shader-based rendering.

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic will be available for PC at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49.99.

For more news and information on Dark Messiah Might and Magic, please
visit the game’s official website at www.mightandmagic.com.

Continue reading "DARK MESSIAH OF MIGHT AND MAGIC GOES GOLD" »

September 26, 2006

YESSSSS! NBA LIVE 07 FROM EA SPORTS SHIPS TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 26, 2006 – The chance to play with complete control over all of the dazzling passes, signature dunks, jump shots and free throw routines of your favorite NBA stars in the world’s best-selling* basketball video game became a reality today after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped NBA LIVE 07 to stores throughout North America.

Developed by EA Canada, NBA LIVE 07 features NBA superstar Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets on its cover, and it is available on the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game systems from Microsoft, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, mobile and PC. It will ship to stores in North America on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system on September 27th.

On Wednesday, September 27, McGrady and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, who is featured on NBA LIVE 07 packaging in France , will help launch NBA LIVE 07 at the world’s only NBA Store on 5th Avenue in New York City . Beginning at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, the first 150 fans who have registered to pre-purchase the game from the NBA Store will receive an autographed copy of the game from McGrady and Parker and have the opportunity to meet the players.

Outside North America, NBA LIVE 07 will be available to stores worldwide on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 with Parker and Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns on the cover in France, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks on the cover in Germany and Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies on the cover in Spain. McGrady is featured on the cover in North America and all other territories.

This year NBA LIVE 07 introduces ESPN Motion and streaming ESPN radio podcasts delivered right to your console in game through a ground-breaking new ESPN integration package available on the Xbox 360™ and PlayStation®3 consoles. Fans connected online will be able to watch NBA game highlights, segments from Pardon the Interruption or Around the Horn, interviews and analysis from SportsCenter, and more. Fans will also be able to download and listen to ESPN radio podcasts as they play NBA LIVE 07, including segments from Dan Patrick, Mike & Mike, Stephen A. Smith and others. All this is in addition to live ESPN Radio SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes, the ESPN Ticker and ESPN News.

Legendary broadcaster Marv Albert and former Chicago Bulls star Steve Kerr call all the action from the best seats in the house as you take your game to the highest level in NBA LIVE 07. With all-new EA SPORTS™ Total Freestyle Control and revolutionary gameplay -- complete with ultra-realistic moves and player emotions --the highly acclaimed basketball video game from the EA SPORTS brand plays as good as it looks. Pull off moves only the pros perform as you replicate the styles of your favorite NBA players. Elevate to the rim for an electrifying dunk and bring the crowd to its feet, or look to your superstars to shift momentum with the game on the line. Featuring all-new levels of ability for your EA SPORTS Freestyle Superstars, the power to switch their skills on-the-fly, and advancements to fan-favorite features like All-Star Weekend and Dynasty Mode™, the hardwood is yours for the taking in NBA LIVE 07.

Developed in Vancouver , B.C., by EA Canada, NBA LIVE 07 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation®3 later this year. Learn more about the game at http://nbalive07.com or download new screenshots at http://info.ea.com.

* Based on total franchise sales according to NPD Data.

Continue reading "YESSSSS! NBA LIVE 07 FROM EA SPORTS SHIPS TODAY" »

September 25, 2006

Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania Goes Gold

Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania”* expansion pack has gone gold. Making waves on store shelves Oct. 17, this newest addition to the award-winning “Zoo Tycoon 2” franchise lets gamers of all ages turn their dream zoo into an aquatic adventure.

From Blue Fang Games, LLC, this new, E10+ rated expansion pack introduces 20 new marine animals into the “Zoo Tycoon 2” experience, including green sea turtles, black tip reef sharks and West Indian manatees, for $29.99. Watch an orca breach the surface of its tank, while dolphins teach each other new tricks. In addition to building new captivating tanks, gamers can also customize their own aquatic shows, teaching animals to entertain zoo guests and increase their zoo ratings.

New scenarios and challenges allow players of all ages and skill levels to test their aquatic expertise, such as rescuing marine animals, restoring their health and releasing them back into the wild. Children and parents alike can broaden their knowledge of the animal kingdom with the exclusive Zoopedia feature, with excerpts from Encarta®, that educates gamers on the dietary and habitat needs of the animals.

Also available at retailers on Oct. 17 will be the “Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection” featuring three franchise favorites: “Zoo Tycoon 2,” “Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species” and “Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure.” Available for $39.99, this ultimate “Zoo Tycoon” experience allows players to step directly into their zoo, where they will come face-to-face with 70 animals and hundreds of building objects to customize their zoo. For more information and free downloadable content, including new animals, scenery and demos, please visit the newly updated Zoo Tycoon Web site at http://www.zootycoon.com.

Blue Fang Games is an independent game developer dedicated to creating compelling, emotionally engaging games focused on the animal kingdom that set the benchmark for broad-based family entertainment. Blue Fang’s “Zoo Tycoon” franchise, published by Microsoft Game Studios, has established itself as one of the most popular PC gaming franchises and has sold over 5 million units worldwide. Founded in 1998, Blue Fang Games is located in Waltham , MA . For more information visit Blue Fang Games on the Web at www.bluefang.com.

Continue reading "Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania Goes Gold" »

September 22, 2006

GameTap Celebrates “Adventure Week” with the Addition of Phoenix Licensing and a Cyan Classic

This week, GameTap celebrates the Adventure genre by rolling out six new-to-the-network adventure titles, including the network’s first title from Phoenix Licensing and the first PC version of a classic Mac game from Cyan. In addition, we are premiering multiplayer capabilities with four others games!

Among the highlights is “The Last Express,” Phoenix Licensing’s debut game on GameTap. When The Last Express was originally released, it received Editor’s Choice awards from Computer Gaming World, PC Gamer, and dozens of gaming websites, as well as being awarded the “Best New Adventure and Role Playing Game” by Games Magazine. Created by Jordan Mechner, the mastermind behind the incredibly popular “Prince of Persia” series, “The Last Express” is an indelible adventure experience.

While Cyan is best known for its “Myst” franchise - with “Myst Online: Uru Live” debuting on GameTap this holiday season and “Myst,” “Riven: The Sequel to Myst,” and “Myst III: Exile” currently available in the network – one of their past game gems is “Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo.” This is an educational game cleverly disguised as a cave exploration adventure. Previously only available for the Mac, it is now making its PC debut.

New Games:

· “The Last Express” - Phoenix Licensing

· “Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo” - Cyan

· “Beyond Atlantis” - DreamCatcher Europe SA

· “Crystal Key 2: The Far Realm” - DreamCatcher Europe SA

· “Curse of Atlantis” – Thorgal’s Quest - DreamCatcher Europe SA

· “Dark Fall: The Journal” - DreamCatcher Europe SA

Games with added challenge/multiplayer game functionality:

· “Avengers” – Capcom

· “Blue’s Journey” - SNK PLAYMORE

· “King of the Monsters II” - SNK PLAYMORE

· “Mutation Nation” - SNK PLAYMORE

Check out GameTap every Thursday for loads of new games!

Continue reading "GameTap Celebrates “Adventure Week” with the Addition of Phoenix Licensing and a Cyan Classic" »

All Aboard! Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express Web Site Live

TORONTO, Canada, September 21, 2006 – The Adventure Company today unveiled www.AgathaChristieGame.com, a new web site presenting its upcoming PC title, Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express. The site is jam packed with details that anxious and devoted fans crave about the new mystery adventure. Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express is scheduled to be on store shelves in November.

“The Murder on the Orient Express game site is a pre-boarding pass for fans to step aboard and get excited about what is to come,” said Lorraine Lue , Director of Global Marketing at DreamCatcher, Inc. “Just as a good mystery unfolds in time, we will release new details about the game every week leading up to the launch.”

Designed to provide a sneak peak and build excitement, the Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express site will showcase screen shots, character biographies and photos, environment artwork as well as trailers, demos, music, wallpaper and contests.

The new game will be the second Agatha Christie PC game to be released, following the successful launch of And Then There None last year, and is part of a series of digital activities aimed at bringing the Queen of Crime to the attention of a new generation.

About the Game

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express will beckon travelers to climb aboard a luxury train and become part of a murder mystery where the player and Hercule Poirot must rely on their superior detective skills to find the killer in a heinous murder. The game remains true to the style and tone of the novel, but a surprising new ending will keep players at the edge of their seats. Agatha Christie fans will be delighted to know that Actor David Suchet will play the vocal role of Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot – a role Suchet made famous through his well-known portrayals of the character in an array of television appearances over the past 20 years.

About Agatha Christie

Known the world over as the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is the world’s best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 45 foreign languages. She is outsold by only the Bible and Shakespeare.

About Chorion

Chorion is an owner, developer and manager of creative content with the rights to key brands such as Noddy, The Famous Five, Miss Marple, Poirot and Maigret. Visit www.chorion.com.

Continue reading "All Aboard! Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express Web Site Live" »

September 13, 2006

THE PUCK DROPS HERE! EA’s NHL 07 SHIPS TO RETAILERS TODAY

Redwood City, Calif. – Tuesday, September 12, 2006 – The golden age of console hockey returns! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced that the NHL® 07 videogame ships to retailers in North America today under the EA SPORTS™ brand. In stores just in time for the opening of NHL training camps, NHL 07 allows players to feel like they can play like a pro without ever touching the ice.

Featuring an unmatched level of freedom and control, NHL 07 represents a watershed moment in the history of the console hockey. The revolutionary EA SPORTS Skill Stick gives users the power to play in the game as it is on the ice, without taking their thumbs off the analog sticks. The left analog functions as your skates and the right as your hockey stick to give you a skill-based execution with an intuitive feel.

Stunning new presentation, AI enhancements and animation overhauls create players who look, act and play like they would in the NHL. Gone are the days when a one-timer was the only way to score in a hockey videogame. Now look to your teammates and know how to best use their strengths with New Player-Specific Behaviors. Be the Playmaker and find your Sniper open in the slot, or let your Dangler make pylons out of the defense.

Off the ice, act as the General Manager in an enhanced Dynasty Mode™. Do whatever it takes to meet an owner’s expectations by properly managing rosters and using your creativity to fit player salaries under the new cap. Whether you’re running the front office or dominating the rink, NHL 07 is the most realistic hockey video game ever created.


Continue reading "THE PUCK DROPS HERE! EA’s NHL 07 SHIPS TO RETAILERS TODAY" »

August 23, 2006

Codemasters signs Hospital Tycoon for PC

Los Angeles (August 22, 2006) – Giving gamers the chance to play doctors and nurses, Codemasters today announced the signing of Hospital Tycoon, an original PC title from development studio Deep Red Games (Monopoly Tycoon, Vega$: Make It Big!, Tycoon City: New York).

Set for a spring 2007 launch, Hospital Tycoon is a medical-themed God game in which players are put in charge of hectic hospital facilities that are constantly on the verge of crisis and collapse. Players are challenged to run, maintain, enhance and expand the hospitals while turning any chaotic situation around using ingenious management techniques.

The most infectious thing about Hospital Tycoon is its humor as players experience how the game’s characters – the doctors, nurses and patients – interact with each other and react to how well the player is running each hospital. The game’s high level of character interaction will create a living hospital that’s part soap opera and part comedy.

A move away from micro-management life-simulation games, Hospital Tycoon will create emerging situations that are as entertaining as they are challenging. The manic medical teams have to deal with patients suffering from the most peculiar ailments, such as the man afflicted with ‘Monkey Nuts’ and the office worker diagnosed with Stress Zombosis, and set about curing them with equally odd treatments.

“Hospital Tycoon promises to be great fun, and continues Deep Red’s drive to fuse the established core gameplay of our previous Tycoon games with richer and deeper character simulation,” said Steve Beverley, project leader at Deep Red Games.

“With Hospital we’ve added a generous helping of widely-appealing humor and a kind of soap-opera format too. The game is designed for play either as a sandbox toy, making it accessible to a wider audience, or with structured challenges appealing to core gamers,” added Beverley. “Whichever way it’s played, it’ll be accessible, funny, visually gorgeous, and offer depth for those that want to dig for it.”

Players will direct the hospital’s medical staff, ensure patients are cared for and have the treatment facilities required. There’s also the upkeep of each hospital to control and develop; dedicated areas can be built to support additional medical needs – surgery, diagnosis, physiotherapy and more. Get it right and patients will go home happy, get it wrong and armies of angry, sick people will make everyone’s life hell.

The game’s rich visual design will deliver detailed, comedic representations of the patients’ bizarre diseases. The more patients that are cured, the more player’s medical empire can grow and flourish, but watch out for the spread of infectious conditions, or soon an epidemic could plunge the hospital into absolute chaos.

Continue reading "Codemasters signs Hospital Tycoon for PC" »

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC.'S PAC-MAN WORLD RALLYT ZOOMS ONTO STORE SHELVES NATIONWIDE

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (August 22, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Pac-Man World Rally™ has shipped and is available in retail outlets nationwide for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo GameCube™ and PC.

Developed by Smart Bomb Interactive, Pac-Man World Rally puts players behind the wheel to race through a variety of Pac-Man World environments as Pac-Man®, Jr. Pac-Man and other famous Namco characters such as Mr. Driller®, Mappy® and the Prince from Katamari Damacy™. In the fastest and most exciting kart racing game ever, players can race for the win or fight it out in colorful Battle Arenas with unique weapons, power-ups and a variety of Pac-Man powers. The newest installment in the franchise also includes the villains of Pac-Man World: Toc-Man, Spooky, Erwin – and introduces the most evil of them all, Pac-Devil!

“Pac-Man World Rally gives fans of all ages the opportunity to enjoy the franchise’s first-ever kart racer,” said John Whitmore, Director of Internal/External Development at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The game’s roster of popular classic characters, challenging tracks and finely tuned power sliding mechanics are sure to deliver an unforgettable gameplay experience.”

Players will experience an unprecedented sense of speed as they race against their friends or the computer on fun and exciting new tracks with unique new kart racing features, including:

* Play as Pac-Man and other famous Namco characters! – Play as the iconic characters from the Pac-Man universe, or choose from an all-star cast of classic Namco characters such as Pooka, Fygar, Mr. Driller and more!
* The most outrageous Battle Mode ever seen in kart racing! – Pac-Man and friends have a whole new set of weapons to duke it out in custom single-player and multiplayer Battle Arenas!
* The Pac-Mobile! – No matter what character you choose, if you eat enough Pac Dots on the track you can transform into the giant Pac-Mobile and gobble up the competition!
* Shortcuts galore! – Keep your eyes peeled for Pac-Man’s classic fruit power-ups – they open hidden Fruit Doors that will catapult you into the lead!

Continue reading "NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC.'S PAC-MAN WORLD RALLYT ZOOMS ONTO STORE SHELVES NATIONWIDE" »

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES NEXT CHAPTER IN SILENT HUNTER SUBMARINE FRANCHISE

SAN FRANCISCO– AUGUST 23, 2006 – Today Ubisoft, one of the
world’s largest video game publishers, announced a new chapter in the
award-winning Silent Hunter® submarine simulation franchise Silent Hunter 4:
Wolves of the Pacificâ„¢. Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific will
be available for PC in the spring of 2007.

“The Silent Hunter series is a legendary franchise that
unquestionably set the standard for submarine simulations,” said Tony Key, Vice
President of Marketing at Ubisoft. “Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the
Pacific continues that tradition with its amazing graphics, authenticity
and immersive gameplay.”

Developed by Ubisoft’s studio in Romania, Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of
the Pacific takes players to the depths of the Pacific Ocean as the
skipper of an American submarine. Immersed in this intense environment
with the help of amazing graphics and sound, players will engage in
massive battles with enemy units, manage and evolve an entire submarine crew,
and earn promotions and commendations to ensure victory in the Pacific.

Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific features include:

• Hollywood Blockbuster Experience: Lifelike graphics and spectacular
audio/visual effects offer an incredibly immersive gaming experience.

• Innovative Crew Evolution: Earn upgrades and experience to help
create the most effective naval force in the Pacific Theater.

• Immersive Single-Player Gameplay: Diverse mission objectives and
events on more than 15 maps combined with unique rewards make each
campaign a unique experience.

• Addictive New Online Adversarial Mode: Join forces with up to eight
friends via LAN or four via Internet in either cooperative or
adversarial gameplay modes. Scripted and generated mission types allow for epic
online battles and unlimited replayability.

Continue reading "UBISOFT ANNOUNCES NEXT CHAPTER IN SILENT HUNTER SUBMARINE FRANCHISE" »

August 22, 2006

MERRY MADDENOLIDAY! EA’s MADDEN NFL 07 HITS STORE SHELVES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 22, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced that Madden NFL 07, the newest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the exclusive videogame license of the NFL and PLAYERS INC, is in stores everywhere today. Madden NFL 07 continues to lead with innovation and gameplay by reinventing the running game with the all-new Lead Blocker Control and the new highlight stick so you can run like the real players run. NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode comes to Madden NFL 07 this year, where you can live the life of an NFL Superstar.

Madden NFL 06¸ since its launch, has sold more than 6.5 million copies*, and was the #1 selling videogame of 2005 in North America. Madden NFL Football has become a cultural phenomenon, with more than 51 million copies sold (LTD), and the launch day becoming a holiday for many avid fans.

“Madden NFL Football has become a cultural phenomenon and, with Maddenoliday, we are honoring all the Madden gamers across the country who line up at midnight and then take off the day to play Madden NFL 07,” said Todd Sitrin, VP of marketing for EA Tiburon and EA SPORTS brand. “We continue to bring innovative changes to the game every year, and now with the improvements in the running game, Madden NFL 07 is even more authentic. You will know how it feels to be actually on the field playing with the pros.”

You now control the running game like never before with Lead Blocker Control in Madden NFL 07. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs.

NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode makes its debut in Madden NFL 07 on the Xbox 360 and is even deeper for the current generation systems. You can create and customize your own player and guide him one Sunday at a time from that position on the field for an all new way of experiencing the game. Madden NFL 07 Franchise Mode is deeper than ever before. On current generation platforms, now scout collegiate prospects with the all-new NFL Draft Scouting System and the College All-Star Game, or watch players around the NFL impact their teams with the new Franchise Player Roles feature. On Xbox 360, participate in an interactive player rehab through mini games.

For the Xbox 360 there is an all-new Mini-Camp mode where you can build up your players attributes by running him through skill-based, combine-type mini-games. In the off-season use Mini-Camp to condition players or rehab injuries to get back on the field faster. Track your career accomplishments in Franchise Mode to earn Madden Gamer Points, then risk your points against the computer or live opponents in the same room.

In its second installment on the PlayStation® Portable system, Madden NFL 07 brings you a new exclusive mini-games -- return kicks, avoid tackles, and players can aim for the high score in “End 2 End.” And for the first time you can transfer an entire season in Franchise mode from your PlayStation®2 to your PSP system.

September 1 in Denver, CO is the kick off to the highly-anticipated 5th annual EA SPORTS™ Madden Challenge, played exclusively this year on the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, with a $100,000 grand prize check for the Finals winner. Void where prohibited. Eligibility Restrictions Apply. Tournament runs on published dates in each city. For additional details and Tournament Official Rules see www.maddenchallenge.com.

Entering its 17th year and with more than 51 million copies sold life to date, Madden NFL Football continues to stand out as the most popular football videogame franchise of all time with a combination of innovative new features and the most authentic football gameplay. Developed in Orlando, FL by EA Tiburon Madden NFL 07 will be available on August 22 on Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, PC (as well as www.downloader.ea.com), PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $59.99 for the Xbox 360, $49.99 for the PlayStation 2 console and Xbox, $39.99 for Nintendo GameCube, PSP, and PC, $29.99 for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. In Europe, Madden NFL 07 launches on PS2, Xbox, NDS, PC, PC Downloader August 25 and on Xbox 360 and PSP September 8. For more information check out www.madden07.com.

Continue reading "MERRY MADDENOLIDAY! EA’s MADDEN NFL 07 HITS STORE SHELVES TODAY" »

THQ SIGNS UP TO PHILIPS amBX REVOLUTION

New York, NY – August 21, 2006 – Philips today announced the arrival of ambient intelligence in adventure gaming with the signing of an agreement with THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) as an official amBX licensee, to deliver its eagerly anticipated Broken Sword: The Angel of Death, due to be published for PC in Summer 2006.

Created by Philips, amBX technology represents a huge leap forward in the development of ambient intelligence and will revolutionize the gameplay experience by extending the gaming world out of the screen and into the real world. amBX will provide gamers with a full ‘sensory surround experience’ by empowering developers with the ability to use light, color, sound and even air flow in the real world, during gameplay.

Blending a scripting language, software engine and architecture, the amBX platform has been designed to deliver all-new player experiences through enabled devices such as LED color-controlled lights, active furniture, fans, heaters, audio and video, all placed strategically around a player’s room.

“With Philips’ amBX system we can create a Broken Sword game that is not only emotionally engaging but also a visual experience that is both dramatic and very unique,” said Mickey Torode, senior global brand manager, THQ Inc. “Philips has been extremely supportive not only with the development of the game, but also in providing THQ the resources and technology to demonstrate the game alongside the new technology for our key partners.”

Broken Sword: The Angel of Death is the fourth release in the award-winning adventure series from Revolution Software and Sumo and is the perfect vehicle to showcase the level and sophistication of ambient intelligence that amBX offers the adventure gaming market.

THQ and amBX/2

“Angel of Death is an ideal game to pioneer our agreement with THQ – innovative, and atmospheric with a strong narrative drive – but it really is just the beginning,” commented Jo Cooke, chief marketing officer for Philips amBX. “THQ’s profound understanding of the market and the strength in depth of its games portfolio will, I’m sure, enable the company to get some stunning results integrating amBX in its games.”

The potential of amBX doesn’t stop at adventure gaming and Philips is currently in the closing stages of agreements with a number of leading computer games developers, publishers and peripheral manufacturers regarding amBX-enabling games and devices.

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August 11, 2006

PLAYFIRST TREATS CASUAL GAMERS TO SWEETOPIA™

SAN FRANCISCO – August 1, 2006 – Have a sweet tooth for casual games? Leading publisher PlayFirst has the perfect fix: Sweetopia™, the new downloadable game from the artfully-innovative developer PiEyeGames. Launching today on PlayFirst.com, Sweetopia delivers a sure-fire sugar rush, taking players on a fast-paced, candy-popping adventure through a mysterious, labyrinthine candy factory.

“Sweetopia is packed with plenty of candy-blasting action, mouth-watering visuals and delectable audio to satisfy any casual game craving,” said Kenny Dinkin, vice president and executive producer, PlayFirst. “We’re thrilled to indulge PlayFirst’s community of players with this beautifully done title and add it to our growing portfolio of top-notch casual games.”

In the game, players join Kate and her sidekick, John, as they prepare for the grand reopening of the mysterious and magical Sweetopia Candy Factory following a 20 year closure. But suddenly something in the factory goes dreadfully awry! Sweetopia’s latest sweet sensation becomes a candy catastrophe – a bad batch of Sherbet Sizzlers has explosive potential! To stop the volatile Sherbet Sizzlers from colliding, players must help Kate blast away crazy confections, like Banana Bangs and Marshmallow Melts, to safely return her beloved candy factory to the Sweetopia it once was.

Now available on PlayFirst.com, Sweetopia is free to try for 60 minutes or purchase for $19.95. To download Sweetopia, please visit http://www.playfirst.com/game/sweetopia.

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August 10, 2006

ZERO G GAMES COMPLETES DEVELOPMENT OF NEW YAHOO! CHESS

Huntington Beach, California – August 9, 2006 – Zero G Games is happy to announce that they have completed development of Yahoo! Chess, which is now live on Yahoo! Games, the leading game portal for casual games. Yahoo! Chess is a multiplayer, cross-platform, game, allowing players on either a PC or mobile phone to play together. The large community of chess players on the Yahoo! network will make it easy to find the perfect opponent, regardless of the player’s skill level or device used for access. Zero G Games developed the PC game in Flash and this is the first instance of the use of Flash in a multiplayer game on the Yahoo! network. In addition, Zero G is continuing development on an interactive TV offering of chess, which will be fully integrated with both the web and the mobile versions.

"Zero G Games did a wonderful job with a complex product, and we are extremely pleased to offer flash Chess to our extensive game community,” said Cynthia Woll, executive producer, Yahoo! Games. “They are skilled at all aspects of multiplayer game technology, and they have the know-how to create compelling applications.

Zero G Games is a recognizable leader in Flash and web game development. From building online game brands to introducing new functionality for a client's product, Zero G Games provides award-winning design, user interface, and technology solutions for both web and television.

“Yahoo! is the most popular game destination on the internet and Yahoo! Chess is recognized globally drawing gamers from all corners of the world,” said Mark Lowe, CEO of Zero G Games. “We are thrilled to have worked with Yahoo! to launch this game and believe it will be a huge success for their Games property.”

Continue reading "ZERO G GAMES COMPLETES DEVELOPMENT OF NEW YAHOO! CHESS" »

NHL™: EASTSIDE HOCKEY MANAGER™ 2007 FACES OFF FOR THE NEW HOCKEY SEASON

LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO (August 8th, 2006) – SEGA Europe Ltd and SEGA of America Inc., are proud to announce NHL™: Eastside Hockey Manager™ 2007 for the PC and Mac. Developed by Sports Interactive, creators of the acclaimed Football Manager™ series, NHL™: Eastside Hockey Manager™ 2007 will be available exclusively via digital download from www.eastsidehockeymanager.net from September 22nd 2006 across Europe and America.

NHL™: Eastside Hockey Manager™ 2007 is an authentic ice hockey management game which offers an enhanced simulation experience and a brand new 2D game engine, bringing you even closer to the action of each nail biting game. New tactical settings now give you even greater control over your side’s playing style, with a plethora of additional options.

Will you take advantage of new tactical options for breakouts, forechecking and implementing zone systems to steer your franchise to Stanley Cup™ glory? Or will you place your faith in your designated playmakers and face-off takers to carry your team to World Championship victory?

“With over 20 playable leagues and a comprehensive player and team database, NHL™: Eastside Hockey Manager™ 2007 is an ideal way for you to prepare for your fantasy hockey season”, commented Marc Duffy of Sports Interactive. “We’re incredibly keen to ensure that as many hockey fans as possible have access to the game, which is why we are delighted to make the game available via digital download.”

Sports Interactive has been working to create a new and improved look and feel to the 2007 edition, with a new cutting edge interface to make navigation far simpler. NHL™ Eastside Hockey Manager™ 2007 allows you to manage your own franchise in leagues from around the world, including the NHL, AHL, DEL and Swedish leagues.

The database has been vastly expanded since last year, now boasting an incredible 45,000 players and staff at your disposal, with a shot stopping total of 3,000 teams from around the globe!

Key Features:
• Fantasy draft - build your very own dream team, fantasy-hockey style
• Brand new real-time 2D engine for coaching your games and reviewing the crucial highlights
• Improved draft recommendations from your staff, allowing you to make the most of your all-important draft selections
• New tactical options and the introduction of sliders, allowing you more variations to your tactical settings, giving you more control over your side’s playing style than ever.
• More variation and detail from your staff in their scouting reports to help you find the hottest young talent
• Additional trade options and feedback now available, allowing you full control at the negotiation table
• No excuses for not balancing the books with greater salary cap control and more information on individual cap hits


Continue reading "NHL™: EASTSIDE HOCKEY MANAGER™ 2007 FACES OFF FOR THE NEW HOCKEY SEASON" »

ArchLord’s Epic Mounts Revealed

New York (August 9, 2006) – Codemasters Online Gaming gives a sneak peak at the awesome mounts that players can own and ride in ArchLord, the highly-anticipated MMORPG where one player will rule the entire game world.

ArchLord features a variety of upgradeable mounts for the game’s three different races. Humans will ride around on statuesque horses, Orcs can storm in on their beastly battle rhinos and Moon Elves will endeavour to conquer the land on their mystical lion-like mounts, the trusted Albileon and Caerleon.

Players will have direct control over their mounts and enable them to travel great distances much faster than on foot. In combat, mounts make an incredible addition to your arsenal, as well as a fearsome sight for enemies to behold. Mounts can have their battle abilities and weaponry upgraded with extras such as Lances, Partisans and Langderines, legendary lance-like weapons with gruesome maiming capabilities.

If you are lucky enough to rise through the ranks to become the mighty ArchLord, there is then an awesome mount available that is unique only to the ArchLord within the game. Catch a first glimpse of this fearsome mighty beast in action in the Mount Introduction movie now available at www.archlordgame.com.

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August 3, 2006

DreamCatcher Games to Publish Ship Simulator

Toronto, August 2, 2006 – DreamCatcher Games today announced that it will publish a new version of Ship Simulator for Windows® in North America which includes the famous New York harbor.

Ship Simulator is a revolutionary new game that puts you at the helm of some of the most varied and detailed ships to be found at sea. Set in stunning 3D environments, take control of a wide array of vessels, from massive cargo ships to powerful racing speedboats, yachts, water taxis, and even the mighty Titanic.

Perform a multitude of tasks using the diverse controls of the game, such as the unique challenge of steering the Titanic through shallow water and experiencing the vast differences between navigating a cargo tanker and a tugboat.

The waters that you sail are just as varied as the ships that you control – from the biggest harbors in the world, including New York and Hamburg, to the calm aquamarine waters of the Thai Phi Phi Islands.

Features

* Play with 8 different ship types, each with their individual response and controls.
* Over 435 mi2 of stunning and accurate environments to maneuver your ships including the world’s largest harbors: New York, Rotterdam, and Hamburg.
* Cruise around the rich tropical environments of Thailand’s gorgeous Phi Phi Islands.
* Gameplay includes 40 very different missions, from search and rescue missions, racing a speedboat, to towing a cargo boat through a narrow harbor entrance with your powerful tugboat.
* Earn money by finishing missions or lose it by hitting other objects.
* Dynamic weather system, including wind force and rain, adds to the atmosphere and the realism of this simulator.
* Create your own missions using the powerful mission editor and drag playable ships and tasks into one of the giant game environments. Populate your harbor with cranes, cargo ships, docking areas, cars and cargo stacks.
* Exchange your very own missions and challenge other players on the Ship Simulator Internet Forum.

Continue reading "DreamCatcher Games to Publish Ship Simulator" »

EA ANNOUNCES 55DSL COLLABORATION WITH NEED FOR SPEED CARBON

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that fashion street wear brand 55DSL will be coming to Need for Speed™ Carbon. Exclusively designed items from 55DSL, plus a selection of garments from their ‘Zurka and the 55 Vagabonds’ winter collection, will feature prominently on key in-game characters in the game,developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia. Need for Speed ™ Carbon delivers the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing and will challenge players to face the ultimate test of driving skill on treacherous canyon roads..

55DSL items are specifically tailored to the game, bringing with them the unique style and tone of the brand. Exclusively designed clothing for the game, will be available only through local EA events around the world and pre-order campaigns.

Andrea Rosso, the Creative Director of 55DLS is enthusiastic, “When the opportunity to work with EA, and in particular Need for Speed™ Carbon, came along, it seemed like a natural progression for us. I’m a gamer and I’m going to play this game for sure so to see characters wearing our exclusively designed t-shirts and other items, is really amazing for me.”

“This partnership adds another layer of authenticity to our role in street culture”, says Larry LaPierre, Executive Producer. “Having 55DSL integrated so tightly within Need for Speed™ Carbon adds an increased sense of realism to the game and gives fans the opportunity to wear exclusively designed items that brings them closer to the action.”

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August 2, 2006

FlatOut 2 CRASHES INTO STORES

San Francisco – Aug. 1, 2006 – Empire Interactive, a U.K. computer games developer and publisher, today announced that FlatOut 2 is now available at retail outlets nationwide for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.

FlatOut 2 features an updated physics engine with even faster track designs and numerous other improvements, enhancements and additions to make the title the definitive FlatOut experience. With twice as many vehicles, a more sophisticated career mode, additional race environments, an increased number of tracks, twice as many mini-games, as well as brand new and much-requested online multiplayer modes, this title is sure to appeal to hardcore FlatOut groupies.

The FlatOut experience is further strengthened with more than 5,000 fully destructible objects on every track, as well as 40 deformable parts on each vehicle. Greater emphasis is placed on track destruction by offering FlatOut 2 drivers bigger rewards, creating more frantic game play than ever before. Drivers will need to tear into competitors’ cars, trash the local scenery, litter the track with obstacles, while at the same time trying to concentrate on their own race in a bid to cross the line first.

The ever-popular Ragdoll mini-games from the original FlatOut game make a welcome return and are better than ever with 12 Ragdoll events and full online support. New Ragdoll events include a slammin’ basketball game, baseball, royal flush cards and a death-defying Ring of Fire.

Developed by Bugbear Entertainment and distributed by Vivendi Games in the U.S., FlatOut 2 carries a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Game Features
* Bigger variety of race environments including Big City, L.A. Storm Drains, Rocky Mountain Forest, Corn Fields and Desert
* Increased number of tracks with alternate track routes included for the first time
* Enhanced Championship Mode with multiple cups across increasing difficultly levels
* Twice as many vehicles plus additional car types-- muscle cars, sports cars, pickup trucks and compacts
* Garage feature allows player to now own multiple vehicles
* Unlockable bonuses including additional cars, Championship Cups and Destruction Arenas
* Improved opponent AI with each AI driver represented by a character and exhibiting a unique driving style
* MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT:

* Online multiplayer modes - up to six players on PlayStation 2 and eight players on Xbox
* Four player offline split screen Multiplayer mode on Xbox; two player on PlayStation 2
* Now available online! -- Destruction Derby Arenas


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August 1, 2006

Razer Barracuda HP-1 Gaming Headphones

Razer Barracuda™ HP-1 Gaming Headphones – features 8 discrete audio drivers, 2 sub-woofer drivers and On-The-Fly™ volume control for optimal positional audio without compromising on comfort during gaming. Using the built-in Razer HD-Dai™ connector, the Razer Barracuda™ HP-1 Gaming Headphones delivers pinpoint positional accuracy essential for professional gaming.

FEATURES

* 8 Sonic Driver Gaming Headphones
* Dedicated amplifier for each channel
* 99% Oxygen-free cable
* Built-in uni-directional noise-cancelling microphone
* On-The-Fly™ Positional volume control over each individual pair of drivers
* 2 Sub-woofer drivers for clean, powerful bass
* Built-in Razer HD-DAI™ for dedicated connection to Razer Barracuda™ AC-1 Gaming Audio Card


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July 27, 2006

Kuma Episodic Games Incites Global Dialogue on Iranian Nuclear Arms Conflict, Seeking Audience Participation on New Mission

New York (July 26, 2006) – As conflict between the United States and Iran continues to escalate, Kuma Episodic Games is creating an unlikely forum for citizens of these countries to speak directly to one another – through video games.

Last September, Kuma garnered international attention with its release of “Assault on Iran,” a video game simulating a U.S. attack on a key Iranian nuclear installation. In response to the Kuma episode, Iran’s video game development community announced a virtual counter attack with a game of its own, borrowing story elements from Kuma’s original. With reports indicating that the Union of Islamic Student Societies’ game “Commander Bahman” will not be available until March 2007, Kuma has proceeded with the launch of its response mission - “Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Payback in Iraq” - and hopes to maintain an open discussion by soliciting input on the mission’s script at www.kumagames.com from gamers around the world. Available now, “Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Payback in Iraq,” currently has no dialogue but will reflect community suggestions in its final version, which will be released in English, Farsi and Arabic.

“When we created the original “Assault on Iran” episode, we had no idea it would ignite such passionate response from gamers around the world,” commented Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Reality Games. “Nevertheless, now that we have this vehicle for international discourse, we intend to use it to bring individuals with real differences of opinion together. While it may seem odd that games about military conflict could serve to bring people together, it is perhaps the only forum that can address the issues head on.”

For more than two years, Kuma\War has expanded the boundaries of news reporting through accurate and timely re-creations of real-world military events. As a broadband leader in episodic games, Kuma is committed to turning around missions for its audience in a matter of weeks. Kuma\War episodes are powered by Source – the same award-winning game engine technology Valve® created to power Half-Life® 2 – and are available for free download at www.kumagames.com.

Continue reading "Kuma Episodic Games Incites Global Dialogue on Iranian Nuclear Arms Conflict, Seeking Audience Participation on New Mission" »

PREPARE FOR ACTION AS SNOOPY AND WOODSTOCK TAKE OFF IN THEIR HIGH FLYING QUEST IN NAMCO BANDAI GAMES’ SNOOPY VS. THE RED BARON!

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. has released a brand new set of screenshots for its upcoming title Snoopy vs. the Red Baron featuring Snoopy, Woodstock, and the rest of the popular Peanuts® gang!

Set in a world based on the timeless comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron takes Snoopy on a high-flying adventure to a place only Snoopy could dream up! While slumbering atop his dog house, Snoopy once again imagines himself as a virtuoso flying ace fighting against his archenemy The Red Baron. Soar with Snoopy in his World War I bi-plane, the Sopwith Camel, as he takes on his enemies in sky-high dogfights, no-holds-barred air races and daring missions that take him behind enemy lines.

As you can see from these latest screens, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron takes fun and adventure to new heights. Guide Snoopy as he gallantly defends the skies, battles side by side with his closest friend and confidant Woodstock and powers up with as much root beer as he can lay his paws on. Fly through vibrant worlds and battle through over 20 missions as you collect clues in an attempt to put an end to The Red Barons evil plans and rescue Charlie Brown!

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Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords Invades Retailers!

New York, NY – July 26, 2006 – 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), and the Company's world-renowned development studio Firaxis Games, today announced that Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords for PC, the first expansion pack for the critically acclaimed Sid Meier's Civilization IV, is now available in retail stores. With eight new scenarios including some exciting franchise firsts, Warlords will deliver even more great gameplay to the millions of fans around the globe who purchased and embraced Civilization IV.

Paying homage to some of history’s greatest military leaders, Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords delivers eight unique and interesting scenarios, giving players the chance to change the course of history with the help of their powerful new "warlord" unit. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords includes new civilizations, leaders, units, resources and wonders that offer even more fun and exciting ways for players to expand their civilization’s military power as they strive for world domination.

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords adds new twists and challenges to some of the most creative scenarios in the series. In the Omens scenario, Great Britain and France race to settle North America at any cost, while the Barbarians scenario allows players to take control of ruthless hordes of warriors. With these brutal Barbarians under your control, your goal is to conquer all other civilizations on the map by decimating their armies, looting the cities and burning them to the ground.

“The Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is recognized as one of the most successful PC series of all time,” said Christoph Hartmann, President, 2K. "Warlords empowers players to take the roles of Augustus Caesar, Winston Churchill, and even Genghis Khan as they take advantage of all scenarios, civilizations and units.”

”Our team has had an incredible amount of fun creating the Warlords expansion pack,“ said Steve Martin, President of Firaxis. “The Civilization franchise is very close to our hearts, and we never seem to run out of new ideas for this epic game,” he added.

Key Features:

· Warlords: A new great person type called the Warlord.

· Vassal States: Conquer an enemy and subjugate them to your rule.

· Game Scenarios: The expansion delivers eight new scenarios.

· New Civilizations: The pack will provide six new civilizations and associated unique units.

· Civilization Leaders: Ten new leaders, including leaders for the new civilizations as well as additional leaders for existing civilizations.

· Leader Traits: Three new leader traits.

· New Wonders: Three new wonders.

· Unique Buildings: Each civilization includes a new unique building as well as their unique unit.

· New Units, Resources, and Improvements: Many new items are presented throughout the scenarios.

· Core Game Tweaks and Additions: Expanded features and gameplay tweaks are made to the core game.

· Post-Release Patches and Game Upgrades: The pack contains all of the patches and game additions (Pit Boss, etc.) released to date for Sid Meier's Civilization IV.

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords will require the full version of Sid Meier’s Civilization IV and is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and older by the ESRB. For more information on Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords, please visit the product webpage at www.civilization.com.


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July 21, 2006

2K Sports Announces Unique New Features for NHL 2K7

NEW YORK, NY - July 18, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today new standard-setting features for NHL 2K7. The top-rated hockey video game for four-straight years*, NHL 2K7 introduces a completely new skating engine to give users the true on-ice movement of an NHL game. Additionally, Pro Control(tm) receives new enhancements to both offensive and defensive controls, giving hockey fans thrilling new ways to attack and defend on the ice. These new features elevate the realism of the sport, delivering the best hockey experience on any system.

"Year after year, we've been delivering new and innovative ways to play the exciting game of hockey," stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "The new skating engine in NHL 2K7 far surpasses anything we've ever produced and the advancements made in Pro Control(tm) add the excitement and control our fans have been craving."

Hundreds of new skating animations have been captured to bring an unprecedented level of high quality to all the skating movements in NHL 2K7. Hockey players in NHL 2K7 will glide, turn, stop, and adjust their movement on the ice with astounding realism. Not only will skating look much more natural, players will also experience the true momentum of skating whenever players dig into the ice to accelerate or carve the ice to make sudden stops. The new skating engine adds both remarkable visual excitement and an entertaining gameplay challenge to all hockey fans. In addition to the numerous new skating animations, several new checking, passing, and shooting animations have been added, making all the action in NHL 2K7 flow with amazing detail.

New gameplay enhancements have been added to Pro Control(tm), giving users offensive and defensive tools to utilize on the ice. While on offense, players now have the ability to execute drop passes, allowing users to setup new screen plays and create new scoring opportunities to catch the goalie off-guard. Pressure Control(tm) brings a tactical element to defensive hockey as players now can instruct teammates to defend opposing players while on the ice. Varying degrees of pressure can be selected - whether it's telling your teammate to shadow a selected opponent or deliver a big check - allowing players new defensive options on the fly. Pro Control(tm) in NHL 2K7 will deliver the offensive and defensive options hockey fans have been asking for,truly delivering the next generation of hockey.

NHL 2K7 --featuring 2006 Hart Memorial Trophy recipient, Joe Thornton on the cover-- will be available for the Xbox 360(tm) and Xbox(r) video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system and the PlayStation(r)3 computer entertainment system. More features will be detailed at a later time. NHL 2K7 for Xbox 360, Xbox and PlayStation(r)2 are slated to release in September 2006, with the PlayStation(r)3 coming this holiday season.

For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com

*According to GameRankings.com average scores of 2003-2006 hockey video games.

Continue reading "2K Sports Announces Unique New Features for NHL 2K7" »

Colin McRae Kicks Up DIRT As Genre-Leading Series Goes Next-Gen

New York (July 20, 2006) – DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road is revealed today as the title for the next generation of the genre-leading, 8 million+ selling rally racing series. Codemasters also confirms the game will launch for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC simultaneously in 2007.

DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road is set to be the most diverse and exhilarating off-road racing experience ever with sensational gravel, mud and dirt events the world over. Events will include the series’ intense point-to-point races and take players further off-road than ever before.

Race in challenging heavyweight 850bhp cars, drift on the loose gravel and blaze past high-speed blind corners of Hill Climb events along perilous cliff edges. All 12.4 miles of the world famous Pikes Peak International is included, with over 150 precarious turns to negotiate through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

How about engaging in multiple car races with Dakar-style trucks and super-powered 4x4s on the toughest desert terrain in Rally Raid competitions? Then there are Rally Cross events, switching between dirt and road racing, where the competition is always tight, fast and collisions with your opponents are inevitable.

With more off-road racing styles to be revealed, DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road will also offer a dedicated mode for European, International and Global rally championships featuring official 2WD, 4WD, Classic and RWD rally cars.

DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road will deliver the wheel-screaming exhilaration of off-road racing with the next generation of the series’ sublime car handling and physics system and a devastating new damage engine that ensures players experience every bump in the track, every loose rock, every inch of shifting dirt through the reactive environments.

Continue reading "Colin McRae Kicks Up DIRT As Genre-Leading Series Goes Next-Gen" »

July 19, 2006

Cartoon Network to Develop Massively Multiplayer Online Game with Grigon Entertainment

Cartoon Network announced today that it is developing its first massively multi-player online game (MMOG) in an unprecedented partnership with a leading MMOG developer, Seoul-based Grigon Entertainment. Cartoon Network New Media, already a leader in online entertainment and gaming, will debut the game in the United States. This is the first-ever partnership between a U.S. entertainment company and a Korean developer to create an MMOG for the global marketplace.

The Cartoon Network MMOG will launch in spring 2008 and target the growing and sophisticated kids' interactive gaming market. The game will be free to download, with subscription and micro-transactions available to players to enhance the gaming experience. New areas for exploration and play are planned and will be added regularly over a span of several years. The game brings Cartoon Network's beloved characters and sensibility to the fast-growing online gaming realm with an "East-meets-West" creative approach. Grigon Entertainment is best known for successfully developing and launching several online games in Asia, including Seal Online, a light-hearted role-playing game (RPG) that took the online gaming world by surprise. Localized versions are available in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

"Cartoon Network is an immersive experience for our fans, and this MMOG will allow our fans to interact with their favorite characters like never before. Not only will kids be able to play with their favorite characters like Mac and Bloo, Ben 10 and the Kids Next Door, but they will also be able to develop their own online gaming personalities and interact, virtually, with other players in a safe way," said Jim Samples, Cartoon Network executive vice president and general manager. "This MMOG is a key part of Cartoon Network's growth strategy, and is an important complement to our mobile, broadband and our existing online business. With the MMOG, mobile content, our Web sites and, of course, our linear network, Cartoon Network is always on for kids."

"Online games have been the most important driver of Cartoon Network New Media's success over the last few years. With more than 84 million U.S. homes expected to have broadband Internet access by 2008, and Cartoon Network's reach and creative vision, we're excited to enter the fast-growing world of massively multiplayer online gaming," said Paul Condolora, senior vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network New Media. "In Grigon Entertainment, we have found a partner who understands how to build a successful MMOG for the casual marketplace. With our characters and creative direction, along with Grigon's experience and technical know-how, we think Cartoon Network's MMOG will have great success and longevity."

"It's my greatest pleasure to work as partners with Cartoon Network, the world's most influential entertainment brand," said Byung-Kyu Cho, chief executive officer of Grigon Entertainment Co., Ltd. "When I look at the globally adored characters of Cartoon Network getting together harmonically with the renowned strength and uniqueness of Grigon, I have all my confidence that we will proudly present an online game which will astonish the world."

Massively multiplayer online gaming has expanded in the United States in recent years, with games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest achieving large and loyal followings. Most MMOGs have been driven by high-intensity fighting and action with fantasy elements and have attracted an older, adult audience. To date, few games have targeted younger audiences. In Asia and Europe, where broadband penetration is ahead of that in the United States, MMOGs have been developed for all audiences, from kids to teens and adults.

Cartoon Network's games will feature a persistent and expanding world, which will allow players to develop their own characters, attributes and possessions over the course of many months and even years. Players may also meet and interact with other players online, forming virtual friendships and communities. Cartoon Network's MMOG will be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) and will offer a safe gaming environment for players.

Continue reading "Cartoon Network to Develop Massively Multiplayer Online Game with Grigon Entertainment" »

July 12, 2006

Midway Games Holiday Preview

I met with Midway today and saw their holiday 2006 lineup.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar - This is a Turbine developed MMO for the PC that will ship "when it's ready." Beta testing begins around the end of August. They believe that they've created a state of the art MMO set in Tolkein's world. It's a large world where players have to act in groups and changes are persistent. Explore the world and fight monsters to unlock accomplishments and special skills. You can customize your character by developing different skills. It's easy to play, the quest list is showing on the right side of the screen all the time with specific steps that you have to take. There are classes and professions. Bree town is a major gathering place that Turbine forsees as a bustling city full of player and nonplayer characters where you can train and participate in secure auctions. There are huge open areas like the Misty Mountains. Even though I was looking at an alpha build I thought it looked good. You can drag and drop to equip items. Quests encourage you to participate in group activities so there are some social aspects to it.
LOTRO_06.jpg

Mortal Kombat Armageddon In the seventh of the series for PS2 and Xbox, Midway brings back over 60 characters from the earlier versions. A huge feature is Kreate-A-Fighter where character creation is totally tweakable down to (or up to) breast size. If you add it all up there are millions of combos of different features that you can customize. You can also customize fighting style and button combos and write a bio for your character. Then you can take it all online and battle against other people's characters. There's also Kreate-A-Fatality where you enter a series of 3 button presses and can make your fatility as complex as you want. We're talking about ripping out skulls, spines, beating hearts. There's also a hidden mode that they're releasing information about in August. Konquest mode is bigger and better with better graphics and more realistic melee fighting. It's a single player story driven mode with boss battles that are the classic MK style. There are 20 plus backgrounds, some classics revisited now in 3D. This ships in October 2006 for PS2 and Xbox.
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Mortal Kombat Unchained - This ships in October 2006 also and is for PSP. It's got ad hoc WiFi multiplayer combat. There are 30 characters. Honestly, this looked fine but after seeing the Xbox version the PSP didn't look so great.
MKU.jpg

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July 11, 2006

“Rise of the Ultimate Champion” Tournament to Decide Top Gaming General

“Rise of Legends” players finally have their moment to shine and prove their rank. Beginning Sept. 15, 2006, gamers can square off against the world’s best real-time strategy (RTS) players in the “Rise of the Ultimate Champion” tournament, sponsored by Intel, ATI and Logitech. With $100,000 on the line, when the dust settles, the Ultimate Champion will take the lion’s share of $40,000. Equipment from supporting sponsors ATI and Logitech will also be randomly awarded throughout the tournament.

All gamers will compete on the latest installment of the award-winning RTS “Rise of Nations” franchise for Windows, the critically acclaimed “Rise of Legends.”

Participants can play in one of three preliminary events that will take place beginning Sept. 15, Oct 13, and Nov. 17, 2006. Results from the first three events will be used to determine seeding for the Ultimate Championship, which kicks off Jan. 12, 2007. The top eight will win a trip to the finals where they will battle it out for the title of Ultimate Champion! For a complete set of rules and more information on “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends,” please visit http://www.bighugegames.com/100k/.

The RTS gameplay of “Rise of Legends” thrusts gamers into a fierce battle between technology and magic. As the guiding force of vast armies, gamers must command their way through fantastic landscapes with towering cities, flame-swept deserts and brutal ice plains in battles filled with mystic creatures, impossible machines and stunning acts of magic.

“Rise of Legends” is available in stores across North America at the suggested retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). “Rise of Legends” is rated “T” for Teen by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

Developed by Big Huge Games, “Rise of Legends” continues the innovative gameplay tradition established by the critically acclaimed and best-selling, “Rise of Nations,” the best-selling RTS released in 2003 that garnered numerous Game of the Year awards, including GameSpot’s Best PC Game of 2003 and PC Gamer’s Best RTS of 2003.

Continue reading "“Rise of the Ultimate Champion” Tournament to Decide Top Gaming General" »

June 29, 2006

GAMETAP TO PREMIERE ORIGINAL NEWS PROGRAM

u Who: GameTap, Turner Broadcasting’s first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network, which features video games on-demand and original TV-on-the-Web shows geared toward fans of the video game lifestyle

u What: GameTap, with the 11th addition to its burgeoning slate of original programming, is set to premiere GameTap News, the video game industry’s “all-access pass” to the movers and shakers in the industry, offering a deep dive on the big stories of the day and the little known facts that gamers care about. Featuring interviews, exclusive interviews and footage from industry events such as E3, the latest and greatest trailers from the hottest upcoming games, and the lowdown on all industry happenings, GameTap News is the comprehensive online destination for both the serious and casual gamer.

u When: First episode premieres on Thursday, June 29,

2006 with following episodes to air on a weekly basis

u Where: www.gametap.com; within GameTap TV

u Why: With video on-demand quickly becoming popular for broadband consumers, there is a natural synergy between the Internet culture and video games. Gamers are increasingly looking online for news and industry updates of the most highly anticipated games, with content catered specifically to this unique culture.

Victor Lucas, a self-confirmed media junkie and lifelong lover of video games, is one of the industry’s most well-respected journalists, with access to the highest profile personalities in the world. With an uncanny ability to get in-depth insight into the big stories of the day, Victor is adept at uncovering the little known facts that gamers care about.

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Kuma Reality Games Takes Gamers to the Front Lines of the War on Terror with Realistic Recreation of al-Zarqawi Strike

New York (June 29, 2006) – Maintaining industry supremacy by fusing cutting edge gaming technologies with current affairs, Kuma Reality Games announced today the release of Kuma\War’s 75th episode, “The Death of Zarqawi." Realistically simulating the bold strike that killed al-Queda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, this latest mission transports players deep behind enemy lines in the middle-east conflict, allowing comprehensive access to the military strategies that brought down the most wanted man in Iraq. A captivating 3D video game re-creating the events surrounding the June 7th strike, “The Death of Zarqawi” is now in an open Beta period and is available for free public download at Kuma\War (www.kumagames.com).

Created within two weeks of the real-life bombing, this extraordinary episode allows gamers to join the U.S.-led coalition stationed just outside the house where al-Zarqawi is meeting with other insurgent leaders and choose between two strategies of attack: calling-in the real-life air strike that killed Zarqawi, or an alternate on-foot ambush which involves storming the guarded house and attempting to capture the terrorist leader alive.

“The strike on al-Zarqawi is one the most significant public events for the U.S coalition in the war in Iraq since the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein,” said Keith Halper, CEO, Kuma Reality Games. “As a company committed to reporting on military conflicts in the virtual space, it was crucial that we create a Kuma\War episode based on the events surrounding al-Zarqawi’s death while it is still a relevant international hot topic.”

As with all Kuma\War episodes, “The Death of Zarqawi” will contain expert analysis and a thoughtful discussion of the political ramifications of military action as well as a playable 3D simulation, allowing ordinary individuals to choose how to resolve realistic military conflicts. Additionally, the game features a realistic digital recreation of Zarqawi himself.

For more than two years, Kuma\War has expanded the boundaries of news reporting through accurate and timely re-creations of real-world military events. As a broadband leader in episodic games, Kuma is committed to turning around missions for its audience in a matter of weeks. Kuma\War episodes are powered by Source – the same award-winning game engine technology Valve® created to power Half-Life® 2 – and are available for free download at www.kumagames.com.

Continue reading "Kuma Reality Games Takes Gamers to the Front Lines of the War on Terror with Realistic Recreation of al-Zarqawi Strike" »

June 27, 2006

MICRO MACHINES v4 Zips By The Competition and Lands on Store Shelves Nationwide

New York (June 27, 2006) – Grab some friends, start your micro engines and prepare for the craziest and most addictive multi-player mayhem ever as Codemasters ships the classic series MICRO MACHINES v4 video game to retail outlets nationwide.

The ultimate pick-up-and-play racing game MICRO MACHINES v4 brings its own brand of hilarious multiplayer madness to the most fiendish race tracks – right under your nose! On PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows PC and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system with a Nintendo DS version to follow, MICRO MACHINES v4 is the fastest, most fun mini racer with hundreds of cars to collect, loads of levels to race and tons of people to play. The property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and is developed by Supersonic Software, creators of some of the most acclaimed MICRO MACHINES games and more recently Mashed and Mashed: Fully Loaded.

Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, the MICRO MACHINES v4 game arrives packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, gamers will be racing their inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

Sport cars, street racers, stock cars, 4x4s, beach buggies, lowriders and muscle cars are just some of the MICRO MACHINES models gamers will be taking out on the improvised tracks around the MICRO MACHINES house, garden and – for the first time – beyond!

Fans of classic MICRO MACHINES games will rejoice in the return of some of the series’ most popular racing arenas. Spin out around the breakfast table littered with cereal spills, tear through the kitchen, turbo boost around the pool table (while avoiding the treacherous pockets), or hit the gas during the drive around the rim of the bath, carefully negotiating the ferocious waters pouring over the edge of the bath.

As well as the familiar feel-good environments, MICRO MACHINES v4 game sees the racing world expand further than any previous MICRO MACHINES game. Go beyond the house and garden tracks and discover what it’s like to race across house roofs, in the sewers, through supermarkets, museums and even down to the farm, with its danger-packed chicken coop!

Of course, it wouldn’t be MICRO MACHINES without an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on the opponents while racing. The MICRO MACHINES v4 game brings all the favorites back, including – such as missiles and bombs – and provides new ones to attack with, including flamethrowers, heat-seeking missiles, plasma guns and, of course, the car-mounted giant hammer!

Continue reading "MICRO MACHINES v4 Zips By The Competition and Lands on Store Shelves Nationwide" »

QuakeCon 2006

We know you all have been waiting to find out about QuakeCon 2006, and we want to thank you for your patience. We’ve had some unexpected issues locking in the dates and location, but don’t worry, we’re still bringing you another kick-ass QuakeCon event, and it’s already right around the corner - August 3 – 6 in Dallas, TX at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in their Trinity Exhibition Center.

With about 1,800 BYOC spots, QuakeCon 2006 will be a bit more exclusive than it has been the last couple of years, but we hope people will enjoy the more personal touch this year. QuakeCon 2006 will of course include all the great activities that it’s known for, including high-stakes tournaments, workshops, exhibitors, the BYOC Area, parties, and the public’s first chance to play Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

First-come, first-served online registration for the BYOC area will kick off at 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, at www.quakecon.org.

To reserve a room for QuakeCon 2006, call the Hilton Anatole Hotel at 214-761-7500, or Hilton’s toll-free reservation number, 1-800-HILTONS. To receive our specially negotiated room rate of $125 (single, double, triple, or quad occupancy), and our special daily self-park rate of $5 (regularly $15 per day), you must request the group rate for “QuakeCon 2006” when making your reservations. The Hotel requires a $50 non-refundable deposit on group reservations, which will be credited to your final room bill upon check-out. Rooms at this rate are limited, so please don’t wait. Additional information regarding the Hilton Anatole Hotel is available at http://www.hilton.com.

*** The QuakeCon room rate is available starting Monday June 26th at 12 noon CST ***

It is important to note again that the only way to receive the special room rate of $125 and the $5 daily self-parking, is to call Hilton reservations at the numbers listed above and book your reservation under QuakeCon 2006.

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June 23, 2006

EA UNCOVERS TOP SECRET IN-GAME MUSIC SOUNDTRACK FOR MADDEN NFL 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – June 23, 2006 – Crank it up, gamers! The football pre-season kicks off with a bang as Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) reveals the 35 songs that will be featured in Madden NFL 07, becoming the de facto soundtrack of the 2007 football season. The bone-crunching action and heart-pounding adrenaline of the grid iron is intensified by the game’s one-of-a-kind mix of rock and hip hop.

“Year after year, the music selected for inclusion in EA’s smash hit football series invariably becomes the soundtrack of the football season, moving beyond the game to turn up in football stadiums and on live TV broadcasts,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA. “The Madden NFL Football franchise is recognized across North America as a driving force behind break-out bands… this year EA does it again.”

Players step onto the field in Madden NFL 07 with the thundering roar of the crowd in the background and the air filled with pounding rock anthems and energizing hip hop beats. Dr. Dre’s protégé who first appeared in NBA LIVE 06 and NFL STREET 2, Bishop LaMont now makes an appearance on Madden NFL 07 with a track featuring Chevy Jones, while Lupe Fiasco is on deck with Jonah Matranga. These hot tracks are included alongside new releases from fan favorites AFI, Audioslave, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday. Also this year, game fans will be spellbound by new music debuts from Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars, Dave Navarro’s band The Panic Channel, and Rise Against whose sophomore record is anticipated to be one of the biggest rock albums of the year.

Again this year, the hip hop production team Da Riffs remixed nearly a dozen original NFL FILMS music pieces will be showcased throughout the menus and in gameplay.

The complete in-game soundtrack for Madden NFL 07 includes:

ARTIST

SONG

30 Seconds To Mars

Battle Of One

AFI

Summer Shudder

Al Fatz

Came Down

Anti-Flag

This Is The End (For You My Friend)

Atreyu

Ex’s And Oh’s

Audioslave **

Revelations

Bishop LaMont feat. Chevy Jones **

The Best

Cartel

Say Anything (Else)

Cord **

Go Either Way

Damone

Out Here All Night

Dashboard Confessional

Reason To Believe

Dynamite MC **

Bounce

Feezy 350

Playa What

Glasses Malone **

Right Now

Hit The Lights

Until We Get Caught

Keane

Is It Any Wonder?

Less Than Jake

Still Life Franchise

Lupe Fiasco feat. Jonah Matranga

The Instrumental

Matchbook Romance

Monsters

Omnisoul **

Not Giving Up

Rise Against

Drones

Riverboat Gamblers

On Again Off Again

Saves The Day

Head For The Hills

Shorty Da Kid **

Get Loose

Spank Rock

Backyard Betty

Sparta **

Future Needs

Taking Back Sunday

Spin

The Panic Channel**

Teahouse Of The Spirits

The Pink Spiders

Easy Way Out

The Rapture**

WAYUH

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

In Fates Hands

The Sleeping

Don’t Hold Back

Trae

Real Talk

Underoath

Ever So Inviting

Wolfmother

Woman

** Indicates song will debut in Madden NFL 07 before being released to retail


Continue reading "EA UNCOVERS TOP SECRET IN-GAME MUSIC SOUNDTRACK FOR MADDEN NFL 07" »

EA ANNOUNCES NEED FOR SPEED™ CARBON

Redwood City, Calif. – June 22, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Need for Speed™ Carbon is in development and will hit the streets this November. Developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia, Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing and will challenge players to face the ultimate test of driving skill on treacherous canyon roads.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to reinvent the franchise and continually uncover new and exciting trends in car culture. Canyon Racing is a real test of a driver’s skill and we think it provides a fantastic game play opportunity to lean into,” said Larry LaPierre, the game's executive producer.

What starts in the city is settled in the canyons as Need for Speed Carbon immerses you into the world’s most dangerous and adrenaline-filled form of street racing. You and your crew must race in an all-out war for the city, risking everything to take over your rivals’ neighborhoods one block at a time. As the police turn up the heat, the battle ultimately shifts to Carbon Canyon, where territories and reputations can be lost on every perilous curve. Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of customization giving you the power to design and tweak your crew’s cars in every way using the ground-breaking new Autosculpt™ technology. Represent your car class, your crew, and your turf in Need for Speed Carbon, the next revolution in racing games.

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It’s a massive return to miniature mayhem – Micro Machines v4 PC demo now available

New York (June 23, 2006) – Savvy gamers can be the first to take Micro Machines v4 for a test drive and experience its incredible mix of miniature mayhem and maximum multiplayer racing with the PC playable demo, available now www.codemasters.com/micromachines.

Micro Machines v4 brings back the series’ much-loved breakneck micro racing gameplay in all its glory. The title is set to ship on June 27th for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP system and PC with a Nintendo DS edition to follow.

The PC demo lets up to four players duke it out on three outrageous tracks; around the kitchen, on the rooftops and inside the chicken coop. Players can get in some single-player practice as well with Quick Battle races against AI opponents.

The Kitchen Capers track has players belting around the kitchen counters, racing over scorching stovetops and leaping from the countertops to an ironing board. Players should beware the soapy lake that is the kitchen sink and use the floating sponge as an improvised raft to avoid a watery grave.

Then it’s outside to the chicken coop in the Pecking Peril race, which holds the horrors of seemingly giant chickens that try to peck the wheels off the tiny racers. Get past them and there are still their boulder-like eggs to dodge as they come tumbling like a landslide.

Finally, roar around the roof in Rooftop Rumble, racing down drainpipes and catching the updraft from an air vent. Collect weapon power-ups and let loose a fury with machine guns, missiles, electric-shockers and more!

Be first off the starting grid and download the new PC demo and check the latest videos, available now at www.codemasters.com/micromachines.

The MICRO MACHINES property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

ABOUT MICRO MACHINES V4
Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, Micro Machines v4 comes packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, players will race inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

There’s an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on opponents while racing. Micro Machines v4 brings all the favorites back – such as missiles and bombs – and provides new ones to attack with, including flamethrowers, heat-seeking missiles, plasma guns and, of course, the car-mounted giant hammer!

* Engage in madcap competition racing with your micro motors on the wildest tracks around your house, garden and beyond...
* Spin out on the breakfast table, turbo boost across the pool table or hit the gas as you race around the rim of the bath.
* Use your arsenal of power ups to blast your opponents with the flamethrower or heat-seeking homing missiles to throw them off course.
* Hundreds of tiny turbo cars to collect or trade. Or, up the stakes when you play for keeps with ‘pink slip racing’.
* Unlock bonus tracks with PSP system to PlayStation 2 connectivity.
* PSP system & DS Wireless capability for up to 4-players, PC online multiplay and LAN.
* Unlockable multiplayer and single player content.
* Earn credits to unlock tracks and cars then trade with your friends.
* Track editor choose your own route through the garden or science lab… then challenge your friends to do battle!

Continue reading "It’s a massive return to miniature mayhem – Micro Machines v4 PC demo now available" »

Casual Games Day

I met with a number of companies yesterday to talk about casual games. For those of you who don't know what a casual game is, it's a game that is easy to learn and doesn't require complex skills to operate. Web games and mobile phone games usually fit into this category. According to DFC Intelligence, the worldwide casual games market is valued at $205 million today and will surpass $13 billion by 2011.

Boonty - They aggregate and serve casual games, usually with a free version that doesn't have all the levels or times out. Then you have to buy it to keep playing it. A lot of their games are web playable which means from deciding to play to playing there's no delay. Go to www.boonty.com for tons of casual games.

PlayFirst - They've seen an enormous growth in non-hardcore or casual gaming. The audience is broadening for 35 year old women. The average casual gamer is a different person from the average hardcore games. Many of these games have a woman as the protagonist. Developers target women and people over 35 who want to take a break at work or after the kids go to bed. There's no killing and no babes in bikinis. These are easy to learn games that provide an escape. They've seen 90% year over year growth. One of their games is Connect Four Cities, where you play Connect Four using buildings. And yes, you can give the gift of game on their site.

Glu - They're the #2 publisher of mobile games. Holiday titles include ATV Offroad Fury (8 different tracks), World Series of Poker, and Deer Hunter 2 (five weapons and persistent environments). In July they've got Super KO Boxing which is a cartonny boxing game like Super Punch for NES. They also offer Fox Sports Mobile Pro for $5.99 per month. It's a shell that gets filled with sports news. You can also follow your favorite team while they're on the field with live play by play.

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June 22, 2006

OFFICIAL MAGE KNIGHT: APOCALYPSE WEB SITE GOES LIVE!

Leading video games developer and publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced that the official Web site for its upcoming RPG strategy game for the PC, Mage Knight: Apocalypse is now live at www.mkapocalypse.com. This site features character bios, storyline details, original concept art, screenshots from the game and an official forum where visitors can discuss their favorite strategies with fellow Mage Knight: Apocalypse fans.

Set in the heart of the Mage Knight universe, five warriors are sworn by an oath to seek out the heart of evil plaguing the land and stop it no matter what the cost. Guided by the magical and mysterious race known as the Solonavi, these brave guardians embark on an epic journey to rescue their world from the clutches of an evil army determined to bring about the Apocalypse. As the forces of Chaos rise, a creature of unimaginable strength and destructive power is born to lead the enemy: the Apocalypse Dragon, a seemingly unstoppable five-headed monstrosity. In order to face this threat, the guardians must rally support from all of the factions of the land and recruit fearless heroes to fight for their cause. The future rests on the shoulders of these noble adventurers and the battle to end all battles is about to begin.

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Buena Vista Games Demos

Desperate Housewives - Think of this game as a fresh new season to play with 12 new episodes. The central question is "should you be bitchy or should you be nice?" as you manage your character and your home life. The game starts off and you're a new housewife on Wisteria Lane. You create your character and choose your husband. The game has the feel of The Sims but with more intrigue and manipulation. It seems well written. They're working with a writer from the show. You've got a composure meter that you need to maintain so you can play with the big girls. There are a series of mini-games also, such as cooking, gardening, sneaking around and spying. Unlock your dark past in this narrative driven adventure sim. This is PC only and ships in October 2006.

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Every Extend Extra - This PSP game from Q Entertainment ships in November 2006. As with most Q Entertainment games, the music is interactive with the game play. This is very much like Rez, where you target a bunch of objects and hold down the button; when you let go everything explodes. The music sort of keeps time with the action. You can detach the target quickly to go get crystals and to greate chain reactions. The name, "Every Extend Extra" refers to the fact that the better you are at the game the longer it lasts.

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DreamCatcher Games to Publish First Battalion

Toronto, June 21, 2006 – DreamCatcher Games today announced that it will publish First Battalion for Windows® in North America.

Join the ranks as you take command of the First Battalion and lead your forces into one of the most intense and important wars in history! From the streets of Stalingrad to the beaches of Normandy you will experience some of the greatest battles of World War II.

Feel the power of 30 tons of steel armor around you as you crush through destructible environments, mowing down trees and destroying entire buildings. With its cinematic and immersive gameplay, First Battalion puts you right on the battlefield filled with dozens of AI controlled airplanes, anti-tank cannons, infantry and enemy vehicles.

Features

· Experience the adrenaline rush of combat with totally destructible environments keeping you in the heat of battle at all times!

· Play as 3 military commanders as you lead your battalions through exciting missions and fast-paced campaigns.

· Historic tanks, vehicles and aircrafts are all accurately modeled and detailed.

· Multiplayer mode for up to 32 players allows for complex team strategies utilizing different battalion tactics.

Take this exciting opportunity to control a battalion during World War II where you will fight against rival tanks, vehicles, infantry and aircraft. First Battalion combines some of the best elements from first-person shooters, role-playing and strategy games, providing gamers with a unique and exciting WWII gaming experience that they won’t soon forget!

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NFL Head Coach, the First 3-D Sports Strategy Game from EA, In Stores Today

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – June 21, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) brings to life the triumphs and travails of one of sports’ most gut wrenching jobs with NFL Head Coach¸ a new franchise from the EA SPORTS™ brand. The first 3-D sports strategy game, NFL Head Coach, is now in stores and challenges gamers to manage every aspect of a professional football team and build their franchise from the ground up into a perennial powerhouse as you try to become the greatest coach of all time.

You can manage every detail of a head coach’s job by calling the plays from the sidelines, conducting practice, scouting players and making draft day deals to land the league’s next superstar in detailed, interactive environments. In NFL Head Coach, it is your responsibility to make the right decisions, hire the best people and develop a game plan that will catch the opposition off guard. Find impact players and upgrade your roster via the draft, free agency and trades.

“NFL Head Coach is a completely unique football experience unlike any other football game EA SPORTS has ever created," said Todd Sitrin, vice president of marketing, EA Tiburon, the studio famous for making the top-rated football games Madden NFL and NCAA Football. “Now the focus is on the six days leading up to game day and the strategy behind every coaching decision made. This is the game to decide if you really have what it takes to turn your team into a champion.”

NFL Head Coach includes voice-activated game play so you can use headsets to call plays on game day and receive audio play recommendations from coordinators. Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, hosts scripted sequences as coaching career milestones are reached. The game also features ESPN integration with Mel Kiper Jr. and Trey Wingo.

Developed by EA Tiburon in Orlando, Fla. where Madden NFL Football, NCAA® Football, NASCAR® and Superman Returns™: The Videogame are developed, NFL Head Coach is available on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft and PC for $39.99 and is rated E by the ESRB. For more information log on to www.nflheadcoach.com.

Continue reading "NFL Head Coach, the First 3-D Sports Strategy Game from EA, In Stores Today" »

Action-Packed Maelstrom Gameplay Video Debuts With New Microsite

New York (June 21st, 2006) – Codemasters has released the first gameplay trailer from the futuristic real-time strategy action PC epic, Maelstrom. This exciting new trailer presents a war-torn future earth and introduces gamers to a dangerous battleground, an ecologically ravaged planet earth crawling with morphing military tech and organic alien weapons. The trailer can be found on the new Maelstrom microsite www.codemasters.com/maelstrom.

Maelstrom’s dedicated microsite is now the online destination to register for exclusive game information feeds, to grab the latest screenshots or join the Underground and talk tactics in the forums. As the site evolves, gamers will discover the hidden depths of the game’s three factions: the guerrilla freedom-fighting Remnants, the technologically advanced Ascension with their transforming robotic tech, and a mysterious alien race, the Hai-Genti, who have their own plans for the future of the planet.

With the characters, setting and pace of science-fiction Hollywood blockbuster wrapped in a top rate script from screenwriter James Swallow (Star Trek: Voyager, Doctor Who), Maelstrom is set to be the most frantic and destructive RTS gaming experience yet. Battling to control the future of the entire planet, gamers take command from different viewpoints and employ faction-specific tactics and weaponry – from terraforming the land to harnessing the very forces of nature itself.

Promising an explosive and varied mix of action-packed strategic missions set in totally destructible environments, Codemasters will publish Maelstrom in late September, exclusively for PC. Discover more about the future of planet Earth and the future of RTS gaming with the first Maelstrom gameplay trailer movie and more at the game’s new microsite, now live at www.codemasters.com/maelstrom.

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June 19, 2006

Guild Wars Hits Two Million

June 19, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA) – ArenaNet®, developer of the world’s leading subscription-free online roleplaying games Guild Wars® and Guild Wars Factions™, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today the Guild Wars franchise has sold more than two million units worldwide to date. In further news, sales data from The NPD Group shows Guild Wars Factions as the number one selling PC game in North America for the month of May 2006.

“The highly successful release of Guild Wars Factions has solidified the Guild Wars franchise as a mainstay with gamers,” says Bob McKenzie, Senior VP of Merchandising, GameStop, Inc. “As a top seller for GameStop and EBGames, we watch with high interest how this property continues to make a stronghold for itself in the marketplace.”

When the first installment in this award-winning series, Guild Wars, launched in April 2005, it revolutionized online gaming and was an instant bestseller worldwide. Not to be outdone, ArenaNet’s hotly anticipated Guild Wars Factions, released April 28, 2006, was the number one game in both North America and Europe for the month of May.

“ArenaNet continues to take chances in both game design and business model, and it’s great to have the fans respond so enthusiastically right out of the gate with Guild Wars Factions,” says Patrick Wyatt, co-founder of ArenaNet. “Our fans have been overwhelmingly supportive of Guild Wars, and we will continue to make the Guild Wars franchise bigger and better with each release.”

Guild Wars and Guild Wars Factions are global online roleplaying games in which players immerse themselves in a rich fantasy world, build personalized characters, compete in head-to-head battles with players from around the world, and find adventure in missions and quests. In the game that has captivated millions of players, more than 7000 guilds worldwide are currently competing in the Guild Wars Factions tournament season, the finalists of which will be flown to Leipzig, Germany in August to compete for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. For complete tournament rules, please visit www.guildwars.com.

Guild Wars Factions is rated T for Teen.

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June 16, 2006

Eidos confirms ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider

Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirms today that they are developing a special ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider.

The new game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, who recently launched Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend on Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, PC and PSP, with versions on Nintendo DS, GBA and GameCube later in 2006.

“Our ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider, is a one-off title to celebrate both Lara and Tomb Raider, it will appeal not only to the loyal fans of the Tomb Raider series but will also attract a totally new audience.” Said Larry Sparks, Head of Brands Management at Eidos.

Tomb Raider™ originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 30 million copies sold.

The special ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider will be available on PlayStation 2, PSP and PC.

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June 14, 2006

EA SPORTS NFL Head Coach PC Demo

Do you lose sleep questioning a head coach’s call or scream at your TV booing your favorite team’s draft pick? Think you can do better? Prove it with NFL Head Coach, the first-ever 3D sports strategy game. Create your coach and take over an NFL franchise. Whether you’re coaching from the sideline, conducting practice, or making draft day deals to snag a future superstar, the fate of the franchise is in your hands. Delegate responsibilities to your assistants or manage every detail yourself with the easily mastered controls. How you perform depends on your football knowledge—not how fast you can push buttons. If you can develop a winning organization, your coaching legend rises allowing you to ascend the rankings to become the greatest NFL head coach of all time. You don’t have to Monday morning quarterback any more! Unlike any sports game you have ever played before, NFL Head Coach allows you to experience the incredible highs and lows of the coaching rollercoaster with the most true-to-life and authentic sports strategy game ever created.

Download the NFL Head Coach demo at http://www.fileplanet.com/164579/160000/fileinfo/NFL-Head-Coach-Demo?r=5


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June 13, 2006

Watch the return of the greatest multiplayer series with MICRO MACHINES v4 first game play video

See it in action with the new video now available online at www.codemasters.com/micromachines

New York (June 13, 2006) – Remember what pure fun looks like, as Codemasters unleashes the first video of MICRO MACHINES v4. Multiplayer mayhem like this is the reason friends were invented, as gamers can see for themselves at www.codemasters.com/micromachines.

MICRO MACHINES v4 has now gone gold and is speeding towards its June 27th ship date for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP system, and PC with a Nintendo DS edition to follow. The MICRO MACHINES property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

Everything gamers love about the MICRO MACHINES games is back and tuned up several notches. It’s time again to race tiny sports cars around the dinner table firing pint-sized rockets at friends knocking them over the edge. But no hard feelings, what’s a glass of spilt milk between friends? Just a road hazard is all.

Up to four players can challenge each other on MICRO MACHINES v4’s genius household raceways, weaving between train carriages on a model railway or ripping up the baize on a pool table.

A tantalizing taste of the massive fun to be had in this micro world is online now at www.codemasters.com/micromachines. Players can also prepare for the trash talking on the forum at www.codemasters.com/forum.

ABOUT MICRO MACHINES V4
Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, Micro Machines v4 comes packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, players will race inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

There’s an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on opponents while racing. Micro Machines v4 brings all the favorites back – such as missiles and bombs – and provides new ones to attack with, including flamethrowers, heat-seeking missiles, plasma guns and, of course, the car-mounted giant hammer!

* Engage in madcap competition racing with your micro motors on the wildest tracks around your house, garden and beyond...
* Spin out on the breakfast table, turbo boost across the pool table or hit the gas as you race around the rim of the bath.
* Use your arsenal of power ups to blast your opponents with the flamethrower or heat-seeking homing missiles to throw them off course.
* Hundreds of tiny turbo cars to collect or trade. Or, up the stakes when you play for keeps with ‘pink slip racing’.
* Unlock bonus tracks with PSP system to PlayStation 2 connectivity.
* PSP system & DS wireless capability for up to 4-players, PC online multiplay and LAN.
* Unlockable multiplayer and single player content.
* Earn credits to unlock tracks and cars then trade with your friends.
* Track editor choose your own route through the garden or science lab… then challenge your friends to do battle!

Continue reading "Watch the return of the greatest multiplayer series with MICRO MACHINES v4 first game play video" »

June 9, 2006

Kuma Reality Games Sparks Virtual Dialogue With Iran Over Nuclear Arms Dispute

New York (June 9, 2006) – Kuma Reality Games announced today the latest installment of its Kuma\War series, “Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Payback in Iraq,” the first Kuma\War episode to be powered by SourceTM, Valve®’s award-winning game engine technology. A captivating 3D video game simulating a realistic conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces over the development of nuclear arms, the newest chapter is a direct response to “Commander Bahman,” a game being developed by the Union of Islamic Student Societies. “Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Payback in Iraq” begins where the Iranian game reportedly leaves off, with Iranian forces attacking US troops in Iraq to recover a captured nuclear scientist. By re-imagining the Iranian story from multiple points of view, Kuma hopes to bring to the foreground key issues at stake in the current nuclear standoff and create a game-powered forum for frank dialog on the real-world conflict. Kuma’s latest episode will enter an open Beta period and be available for free public download at Kuma\War (www.kumawar.com) beginning July 4, 2006.

Last September, Kuma garnered international attention with its release of “Assault on Iran,” simulating a realistic U.S. attack on a key nuclear Iranian installation. In this original episode, US Special Forces destroy the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Iran with the assistance of a defecting Iranian scientist. With Iran’s nuclear activities continuing to make headlines in news media, the Middle Eastern nation’s game culture recently responded to Kuma’s virtual attack with a game of its own. Apparently borrowing story elements from Kuma’s original “Assault on Iran” episode, the Union of Islamic Student Societies initiated the latest round in the online conflict with Kuma by announcing “Commander Bahman,” a virtual counter-attack that will feature the rescue of an Iranian atomic scientist captured by US forces in Iraq. Reports indicate that the game will be available in March 2007.

The launch of “Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Payback in Iraq” is Kuma’s response to the Iranian gaming counter-attack. This will be the seventy-sixth episode of Kuma\War. Picking up where “Commander Bahman” will reportedly leave off, Kuma will weave holes in their own narrative, which they hope will be filled by the Iranian Student Union in subsequent episodes.

“This kind of game-based dialogue is unprecedented in the history of international relations. To have been able to ignite such a vital discourse with a video game is beyond our greatest hopes,” said Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Reality Games. “While we seek to bring current affairs to life in a manner that is both accessible and relatable, the thoughtful engagement by the Union of Islamic Student Societies was unexpected and thrilling. We think the story they’ve suggested is exciting and relevant, and both emotionally and politically charged. We look forward to responding with the same level of thought-provoking, relevant game-play in which the whole world can participate.”

As with all Kuma\War episodes, “Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Playback in Iraq” will contain expert analysis and a thoughtful discussion of the political ramifications of military action as well as a playable 3D simulation, allowing ordinary individuals to pick a side in realistic military engagements. Current plans call for the game episode to include English, Farsi and Arabic dialog.

For over two years, Kuma\War has expanded the boundaries of news reporting through accurate and timely re-creations of real-world military events. As a broadband leader in episodic games, Kuma is committed to turning around missions for its audience in a matter of weeks. Beginning July 4, 2006, Kuma\War episodes will be powered by Source – the same engine Valve created to power Half-Life® 2 – and will be available for free download at www.KumaWar.com.

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June 7, 2006

ALIENWARE'S NEW LIMITED-EDITION SUPERMAN SYSTEMS TAKE FLIGHT

MIAMI - June 6, 2006 - In celebration of Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming epic action adventure film, Superman Returns soaring into theatres nationwide on June 28th, Alienware -- the leading manufacturer of high-performance desktop, notebook, media center, server and professional systems -- has released limited-edition desktop and notebook systems inspired by DC Comics' iconic Super Hero, Superman. The desktop and notebook systems showcase masterful artwork of the Man of Steel on the outer cases. Alienware's Area-51 Superman Edition desktop and Area-51 Superman Returns Edition notebook come with a certificate of authenticity. Each system also includes a specially-designed Superman desktop theme by The Skins Factory utilizing Stardock's Theme Manager software.

The case design of the individually-numbered Superman desktop was created by the revered artists at DC Comics. The artwork traces Superman's progression from child to Super Hero in vivid detail and includes other memorable characters such as Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. Meanwhile, the individually-numbered Superman notebook comes in a striking blue design adorned with the iconic S-Shield logo on the front panel of the notebook.

The special-edition desktop and notebook both feature an immersive Superman desktop theme that transforms users' icon, wallpaper, and media player designs by incorporating distinctive touches from the Superman universe, such as green Kryptonite and Clark Kent's glasses. Powerful as well as stylish, the Superman systems come loaded with an array of cutting-edge technology: the Area-51 Superman Edition desktop features Intel Viiv Technology with dual-core Intel Pentium D processors and high-definition audio, while the Area-51 Superman Returns Edition notebook also features Intel Viiv Technology and offers Intel Core Duo processors and dual hard drives to go with a 17-inch wide-screen display.

"The appeal of the Superman character has resulted in numerous successful incarnations, from comic books to movies to TV shows, and now at last, has extended over to PCs so fans can celebrate their favorite Super Hero every time they use their Alienware computer," said Frances T. Alvarez, Director of Licensing at Alienware. "Mind-blowing power and lightning-fast speed come to mind when people think of Superman, and these same qualities embody the heart of Alienware PCs, making us a natural fit to offer these once-in-a-lifetime systems."

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GUITAR HERO WINS 2006 WORLD CLASS AWARD FROM PC WORLD

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 7, 2006 - RedOctane® is pleased to announce that PC World has honored their videogame "Guitar HeroTM" with a 2006 World Class Award - one of The Best Products of the Year. PC World, the most widely-read computer or business magazine, ranked the hit rock `n roll videogame #19 on the list of "The 100 Best Products of 2006", evaluating each product over the last 12 months based on exemplary design and usability, features, performance, innovation and specifications.

"Products that win PC World's World Class Awards set the standard for excellence in the IT and consumer electronics industries," stated Harry McCracken, editor in chief of PC World.

By comparison, the only other videogame product that appeared on the list was the XBOX 360, which came in at #89.

"RedOctane is honored to receive the prestigious World Class Award from PC World, having seen the high caliber of this year's product list," said Kelly Sumner, CEO of RedOctane. "We are truly proud of the many accolades that have come from consumers and the industry alike and we would like to thank all of those who were involved in making Guitar Hero a great success."

The PC World World Class Awards honor products that meld practical features with innovation and reflect the rapidly changing technology marketplace. This award is added to the many commendations that Guitar Hero has received since its launch last November. This list includes five D.I.C.E. industry awards and an average review score on Game Rankings.com - a site that collates all press comment and reaction - as 92 percent.

The game that has inspired a nation of wannabe rock stars to achieve videogame greatness is scheduled for a new US tour with "Guitar Hero II" on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in November 2006.

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NCsoft releases new City of Villains and City of Heroes expansion

AUSTIN, Texas, June 7, 2006 — NCsoft® today announced the release of a free expansion to City of Villains™ and City of Heroes®, Issue 7: “Destiny Manifest,” in both North America and Europe. In addition to level 40 to 50 content for villains, the new feature-packed expansion adds the opportunity for villains to wreak havoc in new “mayhem missions,” and a player-versus-player (PvP) zone where villains and heroes clash to control a dynamically changing battlefield.

The expansion is free to both City of Heroes and City of Villains’ subscribers.

The new City of Villains 40 to 50 level content includes more than 300 new missions and a new zone for level 40 and higher players, Grandville. Grandville contains Spider City, the vertically built capital of Lord Recluse™, the leader of the Arachnos, the top villain group in City of Villains.

Highlighting the new mission sets are mayhem missions, which allow villains to enter instanced City of Heroes zones in Paragon City™. During these missions, villains may wreak as much havoc on the zone as possible, reaping unique rewards and loot. The mayhem mission zones are destructible environments where villains can unlock multiple random events, harass citizens and battle the new Paragon City Police.

A new feature to both City of Heroes and City of Villains is the unique level 40 to 50 PvP zone, Recluse’s Victory. Recluse’s Victory is a replica of Paragon City’s Atlas Park™, where villains and heroes battle for heavily armed control points. Depending on who has the upper hand, the zone will change from a neutral setting to reflect the peaceful and shining version of Atlas Park where heroes are victorious or to a dark and scarred vision of Atlas Park where villainous forces dominate. Heroes and villains can take battlefield control over powerful artillery including mobile siege weapons that can help turn the tide of battle. When one side takes an advantage in Recluse’s Victory, powerful signature characters may appear to aid the struggling side and help take back control points, allowing players to have toe-to-toe battles with the likes of Lord Recluse or Statesman.

“This highly anticipated expansion makes villains meaner and introduces a PvP zone that has not been seen before in the online multiplayer market,” said Matt Miller, Cryptic Studio’s™ lead designer for City of Heroes and City of Villains. “Players will have a blast exploring the new high-level content and causing endless destruction in the new mayhem missions, which take being a villain to a new low.”

Issue 7 allows villains who surpass level 40 to obtain “patron powers,” a new set of abilities derived from one of the City of Villains signature villains: Ghost Widow™, Captain Mako™, Scirocco™ or Black Scorpion™. Examples of the new villain patron powers are Ghost Widow’s soul storm which levitates and spins its victims in the air and Captain Mako’s spirit shark power that fires destructive shark spirits at opponents.

This free expansion also includes new base features including storage items, empowerment stations, super group banners and base color tinting. Additionally, the expansion provides a new set of costume options and adds sweeping art and graphics improvements to City of Heroes.

City of Villains and City of Heroes are available at retailers in North America and Europe as well as at the NCsoft online store at www.plaync.com. Both games include the first month of online game play, and after the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Customers who purchase City of Heroes and City of Villains can play both games for the single subscription price of US$14.99.

For more information on City of Villains go to: www.cityofvillains.com, and for more information on City of Heroes, go to: www.cityofheroes.com.

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May 31, 2006

STACKED™ WITH DANIEL NEGREANU DEALS TO RETAIL

MTV Presents: STACKED Poker Television Special to Air on MTV2 on June 2nd and on MTV on June 3rd

New York, NY – May 31st, 2006 – Myelin Media, LLC, a publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that their Texas Hold ‘Em game, STACKED™ with Daniel Negreanu, has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America. A breakthrough Texas Hold ‘Em video game, STACKED steps to the table with a powerful hand of groundbreaking artificial intelligence, massive online multi-table tournaments and involvement from seven of the most celebrated professional poker players in the modern history of the game. Rated T for Teen by the ESRB, STACKED is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PC, and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99. In addition, MTV will be airing a half-hour special premiering on Friday, June 2nd at 9 PM on MTV2 and Saturday, June 3rd at 9 PM on MTV entitled, MTV Presents: STACKED Poker, to support the release of the highly anticipated title.

“STACKED is the perfect way for a beginner to learn poker,” said Negreanu. “It won’t disappoint the advanced players either, especially when they have to face off against me!”

“STACKED brings the excitement and strategy of professional poker into your home,” said Ken Woo, producer at Myelin Media. “Whether playing alone against the game’s realistic learning AI or online against real world opponents, you will feel the same exhilaration with every big bet, bluff and victory as if you were at the final table of a high stakes tournament.”

“MTV Games was formed with the vision of creating and promoting original video game IP and unique gaming experiences that encapsulate the passions and interests of the MTV audience,” said Jeff Yapp, EVP, Program Enterprises. “STACKED represents the first true MTV Games 360° initiative by delivering a video game experience, television special and an online component with the Stacked Masters multi-table tournaments."

About MTV Presents: STACKED Poker
MTV Presents: STACKED Poker is a half hour special premiering on Friday, June 2nd at 9 PM on MTV2 and Saturday, June 3rd at 9 PM on MTV. The program gets inside the breakout phenomenon of professional poker and highlights the launch of STACKED™ with Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu stars in this half-hour special with his unique brand of strategy, intuition and charisma. Shot on location at The Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, MTV Presents: STACKED Poker takes viewers through an explanation of the video game, STACKED, an introductory game of poker with Negreanu, then he faces a group of college age competition, competes against some of the world’s top ranked poker players and ends the show by sitting down at a table with special celebrity guests, Ryan Cabrera and Benji from Good Charlotte, to pass on some of his poker expertise. Throughout, Daniel will occasionally “freeze frame” and address the audience with his unparalleled insights into poker strategy, player tells and insider tips.

The special also kicks off a once in a lifetime opportunity for MTV viewers. The STACKED Masters Tournament is a series of STACKED Multi-Table Tournaments, to be played live online. Four players who meet certain eligibility criteria may be cast to participate in the MTV STACKED Masters Showdown Special. Participants in the special will be flown to Las Vegas, where they will face off against Daniel Negreanu at the final table, for a chance to prove their poker prowess against the best in the business.

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May 26, 2006

The Adventure Company Releases Trailer for EVIDENCE: The Last Ritual

In this PC CD-ROM game the notorious serial killer “The Phoenix” is back and the authorities need your help to catch him once and for all. Using an innovative blend of Windows® gameplay and the Internet, the player will explore key cities in Europe and North America. They will receive actual emails from virtual characters, scour real and fictitious websites, analyze video excerpts, photos, soundtracks, and piece together evidence to break the Phoenix’s embedded codes. From the creators of MISSING: Since January.

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May 25, 2006

UBISOFT REVEALS FIRST INFO ON THE MULTIPLAYER MODES FOR DARK MESSIAH OF MIGHT AND MAGIC

AN FRANCISCO May 25, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today proudly reveals the first details, screenshots, and artwork on the multiplayer modes of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic®.

Up to 32 players can battle in the revolutionary Crusade mode, which will allow players to gain experience and acquire new equipment across dynamic online campaigns. Enlist with the humans or the undead and choose among five complementary character classes and more than 60 skills. Wage epic online battles, sprawling over multiple zones, from the dark Necromancer's lair at Nar-Heresh to the man-made splendor of Stonehelm.

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic multiplayer will also feature the classic deathmatch and team deathmatch modes, in which players will have the opportunity to quickly jump into the game for instant action.

The multiplayer modes of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic are developed by Kuju Entertainment and the full game is scheduled for release on PC worldwide in September 2006.

For more information on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, please visit
http://www.mightandmagic.com/us/darkmessiah/teaser/.

Dark_Messiah_PC_119_Multipl.jpg

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STACKED™ WITH DANIEL NEGREANU STRIKES GOLD

Myelin Media LLC, a publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that their Texas Hold ‘Em game, STACKED™ with Daniel Negreanu, has gone gold for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PC. The most advanced poker simulation ever created, STACKED boasts an exclusive learning artificial intelligence solution, involvement from seven of poker’s most successful and charismatic players, as well as support for massive sanctioned online tournaments.

The first poker video game to capture the strategy and excitement of the game that has taken the world by storm, STACKED has exclusive license to the university-developed Poki AI system to deliver a remarkably advanced single-player experience. A learning system, Poki observes how each player approaches the game, devising and implementing new strategies for victory and encouraging the player to vary their style of play. Also, featuring seven of the world’s most successful poker pros, players will have the opportunity to go head-to-head against Josh Arieh, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Juan Carlos Mortensen, Evelyn Ng and David Williams, each with a custom AI style that matches their real-world play style.

Further, STACKED takes Texas Hold ‘Em online like never before with MTV STACKED Masters, a breakthrough online system that lets players host large scale tournaments and single game tables with a group of friends. Sanctioned tournaments will be regularly announced on the game’s official web site, letting top ranked players compete in a multi-table ladder structure with hundreds of other players for a shot at poker immortality in the MTV STACKED Masters Hall of Fame.

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May 24, 2006

Rogue Trooper Explodes Onto Store Shelves Throughout North America Today!

Revenge can be yours today, because Rogue Trooper is now exploding onto the store shelves of retailers near you! This sci-fi third-person action shooter based off of the popular comic book series from 2000AD lets you take control of Rogue Trooper, the last of the Genetic Infantrymen, as he sets out on a path of destruction to deal some payback to those responsible for the massacre of his race. Using the skills and abilities of his fallen comrades Bagman, Helm, and Gunnar, whose bio-chips allow them to take a new life in his equipment, Rogue must rely on a mixture of stealth, strategy, and pure destruction to take on full platoons of soldiers and inch his way closer to that sweet, sweet revenge.

Bagman is ready to repurpose enemy gear to make weapon upgrades, or unleash a devastating barrage of micro-mines. Gunnar is ready to act as a turret, great for setting up traps for groups of enemies. Helm is ready to use his hacking skills to gain access to restricted areas, or act as a Holodecoy, useful for a great distraction. Rogue Trooper is more than ready, and is itching for his chance to unleash a fury of destruction down on those who have made him suffer.

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EA and the Jeep® Brand Join Forces in Medal of Honor Airborne

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 23, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) and the Jeep ® brand announced today that they have signed a deal that will give gamers a chance to experience Jeep vehicles in Medal of Honor Airborne™ as they were found in World War II. The classic Willys-Overland Jeep will appear for extended, action-packed sequences in several missions of Medal of Honor Airborne.

Medal of Honor Airborne is the newest installment from EA’s critically-acclaimed Medal of Honor™ franchise which was credited with pioneering the First-Person Shooter (FPS) WWII genre when it debuted in 1999, and is the best selling WWII FPS franchise of all time. By fully controlling the airdrop from the very first step through landing, Medal of Honor Airborne adds a new dimension of player choice by letting the player decide where every mission begins and how it plays out. Building on the key tenets of the franchise including historical accuracy, research, and authenticity, for the first time Medal of Honor Airborne will include fully player-drivable vehicles, including the Willys Jeep.

Jeep played an integral role in the war effort as an indispensable tool in tracking the enemy, exchanging information and moving troops. Over 350,000 Willys Jeep vehicles were built and used during WWII, and at one point the assembly line was pushing out one vehicle every 90 seconds. When driving a Willys Jeep in Medal of Honor Airborne, the player can choose to use it as a mode of transportation, or as a mobile attack platform taking full advantage of a variety of mounted weapons. Authentic to their use in WWII, the Willys Jeep will be able to access more areas than the other drivable vehicles featured in Medal of Honor Airborne, because of Jeep vehicle’s superior four-wheel drive off-road capabilities.

"Video games are quickly becoming the medium of choice for a new generation of consumers and Chrysler Group has been at the forefront of this exciting revolution," said Jay Kuhnie, Director - Jeep Communications, Chrysler Group. "By teaming with Electronic Arts and Medal of Honor Airborne, Jeep is celebrating its history while helping to take this medium to its next level."

“The Medal of Honor Airborne experience begins with unprecedented freedom of approach from the air. With the addition of the Willys Jeep, that freedom continues on the ground, on road and off, and in combat scenarios of all types." explained Patrick Gilmore, VP and Executive Producer at EALA. “This is the first time in any Medal of Honor game that a player will have the ability to drive a Willys Jeep, and we’re very excited to see this new addition increase the fun and intensity of the gameplay.”


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Codemasters to cause one hell of a stink with free web games starring cult characters The Turds

New York (May 23, 2006) – It’s time to cut the crap and see what life is like beyond the toilet bowl as Codemasters announced today the signing of the cult character brand The Turds for its casual gaming portfolio.

In an exclusive deal with Pacemaker UK, the characters’ creators, The Turds will star in a series of free-to-play web games developed by Pilot Interactive. The games will be featured on a dedicated Turds gaming site, accessible via Funsta.com, Codemasters’ international casual gaming online portal, and a network of partner gaming sites.

The first, Donkey Pong And The Adventures Of Rimdiana Jones, is now live at www.funsta.com/turds. The Turds are a collection of roguish comedic characters born from the best of toilet humour. The Turds satirise known characters from film, entertainment and sport, such as The Bogfather, Freddy Pooger, The Turdinator, Wayne Pooney, and characters from history, including Shat the Ripper, Brave Fart, and, of course, Adolf Sh*tler. Pacemaker UK’s range of The Turds figurines, posters, and soft toys has fast established a multi-million business with a loyal fan base that has been extended internationally.

“We were looking for the next big thing to come along for the web gaming initiative and, after a good sit down, eventually The Turds just came out,” said Nick Pili, Codemasters’ director of casual gaming. “The Turds is an ever-growing phenomenon that has a massive cult status and we’re thrilled to be able to take them online with the web games.”

You can play with your very own Turds right now online at www.funsta.com/turds in the first web game: Donkey Pong And The Adventures Of Rimdiana Jones.

Donkey Pong And The Adventures Of Rimdiana Jones sees popular action hero, Rimdiana Jones, and agent Marilyn Muckroe, on a search for the legendary fartifact, the Lost Arse. However, disaster strikes: Marilyn is captured by giant ape-sh*t, Donkey Pong, and is to be sacrificed to a mysterious giant turd, worshipped by the lost Pongo Tribe.

Can Rimdy get his gal back and find his Lost Arse? To rescue Marilyn Muckroe, help Rimdy jump, run, climb and smash his way to the top of each increasingly difficult level. Watch out for those evil Islanders and pray your nostrils don’t catch a blood curdling wiff of the mighty Pong!

“We at Turds central believe that the nation needs to look at life beyond the bowl and see the beauty of their Turds,” says Luke Smith of Pacemaker UK, one of the creators of The Turds. “There’s one in all of us and the launch of web games gives everyone a chance to play with The Turds.”

Donkey Pong And The Adventures Of Rimdiana Jones is now available to play the dedicated The Turds site online at www.funsta.com/turds.


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May 23, 2006

Rogue Trooper Ships to Stores Today

His entire race has been set up and massacred by a traitor. As the last survivor of the Genetic Infantrymen, Rogue Trooper isn’t very happy about the situation, so he sets out on a mission for destruction to make those responsible suffer. But before Rogue can bring the vengeance, he must take the first step on his mission for pain and that step happens today as Rogue Trooper ships to stores all across North America! And what better way to see our mean, blue, one-man wrecking machine off to the store shelves than to celebrate his journey by releasing a ton of new assets... 5 new renders, 10 new screenshots and the last trailer to be exact! The wait is over, and tomorrow revenge can be yours when Rogue Trooper hits the store shelves in North America for the PS2, Xbox and PC!

Guild Wars Factions #1 Game in North America and Europe

May 23, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA) – ArenaNet®, developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today that the studio’s latest release, Guild Wars Factions™, is now the top PC game in North America and Europe. NPD’s weekly sales report showed Guild Wars Factions as the number-one-selling PC game for the weeks beginning April 23, 2006 and April 30, 2006.

“When Guild Wars was launched one year ago, it amazed the gaming world," said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. "Free online game play, stunning graphics, in depth PvP and PvE—impossible they said. Guild Wars Factions proves that ArenaNet is the world leader, not just in great online games, but in building unique business models aimed for the future of online gaming.”

Guild Wars Factions was one of the year’s most anticipated releases, and in its first two weeks out of the gate has wowed fans, press, and retail alike. Guild Wars Factions is topping the sales charts in Europe and North America, and the media is raving about the game.

“4.5 stars out of 5 stars!” – GameSpy

“. . . weaves together solo, cooperative, and competitive content in a way that is undeniably impressive.” – GameSpot.com

“Not only does ArenaNet give fans more of what they want, but they do it in an extraordinary manner.” – Amped IGO

"The popularity of MMOGs is on the rise and quickly becoming one of the strongest performing genres on the PC platform. From 2004 to 2005, usage of MMOGs grew nearly 29 percent, and that combined with the significant increase of sales at retail for these products illustrates the growing importance of this genre," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.

Developed by fledgling award-winning studio ArenaNet, Guild Wars Factions is the follow-up to the company’s debut release Guild Wars (April 2005). Guild Wars revolutionized online gaming, and the industry has been anxiously awaiting the release of Guild Wars Factions.

Guild Wars Factions takes place on the Asian-inspired continent of Cantha, where players create a character from eight distinct professions—including the newly created Assassin and Ritualist—and join an epic quest that pits two warring factions, the Luxons and the Kurzicks, against an ancient evil, and against each other. As players become embroiled in this brutal war of conquest, new missions provide both roleplaying fans and competitive PvP players the opportunity to help determine the fate of Cantha.

Guild Wars Factions is rated T for Teen. For more information, please visit www.guildwars.com


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UBISOFT AND TOUCHSTONE TEAM UP TO CREATE "LOST" VIDEO GAME

SAN FRANCISCO MAY 22, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced a long-term worldwide licensing agreement with Touchstone Television to develop and publish a video game based on the Emmy Award-winning television series "Lost." Developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreall studio and scheduled to hit retail shelves worldwide in 2007, the game will be offered for home and portable consoles as well as PCs.

"We are delighted to work with Bryan Burk, one of the biggest producers in Hollywood and with Touchstone Television," said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft. "That they have chosen us for the adaptation of the cult series "Lost" is the best homage that a producer can make to the creativity of Ubisoft."

"This deal is another example of how truly powerful the "Lost" brand is," said Bruce Gersh, senior vice president, business development, ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television. "We are excited to work together with Ubisoft to create a gaming experience that will allow fans to further immerse themselves into the mysteries and intrigues of the series."

"The creative appeal of"˜Lost" transcends borders with its character driven stories and addictive mysterious mythology," said Julia Franz, executive vice president, Touchstone Television. "It's not enough for fans worldwide to just watch 'Lost,' the game is a wonderful opportunity to organically extend this creative phenomenon into an interactive consumer experience."

"Many of us on "Lost" have been hardcore gamers for years and the chance to work with Ubisoft, a company behind some of our favorite titles, has excited us to no end," said "Lost" executive producer Bryan Burk. "With the ability to tell new interactive stories within the "Lost" universe, we're giddy to be developing a game that, once completed, will be as engaging and fun to play as it is to create."

J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof co-created "Lost" and also serve as executive producers, along with Bryan Burk, Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse. "Lost," which is filmed entirely on location in Hawaii, is from Touchstone Television.

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Hitman: Blood Money PC Demo Now Available for Download!

This demo lets you play the first mission of Hitman: Blood Money, teaching you the basics of what it takes to enter the world of high-stakes contract killing. Your mission is to eliminate the man known as “The Swing King,” who has been located at an old broken down amusement park now functioning as a drug lab. Though your objective is clear, it is up to you to determine the best way to perform the execution.

The latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise, Hitman: Blood Money, features enhanced artificial intelligence, a massive arsenal of upgradeable weaponry, as well as the new Blood Money system which allows characters in future missions to react to Agent 47 based upon how much his presence was noticed in the past. Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship May 30th, but you don’t have to wait to find out if you have what it takes to control the world’s deadliest assassin... download the demo now at www.hbmdemo.com and prepare to make a killing!

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May 21, 2006

E3 Coverage - Magic Online III

I met with Wizards of the Coast on Thursday morning and they revealed to me a new version of Magic Online due to go live in the third quarter of 2006. Essentially, they give away the software for free (and there's no subscription fee) and you then sell you content as you go. There's new content released every 3 months. People collect and trade digital objects (like cards). There's a significant market on Ebay. There are 6 million paper (or real card) players and 250,000 electronic players. There are 400 million digital objects in the Magic Online universe and they host 2 million games per month.
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May 20, 2006

E3 Coverage - Serious Games Initiative

On Thursday morning I met with Ben Sawyer of the Serious Games Initiative/Games for Health project. It's a grassroots effort with foundation funding to look at using games for things other than entertainment such as training, education, excercise, therapy. Something like lessons learned from developing games and how to make a better interface for a business application would also fit in here too.

They just held their annual conference on Tuesday. I couldn't go because of all the press conferences. They're planning another conference for October 2006 in Washington DC.

There's a possiblity that I may start blogging for them. We'll see how that develops.

Some of the games I looked at were:

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E3 Coverage - Razer

I have to admit that I didn't know much about Razer prior to our meeting Robert Karkoff (president) told me the whole story.

Razer was founded eight years ago and makes PC gaming products. Gamers are passionate about their equipment and Razer makes equipment for that high end market. They make high resolution gaming mice. Most, almost all, mice are 8-bit. Razer made the a 16-bit mouse in 2004. Most mice are 400 dpi; Razer mice are 1600 dpi or 2000 dpi. Razer believes that mice should be measure in inches per second because it is a more accurate measure of the type of performance required by high end gamers. The Diamondback runs at 90 ips and a human can move at about 72 ips. Everything Razer makes is a pure hardware solution. They actively seek feedback and validation from professional gamers with each product they bring to market.
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The Copperhead has a 1ms latency, which is just about nothing. The mouse is completely portable. It has memory to store settings so you can take it with you, plug it in, and have all your settings right there. The mouse can receive firmware updates. It was the first 2000 dpi laser sensor mouse.

They're coming out with a keyboard named Tarantula in August 2006. It's the "first true gaming keyboard", low latency (1ms) and anti-ghosting so you can press as many keys as you want at once. It's completely programmable and has macro keys on each side. There are 5 profiles to store your programming; Razer will host a website to upload and download profiles. It's washable and has replaceable keys. There's a dock for peripherals across the top of it and Razer says that a lamp and a webcam are on the way. It will sell for $99.99.
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May 19, 2006

2K Announces The Da Vinci Code™ Video Game Available Now

New York, NY – May 19, 2006 – 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today The Da Vinci Code™ video game is now available at retail stores worldwide. Developed by The Collective, a division of Foundation 9 Entertainment, the video game is available for PC, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

The Da Vinci Code™ video game is based on the highly anticipated film from Columbia pictures, which is based on Dan Brown’s critically acclaimed, best-selling novel. In the game, players seek to “unlock the code” as they struggle to unravel a 2,000 year old mystery.

“The Da Vinci Code™ video game expands upon the plot in the film and book, allowing gamers to experience new adventures and solve new puzzles,” said Christoph Hartmann, President, 2K. “The game takes players beyond anything they have seen or read.”

An adventure and puzzle game with action elements, the video game features new plot twists and clues. In a race against time, players must try to stay one step ahead of an ominous, covert society that will stop at nothing to protect a secret locked away for centuries. The video game combines stealth, adventure, combat and puzzle-solving elements to create the ultimate adventure.

Key Features:

* Expands upon The Da Vinci Code universe by giving the player new experiences and locations not visited in the film or the book.

* Guide Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu on their quest to solve a bizarre murder-mystery and uncover the ultimate treasure protected by an ancient secret society.

* A unique blend of puzzle-solving, stealth, combat and exploration.

* Explore detailed environments and discover hidden clues in world famous locations such as The Louvre, Westminster Abbey, Saint-Sulpice and more.

* Players must solve a wide variety of challenging physical and intellectual puzzles that will ultimately lead them to the resting ground of the Holy Grail.

* Charles Cecil, designer of the critically acclaimed title Broken Sword aided in the game design.

* Featuring an incredibly moving and haunting sound track, from acclaimed composer Winifred Philips.

From director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar®-winning team of A Beautiful Mind and producer John Calley (the Oscar®-nominated The Remains of the Day), comes the film version of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, one of the most popular and talked about novels of our time, with a cast headed by two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany and Jean Reno.

Produced by Grazer and Calley, The Da Vinci Code involves a thrilling murder investigation that unearths a secret that could change the course of history.

Doubleday has completed its 104th printing of the Dan Brown novel which will bring the total number of hardcover copies in print in North America to an unprecedented 12 million. It is the record-setting adult fiction hardcover bestseller, with 161 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, 55 of them at #1. In addition, 5 million paperback copies for North America were printed and released in the U.S. market March 28th. The novel currently has 57 million copies in print worldwide in all formats.

The Da Vinci Code™ is rated T for Teen and is now available at retail stores worldwide.

For more information, please visit http://www.thedavincicodegame.com.

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May 18, 2006

E3 Coverage - SEGA

I had a good time over at SEGA with Jenny. Overall, they've got an impressive bunch of games.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz - This is a Wii launch title and I'm looking forward to it. Playing is a good demonstration of how the Wii controller can be used. Imagine that you are holding the puzzle tray in your hand. Tilt the controller the way that you would tilt the puzzle tray to move the monkey the way you want. It makes the game very cool. There are 50+ mini games and 50+ puzzle trays. Some of the mini games have creative ways of using the controller. For example, in the hammer throw you twirl the controller and release the button to throw the hammer.
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Sonic Wild Fire (working title) - This is another Wii launch title. Sonic falls asleep reading the Arabian Nights and journeys into that world. It was fun to control him running through the game using the controller, tilting it to turn, flicking it up to jump. I got pulled out in the middle of this demo so I don't have much more. I also don't have a screen shot for this one.

Midieval II Total War - This is a PC only title due to ship in November 2006. It's being developed by a 40 person Australian team. There are 21 factions, 17 of which are playable. They doubled the resolution at which the graphics engine runs. They replaced the battle engine. Troops are now individuals that move and think independently within the context of their orders. You can upgrade the troops and see the difference in how they battle. There's a vegetation system that makes for great looking trees and bushes. The environment has strategic value so you can use it to win battles by trapping the enemy. The battle was something to see. Troops look around for their next opponent, corpses stack up in pools of blood. You can fight in the Crusades where there's a whole aspect to the game of managing the relationship with the Pope.
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E3 Coverage - Atari

Test Drive Unlimited - The entire game takes place on the island of Oahu. There are over 100 licensed vehicles and 1000 miles of road. It's all pretty much online races. There can be up to 8 player online races. You can drive around randomly exploring. When you encounter another player you can challenge him to a race. Then you lay out the course on the map and start racing. The world can have up to 1000 players on the same server so you probably won't have to race the same person twice, unless you want to. There will be online racing clubs to join. This game ships in September 2006 for PS2, PSP, PC, and Xbox 360.

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VERIZON FiOS SHATTERS SPEED LIMIT LAUNCHES ONLINE GAME EXPERIENCE THAT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER OF ITS ADVANCED FIBER-TO-THE-PREMISES NETWORK

NEW YORK, May 17, 2006 – In the first of a series of major initiatives that will shatter barriers to fun on the Internet in a unique way, Verizon has teamed with Valve® to create the FiOS Grand Tournament, an online PC game tournament of unprecedented scope. The FiOS Grand Tournament will end with one skillful player winning $100,000 – one of the largest prizes ever for a single winner of a tournament of this kind.

“By providing super-fast broadband connections for both downloading and uploading, Verizon FiOS Internet service creates great home entertainment experiences by shattering the limits we’ve come to accept – limits such as speed and bandwidth that get in the way of fun,” said Brian Angiolet, director of marketing for Verizon FiOS. “What better way to demonstrate that than by creating unprecedented online experiences – like the FiOS Grand Tournament – that rely heavily on broadband connectivity and speed to maximize fun.”

Adds Doug Lombardi, Director of Marketing for Valve: “Verizon FiOS Internet is an ideal solution for Steam customers looking to push the limits of their online gaming experience.”

In coming weeks, Verizon will launch a series of additional initiatives that will enable consumers to experience the Internet without limitations – something only Verizon FiOS can offer. These will include Verizon FiOS experiences in video games, fashion and live events.

The FiOS Grand Tournament will bring together the best in class of the interactive entertainment sector. Valve, creator of best-selling PC game franchises Half-Life and Counter Striketm will provide tournament entrants free access to its new, highly acclaimed Half-Life 2: Deathmatch PC game for the tournament beginning May 17.

Beyond demonstrating the advantages of the speed and enormous download and upload capacity of Verizon FiOS Internet service, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch will showcase the ease of Steam, Valve’s direct platform for digital content delivery.

Verizon offers FiOS high-speed broadband service over its new, advanced fiber optic network in parts of 16 states – a network that brings the power of fiber all the way to the home. With maximum download connections of up to 30 megabits-per-second (Mbps), and upload connections of up to 5 Mbps, FiOS provides gamers with the speed they need to compete. Although users of any Internet service can play in the tournament, finalists will face off live on the Verizon FiOS Internet service, experiencing its breakthrough speed, capacity and fun.

About Verizon FiOS Grand Tournament

Managed by the Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL), the FiOS Grand Tournament officially starts May 17 when players can begin downloading Half-Life 2: Deathmatch from Valve’s Steam service located at www.steamgames.com. Players will then be able to register at www.fiosgrand.com and begin practicing until June 15.

Tournament play will begin on June 15 and the top 64 players will be ranked according to the CAL’s official ladder ranking system, until only eight players remain. Those eight players will then face-off in a dramatic head-to-head tournament that culminates with one winner fragging their way to the $100,000 prize.

More information about the tournament and its rules will be available online at www.fiosgrand.com.

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Rogue Trooper Has Officially Gone Gold and is Ready to Ship May 23rd in North America!!

Rogue Trooper, the intense sci-fi third-person action shooter has officially GONE GOLD and is ready to ship to the store shelves on May 23rd! The new game based on the comic book series from 2000AD puts you in the combat boots of a betrayed Genetic Infantryman who is hell-bent on revenge. Your comrades have been set up and brutally massacred, and now it’s up to Rogue to make those responsible pay. Vastly outnumbered, Rogue must use his surroundings to his advantage, and rely on the skills of his fallen comrades Gunnar, Bagman and Helm whose bio-chips have allowed them to take a new life in Rogue’s equipment.

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MARVEL AND ACTIVISION'S X-MEN: THE OFFICIAL GAME TAKES A STAND ON RETAIL SHELVES NATIONWIDE

Santa Monica, CA – May 16, 2006 – Inspired by Marvel Entertainment’s legendary Super Hero franchise and serving as a prelude to the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Studios’ feature film “X-Men: The Last Stand,” Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) X-Men: The Official Game premieres today at retail outlets nationwide. The game catapults players into an original storyline that allows them to command the distinct powers of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they battle classic Brotherhood villains including Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike and Multiple Man and traverse unique environments that showcase each character’s abilities while embarking on an epic quest to save mutant-kind.

X-Men: The Official Game is the first Super Hero game for the Xbox™ 360 video game system from Microsoft and is available for a suggested retail price of $59.99. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo® GameCube™ versions are available for a suggested retail price of $39.99. The PC, Nintendo DS™ and Game Boy® Advance versions are available for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The console and PC games have been rated “T” (“Teen” – violence) and the handheld games have been rated “E-10+” (“Everyone 10 and older” – fantasy violence) by the ESRB.

“In X-Men: The Official Game, players will experience the events leading up to the ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ feature film,” said Will Kassoy, vice president of global brand management, Activision, Inc. “Co-written by Zak Penn, the screenwriter of the film, and legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont, and featuring the voice talent of Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore and Alan Cumming, the game truly enables players to become a part of the X-Men movie universe .”

For the first time, X-Men: The Official Game lets players truly experience the powers of three popular Super Heroes from the X-Men movie universe by allowing them to take on the roles of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they wield and upgrade their signature powers and maneuver through unique environments designed to showcase their Super Hero abilities. Assisted by other X-Men characters including Storm and Colossus, players will use an advanced control scheme to master and control the characters as they unleash Wolverine’s combat rage, experience Nightcrawler’s acrobatics and teleportation powers and glide through the air on Iceman’s ice slide.

For more information on X-Men: The Official Game, please visit http://www.x-mengame.com.

BradyGames' X-Men: The Official Game Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at http://www.bradygames.com.


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UBISOFT RIDES INTO THE STORM OF WARTM: BATTLE OF BRITAIN

San Francisco – May 15, 2006 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announces Storm of War: Battle of Britain, to come in November 2006 for PCs worldwide. Storm of War: Battle of Britain is the first instalment in the new Storm of War franchise from award-winning developer Maddox Games. Ubisoft and Maddox games previously collaborated on the acclaimed IL-2 Sturmovik and Pacific Fighters games.

In Storm of War: Battle of Britain, players will take to the skies during the famous Battle of Britain. Using classic World War II planes, the game offers a variety of historical missions through solo campaigns or online combat and cooperation. Storm of War: Battle of Britain includes a new 3D engine and damage model technology, enabling genre newcomers to enjoy a smooth ride thanks to a state-of-the-art flight simulator and scalable gameplay

"The Maddox series of flight simulators became instant references of the genre and we know that PC gamers are eagerly awaiting the next occasion to ride the skies," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for North America at Ubisoft. "Storm of War: Battle of Britain guarantees a thrilling ride; it is the genuine heir to flight simulator hall-of-famer IL-2."

"We've invested our time and talent to create new technology so players will be stunned by the quality of Storm of War: Battle of Britain," said Oleg Maddox, creator of the acclaimed IL-2 series. "Our collaboration with Ubisoft has been very fruitful and we're sure that gamers will be excited to join the "proud few" in this recreation of an important battle of the Second World War."

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Hitman: Blood Money Has Officially Gone Gold!

Blood money can come in many different forms... bills, coins, and yes... pure GOLD because Hitman: Blood Money is officially finished and all versions are ready for production! The latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise is coming your way May 30th, and with features such as the new Blood Money system which allows the characters in future environments to react to Agent 47 based on how well he previously kept out of the spotlight, Hitman: Blood Money is taking the franchise to a whole new level. With tons of different ways to complete each mission, take control, be innovative, and play the game the way that you want to The time is coming near, and only two weeks remain until Agent 47 can be at your command, so if you haven’t done so yet... prepare to make a killing.

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May 14, 2006

E3 Coverage - 2K Games

NBA 2K7 - 2K did more motion caption on more players so there are more players in the game with their signature moves. For example, Steve Nash pauses every few minutes while dribbling to lick his fingers. Shot stick is more precise so you have more control over your dunks and layups. Players sweat, the clothes ripple. There's online play on all platforms. This game is for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 and ships at the beginning of basketball season.

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NHL 2K7 - 2K focused on making gameplay a more cinematic experience. Their goal was to emulate the movie Miracle. As such, players are more graceful and gameplay is more fluid. You can give defensive orders instead of just watching them and hoping they do the right thing. They've got NHL and NHLPA licenses. They promised me that the crap in the current version has been cleaned up, that the inicidence of garbage goals scored from the back of the net is down and that the stats and announcing are accurate. This game is for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 and ships in Fall 2006.

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College Hoops 2K7 - This is a basketball game where the more important aspect is coaching. You have to take into account team chemistry, not just grab the ball and drive the lane. The stadiums are realistic. There's an in-depth legacy mode and online play. This game is for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 and ships in Fall 2006.

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May 12, 2006

GoPets, Ltd. to Offer Voiceover Internet Protocol Through Agreement with PeerMe, Inc.

SEOUL, Korea -- May 10, 2006 -- GoPets, Ltd., (www.gopets.net), one of the fastest growing and most entertaining forms of online social networking, with over 300,000 users worldwide, today announced an agreement with PeerMe, Inc., (www.peerme.com), a voiceover internet protocol (VOIP) company based in Mountain View, California. The agreement enables GoPets users with free voice chat. GoPets users that sign up for the PeerMe VOIP will also be offered a bonus virtual item.


“GoPets equals people plus pets plus games,” said GoPets CEO & Founder, Erik Bethke. “With PeerMe's VOIP service, we will now be able to offer our users the ability to chat with the ease and comfort of voice. With communication applications such as webmail, instant messaging, profiles, testimonials, and our iconic IKU language already in place, adding VOIP is the next natural step in our efforts to provide our users with the best forms of communication available.”

“GoPets brings people together from across the globe, and lets them be part of a community in new and fun ways,” said Martin Mueller, V.P. of Game Content and Sales for PeerMe, Inc. “PeerMe’s VOIP adds a new level of connectivity and interaction to the GoPets user experience. Now, Gopets users can talk for free with each other for the first time using PeerMe.”

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Philips amBX Announces New Consumer Features And Agreement With SpectraVideo plc

E3, Los Angeles (May 10, 2006) - Philips amBX today announced more details of its revolutionary new ambient experience technology, amBX, including an agreement with SpectraVideo plc and a raft of new consumer features that will deliver an instant plug and play experience. A number of amBX-enabled games will also be available in late 2006.

Philips amBX will provide gamers with a full ‘sensory surround experience’ by empowering game developers with the ability to use light, colour, sound, vibration and even air flow in the real world, during gameplay.

Combining a scripting language and software engine, amBX has been designed to deliver all-new player experiences through enabled devices such as LED colour-controlled lights, active furniture, fans, heaters, audio and video, all placed strategically around a player’s room.

amBX is highly flexible, allowing gamers to build their own personal set-up by picking and choosing from a variety of lights, fans, rumblers and future devices. amBX adapts itself so that at any time, with any set-up, the optimal experience is delivered.

Following the recent announcement that Philips Peripherals & Accessories will be launching a range of amBX accessories and kits, UK-based peripheral developer and manufacturer, SpectraVideo, is now set to join them.

SpectraVideo will be the first to launch a range of third party amBX-enabled products under its own Logic3 label. SpectraVideo has been succesfully selling gaming peripherals under the Logic3 brand for over 12 years. More recently, SpectraVideo has expanded its range to include iPod accessories with its best selling Logic3 i-Station. SpectraVideo has established its own expertise as the first company to take a leading role in developing and marketing new and innovative product ranges, a trend that it hopes to replicate with its amBX-enabled products.

Both companies plan to have products available in time for this fall and will each announce full details of their lines in the coming months.

For consumers, Philips amBX has announced a range of applications to help them get the most from their amBX kits right away, even without amBX enabled games. Some of these applications will be bundled with the peripherals.

The amBX Visual Autoscriptor and amBX Audio Autoscriptor will enable consumers to get an amBX effect from any media they run on their PC, whether it is one of their existing PC games or their music collection. An amBX Media Player will also be launched which will play amBX-scripted music, DVDs and video.

The amBX Atmosphere Controller will allow consumers to control their amBX kit directly to enable mood lighting or other effects other than through playing games and music.

When consumers go online, the amBX Web Plug-in will allow peripherals to join in with web pages scripted with amBX, making surfing the World Wide Web a totally different experience.

Philips amBX will also have content available for download through the amBX website at www.ambx.com.

All these applications are designed to give the consumer a plug and play experience when they arrive home with their new amBX kit. An even richer amBX experience will, of course, come from games that have been specifically scripted by game developers.

Philips amBX is working with a number of developers and publishers to deliver a range of amBX-enabled games for launch. These will include some brand new and some existing games, with the range of games available to increase post launch.

Philips amBX is currently in the closing stages of agreements with a number of leading computer games developers and publishers and will be showcasing the full potential of amBX to the media and industry on Stand 970 in the South Hall at E3, Los Angeles, from 10th to 12th May 2006.

Continue reading "Philips amBX Announces New Consumer Features And Agreement With SpectraVideo plc" »

May 9, 2006

KONAMI ANNOUNCES WINNING ELEVEN: PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2007

LOS ANGELES – Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Booth #800 – May 9, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSPâ„¢ (PlayStation®Portable) system, and PC, as well as the series’ debut on the Xbox 360â„¢ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo DSâ„¢. Marking the return of the world’s top soccer franchise, the game extends its leadership position with new international teams, new modes of play and astoundingly realistic gameplay.

The world’s best rated soccer video game franchise, Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 expands upon the series’ unmatched realism with faster gameplay, more responsive control and improved artificial intelligence. Players will now make intelligent runs without the ball, identifying opportunities and pointing to where they would like the ball to be delivered. Similarly, the game is now more physical, with defenders jockeying for position and strikers working to turn their opponent as they receive the ball. The game’s shooting system has also been refined, letting players take more snap shots, while volleys have been updated for more player control.

Players will also be able to enjoy the Beautiful Game in more ways than ever before with new play modes. International Challenge mode lets players compete through four continents of opposition to become a champion, while Random Selection Match lets gamers take the field with a group of players selected at random from a predetermined league or geographic area. The popular Master League mode returns with more options, allowing players to take complete control of their favorite team and control its destiny for an extended period of time.

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THE STROGG ASSAULT CYBERSPACE WITH LAUNCH OF ENEMY TERRITORY: QUAKE WARS WEBSITE

Mesquite, TX – May 9, 2006 – The Strogg and Global Defense Force armies are gearing up for online battle with the launch of the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars™ website—the definitive site for all things QUAKE Wars. Fans can now go online to http://www.enemyterritory.com to get an in-depth look at game features, browse and download screenshots, videos, and concept art and read what others are saying about the game. The site also features a fan site creation kit offering every necessary element for gamers to create their own Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars fan home pages.

Serving as the official headquarters for all the latest Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars news and information, www.enemyterritory.com will deploy a number of new sections and features over the coming months, including; detailed comparisons of the Strogg and GDF forces, more videos, screenshots, and wallpapers, and an entire community site with strategies, game stats, developer blogs and much more.

Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars is the ultimate online team and objective-based multiplayer experience. Set within the epic QUAKE® universe in the year 2065, gamers choose to play as Human or Strogg in one of five unique character classes. Employing an arsenal of weapons, vehicles and deployable armaments, players engage in an action-packed test of skill and coordinated teamwork through a series of combat objectives. Persistent character growth and achievements reward players for teamwork, while clearly defined mission and class objectives guide new players to meaningful contributions on the battlefield.

Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars is currently in development at Splash Damage – co-creators of the original Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and is being executive produced by id Software. The game is rated RP (Rating Pending) by the ESRB.


About id Software

id – Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth – has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D®, DOOM®, DOOM II®, QUAKE® QUAKE II®, QUAKE III Arena®, QUAKE 4®, Return to Castle Wolfenstein®, DOOM 3®, and Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars™. With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id’s games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.


About Splash Damage Ltd

Based in London, England, Splash Damage Ltd is an independently-owned game development studio dedicated to the design and development of multiplayer games utilizing id Software’s engine technology. Splash Damage made its name developing id Software’s Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory – winner of multiple ‘Game of the Year’ awards and a British Academy Award Nomination. Formed in 2001 from key members of the online QUAKE III Arena® mod-making community, Splash Damage is honoured to maintain an exclusive relationship with id Software, as both their mentors and Executive Producers. Splash Damage is also proud to have contributed to the commercial releases of Return to Castle Wolfenstein®: Game of the Year Edition, and DOOM 3®. Check out more about Splash Damage at http://www.splashdamage.com.

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PENGUINS!

Los Angeles, Ca. — Tuesday 9th, 2006 – WildTangent Inc., a leading developer and publisher of downloadable games, announced the release of a spectacular new casual game at E3, Penguins!

Penguins are cute, not very bright, in denial about their flightless condition, and desperately in need of your help to escape the zoo. To help 25 hapless penguins overcome the many obstacles they face along their escape route, players may employ a wide selection of devices including canons, trampolines, fans, rocket packs, and springs. Without your aid, penguins will obliviously stumble off in any available direction or worse, into the hands of the dreaded zoo keepers.

Penguins! is an entirely original new downloadable game unlike any on the Internet today. As penguins progress through the 100+ levels of the game, they can collect coins that players can spend at the zoo store to buy additional levels, posters, post cards, music, wallpaper and hilarious penguin costumes. Penguins! is also the first downloadable casual game to incorporate in-game content delivery from the web. This allows WildTangent Studios to continually create and publish new free content for Penguins! players to download from the in-game zoo store long after the game has been released.

Penguins! will be available with free trial play from www.WildGames.com on the opening day of E3. Penguins! will also be distributed through the WildTangent Game Console that ships with over 60% of new consumer PCs in North America.

WildTangent Studios has a reputation for producing the most innovative, family-friendly, high production value casual games available on the Internet; including last year’s hit original title Fate, which won runner-up for RPG of the year in PC Gamer Magazine, second only to Dungeon Siege 2, a $14 million dollar retail game from Microsoft. Other well known casual games from WildTangent Studios include Polar Bowler, BlasterBall, and BlackHawk Striker 2.

Casual downloadable games like Penguins! have become the fastest growing segment of the game industry and according to IDC Research, downloadable PC games will grow to a billion dollar business by 2008. WildTangent is one of the leaders in pioneering online game publishing with a catalog of over 225 downloadable games from all of the industry’s top casual game developers.

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E3 Announcements from Logitech: High-end PC Wheel; Xbox 360 wheel; New Gaming Mouse and Keyboard

1. G25 Racing Wheel (Available: October; $299.99)
A member of the company’s extreme-performance G-series peripherals
for
PC gamers, the Logitech G25 Racing Wheel offers advanced features
for PC
racing enthusiasts.

Key Features
• 6-speed gated shifter with push-down reverse gear (Dial on
shifter
allows gamers to select mode: 6-speed shifter or sequential
shifting
mode)
• Included gas, pneumatic brake, and clutch pedals on a weighted
base
• High-torque, two-motor force feedback mechanism
• 900-degree wheel rotation
• Compatible with most PlayStation 2 titles

2. DriveFX Wheel for Xbox 360 (Available: July; $99.99)
The Logitech DriveFX wheel combines axial-feedback technology with
quality materials to deliver an exceptional driving experience on
the
Xbox 360.

Key Features
• Axial Feedback: Logitech’s feedback technology features
powerful
motors built into the base of the steering column. These motors
distribute the vibration throughout the entire wheel, shifters
and
casing, creating a sensory experience similar to that of a real
car
steering wheel and column.
• 10” diameter molded wheel with rubber grips for comfortable
driving
• Includes Xbox 360 connector and standard Xbox 360 buttons
• Responsive gas and brake pedals

3. G3 Laser Mouse (Available: July; $59.99)
The Logitech G3 Laser Mouse’s compact, ambidextrous design
encourages a
fingertip grip (or clawgrip) and includes the same ultra-powerful
mouse
engine as the Logitech G5 and G7 mice.

Key Features
• Processing power of 6.4 megapixels of images per second
• Tracks up to 45 inches per second
• Full-speed USB delivers 500 reports per second
• Logitech DryGrip surface provides secure finger grips during
long
gaming sessions
• Adjustable resolution: The mouse’s 2000 dpi maximum
resolution can be
adjusted to as low as 400 dpi, allowing gamers to vary their
resolution and balance the needs between maximum speed and
optimum
precision.

Continue reading "E3 Announcements from Logitech: High-end PC Wheel; Xbox 360 wheel; New Gaming Mouse and Keyboard" »

FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS OVER THE HEDGET IN ACTIVISION'S NEW VIDEO GAME

Santa Monica, CA – May 9, 2006 – Based on the highly anticipated feature film from DreamWorks Animation, Over the Hedge™ the game from Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) is a wild adventure that immerses fans in a backyard gone crazy, while taking the players beyond the story seen in the movie. Over the Hedge is the only game based on the feature film that lets players relive movie moments and go beyond the film in three different games being released simultaneously for consoles and PC, the Nintendo DS™ and Game BoyÒ Advance. In the games, players assume the roles of RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle, Hammy the squirrel and Stella the skunk and turn a suburban neighborhood loaded with obstacles and traps into their personal playground.

“In collaboration with DreamWorks Animation we have developed three unique titles introducing new characters and all-new storylines expanding the Over the Hedge world,” said Kim Salzer, vice president of global brand management, Activision Publishing. “The games give movie and video game fans control of the four main characters and lets them experience firsthand their camaraderie and wacky adventures.”

In the console and PC versions of Over the Hedge, gamers find themselves in suburban madness when they choose to play as RJ, Verne, Hammy or Stella and switch between the characters or engage in two-player co-op with a friend. Comprised of more than 30 puzzle-filled levels, players use golf clubs, hockey sticks and other everyday items as they dodge lasers, defeat enemies and plan and execute heists. Fun mini-games such as suburban mini-golf and golf cart destruction derby extend the game play and offer players a chance to increase their health by collecting snacks, boost their energy through power up items and unlock exclusive content such as concept art, film assets and more.

The handheld versions of Over the Hedge give players two unique adventures. The Nintendo DS version takes place after the events seen in the movie and features an all-new storyline in which the characters must figure out how to save their woodland home from the encroaching home development. Over the Hedge for the Game Boy Advance closely follows the storyline of the movie allowing players to live the adventures of the movie.

Over the Hedge the game was developed for the console platforms by Edge of Reality, for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS by Vicarious Visions and for the PC by Beenox.

Over the Hedge is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube™ and PC are rated “E10+” (“Everyone 10+” – cartoon violence and crude humor – content suitable for persons ages 10 and older.) The console versions are available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and the PC version is available for a suggested retail price of $19.99. Over the Hedge for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance are rated “E” (“Everyone”– mild cartoon violence – content suitable for persons ages 6 and older.) The DS and the GBA versions are available for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

BradyGames' Over the Hedge Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at bradygames.com.

Continue reading "FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS OVER THE HEDGET IN ACTIVISION'S NEW VIDEO GAME" »

Microsoft Announces Spectacular Windows Vista Title Lineup

LOS ANGELES — May 9, 2006 — Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. and top publishers worldwide unveiled the highly anticipated games lineup for the Microsoft® Windows® and Windows Vista™ operating systems. Microsoft also announced plans to bring the Xbox Live® game and entertainment network to the Windows platform.

Microsoft Game Studios and other leading publishers, including Electronic Arts Inc., NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., THQ Inc. and Funcom, will provide groundbreaking gameplay experiences for Windows Vista gamers across numerous genres, including role-playing games (RPGs), first-person shooter (FPS), real-time strategy (RTS), massively multiplayer online (MMO) and simulation. The showcase lineup for Windows Vista will include the following games:

· “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom) is an online action-RPG with a mix of a deep, story-driven single-player experience and massive and brutal multiplayer end game, bringing to life the ultimate representation of the “Age of Conan.”

· “Alan Wake” (Microsoft Game Studios) is a psychological action thriller from Remedy Entertainment Ltd. Cited as one of the best titles of E3 2005, “Alan Wake” introduces a deeply engaging and suspenseful story line in a free-roaming open world that invites players to unravel the riveting plot and experience intense combat that combines the use of light with more conventional weapons.

· “Company of Heroes” (THQ) is a World War II RTS from Relic Entertainment, the creators of game-of-the-year winners “Homeworld” and “Dawn of War,” that brings the cinematic intensity and dynamic battlefields of World War II to life through a truly visceral gaming experience.

· “Crysis” (EA) is an original FPS based on new intellectual property developed by Crytek, the makers of the award-winning “Far Cry.” In Crysis™, players battle an invading alien force in a number of environments against a backdrop of rising international tension and rivalries.

· “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios) is the 10th edition of the popular simulator that immerses players in a beautifully rich and realistic world, offering gamers a completely new and innovative experience with dozens of new aircraft, scenario-based missions and spectacular graphics.

· “Halo® 2 for Windows Vista” (Microsoft Game Studios), the game that redefined first-person combat and multiplayer action for millions of gamers worldwide, is set to explode onto Windows Vista.

· “Hellgate: London” (NAMCO BANDAI Games America) is an action-RPG that combines the depth of third-person role-playing games with the action of first-person shooters. Developed by Flagship Studios Inc., which includes the creators of the revolutionary “Diablo” series, the game offers infinite playability through dynamically generated levels, items, enemies and events.

· “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios) brings the Microsoft vision of “Live Anywhere” to life. “Shadowrun™” from FASA Studio is the first cross-platform game for Xbox 360™ and Windows Vista. It is a multiplayer, FPS that propels team-based combat into a new dimension with a revolutionary blend of modern weaponry and ancient magic. “Shadowrun” will be available when Windows Vista is launched.

Groundbreaking DirectX 10 Graphics Unveiled

In addition to highlighting showcase titles at E3, Microsoft previewed the incredible graphic capabilities of the company’s latest games-programming technology: DirectX® 10. The release of DirectX 10 heralds an astonishing leap in graphic fidelity over today’s hardware, enabling the most realistic and immersive games yet. With up to six times the performance of earlier versions of DirectX and support for massively more complex and intense environments, DirectX 10 will debut exclusively on Windows Vista. In addition to broad publisher support, DirectX 10 is backed by leading graphics hardware companies including ATI Technologies Inc. and NVIDIA Corp.

Windows Vista Key to Live Anywhere Vision

Under Microsoft’s Live Anywhere vision, announced by Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on stage today, the power of the Xbox Live games and entertainment network will storm onto the Windows platform. This vision will first arrive on Windows Vista this winter with the release of “Shadowrun.” Published by Microsoft Game Studios, “Shadowrun” will be shipped simultaneously on Windows Vista and Xbox 360, enabling cross-platform gameplay and continuing to bridge the gap between consoles and computers.

The new online network will provide Windows Vista and Xbox 360 gamers with a consistent experience, with one gamertag, one set of achievements, one friends list and voice communications between all Xbox Live members. Bringing the Live Anywhere vision to Windows means that millions of gamers worldwide can access all the best elements of Xbox Live whether they’re playing on an Xbox 360 system, a Windows-based PC or their mobile phone.

“We’re incredibly excited to combine the best online innovations from Xbox Live with the platform innovations for which Windows is known,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “Windows gamers have a lot to look forward to: Xbox Live experiences, revolutionary DirectX 10 technologies in Windows Vista and some of the best games in the world — all on Windows.”

Support for Games for Windows

In addition to delivering next-generation games for Windows Vista, industry leaders continue to deliver great games on today’s Windows platform. Microsoft Game Studios and third-party publishing partners are previewing a broad range of games for Windows on the show floor at E3:

· “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom)

· “Age of Empires® III: The WarChiefs” (Microsoft Game Studios)

· “Battlefield 2142” (EA)

· “Call of Juarez™” (Ubisoft)

· “Company of Heroes®” (THQ)

· “Crysis” (EA)

· “Desperate Housewives The Game” (Buena Vista Games)

· “F.E.A.R.™ Extraction Point” (Vivendi)

· “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios)

· “Hellgate™: London” (NAMCO BANDAI Games America)

· “Heroes of Might & Magic® V” (Ubisoft)

· “Neverwinter Nights™ 2” (Atari Inc.)

· “Rise of Nations®: Rise of Legends™” (Microsoft Game Studios)

· “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios)

· “SiN Episodes™: Emergence” (Ritual Entertainment)

· “The Ship” (Outerlight Ltd.)

· “Titan Quest™” (THQ)

· “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” (Sigil Games Online Inc.)

New Games for Windows Brand Identity

Microsoft unveiled a new Games for Windows brand identity that will help consumers identify high-quality titles for the Windows platform. Moore reiterated Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Windows as a first-class gaming platform and a key consumer scenario for Windows. Evidence of this commitment to gaming on Windows can be found in the new Games Explorer in Windows Vista, the worldwide Games for Windows marketing campaign, and a strong retail initiative to promote the Games for Windows platform.

“First-class platforms deserve first-class treatment, and we’re investing in Games for Windows like never before,” said Moore. “We’ll make certain consumers can easily discover and enjoy the exciting lineup of Windows titles, today and in the future.”

Cross-Platform Wireless Accessories

Microsoft is expanding its wireless line of Xbox 360 cross-platform game peripherals to the Windows platform with the introduction of the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows. Gamers will be able to use the Universal Serial Bus (USB) wireless receiver with Windows XP- or Windows Vista-based computers to enjoy racing games, sports games and other titles that work best with the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Headset and Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel. Today’s announcements follow the release of the company’s first cross-platform controller: the wired Xbox 360 Controller for Windows that shipped in fall 2005.

Continue reading "Microsoft Announces Spectacular Windows Vista Title Lineup" »

Microsoft Game Studios and Remedy Partner in Delivering “Alan Wake”

Today at Microsoft’s E3 press conference, Microsoft Game Studios confirmed it will publish “Alan Wake,” the highly anticipated psychological action thriller by the renowned and successful developer, Remedy. The title will be made exclusively for Windows Vista and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system.

"We are thrilled about the opportunity to work with the gifted and experienced Remedy team," said Frank Pape, Senior Director of Business Development at Microsoft. "Our teams are dedicated to pushing the envelope of the gaming experience for Windows and the Xbox 360 with 'Alan Wake.' Millions of gamers have come to expect highly innovative and compelling content from Remedy and Microsoft Game Studios is proud to partner with them on this phenomenal title."

“Partnering with Microsoft Game Studios creates a complementary blend of talents and a shared passion to create something incredible,” said Petri Järvilehto, Creative Director at Remedy. "We put a lot of effort into finding the best publisher match for our game and the Remedy team. As a result, we are truly excited to work with MGS to make ‘Alan Wake’ the game it deserves to be and to continue our track record of success.”

Set in the deceptively idyllic town of Bright Falls, Washington, “Alan Wake” places gamers in the role of the best-selling suspense author, Alan Wake. He escapes to this small town to recover from the mysterious disappearance of his fiancée. In Bright Falls Wake comes face to face with his darkest nightmares.

“Alan Wake” immerses players in an intense and expansive cinematic world that enables players to roam freely in hyper-realistic, dynamic and interactive environments. “Alan Wake” is mission-based with a deeply engaging and suspenseful storyline unveiling new twists and profound character revelations at every turn. Players will unravel the riveting plot through character interactions, unique problem-solving and intense combat against terrifying enemies. In this nightmarish world, Alan Wake must use a variety of weapons to survive, including his most powerful ally against the creatures of darkness — light itself.

Continue reading "Microsoft Game Studios and Remedy Partner in Delivering “Alan Wake”" »

Velocity Micro Introduces Gaming PCs Powered by AGEIA PhysX

Richmond, Va., May 9, 2006—Velocity Micro, the premier manufacturer of award winning, ultra performance PCs, announces today the availability of gaming systems with the new AGEIA PhysX graphics solution. Customers can configure Gamers’ Edge and Raptor PCs with the new physics card, which utilizes new graphics technology to deliver a more realistic 3D gaming experience.

“We are pleased to be a launch partner with AGEIA on this exciting new technology,” said Randy Copeland, CEO and President of Velocity Micro. “Gamers are always looking to Velocity Micro to push the envelope when it comes to speed. With the AGEIA PhysX card, we can deliver PCs with even higher levels of performance to our customers.”

The AGEIA PhysX physics processing unit (PPU) is the world’s first dedicated, hardware-based physics accelerator. PhysX handles the ever-increasing processing demands of 3D games by offloading the calculation of complex physical interactions from the PC’s CPU and GPU. In games designed to take advantage of AGEIA PhysX, this technology can more accurately depict real-world objects and allow many more scene elements to interact in a realistic way. Explosions cause collateral damage to surrounding objects, scene elements can look and react more convincingly to player input, and smoke, fog, and liquids look more genuine.

Fully customizable systems in the Gamers’ Edge and Raptor series with the AGEIA PhysX card are available today at www.velocitymicro.com.


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E3 Coverage - Microsoft Press Conference

The press conference was held at the Chinese Theater and began with a demo of Gears of War. Someone played a level from the beginning of the game and it looked great. Very dark and futuristic, lots of realistic blood splatter, tons of shooting, and even a chainsaw. Spectacular graphics.

Then Peter Moore took the stage and talked about how Microsoft is delivering the most powerful HD gaming to date. For the first time ever, all of MS gaming is under a single organization unit. Games drive entertainment at MS. Fastest start in console history 5 million Xbox 360 sold by end of June, 4.5 games and 3 peripherals per unit sold. These are great numbers. It’s about the games, the friends, and the lifestyle.

Xbox Live – a unique online experience, friend’s lists, achievements, etc. 6 million members by this time next year. Evolving beyond a shared game space to a true entertainment venue. Xbox Live Arcade has something for everyone. Classic arcade games from Namco, Konami, Midway, SEGA. More than games, a shared heritage. Created a space for independent developers where innovation can thrive. Lumines Live with exclusive Warner Bros content.

Xbox 360 games – Lost Planet Extreme Condition, Mass Effect, Moto GP 06, Saint’s Row, John Woo Presents Stranglehold, Test Drive Unlimited, DDR Universe, Prey, Superman Returns: The Videogame, by this holiday there will be over 160 360 games. 825 titles currently available on Xbox.

Fable 2 announcement Peter Molyneaux and Lionhead Studios

Forza Motorsport 2 – more customization, 300 cars to tune and paint, 12 player races through xbox live, available this holiday season matched with wireless steering wheel

Wireless headset

Xbox Live Vision Camera

Working on building better games for Japanese market

Splinter Cell Double Agent to be released Sept 06

Viva Pinata – whole new world that kids can jump into anytime and anywhere this game is about what happens to piñata when they’re not at a party holiday 06

Xbox Live Marketplace – digital distribution, 1000 pieces of content available today. Changes the way people try and buy games. Provides true episodic content keeping your favorite games fresh for years. Opens new worlds of digital entertainment – music videos, movie trailers. All in HD.

Xbox 360 HD DVD Player – roughly 2/3 the size of 360. Available this holiday. $499

Grand Theft Auto IV – 360 on October 2007. Exclusive episodic content via Xbox Live

Windows Gaming – revitalized marketing effort, latest in graphics technology, Windows Vista is game friendly. “Games for Windows” Vista is where it’s at for gaming, Direct X 10, it does look good, parental controls, more horsepower, more stability, more joint release titles that will come out on 360 and PC such as Shadowrun. There is talk of a single "Live Anywhere" interface so you can be on the equivalent of Xbox Live from an Xbox, a PC, or a mobile phone. There will be seamless interaction between platforms, so someone on a 360 could message someone on a PC and then they could play Shadowrun against each other.

Bill Gates came on stage and that was pretty cool.

Continue reading "E3 Coverage - Microsoft Press Conference" »

May 8, 2006

EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 4, 2006-- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced its next generation of game titles for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place in Los Angeles May 10-12, 2006. EA’s line up of EA SPORTS™ and EA™ branded games for the Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, Nintendo Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PC and mobile phones will be showcased in EA’s booth #1000 in the South Hall. With a renewed focus on original and wholly-owned intellectual property EA will unveil an array of titles and the technology that drives gameplay innovation.

Shown exclusively behind closed doors, EA is presenting its recently announced next generation console action title out of EA Montréal, ARMY OF TWO™; Will Wright’s original PC work in progress, SPORE™; and the newest PC iteration in the acclaimed Command & Conquer™ series, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™.

The EA SPORTS line up will go behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab highlighting the technology that fuels the gameplay innovations for the ’07 lineup. Madden NFL 07 will be playable on the PlayStation 3 console, Xbox 360, PSP system, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

“EA is leading the industry with a new generation of games on a new generation of platforms,” said Paul Lee President of EA Studios. “We’re pushing the technology to provide more innovation in our EA branded games and authentic athletic performance in our EA SPORTS games. We’re also leading the resurgence of PC gaming with groundbreaking titles like Battlefield 2142, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Crytek Studio’s Crysis and of course Will Wright’s new game, SPORE.”

“EA is demonstrating a ground-breaking level of quality and innovation at E3 this year,” said Frank Gibeau, EA Executive Vice President and General Manger of North American Publishing. “Games like ARMY OF TWO and NBA LIVE 07 are going to unleash the power of new consoles like PlayStation3 and Xbox 360. Madden NFL 07 makes great use of the new controller on Nintendo’s Wii system.”

“E3 is a showcase for EA’s portfolio of globally recognized entertainment,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager of International Publishing, Gerhard Florin. “Titles like FIFA Soccer, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II and the Battlefield franchise are among the most popular games in the world.”
EA SPORTS™ branded E3 line up

Along with playable demos that showcase deep new offerings of Madden NFL 07 and NCAA Football 07, EA will feature tech demonstrations of NBA LIVE, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR and FIFA Soccer behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab. These demos will illustrate the new tools and development philosophy that drives gameplay and feature innovation in EA SPORTS games on next generation consoles. Highlighting the EA SPORTS Lab will be never-before-seen technology that delivers authentic athletic performance— the athletic movements, awareness, look and emotional intensity that bring characters to life in EA SPORTS games. The Lab will also feature a demonstration of ESPN content integrated in upcoming EA SPORTS games, including ESPN ticker and ESPN SportsCenter Radio updates.

Madden NFL 07 - With the exclusive video game license of the NFL and its players, Madden NFL 07 continues to be the #1 football franchise in history with more than 51 million copies sold. In its 17th installment, you control the running game like never before. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs. Developed by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 07 will launch in August on the Xbox 360, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube™, PSP system, PC, Nintendo DS and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is also in development on the PlayStation 3 console and Nintendo Wii.

NCAA® Football 07 - Momentum changes everything—now college football’s most celebrated videogame turns the tide with NCAA Football 07. Whether battling your biggest rival or playing for the first-ever BCS National Championship Game in Dynasty Mode™, success on the field depends on your ability to maintain momentum. Featuring unprecedented graphics that capture every moment in complete detail—from the authenticity of the stadiums, mascots, and marching bands, to the true-to-life look and feel of the players on the field. NCAA Football 07 delivers the most realistic college football experience ever. NCAA Football 07 is scheduled to ship in July on the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, Xbox 360 and the PSP system.

NASCAR® 07* (Working title) - Take risks, be rewarded, and become a champion with NASCAR® 07* on the PSP system. With all-new Adrenaline Moments, use your skill and instinct during the most intense situations and control the outcome by avoiding disastrous wrecks and flying debris. Maintain your focus on dangerous conditions ahead with the new RaceBreaker feature, which guides you through every treacherous moment of the race. With all-new speed blurring, realistic spark and smoke effects, and camera shakes, get your adrenaline pumping and experience the all-out drama and intensity of 190-mph racing with NASCAR 07.

EA™ branded E3 lineup

The EA game line up is as diverse as the audience games reach today. Gamers will have all-new experiences on award-winning franchises or discover completely new franchises; EA titles will demonstrate that next generation has arrived on the console, PC and handheld devices.

ARMY OF TWO™ - You’re not alone soldier, not anymore. At E3, EA unveils details of the action title that has been kept top secret for the past year. Developed at EA’s boutique production house in Montréal, Canada, the new, original game will redefine strategic TWO man cooperative play when it launches on the PlayStation 3 console and Xbox 360 in 2007. ARMY OF TWO will throw gamers into hot spots ripped from current day headlines where they will utilize unique TWO man strategies and tactics while seamlessly transitioning between playing with intelligent Partner AI (PAI) and a live player. When one man is not enough, it will take an army of two to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world.

Battlefield 2142™ - The year is 2142, and the dawn of a new Ice age has thrown the world into a panic. The soil not covered by ice can only feed a fraction of the Earth’s population. The math is simple and brutal: Some will live, most will die. In Battlefield 2142, players choose to fight for one of two military superpowers in an epic battle for survival. Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech weaponry, including assault rifles, cloaking devices, EMP grenades and sentry guns, players can level the playing field against massive Battle Walkers that control the ground and futuristic aircraft that rule the skies. Massive online* battles for up to 64 players drop gamers on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their team-mates. Battlefield 2142 also introduces an all-new game type for the first time in franchise history: “Titan” mode, which challenges gamers to control the battlefield and destroy their opponent’s Titan - a massive flying warship - while defending their own. Battlefield 2142 is developed by Digital Illusions/DICE Sweden and is slated to ship for PC in Fall 2006.

SPORE – SPORE takes players on an epic journey from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and eventually into the outer reaches of space. Create a creature, then control every dimension of its evolution from pond scum to galactic god. Experience multiple styles of gameplay as your creature advances through different stages of development. Fight for survival in the wild, develop a sprawling metropolis, trade and war against rival civilizations and explore the outer reaches of the galaxy. Every aspect of the universe from creatures to vehicles, buildings to plants, are created by the player and automatically shared with other players, providing a limitless number of worlds to explore and play. Create, control and explore your universe with SPORE. SPORE is under development for the PC by legendary game designer, Will Wright.

Crysis™ – Crysis is all-new first person shooter from Crytek, the award-winning developers of the critically-acclaimed hit Far Cry. Powered by the revolutionary CryEngine™2, Crysis delivers next-generation PC technology, graphics and gameplay. Set in 2019 after a colossal asteroid crashes to Earth, Crysis begins amidst a tense military standoff between the North Korean and United States governments for control of the impact zone. Amid rising tensions, the asteroid suddenly bursts open revealing a massive alien ship, which begins freezing vast portions of the island and altering the global weather system. The invasion of Earth has begun. Crysis features an epic three-act story of alien invasion where players are able to customize their armor and weapons in real time to confront an ever-changing enemy and a harsh, dynamic environment. Advanced enemy AI employs realistic military tactics, forcing gamers to actively outsmart their opponents rather than simply reacting to them. Crysis is slated to ship for the PC in Winter 2006.

Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™ – The genre defining Command & Conquer series is back! The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and The Brotherhood of NOD continues…and the third Tiberium War™ is about to begin. Welcome back, Commander. Command & Conquer, the groundbreaking series that put the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre on the map, is returning in full force with Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. This highly-anticipated next chapter takes the popular series back to its roots in the Tiberium universe and features the fast, fluid gameplay that Command & Conquer is known for and a gripping story that will redefine storytelling in RTS games. Experience a revolution in RTS gaming with a breakthrough single player campaign that rewards you for your gameplay style. Add layers of strategy to your gaming experience by building mobile bases, wielding the power of terrifying Ion Storms on the battlefield, or customizing your armies by combining units. Battle it out online with native voice-over IP, integrated clan support, and new spectator modes that let you play RTS games like a sport. Windows PC, 2007.

The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II for the Xbox 360 – Now command the epic battles of Middle-earth from your living room couch! Take control of huge armies and venture into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction—all in spectacular high-definition. The game boasts a new, intuitive console-specific control scheme that allows novice players to enjoy the game’s signature Real-time Strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth. As the first game in The Lord of the Rings™ series to be playable over Xbox LIVE™*, add to the intensity of the experience and challenge friends online* to engage in action-packed real-time battles. Summer 2006.

SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME challenges players to master Superman's unrivaled powers to save Metropolis. Based on 60 years of DC Comics and the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME creates the ultimate open-world super hero experience. As the Man of Steel™, you’ll hone your unworldly super powers such as Flight, X-Ray Vision and Freeze Breath to fight villains that only Superman™ can defeat. SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME will be available on Xbox 360, the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, the PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.

Def Jam® Fight For NY™: The Takeover – Experience the ultimate hip hop fighting game anywhere you go. Master over 180 new fighting moves and 50 new dirty moves in order to win fights and rise among the ranks of your crew. Create your own fighter and battle through over 40 of the hottest artists and celebrities in Hip Hop including Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit. With a new story, new moves, new venues, and head to head wireless gameplay, Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover is the summer's must have title for the PSP system.

Continue reading "EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3" »

May 7, 2006

Buena Vista Games Unveils New Video Game Lineup at 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo

BURBANK, Calif. — (May 8, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced its largest and most diverse lineup ever of console, computer and handheld video game titles to be showcased at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Booth No. 1024 in the South Hall.

With a broad portfolio of video games that appeals to a wide audience, BVG’s portfolio includes titles inspired by major theatrical releases, popular and award-winning television shows and new intellectual properties.

“Buena Vista Games’ 2006 portfolio features the most diverse and extensive product mix to date, with titles based on the rich movie and television brands of The Walt Disney Company and new original properties that we look to build into evergreen franchises for the future,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “We continue to strengthen our self-publishing business with compelling new games that have broad entertainment appeal across all audiences and all major markets worldwide.”

For console game players, BVG will showcase a broad range of titles including Turok, an FPS game set on a mysterious planet that is based on the Classic Media comic book license; Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action, based on the “super hero movie within a movie” of the box office hit film “Chicken Little”; Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ futuristic computer-animated film; Lumines Plus, the first console extension of the highly popular Lumines puzzle franchise; and Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch?, the first console game based on the hit Disney Channel franchise.

For Windows PC users, Desperate Housewives: The Game, based on the award-winning ABC/Touchstone Television series “Desperate Housewives” will be available for game play for the first time.

BVG’s strategy for its kids games portfolio is focused on three endeavors in 2006 – the launch of the Disney on the Go brand; new efforts in handheld preschool learning games with the launch of Disney’s Little Einsteins for Game Boy® Advance; and migrating handheld franchise hits to the console for sophisticated gameplay in a family-safe environment with Disney’s Kim Possible for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

BVG will showcase handheld games for all major handheld platforms (the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance). The company’s handheld portfolio will include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, based on the upcoming summer blockbuster movie; Spectrobes, a new original title being developed in Japan; Lumines II, Every Extend Extra and Meteos: Disney Edition, action puzzle games from Q ENTERTAINMENT; and games based on popular Disney Channel properties including “Hannah Montana,“ “Little Einsteins,” “American Dragon,” “Phil of the Future,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” “That’s So Raven” and more. Also, BVG will present new titles for young girls based on the Disney Princess franchise including a game based on the upcoming DVD release of “The Little Mermaid.”

Along with its self-publishing business, BVG continues to work with its licensing partners on phenomenal games based on Disney and Disney€Pixar properties. THQ Inc. will showcase Disney€Pixar Cars and Bethesda Softworks will show Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow in their respective booths at E3.

Console Games

Turok*
Turok is an epic, story-driven FPS game set on a dark, mysterious planet in the near future. Players take on the role of Joseph Turok, a former Black Ops commando, now part of an elite Special Forces squad on a mission to take down a war criminal on a genetically-altered planet. After the ship is shot down while approaching the planet, Joseph Turok must use his instincts and elite military training to elude an army of well-trained soldiers, and the ravenous, unpredictable creatures that populate the dangerous environment. Joseph Turok’s mission? Survive at all costs.

Platforms: Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system
Release Date: 2007

Lumines Plus*
Lumines Plus is a pulsing new version of the original PSP system game for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Lumines Plus includes new skins and a two-player battle mode.

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Disney’s Meet The Robinsons
Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated film, is a time-traveling action/adventure game. Players will experience the adventure as Wilbur Robinson, helping him chase the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical robotic hat Doris through multiple timelines in an attempt to thwart their evil plans. The game weaves in and out of the film’s plot, expanding the Robinson world and offering an all-new adventure. Wilbur will have a host of gadgets at his disposal as he battles enemies and solves puzzles while pursuing Bowler Hat Guy and trying not to alter the future.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance
Release Date: 2007

Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action
Inspired by the “superhero movie within the movie” finale of Walt Disney Pictures’ box office hit film “Chicken Little,” Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action features Ace, the superhero alter ego of Chicken Little, and the Hollywood versions of his misfit band of friends: Runt, Abby and Fish-Out-of-Water. The crew of the intergalactic Battle Barn faces off against Foxy Loxy and her evil Amazonian sidekick, Goosey Loosey, who have an evil plan to take over Earth. Battle evil alien robots through multiple levels across the solar system and combat your foes in one of three distinct game play modes: Ace on foot as a soldier, Runt as the driver of an armored tank, or Abby as the pilot of a spaceship. The original Chicken Little and his friends Abby, Runt and Fish we know from the film are featured in cut scenes throughout the game.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch?
Kim Possible and her perennial nemesis Shego must grudgingly team up to bring everything back to normal when the minds of Dr. Drakken and Ron Stoppable are switched in this action-packed adventure. It’s now up to Kim and Shego to save the day – together.

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Windows PC Game

Desperate Housewives: The Game
A lifestyle simulation game for Windows based on the hit ABC/Touchstone Television phenomenon, Desperate Housewives: The Game lets you become the newest housewife on Wisteria Lane, extending the experience from the TV series through new storylines. As a new housewife, you must uncover delicious scandals and reveal some shocking secrets of your own. The gameplay is a story-driven adventure, in which each episode contains unique plot points and secrets for you to uncover.

Platforms: Windows XP and Windows Vista
Release Date: Fall 2006

Handheld Games

Spectrobes
An original concept and new intellectual property from Buena Vista Games, Spectrobes introduces two junior Interplanetary Patrol officers named Rallen and Jeena who learn of strange, prehistoric creatures called Spectrobes that possess special powers. These Spectrobes hold the key to defeating a vicious and merciless force, known only as the Krawl that threatens to destroy the galaxy. The two heroes embark on a mission to save their galaxy – to do so they must excavate, awaken, train and collect all the Spectrobes they can and battle to defeat the Krawl.

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: To Be Announced

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ film, is a swashbuckling third-person action/adventure. Players will engage in game play that reflects the cunning world of the film franchise -- with an abundance of disloyalty, humor and revenge. Players embark on a daring adventure while sword dueling and hunting for hidden treasure in the quest for the legendary Dead Man’s Chest.

Platforms: PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance
Release Date: June 27, 2006

Lumines II
Lumines II is the highly anticipated sequel to the extremely addictive puzzle-based video game, Lumines. Gamers control squares made of four smaller block pieces that are dropped into the playing field one at a time to form same-color squares. The vertical “timeline” sweeps across the playing field from left to right and wipes the same-color squares from the playing field. Unmatched blocks pile up, and the game ends when the pile gets to the top of the playing screen. Advance through many action-packed levels, each with its own musical theme and sound effects.

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra is a unique “puzzle shooter,” brought to the PSP system by the creators of the critically acclaimed hit Lumines. Every Extend Extra delivers an addictive gameplay experience through a fusion of arcade-style shooting action, cutting-edge music and visuals. Players evade enemy attacks and then use perfect timing to blast their foes in a colorful display of explosive chain reactions. The bigger the chain reaction results in the higher the score and the larger the rewards.

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

Meteos: Disney Edition
Meteos: Disney Edition is a new version of the popular galactic action puzzle title Meteos featuring beloved Disney characters.

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

BVG will also showcase upcoming handheld titles including for the Nintendo DS:

Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long, Attack of the Dark Dragon
Disney’s Kim Possible: Global Gemini
Hannah Montana
That’s So Raven: Psychic on the Scene
Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble

Games for the Game Boy Advance include:

The Cheetah Girls
Phil of the Future.
W.I.T.C.H.

Licensed Games

Disney€Pixar Cars
Published by THQ, Cars, the video game, is a high performance interactive experience in the open world created in the film, challenging players to relive the excitement created by Lightning McQueen and his friends. Fans will discover unique characters and environments inspired by the film with more than 10 playable characters and 30 races and mini games to choose from. The game features a fully immersive recreation of all major environments introduced in the movie, including Radiator Springs and Ornament Valley, which will offer distinctive racing experiences to players while maintaining the artistic style of the film.

Platforms: Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube®, Nintendo DS, PSP system, Game Boy Advance, Windows PC and Mac
Release Date: June 2006; Xbox 360 and Wii versions – Fall 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
What’s not to love about Captain Jack Sparrow? Play as Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann as you hack and slash your way through fully interactive environments, including burning buildings, wrecked ships, and misty moonlit caves. One minute you are fighting hordes of enemies and the next you’re evading capture by the Royal Navy. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow is being published by Bethesda Softworks.

Platforms: PlayStation 2 and Windows PC
Release Date: Summer 2006

Continue reading "Buena Vista Games Unveils New Video Game Lineup at 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo" »

DISCOVER MY GAMES APPLICATION, LOGITECH CORDLESS GAMEPAD CERTIFIED FOR USEWITH INTEL VIIV PLATFORM

Long Beach, CA - May 5, 2006 - DISCover, a premier provider of on-demand videogame content and technology products, today announced that the integration of its My Games software interface with the LogitechR Cordless RumblepadT 2 vibration-feedback controller has been certified for use on IntelR ViivT technology-based entertainment PCs. Intel tested the DISCover technology and Logitech controllers with many top PC games on the new Viiv platform, which is designed to make it easier for people to enjoy, manage and share digital entertainment in the home.

DISCover's My Games application gives gamers the ability to play PC games without the hassle of downloading software and configuring controller settings for each individual title. DISCover's technology, a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 controller and an Intel Viiv technology-based entertainment PC combine to deliver a true plug-and-play, console-like gaming experience, enabling gamers to comfortably navigate and play popular PC games in the living room.

"PC gaming with a gamepad often requires special driver installation and game-by-game configuration," said Fred Swan, Logitech's director of strategic development for interactive entertainment. "Now, with an entertainment PC featuring Intel Viiv technology, a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 controller, and the DISCover My Games living room-style gaming environment, gamers can enjoy a wide range of powerful PC titles from the comfort of their living-room couch, all with plug-and-play convenience."

"The integration of DISCover's technology with Logitech's Cordless Rumblepad 2 has created a consumer friendly environment that allows PC gamers to quickly pick up a Rumblepad 2 and start playing their favorite games in the living room without any complicated configurations," said Loren Kaiser, senior vice president of business development at DISCover. "Our work with Logitech for the Intel Viiv technology-based entertainment PC platform means that Rumblepad 2 users have a more complete living room gaming experience --
one that delivers a much more immersive and console-like experience than a keyboard and mouse set up."

"The combination of DISCover My Games, Logitech's Cordless Rumblepad 2 controller and a Intel Viiv technology-based entertainment PC gives consumers the option to take PC gaming from a small monitor desktop PC experience to a big screen, family room setting," said Kevin Corbett, vice president of Intel's Digital Home Group, and general manager of the Content Services Group.

DISCover's My Games product includes the company's patented Drop 'n' Play technology, which provides a simple, console-like experience when playing PC titles. My Games also gives players the added advantage of being able to organize, access, and play hundreds of top-selling PC games that they can try and buy right from their desktop. The user-friendly design allows customers to view in-depth game information, screenshots, box art and descriptions of thousands of top games. Customers can also purchase boxed
copies of games via top online retailers with ease via the Media Center Edition remote. A Parental Control feature is also available to ensure that only appropriately rated content is accessible to minors.

Continue reading "DISCOVER MY GAMES APPLICATION, LOGITECH CORDLESS GAMEPAD CERTIFIED FOR USEWITH INTEL VIIV PLATFORM" »

May 5, 2006

JUMP INTO THE BATTER’S BOX WITH A BRAND NEW DEMO FOR BASEBALL MOGUL 2007

PARKVILLE, MD – May 5, 2006 - Enlight Interactive, a leading software developer and publisher, announced today that a brand new demo for Baseball Mogul 2007 is available for download. The award-winning statistical baseball simulation game allows players to create and manage their own fantasy dream team to achieve baseball’s ultimate glory, a World Series trophy. One full season of play is included with the demo and those interested in accessing the Player Editor and League Editor may purchase the retail version which is now available in stores.

Baseball Mogul 2007 gives players total control over every aspect of their baseball franchise from calling up hot prospects, acquiring baseball’s most legendary stars and even setting ballpark ticket prices. New players can use the fan difficulty setting, while “baseball experts” can try their hand at the mogul setting, which mirrors the difficulty of running a major league franchise. This year’s version is packed with more features than ever before and challenges players to design a baseball legacy.

Features will include:

• As an exclusive licensee of the Sean Lahman Baseball Database, Mogul allows gamers to acquire hall of fame legends or the next budding superstar. Rosters must be created with the perfect mix of personalities, talent, and chemistry in order to achieve the ultimate team.
• Draft, Sign, or Trade your favorite players while using the updated Tradezilla, which features smarter artificial intelligence to challenge gamers in a world of unrivaled realism.
• Utilize the animated play by play mode to experience virtual decision making as if you were the manager. Call a hit and run, double steal, or a suicide squeeze to establish your place among the managing elite.

Continue reading "JUMP INTO THE BATTER’S BOX WITH A BRAND NEW DEMO FOR BASEBALL MOGUL 2007" »

Tarantinos Cult Classic Movie, Reservoir Dogs To Make Its Gaming Debut at E3

San Francisco, CA – (May 4, 2006) – Eidos, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, part of SCi Entertainment Group Plc (SEG), today announced that it plans to publish Reservoir Dogs™ on the Xbox™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and PC for release in fall 2006. The game will be unveiled at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), held May 10-12 in Los Angeles, California.

With multiple DVD releases through Lionsgate, as well as assorted merchandise such as apparel, action figures, posters and novelty items, the film’s cult status has only increased in the years since its theatrical premiere, leading to the next evolution with the video game debut.

Reservoir Dogs is based on the 1992 Quentin Tarantino-directed classic movie about five total strangers who are brought together to carry out a diamond heist. The robbery goes wrong when the alarm is tripped and the cops show up. In the ensuing confusion, four of the robbers make it back to their warehouse rendezvous but it is quickly apparent that one of them is an undercover police officer – but which one?

Staying true to the original plot, this intense, third person shooter follows the progress and planning of the famed diamond heist while filling in some of the cliffhanger questions from the film: What happened to Mr. Blue and Mr. Brown? Where did Mr. Pink hide the diamonds? What actually happened at the heist? These questions and more will be answered as the game unfolds and according to the player’s tactics.

“Almost 15 years after the original debut of Reservoir Dogs, we are proud to reflect one of the most esteemed and duplicated directorial film debuts of all time in a gaming format, said Kevin Gill, US Marketing Manager. “Gaming and movie fans alike will have the unprecedented opportunity to play through the events of the movie as well as experiencing parts of the movie that happened off screen but are tangential to the main plot.”

Continue reading "Tarantinos Cult Classic Movie, Reservoir Dogs To Make Its Gaming Debut at E3" »

EIDOS AND TT GAMES ANNOUNCE BIONICLE® HEROES

San Francisco, CA (May 4, 2006) – Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, and TT Games, the makers of LEGO® Star Wars™, today confirms a new LEGO™ adventure in BIONICLE™ HEROES, set for release in fall 2006 on PlayStation™ 2, PC, Nintendo Game Boy Advance™, Nintendo DS™, and NINTENDO GAMECUBE™ (NTSC only).

BIONICLE HEROES brings to life the most powerful and exciting LEGO characters ever seen in one game, in an action-packed world of adventure and discovery. Take control of a young hero as he steps out of the real world and into the strange and dangerous universe of BIONICLE. Only by mastering the powers and special abilities of the greatest BIONICLE heroes will he be able to overcome the many challenges ahead.

“2006 is a huge year for BIONICLE. We are providing strong levels of support for the brand in 2006 and we are excited that the same winning team behind the success of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game is making the official BIONICLE videogame”. Said Jay Bruns, Director of Global Partnerships and Alliances for LEGO Group. He added “With such a pedigree of highly entertaining and engaging titles for young gamers, we are really looking forward to seeing the BIONICLE range bought to life in an immensely fun and immersive experience, both for our core BIONICLE fans and for those new to the universe.”

Continue reading "EIDOS AND TT GAMES ANNOUNCE BIONICLE® HEROES" »

Microsoft to Acquire In-Game Advertising Pioneer Massive Inc.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 4, 2006 — Today at the seventh annual MSN® Strategic Account Summit, Microsoft Corp. announced it is acquiring Massive Inc., the New York-based creator of a world-leading network for video game advertising, in a move that will help deliver dynamic, relevant ads across Microsoft’s online services, starting with Xbox Live® and MSN Games. Massive’s solution depicts brands in various forms within the game — on soft-drink cans and pizza boxes, on billboards and posters, and in images on TV screens — where gamers would expect to see them in real life, adding realism to the overall gaming experience. Massive employees will continue to work from their current locations, including their headquarters in New York and offices in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, Sydney, Cologne and Toronto. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The Opportunity for Advertisers

The acquisition of Massive broadens Microsoft’s commitment to providing advertisers with a highly effective means of reaching specific demographic groups of consumers in the rapidly growing and interactive medium of online gaming.

“Advertisers are having a tough time connecting with the elusive 18- to 34-year-old male demographic because this group continues to spend less time watching TV and more time playing video games,” said Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president of Global Sales and Marketing and chief media revenue officer at Microsoft. “Massive and Microsoft can help lead with our shared vision of delivering more targeted, measurable and effective opportunities for advertisers to reach today’s youth audience in a largely untapped market.”

The Commitment to Gamers

Massive and Microsoft will continue to prioritize gamer satisfaction, applying very rigorous standards to ads before they can be included in a game. These standards allow for only those ads that add realism and entertainment value to the overall game experience, not those that might detract from gameplay. Xbox has worked with Massive for more than a year and found that Massive’s technology, innovations and global gaming ecosystem are designed to ensure that in-game advertising is implemented effectively. According to research by Nielsen Interactive Entertainment, the majority of gamers find that relevant advertising enhances the realism of games.

The ad-funded model supported by Massive helps game developers deliver high quality and push the creative boundaries of video games to deliver the best gaming experience. It helps publishers offset the skyrocketing costs of video game development, which can in turn benefit gamers, keeping game prices affordable and opening the door to free gameplay, free content, tournaments and other possibilities.

Within the casual gaming space, Microsoft plans to implement Massive’s solution to extend in-game advertising capabilities to games on MSN and within MSN Messenger, delivering advertising solutions for the casual gaming audience of females 35 years old and up.

Taking Dynamic Ads Beyond Games

Microsoft also has begun exploring how to apply Massive technology to incorporate dynamic advertising into other online environments, such as Windows Live™ and MSN, and to make it available on the adCenter advertising platform. “We are committed to building an advertiser network that serves a wide spectrum of needs,” said Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “Our acquisition of Massive will expand opportunities for advertisers and enable connection to a broader audience of digital consumers.”

“Joining forces with Microsoft will allow Massive to deliver even greater benefits for advertisers, game developers and gamers through one of the world’s largest, most comprehensive online networks,” said Mitchell Davis, CEO of Massive Inc. “While our current business relationships will remain in place, with Microsoft we have the prospect of extending our technology into a vast array of new markets and online environments.”


Continue reading "Microsoft to Acquire In-Game Advertising Pioneer Massive Inc." »

May 4, 2006

BFG TECHNOLOGIES’ PHYSICS CARDS POWERED BY AGEIA PHYSX TO BE AVAILABLE IN NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE, JAPAN, KOREA AND AUSTRALIA AT LEADING E-TAIL WEBSITES MAY 9, 2006

Lake Forest, IL – (May 4, 2006) -- BFG Technologies Inc., the leading U.S.-based supplier of advanced 3D graphics cards and other PC enthusiast products, announced today that the BFG physics accelerator add-in cards powered by AGEIA PhysX will be available at leading e-tail websites on May 9, 2006. The AGEIA PhysX processor is the first and only physics processor enabling a totally new class of PC gaming with dynamic motion and extreme physical interaction.

“The only way to bring the next evolution of PC gaming to the masses is by giving the masses access to the technology across the world,” said Shane Vance, executive vice president of sales at BFG Technologies, Inc. “We have worked diligently over the past few months with our strategic e-tail partners to have ready on May 9, 2006, the ability to sell one of the most anticipated PC hardware products since the dawn of 3D graphic cards. BFG PhysX cards will be widely available at premier locations around the globe.”

Backed by BFG’s innovative Lifetime Warranty and world class 24/7 technical support, the BFG PhysX Accelerator card will be a PCI bus system solution with 128-bit 128MB GDDR3 on board memory with an AGEIA PhysX chip that is capable of approximately 533,000 max collisions per second; 58 GFLOPS sphere-sphere collisions per second; and 22 billion instructions per second. These dedicated BFG PhysX add-in card features will lead gamers worldwide to massively destructible buildings and landscapes; explosions that cause collateral damage; lifelike characters with spectacular new weapons; realistic smoke, fog and oozing fluids. For a more detailed look at the BFG PhysX card log-on to http://www.bfgtech.com/physx.

Continue reading "BFG TECHNOLOGIES’ PHYSICS CARDS POWERED BY AGEIA PHYSX TO BE AVAILABLE IN NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE, JAPAN, KOREA AND AUSTRALIA AT LEADING E-TAIL WEBSITES MAY 9, 2006" »

Eidos Releases Two Video Developer Diaries for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

You have seen the game, now it is time to take a trip inside the development studio behind Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend. Crystal Dynamics has brought Lara Croft back to the top, and you will find that not only are they skilled at game design, they also have a good sense of humor! In these two video developer diaries you get to hear from members of the development team about what their thoughts are regarding Lara Croft and the new game. Also take a look at some of the design aspects that were used to create the fluid movement system, as well as a nice tour of the sound studio where music genius Troels Folmann works.

Download the videos now over at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=158!

Continue reading "Eidos Releases Two Video Developer Diaries for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

GAMETAP TO WEBCAST E3'S BIGGEST NEWS

ATLANTA - May 3, 2006 – Even if consumers can’t attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), now they can witness the conference’s biggest news as it unfolds live. GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), today announced that it will broadcast live at E3 from Monday, May 8th through Friday, May 12th, featuring coverage of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s highly anticipated press conferences.

In addition to webcasting the convention’s biggest news, GameTap will stream live content daily, including interviews between popular figures in the video game industry and animated cult hero, Space Ghost, for his “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” show. GameTap will also broadcast live on Friday with editorial takes on the Show and big news items from editors and pundits from a number of leading online and print publications.

“E3 is the biggest event of the year for the game industry, but it’s for insiders only. GameTap is pulling back the curtain and inviting our audience to experience the show like they are there with live coverage all week long,” said Ricardo Sanchez, GameTap’s vice president of content. “See what you’ll be playing this holiday season and then stick around for the largest catalogue of the greatest games ever made and exclusive video programming you won’t find anywhere else.”

GameTap’s “Live from E3” coverage will appear on “GameTap TV,” which is where the GameTap network houses a dynamic mix of channels and shows for the rapidly growing broadband community with more than 300 videos on demand.

The following are the dates of the three major console company press conferences. Specific airtimes and additional details will be posted at www.gametap.com/e3.

· Sony - Monday, May 8th

· Nintendo - Tuesday, May 9th

* Microsoft - Tuesday, May 9th

In addition to broadcasting E3’s console announcements, GameTap will be streaming content from the conference floor throughout the week including:

* Daily Highlights – End-of-day recaps of what’s hot each day.
* Space Ghost Coast to Coast LIVE – Throughout the first two days of E3, prominent industry faces will be interviewed by the cartoon talk show host at GameTap’s booth (South Hall - Booth #1078).
* Best of E3 – Following the show, GameTap will broadcast its best of E3 round-up featuring editors’ picks on the hottest news and content from E3.

Consumers can preview the network or view the shows at www.gametap.com. All recordings will also be archived for future viewing. GameTap’s monthly subscription rate of $9.95 allows all-you-can-play-and-watch access to GameTap’s games and videos content libraries. Go to www.gametap.com now and sign up for a free two week offer.

Continue reading "GAMETAP TO WEBCAST E3'S BIGGEST NEWS" »

May 3, 2006

Get a Glimpse at the Mysterious Wheelchair Man from Hitman: Blood Money in the Latest Trailer!

Agent 47 is set to make his triumphant return in the latest installment of the Hitman franchise, Hitman: Blood Money. As the world’s deadliest assassin, Agent 47 is normally the one stalking the target. This time however, other assassins from his contract killing firm known as the Agency have been ending up on the wrong side of the executions. Sensing that he might be the next target, Agent 47 travels to America to uncover clues about this rival agency which has suddenly entered the fray.Much of this conspiracy is still unknown, but in the latest trailer released for Hitman: Blood Money you can take a first look at the mysterious Wheelchair Man, and it is pretty clear that Agent 47 is definitely not on his good side. Who is this Wheelchair Man and what are his motives... these answers you will have to find out for yourself.

Download the new trailer now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=159!

Continue reading "Get a Glimpse at the Mysterious Wheelchair Man from Hitman: Blood Money in the Latest Trailer!" »

Crave Entertainment Announces E3 Lineup

Newport Beach, Calif.--May 3, 2006--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames for the casual gamer, today announced its lineup for the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), to be held May 10-12, 2006 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Crave will showcase its titles at South Hall booth #846.

"The past year has been tremendously successful for Crave," said Rob Dyer, COO of Crave Entertainment. "World Championship Poker continues to lead the pack as the first choice of serious poker players, and with brands like VeggieTales we are expanding our presence in the family gaming space. Crave has solidified its position as the leading publisher of casual games on the gaming consoles."

World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In" (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system and Xbox 360(tm)
The third installment of the best-selling poker video game franchise in North America, features some of the most recognizable and successful poker stars in the world, including Howard Lederer, his sister Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Amir Vahedi, Paul Darden, and Robert Williamson III. Joining the roster for this year's edition are noted international poker superstars Marcel Luske, Thomas Bihl, and Erin Ness.

World Championship Poker All-In will support for the EyeToy(tm) USB Camera (for PlayStation®2), which allows online opponents to see each other as they play, in addition to supporting text chat. The Xbox 360 version of the game supports the Xbox Live® online game service including Scoreboards, Voice/Chat and Live Aware.

VeggieTales LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (PlayStation®2 and Game Boy® Advance)
When the citizens of Bumblyburg need help, there is one superhero who they can always count on: LarryBoy! For the first time ever, the amazing smash hit VeggieTales is coming to game consoles in the heroic adventure LarryBoy and the Bad Apple. The adventure platformer game allows gamers to help LarryBoy in his quest to right wrongs and save the good citizens from the Bad Apple and her webs of temptation. Scheduled for an August 1st simultaneous release with the full length feature DVD, now fans can "Be that Hero!"

The VeggieTales brand has sold over 47 million video units & over 6 million audio units in 12 years and is the #1 values-based product line in the U.S. The launch of the new LarryBoy title is the game kids have been clamoring for!

Gun Club (PlayStation®2)
This non-violent target shooter allows gamers to enter the shooting range, steady their nerves, and take aim at the bull's-eye. The game puts over one hundred faithfully recreated firearms in the hands of the player who can try his or her skill in a wide range of immersive 3D practice environments, from indoor ranges with paper targets, to hillsides with watermelons or flying sporting clays. A certification mode challenges would-be sharpshooters' skills, and detailed descriptions and information for every firearm make it a must-have for gun collectors and enthusiasts.

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge (PlayStation®Portable)
The next installment in the popular BMX franchise gives you BMX Legend Dave Mirra (one of the most recognized action sports athletes in the world) as the featured rider and the option to customize player characters. There are 17 levels with 9 different environments throughout the game. With 9 bikes to choose from and up to 4 player ad hoc wireless play, it's time to ride.

Hard Rock Casino (PlayStation®2 and PlayStation®Portable)
Gamers can try their luck at more than 20 different casino games, including table games, machine games, poker rooms and sports bets, while experiencing high-stakes areas, invitation-only tournaments and many unlockable upgrades for your highly customizable character.

Beginning with a modest bankroll, players must amass winnings and establish their reputation as the highest roller at the Hard Rock Casino. Along the way, they will encounter unique tournaments, characters, side tasks and unlockables, keeping the game play fresh and challenges exciting.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (Game Boy Advance)
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, from Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls, features the somewhat shy Mac and his imaginary friend, Blooregard Q. Kazoo. The game is inspired by memorable episodes from the Cartoon Network hit series and allows fans to control Mac and Bloo as they solve quirky challenges and complete mission objectives. The action takes place in and around Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and features many of the signature characters from the show including Wilt, Eduardo, Coco and more.

Camp Lazlo (Game Boy Advance)
Camp Lazlo is an eccentric animated series from Cartoon Network that chronicles the odd but happy camping life of a Bean Scout named Lazlo and his bunkmates at Camp Kidney. Players can take alternating control of Lazlo, an optimistic, high-energy Brazilian monkey, Raj, a wise and compulsive Indian elephant, and Clam, an eccentric and highly intelligent pygmy Rhino, to compete in a variety of camp challenges, earning the right to represent their camp in a final tournament against - the Squirrel Scouts.

Continue reading "Crave Entertainment Announces E3 Lineup" »

Naughty America: The Game Garners National Attention But Not at E3

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – May 3, 2006 – The newest evolution in the ever changing world of online dating, Naughty America: The Game (www.naughtyamericathegame.com) has been racking up coverage from coast to coast. However, the soon-to-be-released MMO will not be allowed to participate in the gaming industry’s largest tradeshow, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), due to what was described as “adult content”.

“We were very disappointed to learn of E3’s stance toward Naughty America: The Game,” stated Noah Dudley, President of Eight Legs, Inc., the corporate entity overseeing the design and development of the title. “It’s the next step in social networking and online matchmaking. It’s certainly not intended for everyone, but then again neither are a number of the titles featured at the show.”

Despite the ban by E3, Naughty America: The Game has already been receiving a tremendous amount of national media coverage. Press outlets such as The New York Times, CNBC, Fox News, ABC Radio, BusinessWeek.com and CNN.com have already profiled the game, which is due to launch this summer.

Continue reading "Naughty America: The Game Garners National Attention But Not at E3" »

DreamCatcher Games Announces Line-Up for E3 2006

Toronto, May 3, 2006 – DreamCatcher Interactive Inc. today announced its 2006 line-up for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The company will showcase a strong line-up for 2006 and introduce 9 First Look products at the show.

DreamCatcher will show 3 games as featured titles this year that are guaranteed to draw attention. The first is Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express, the follow-up title to the highly successful Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None of 2005, and the second in The Adventure Company’s Agatha Christie series. Next up is Genesis Rising, an RTS set in a unique world of genetic engineering with a cross-genre mix of the best elements from strategy and RPG. Last but not least is Painkiller for Xbox®/PSP®, DreamCatcher’s award winning first-person horror shooter. Graphically unmatched, it is designed to satisfy a gamer’s hunger for intense, fast-paced action.

Details on the full line-up follows.

E3 2006 Product Line-up

For Xbox®/PSP®

Painkiller Hell Wars

Developed by People Can Fly

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: Xbox – May 2006

PSP – November 2006

A fast-paced gothic first-person horror shooter designed to satisfy an adrenaline addict’s hunger for action. Painkiller is graphically unmatched. The PAIN engine along with the Havok 2.0 physics engine create a realistic environment in a totally fantastical setting.

Windows® Only

Safecracker

Developed by Kheops Studio

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: August 2006

This new puzzle game will have puzzle enthusiasts and wanna-be safecrackers enthralled! Safecracker is a puzzle game at heart, but infuses key adventure game elements to keep you on your toes. Play an expert safecracker hired by the wealthy family of a deceased eccentric billionaire who has hidden the deed to his riches in one of the safes scattered in his magnificent mansion. Use your experience, wits, deductive reasoning and puzzle solving skills to crack 35 unique safes.

Windows® Only

The Sacred Rings / AURA 2

Developed by Streko-Graphics Inc.

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: September 2006

The sequel to AURA: Fate of Ages, The Sacred Rings will take you on an epic adventure in a dark, fantastical world of magic and intrigue. Explore over 400 beautiful locations using the game’s easy to navigate mouse-driven, point-and-click interface. Interact with numerous characters while you solve challenging and original puzzles and enjoy the spectacular FMV sequences.

Windows® Only

Genesis Rising

Developed by Metamorf Studios

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: November 2006

This futuristic full 3D RTS game uses the best elements of role-playing games within the context of a fast-paced real-time strategy game. Set in a mysterious futuristic universe where organic machines are built using genetic engineering, take on the role of Captain Iconah to explore and conquer the Universal Heart, the only part of the universe remaining unconquered 3,000 years into the future.

Windows® Only

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

Developed by AWE Games

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: November 2006

Based on the famous mystery novel by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, this second PC CD-ROM adventure game in the Agatha Christie series is filled with spectacular twists-and-turns and includes a surprising ending different from the original novel.

Windows® Only

Dead Reefs

Developed by Streko-Graphics Inc.

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: November 2006

Dead Reefs is a hauntingly beautiful investigative adventure that takes place on the island of Dead Reefs off the coast of England infamous for the wicked pirate inhabitants and a frightful curse. Set in the tumultuous 18th century, play as Amadeo Finvinero, sent by the King to discover the source of all the evil plaguing the island.

Windows® Only

The Secret Files: Tunguska

Developed by Fusionsphere Systems

Territory: North America

Release Date: August 2006

This X-Files like point-and-click adventure game is based on the mysterious Tunguska phenomenon that occurred in July 1908 in which the Siberian region of Tunguska was engulfed in an inferno of flames that turned everything into debris and ashes. This phenomenon remains unexplained to this day. With its unique mysterious setting, spectacular graphics, and innovative puzzles, The Secrets Files: Tunguska sets the stage for intrigue, drama, and a deep conspiracy to uncover.

Windows® Only

EVIDENCE: The Last Ritual

Developed by Lexis Numérique

Territory: North America

Release Date: October 2006

The notorious serial killer “The Phoenix” is back and the authorities need your help to catch him once and for all. Using an innovative blend of Windows® gameplay and the Internet, the player will explore key cities in Europe and North America. Players will receive live emails from various contacts around the world and can partner up with other players to crack the case. From the creators of MISSING: Since January.


Continue reading "DreamCatcher Games Announces Line-Up for E3 2006" »

New 3D RPG game "Grotesque - Heroes Hunted" now in Schanz portfolio for exclusive worldwide licensing

Schanz International Consultants (SIC) is very pleased to present the upcoming RPG with a humorous and emotional twist for exclusive w/w licensing from it's German partner Studio Silent Dreams:
"Grotesque - Hunted Heroes"

The unique game ( first SKU on PC ) offers an easy to control fight system with amazing gameplay, hilarious dialogues and outstanding next generation graphics. Gamers will play in the colourful fantasy world of Grotesque which is inhabited by distinctive characters taking on the Role of Roger Sun, a big RPG Fan of present times, who suddenly wakes up in the medieval world of Grotesque with a lost memory and a conviction that he has to save this world!

Pleased to be signing "Grotesque - Hunted Heroes" , MD of Schanz International Consultants, Gerhard Schanz says: "The unique and innovative concept of Grotesque as an RPG parody with it's advanced technology, will tickle every fan of the RPG genre!"

Rayk Kerstan, co-founder of Silent Dreams comments: "Silent Dreams team is looking forward to a most exciting and fruitful co-operation with Schanz International Consultants pertaining to the commercialization of our newest RPG, "Grotesque". Due to their knowledge and expertise, as well as successful market entries in entertainment software business, inter-facing with the staff of Schanz International is a real pleasure and motivating experience already"

"Grotesque - Hunted Heroes" will be a trend setter among the fantasy games all over the world because each RPG fan will find his alter ego in Grotesque. The entertaining role game features a diversified game play and an enthralling story line, and, last but not least, an outstanding technique. Silent Dreams has focused particularly on the accuracy of the charismatic characters, which are displayed in a brilliant quality.

Continue reading "New 3D RPG game "Grotesque - Heroes Hunted" now in Schanz portfolio for exclusive worldwide licensing" »

One of the Largest publishers in Europe releases 5 new titles for the US

MOSCOW, Russia, May 3, 2005 – Leading Eastern and Central European publisher 1C Company unveiled today the 5 titles to be shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May, 2006. 1C is the largest publisher in Europe (by territory) and plans to release all of their top games for 2006 in the US for the first time ever. 1C’s hot new lineup spans multiple genres including a first-person action title, real-time strategy, simulation and role-playing games. These titles represent the pinnacle of gaming entertainment from various developers across Europe.

1C’s titles this year include: Whirlwind of Vietnam, a helicopter flight simulator from the producers of IL-2 Sturmovik; Battle Lord (from the developers of Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators), a fantasy RPG with turn-based battles that take place in full 3D; Death to Spies a 3rd person stealth-action title pitting one covert agent in real-life missions from WWII; You Are Empty, a tense 1st person action game with stunning graphics and a fascinating storyline; and Theatre of War, the most accurate WWII strategy game ever created with graphics and physics to match. 1C has a multitude of other new and original titles that will be coming out in 2006 not mentioned above. Information on these titles will be available during any meeting upon request.

“1C is continuing our strong tradition of innovative gameplay and immersive storylines with this newest group of titles for 2006. We are truly starting to see what our developers can do with orginal content and state-of-the-art graphics,” said Nikolay Baryshnikov, International Sales Director 1C Company. “We expect these titles to have a huge impact in the US where innovative titles are recognized and respected by the gamers.”

1C Company will be located at booth #6059 in Kentia Hall, in the heart of the Los Angeles Convention Center. 1C’s booth is the first you encounter as you come down the right-side escalator making access easy and fast. The booth will not be open for public viewing. Instead there will be a receptionist in the front of the booth escorting appointments and approved journalists into private meeting rooms. To make an appointment to see any titles please contact Traction Public Relations at the US number above.

Continue reading "One of the Largest publishers in Europe releases 5 new titles for the US" »

May 2, 2006

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC. ANNOUNCES GAME LINE-UP FOR E3 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (May 2, 2006) – Leading video games publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today plans to showcase 19 of its highly anticipated console, PC and handheld releases at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, May 10-12, 2006 (booth #824 in the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center).

"This year's E3 marks the debut of our integrated title line-up and exemplifies the industry strength behind the NAMCO BANDAI merger," said Genichi Ito, president and CEO of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. "Our strong commitment to extending popular franchises, creating original content and developing strategic partnerships with key licensors allows us to deliver quality games for all ages, interests and platforms."

New installments of notable franchises to be unveiled at this year's E3 include Xenosaga® EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra, Tales of the Abyss™, Pac-Man World Rally™, Ace Combat® X: Skies of Deception, Tekken®: Dark Resurrection, The Legend of Heroes™ II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch™ and Mobile Ops™: The One Year War.

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. will also be showcasing its highly-anticipated PC titles such as Mage Knight Apocalypse, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos and HELLGATE: LONDON from Flagship Studios.

Popular licensed properties making their debut at the show include The Fast and The Furious, Snoopy vs. The Red Baron and Charlie Brown All-Stars.

Renown anime based franchises on display for play include Naruto: Ultimate Ninja, Zatchbell: Mamodo Fury, .hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth, IGPX, One Piece: Grand Adventure, and Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave.

Popular Franchise Sequels:

Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system)

A year has passed since Xenosaga® EPISODE II. Shion has resigned her post at Vector Industries after realizing that the company is deeply connected to the cause of the Gnosis phenomenon. She has thus joined forces with Scientia, an underground organization, in order to unveil Vector's true objectives. Featuring more than eight hours of movies including voiced cut-scenes, Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra is the exciting conclusion to the epic trilogy loved by RPG fans worldwide. Players will experience an updated battle system combining the best aspects of the first two games, while introducing the new Break system. Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra will also feature an extensive mini-game complete with a mini-game map editor. Uncover the future of humanity this Fall 2006.

Tales of the Abyss (PlayStation 2)

Tales of the Abyss puts players in the role of Luke fon Fabre, sole heir to a family of aristocrats. He was kidnapped several years ago, and the shock left him with no memories of his life before. Luke is suddenly thrown into the outside world where he knows nothing of those who might be his friends, or those who already are his enemies. This epic story is told with some of the most realistic character models ever used in the Tales series and beautiful anime cut-scenes by Production I.G. Tales of the Abyss also features the Flexible Motion Battle System where the player controls characters in a free-roaming battlefield. Players can start their epic quest in Fall 2006.

Pac-Man World Rally (PlayStation 2, PSP(PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo GameCube, PC)

Pac-Man World Rally lets players race through a variety of environments from Pac-Man World as Pac-Man® , Pac Jr. and other beloved characters from past Namco classics. In one of the fastest and most exciting kart racing games ever, players will race for the win or fight it out in colorful Battle Arenas with special weapons, power-ups and a variety of Pac-Man powers. The race begins in Summer 2006.

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception (PSP system)

Featuring an entirely new world and story, this first PSP system installment of the popular Ace Combat franchise features a suite of highly detailed and realistically modeled licensed aircraft. New additions include original aircraft and wireless multiplayer, ensuring Ace Combat for the PSP system will be a memorable experience. Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception also features a Strategic AI System where mission objectives reflect a player's decision. The PSP system takes flight with Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception in Fall 2006.

Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP system)

Tekken: Dark Resurrection is one of the most explosive fighting games to arrive on the PSP system. Featuring some of the most realistic graphics on a handheld platform, Tekken Dark: Resurrection will have 19 stages with destructible objects. Players will have the choice of two new characters Lili and Dragunov allowing for more than 30 characters to choose from. This extensive list of characters is possible through character customization with more than double the items seen in TEKKEN®5. Using the wireless connectivity of the PSP system, players can battle friends using their customized characters. The fighting genre will resurrect on the PSP system in Summer 2006.

The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (PSP system)

The popular RPG series makes another appearance on the PSP system with The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch. In this game, players embark on a pilgrimage to find 5 shrines in Tirasweel, and discover a mystery left behind by a mysterious witch. Taking place in a beautiful world inhabited with rich details, players are quickly drawn into the storyline. Enemies appear on the world map, eliminating random battles. They can gauge the player's strength and will "turn tail and run" if they sense the player is stronger than they are. The prophecy is set to take place in June 2006.

Mobile Ops: The One Year War (Xbox 360)

Mobile Ops: The One Year War opens when rebel space colonies launch a brutal bid for independence from the Earth Federation. Advanced ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) has rendered range sensors and communications useless, resulting in the rise of new war machines called Mobile Suits. These ultimate instruments of destruction, capable of metal-clashing hand-to-hand combat, completely redefine modern warfare. Fight on foot, in vehicles and in Mobile Suits in a robust single and multiplayer experience through multiple scenarios and battlefields. Pick your side, choose your weapon and prove your supremacy.

PC Titles:

Mage Knight Apocalypse (PC)
A select group of heroes must defeat the Apocalypse Dragon, a seemingly unstoppable five-headed monstrosity that has been summoned by the forces of Chaos in Mage Knight Apocalypse. Five unique character classes can be selected - all with hundreds of weapons, armor and abilities to customize. These heroes will battle hundreds of unique enemies with brilliant special effects in a beautiful 3D world. Players will adventure as they've only before imagined as they explore with a free camera, engage in multiplayer missions. Dynamic enemy scaling and multiple alternate scenarios means near infinite replay-ability. For the PC in Summer 2006.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos (PC)

Faithful to the Warhammer® world, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos puts the focus squarely on the battlefield with a real-time combat system that gives the player unprecedented customization and control of his army. This RTS focuses on armies and battling while de-emphasizing the tedious aspects of base and resource management. Players will also have the opportunity to use environments to their advantage, as well as customize Heroes and Champions with inventories and skill trees and challenge opponents in dueling. Choose from a variety of modes for both casual and competitive play coming to a battlefield on a PC near you in Fall 2006.

HELLGATE: LONDON (PC)
HELLGATE: LONDON combines the depth of role-playing games and action of first-person titles, while offering infinite playability with randomly created levels, items and events. The player creates a heroic character and then, completes quests and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.

Licensed Properties:

The Fast and The Furious (PlayStation 2, PSP system)

Inspired by Universal Pictures' upcoming film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, this game will immerse players in the underground world of drift racing – a form of racing that replaces simple drag racing with a rubber-burning, automotive art form that consists of an exhilarating balance of speeding and gliding through a heart-stopping course of hairpin turns and switchbacks. Set in a world related to, yet separate from, the movie, the game features a ground-breaking drift mechanic that makes drifting accessible to both beginning and veteran racing game drivers. The gameplay features evolutionary new systems like the Drift Indicator that make The Fast and the Furious the most accessible yet realistic drift game. Created through a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, this must-have racing title drifts to retailers in Summer 2006.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron (PlayStation 2, PSP system, PC)

While snoozing atop his doghouse one day, Snoopy has a magical dream. Just like in the celebrated Peanuts® comic strip, he becomes a virtuoso flying ace, piloting his World War I bi-plane in a heroic attempt to foil the plans of his archenemy, the Red Baron. Join Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang as you soar above six vividly rendered worlds. Pilot Snoopy’s famous Sopwith Camel and other unique aircraft in perilous sky-high dogfights, air races and heart-pounding missions with dozens of comical weapons and gadgets at your disposal. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron takes to the skies in Fall 2006.

Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (PlayStation 2, PSP system)

The cast of Peanuts has come together in an entertaining and fun pick-up-and-play baseball game, Charlie Brown’s All-Stars. Players can help Charlie Brown end his 900 game losing streak as they play baseball with an incredible cast of more than 30 Peanuts characters. Players can also take part in any of four Party Games, including batting, fielding and pitching contests, as well as a good ol’ fashioned game of “Lucy Says.” As players progress through the game they will have the chance to enjoy classic Peanuts storylines, artwork and unlock tons of bonus content including every baseball-related Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars steps up to the plate in Spring 2007. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Anime Based Franchises:

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja (PlayStation 2)

Experience the hit manga and TV series NARUTO like never before. Join Naruto and his friends in their Ninja Academy quests as they battle the best in the land. Fight as one of more than 12 playable characters in interactive stages while performing powerful ninjutsu moves. Players can battle in close combat, use weapons and call on support characters to assist with super attacks or drop off power-ups. Tons of replay value is added with unlockable features and more! Players can enroll in the Ninja Academy in June 2006.

Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

Players join Zatch, Kiyo and other characters from the hit manga and TV series ZATCHBELL! as they battle to become the mighty mamodo king! This time, up to four players can choose from more than 20 different playable teams. With three gameplay modes including Story Mode, VS mode and Arcade Mode, players can experience all the action in environments faithful to the TV series. All voice acting is even done by the U.S. TV show cast. Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury hits consoles Fall 2006.

.hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth (PlayStation 2)

The hit video game and TV series returns to the epic fantasy online RPG stage on the PlayStation 2. Years after the events of the first .hack installment, the most popular MMORPG in the world has returned from the ashes as “The World: R2”. As Haseo the Terror of Death, players are thrown into his quest for revenge in his search for the mysterious PK (Player Killer) Tri-Edge. This time, players will interact in the real and virtual worlds with fellow “The World” players through various chats, mails, and fully voiced video news clips. Together with Haseo’s virtual partners, login to challenge and solve the mysteries of “The World”.  hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth arrives in stores in Fall 2006.

One Piece Grand Adventure (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

Based on the popular comic and anime series, One Piece: Grand Adventure delivers battles that take place with a new free-moving Vs. Battle action system that will offer hours of entertainment. The game has also been completely revamped with the inclusion of an engrossing Adventure Mode, sending players on various mini-game filled quests as well as allowing players to create their very own band of roving pirates. One Piece: Grand Adventure hits stores in Fall 2006. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

IGPX (PlayStation 2)

The thrill of the popular Cartoon Network series IGPX, comes to the PlayStation 2 in an exhilarating fashion. Delivering the intense chase as you battle against your opponents, IGPX provides a type of thrill never before experienced. By creating a strategic scenario with a variety of formations, players are able to participate in combinations with partners that will deliver high-impact attacks. IGPX takes the flag on the PlayStation 2 in Fall 2006.

Continue reading "NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC. ANNOUNCES GAME LINE-UP FOR E3 2006" »

Battlefield 2: Armored Fury Booster Pack brings the frontlines to America

This Spring, the American Heartland is the new battlefield! The Battlefield 2: Armored Fury™* booster pack for Battlefield 2 brings all-out mechanized battles to U.S. soil for the first time.

Battlefield 2: Armored Fury drops players into a deadly confrontation between the Middle Eastern Coalition, Chinese, and U.S. forces following an attempted invasion of America.

Three epic new maps set in the USA provide the setting for huge armored warfare. The conflict spreads near the Pacific Ocean in a battle for the Alaskan port of Valdez in Operation Midnight Sun, where Chinese forces are attempting to secure much-needed fuel from the pipeline. Meanwhile, tensions will escalate in Operation Harvest as the MEC army begins their march East towards the U.S. Capital. Can American forces stall the advance long enough for reinforcements to arrive? Finally, Operation Road Rage has MEC forces infiltrating deep into the USA, using the highways to move quickly towards key industrial sites that are dangerously near civilian areas.

Tactical air offensives and effective recon are the keys to winning this historic conflict. To contain and eliminate the domestic threat, Players will need every ounce of muscle from their tank busting ground assault aircraft, and the finesse of the radar-equipped scouting choppers.

Continue reading "Battlefield 2: Armored Fury Booster Pack brings the frontlines to America" »

May 1, 2006

SQUARE ENIX TO SHOWCASE ALL ENCOMPASSING LINE-UP AT E3 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. (April 24, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ interactive entertainment products in North America, will have on display entertainment experiences for all platforms at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) to be held May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in South Hall, Booth #746. Square Enix will hold a preview event and reveal special product announcements during its press briefing on Monday, May 8.

“E3 attendees will be immersed in Square Enix’s most diverse line-up ever,” said Daishiro Okada, President and COO, Square Enix, Inc. “We're evolving and growing, extending the Square Enix brand beyond video games to a variety of entertainment vehicles and a broader consumer base bridging the generation and gender gap. Our goal is to provide consumers with the most engaging and immersive entertainment experiences possible and we hope to give attendees at E3 a taste of what’s to come."

Following is a partial list of entertainment products Square Enix will have on display:

PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system

Dawn of Mana

Dawn of Mana™, the first true Mana sequel in a decade, reveals the origins of the legend behind the Mana Tree and the Sword of Mana™. Breaking the series’ 2D mold, Dawn of Mana brings the world of Mana to three-dimensional life while preserving the atmosphere that fans have come to know and love. Players can see for themselves how vividly characters and monsters move about these new yet familiar surroundings. This installment of the Mana is a true action-adventure, with sweeping plains and mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s a world ripe for adventure!

A World of Sensation

“Touch” is the theme of Dawn of Mana’s world. You can virtually feel realistically rendered, lifelike objects.

The release date for Dawn of Mana will be announced at a later time. Dawn of Mana has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

DIRGE OF CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-

Three years after the events of FINAL FANTASY® VII, an unknown group of seemingly unstoppable soldiers appears, bringing a swift and bitter end to the peace enjoyed by the people of the world. The members of this enigmatic group are the ones who were trapped under the ruins of Midgar for three long years—the Deepground soldiers. Vincent Valentine finds himself pursued by several elite members of the mysterious Deepground organization. An unrelenting chain of events leads Vincent to the truth behind his past—and forces him once again to be the key player in a battle for the planet itself and all those living on it.

Just what is the connection between Vincent's past and the recent attacks? When the world is engulfed in darkness, his gun will toll a dreadful dirge…

DIRGE of CERBERUS™ will be released Summer 2006. The ship date will be announced at a later time. This title is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY XII

As war looms on the horizon, the mighty Archadian Empire begins a campaign to subjugate its neighbors. The small kingdom of Dalmasca shares their fate, and it is here that our tale begins.

Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia’s new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire’s invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world.


Active Dimension Battle

The Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system enables players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat. Jarring random battles and their load times are a thing of the past, keeping you in the world from start to finish.


An All-New Combat System

Characters act according to an intricate “gambit” system of actions and reactions that you determine. As they fight, characters earn license points that can be spent to broaden their knowledge of magic, arms and armor.

FINAL FANTASY XII will be released Fall 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

VALKYRIE PROFILE 2: SILMERIA

Hundreds of years before Lenneth’s tale, another saga lies concealed by the gods. The valkyrie Silmeria once served Odin loyally, but after an incident ignited a conflict between them, Odin forcefully reincarnated her as a human. The human soul that would carry her spirit was that of Alicia, Princess of Dipan. Ordinarily, Silmeria’s consciousness would have been sealed, her spirit dormant until she was next summoned… However, the forced transmigration causes Silmeria’s spirit to awaken within Alicia, leaving two souls to inhabit a single body. The spirit that should have been sealed has awakened—a situation Odin will not ignore for long.


Photon Action System

This installment introduces the new Photon Action System to the classic side-scrolling action format found in the original. Projecting photons grants players more freedom to explore and expands the action, resulting in challenging puzzles with clever solutions. Add to that “sealstones” that affect the laws of nature in dungeons, launching strategy to new heights.


Advanced Tactical Combination

The unique, highly acclaimed battle system of the previous game has evolved into the Advanced Tactical Combination Battle System. Feel the exhilaration of accelerated battles raging across 3D environments for more spectacular and more strategic combat than ever before!

VALKYRIE PROFILE® 2: SILMERIA will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America

Online

FINAL FANTASY XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan

The once sleepy port town of Mhaura has become the center of unprecedented commotion. The cause of this disturbance can be attributed to the arrival of mercenary recruiters from the Aht Urhgan Empire, a land far to the east of Windurst. Starting in the city of the Tarutaru, they have been touting the benefits of their Empire-sanctioned business throughout Vana'diel® in an effort to garner the interest of prospective candidates, and also seek to organize a ferry route from Mhaura to the Imperial capital of Al Zahbi. The majority of the conservative townspeople frowns upon the insistence of their foreign visitors. However, the large number of action-starved Mithran mercenaries is putting pressure on the governor, who is gradually losing her resolve to refuse entry to the Empire's ships.

Why is the Empress so desperate to recruit mercenaries? What trouble is brewing in the Near Eastern land of Aht Urhgan? The road to epic new adventures will soon be revealed...

FINAL FANTASY XI and the brand new third expansion, Treasures of Aht Urhgan™ are available now on PlayStation 2, Windows® and Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. This title is rated “T” for Teen. For more information on FINAL FANTASY XI and all of its expansions please visit: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us

Handheld

Game Boy® Advance

FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE & FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE

The classic FINAL FANTASY games that premiered on the Super Nintendo® Entertainment System are now making their way to the Game Boy Advance! Hot on the heels of FINAL FANTASY IV ADVANCE (now available in stores), FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE and FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE will soon be available to handheld gamers. However, these titles are more than simple ports—every aspect of the games has been reviewed and enhanced. Additionally, a host of brand-new elements have been seamlessly merged with the original games, providing unexpected surprises for longtime fans. With new dungeons, new job classes, and other exciting features, both old-school players and newcomers can enjoy these genre-defining FINAL FANTASY titles in a portable format!

The magic of the FINAL FANTASY classics is returning to gamers’ hands—and soon the wait will be over.

FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE & FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE will both be released 2006. These titles have not yet been rated by the ESRB.

Nintendo DS™ System

Children of Mana

In ages past, an island called Illusia floated at the center of the world. At the heart of the island towered an ancient, enormous tree that stretched up to the very heavens. For ages past, chaos and sorrow had engulfed the world until at last its salvation appeared in the form of a boy, a girl, and a holy sword.

Time flowed on and peace returned. The sword and the tree remained, and they soon came to be known as the Sword of Mana and the Mana Tree. Followers of the Mana Tree returned to Illusia as the world started slowly but surely down the path to recovery.


More Magic with the Eight Spirits

The eight elemental spirits are a staple of the Mana series. These powerful allies aid you with healing and special status effects. They can also unleash fearsome magic upon your foes.


Cooperative or Competitive Gameplay for Up to Four Players

The greatest innovation of this installment of the Mana series is allowing four players to advance the story and solve quests together while maintaining the feel of an action RPG. Players' actions affect each other in a gameplay experience completely unlike previous action RPGS!

Children of Mana™ will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: ROCKET SLIME

The latest game from the creative minds behind the 2005 RPG classic, Dragon Quest™ VIII: Journey of the Cursed King™, has arrived on the Nintendo DS. The hero of this brand-new action-adventure is a slime—one of the most popular monsters from the Dragon Quest series. The game is set in the kingdom of Slimenia, a peaceful land that is suddenly invaded by a mysterious cartel called “the Plob,” who then proceed to kidnap all the slimes in the capital city of Boingburg. Our protagonist, Rocket, is the only slime left behind, and must embark on a journey throughout Slimenia to save his friends and uncover the Plob’s nefarious plot!


Bounce, Stretch, and Carry

The adventure stages consist of our hero bouncing and stretching, as well as carrying various objects on his head, while solving the mysteries behind each area, and rescuing his captured slime friends along the way. Simple, streamlined controls allow players of all ages and skill levels to take part in the action with ease.


Fierce Tank Battles

Each adventure stage culminates in Rocket hopping aboard a colossal slime-shaped war machine called the Schleiman Tank and battling it out with the enemy’s Monster Tanks. Customize tanks by collecting a vast array of weapons and items. Call upon allies, each with their own individual personality and abilities, to aid in the heated tank battles. Even shoot your fellow slimes so they can infiltrate and sabotage the enemy’s Monster Tank! Pit tanks against a friend’s in exciting player-vs.-player action, using the Nintendo DS wireless multiplayer game feature!

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: ROCKET SLIME™ will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY III

The only FINAL FANTASY that was never localized—the third installment of the original series—will finally reach North American shores! Lauded as “legendary” by the Japanese fan base, FINAL FANTASY III has been reborn, incorporating the latest in portable gaming technology. Using the features of the Nintendo DS to their fullest, FINAL FANTASY III features graphics that have been reworked and remodeled in 3D, while maintaining the mythical FINAL FANTASY look and feel.

This is the fans’ chance to complete the circle. The legend of FINAL FANTASY III is reborn.

FINAL FANTASY III will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Asgard, the realm of the gods, remains locked in an eternal struggle between the benevolent Aesir and the demonic Vanir. With the end of the world approaching, Odin, Lord of Asgard, summons Lenneth Valkyrie to his side. Possessing the ability to hear the thoughts and feelings of men and women in their dying moments, he charges Valkyrie to search Midgard, the world of mortals, to recruit and train the souls of worthy warriors to join the ranks of the Aesir in the Sacred War. VALKYRIE PROFILE®: LENNETH brings the classic PlayStation® game console title, originally released in 2000, to the PSP system with completely new CG cut scenes. tri-Ace, the developers behind the acclaimed Star Ocean® series and Radiata Stories™, introduce new fans to the spectacular combo attacks, unique side-scrolling environment, and gripping storyline that first captivated players six years ago.


Additional CG Cutscenes

To give players a deeper understanding of the plot and to complement the game’s dramatic storyline, additional CG cutscenes have been incorporated. Some of these new scenes contain links to the story of VALKYRIE PROFILE 2: SILMERIA.

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH will be released 2006. This title has been rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

Mobile - Square Enix

BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII-

The Shinra Company achieved the pinnacle of success by monopolizing Mako energy and gaining unstoppable political power. It came at a price though. Many had fallen victim during Shinra's rise to the top, and those with great hatred for the company were far from few. The rebel group Avalanche was formed with the intent of eradicating the Shinra Company and all those within its greedy corporate circles. With its very existence in danger, Shinra was forced to take secret measures. The company entrusted everything to its elite unit: the Turks.

BEFORE CRISIS™ -FINAL FANTASY VII- allows players to take on the role of a new recruit in Shinra's elite Turks unit and conduct various missions and operations. Utilizing the mobile network, multiple players are able to simultaneously participate in real-time combat. Several other features possible only on mobile phones are also included, creating an exciting new experience.

BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII- will launch 2006. North American compatible handsets TBA.

FINAL FANTASY I

Since ages long past, the legend of the Light has been handed down from generation to generation. The legend tells that the world would remain safe so long as the Crystals maintain their brilliance. Should they lose their light, the skies will blacken, the land wither, and the seas rage. In this hour, four warriors would appear--they are the Warriors of Light. Originally released in 1987, FINAL FANTASY's enthralling story and extraordinary graphics spawned a series now numbering twelve core titles. FINAL FANTASY retains its original charm while making the evolution to convenient play on mobile phones.

FINAL FANTASY I will launch 2006. North American compatible handsets TBA.

Mobile - Taito

3D Space Invaders

Space Invaders are back–now in 3D! Reborn using 3D polygon functions, that timeless classic can now be experienced from new camera perspectives with the press of a button. Set the perspective to first-person and get ready for an exciting, realistic invasion!

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Chase H.Q. 3D

Chase H.Q. 3D is the latest version of that legendary, realistic car chase action classic. Originally developed for the arcades in 1988, Chase HQ was ported to various consoles such as the Amiga, the Atari ST, the Commodore 64, the Genesis, the Sega Master System, and the TurboGrafx-16. Today, you can enjoy Chase HQ on your mobile phone. Go undercover and pursue criminal suspects with the help of your operator, Nancy!

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Elevator Action 3D

Originally developed for the arcades in 1983, Elevator Action, has been ported to several consoles, such as the Commodore 64, the Game Boy, the Game Boy Color, the NES, the Saturn, and the ZX Spectrum, where it has since enjoyed a large and loyal following. Fans of the original and fans of the FPS genre will be pleased to find that classic Elevator Action has now been realized in 3D with crisp graphics, special tactical elements, and fast-paced, FPS action.

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Continue reading "SQUARE ENIX TO SHOWCASE ALL ENCOMPASSING LINE-UP AT E3 2006" »

April 28, 2006

Ryu has a new nemesis: Stewie Griffin

Ottawa, April 27, 2006: After avenging his master’s death and defeating Akuma, Ryu faces his biggest challenge to date: an infant hell-bent on world domination. To promote the release of Fox Home Entertainment’s American Dad Volume One DVD Collection on April 25, Fuel Industries partnered with Capcom® Entertainment to create American Dad vs. Family Guy Kung Fu, a Street Fighter®-style game that pits the characters of both shows against each other in no-holds barred battles. In order to win, you must prove you’re kung fu worthy by facing off against the ultimate boss – Ryu.

In the most anticipated television cross over since Urkel showed up on Full House, American Dad vs. Family Guy Kung Fu allows fans to play as any of six characters from either of the shows, plus two mystery characters that will launch next week, each with up to four special combos and their own deadly finishing moves, including Stan’s Heart of Justice, where he stabs opponents with the American Flag. The arcade version of the game also has a secret unlockable, allowing players to fight as Ryu himself.

“When we first started conceptualizing this, we started from an idea that we all loved, and basically tried to push it as far as we could,” says Mike Burns, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Fuel Industries. “When the idea of making Ryu the big boss came up, we were on the phone with Capcom within about five minutes.”

A truly transmedia campaign, American Dad vs. Family Guy Kung Fu brings together gaming, television and the Web seamlessly. From Roger’s girlish outfit to Peter’s vomiting finishing move, the game incorporates the twisted humor that has made both shows famous.

“From the beginning we knew that there were going to be hardcore American Dad and Family Guy fans playing this and that if we didn’t make the game live up to their expectations, that they would tear it apart,” says Burns. “There’s a lot of detail in the game that I think real fans will appreciate.”

Fuel and Fox intend to expand the game in the coming months to add new characters, special moves and easter eggs to the game.

“The game is a lot of fun, and we want people to keep coming back to it,” says Burns. “It’s exactly what an advergame campaign should be – fun, addictive, and what the fans want to see.”

Fans can play the game at http://www.americandadvsfamilyguy.com/. The American Dad Volume One DVD Collection will be available in the U.S. and Canada on April 25, 2006.

Continue reading "Ryu has a new nemesis: Stewie Griffin" »

EA MARKS RELEASE OF 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP™ GAME AND ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH FIFA

Redwood City, Calif., April 27, 2006 – The chance to play with your heroes for soccer’s most important trophy became a reality this week after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) started to ship the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ game to stores around the world. The event’s only officially licensed videogame has developed enhanced gameplay attributes and stunning graphics that bring to life close to 100 superstars, and captures all of the spirit and pageantry of the real-world tournament. It is the closest fans can come to experiencing 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ without playing in it.

Along with the release of 2006 FIFA World Cup, EA and FIFA announced the extension of their long-term partnership, making EA the worldwide and exclusive FIFA Licensee for soccer action simulation, manager and arcade-style games across all console platforms, PC, handheld platforms, mobile phones and online formats. The on-going partnership will allow EA to continue to bring the most genuine soccer gaming experiences to consumers with the authenticity of the FIFA soccer world, and includes games for the future FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014. Working together, EA and FIFA will continue to bring their combined passion for interactive sports entertainment to millions of sports fans around the world for years to come.

“Renewing our strategic partnership with FIFA will enable us to continue to deliver the most authentic football titles to fans who have helped to make our FIFA games the most successful football videogame franchise in the world,” said EA’s Gerhard Florin, Executive Vice President and General Manager for International Publishing.

In 2006 FIFA World Cup, users step into the heart of the action as they play their favorite team or most loathed opponent. Featuring stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, gamers experience the 12 official stadiums as they take their team from qualification to glory. In addition to taking control of one of 127 national teams, players will enjoy groundbreaking new play modes. Global Challenge tests even the biggest soccer fanatic by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup history with modern teams. True champions can challenge their friends in eight-way multiplayer matches and take advantage of tremendous in-game un-lockable content such as legendary players and exclusive licensed football apparel.

Continue reading "EA MARKS RELEASE OF 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP™ GAME AND ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH FIFA" »

Earache Extreme Metal Racing

Stourbridge, England, April, 28th, 2006 - Metro 3D Publishing, Earache Records and games developer Data Design Interactive unveil the pack shot for the all-action packed racing game ‘EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING’ for PlayStation2, PC and PSP all formats which will be due for shipping on 7th July 2006.

EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING will feature ten evil Earache racing teams burning a lot more than rubber through hell and other wastelands. Along with themed tracks from the combatants on the starting grid there’ll also be a plethora of extreme Earache classics making up the soundtrack of the game from such luminaries as Napalm Death, At The Gates, Cathedral, The Haunted, Hate Eternal, Cult Of Luna, Beecher, Urkraft, Anata, Mistress, Severe Torture and many others.


EARACHE ARTISTS CONFIRMED AS RACING 'TEAMS' :

Mortiis

Deicide

Morbid Angel

Akercocke
Decapitated

Biomechanical
Municipal Waste

The Berzerker

Linea 77

Society 1


Ashley Mortimer, Marketing Manager, Earache Records says:

"Earache prides itself on innovation. As an independent label we've been on the cutting edge of unique and groundbreaking music for 15 years and we relish every opportunity, particularly a new or unusual one. We don't know of any other labels who have released their own game and the cross-marketing possibilities are really exciting. Culturally we don't think music and gaming are so far apart, many music fans play computer games, and nearly all gamers listen to music so we have teamed up with DDI and Metro3D to produce Earache Extreme Metal Racing. Your car shreds the opposition, the soundtrack shreds your ears - what a great combination!"


EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING uniquely was conceived and created by 16 year old Gothic metaller Sky Nash and all started as a possible way to not only keep her amused but potentially to dissuade her from following her overworked father into a gaming career.


Frazer Nash of Frazer Nash Communications describes how his daughter created the game during work experience at developer, DDI: “Sky, then just 15, was given a huge responsibility to design her own (tongue in cheek) game. By the end of the first week, she had created a Gothic-looking game, complete with drafted levels and an awesome soundtrack. 12 months on and with professional development courtesy of Sam King and Mike Rooker (art), Mark Gemmell (production), Karl White and Julian Salter (Programming) at DDI. Aimed to appeal to Goth / Rock music fans the world over, Metro 3D have created EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING - a monster of a game.”


Continue reading "Earache Extreme Metal Racing" »

April 27, 2006

OVER 140 MARVEL CHARACTERS COME TOGETHER IN ACTIVISION'S NEW MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE GAME

Santa Monica, CA – April 27, 2006 – Over 140 Marvel characters come together in Activision, Inc’s. (Nasdaq: ATVI) Marvel™: Ultimate Alliance, an all-new action/RPG that features the largest roster of comic book characters ever seen in a video game. Players assume the roles of more than 20 Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America, and through their actions determine the fate of both planet Earth and the Marvel universe – revealed in one of multiple epilogues.

“Marvel: Ultimate Alliance delivers a new twist on action/RPGs where players’ actions and choices ultimately determine what happens to the Marvel universe,” states Will Kassoy, Vice President of Global Brand Management for Activision. “This coupled with the game’s enormous character roster will deliver an action-packed experience that comic book fans have been waiting for.”

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features a deep, rich gameplay experience by offering total team customization, where players create their own team name, icon and vehicle, as well as establish their team reputation as they play throughout the story. Gamers also have the option to level up each character individually to their liking, or all team members at the same time to keep their heroes balanced. With the game’s new combat system, players battle against the world’s most notorious Marvel Super Villains in the air, underwater, and on the ground, using grappling, blocking and dodging moves, by charging up their Super Hero powers before unleashing them, and using environmental objects as one and two-handed weapons.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features a unique storyline where the missions players accept, the objectives they complete, and their interactions with other characters throughout the game directly impact how the story plays out. The game also features a robust multiplayer component where fans can band together with friends as their favorite Marvel Super Heroes, and fight evil in both on and offline cooperative story modes. There’s also a Competitive Mode where the game tracks various in-game stats so players can see how well they stack up against one another – affecting the amount of experience points earned and how equipment is distributed.

Created by Raven Software and C.B. Cebulski, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance will be the first Super Hero game out for all next-gen gaming systems, and will also be available on current-gen, handheld and PC platforms. The game is currently rated RP (Rating Pending) by the ESRB and is planned to ship this fall.

Continue reading "OVER 140 MARVEL CHARACTERS COME TOGETHER IN ACTIVISION'S NEW MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE GAME" »

Baseball Mogul 2007 Hits A Grand Slam For Charity

Thursday 27th April 2006 - Sports Mogul, the sports management specialists, are proud to announce that Baseball Mogul 2007 sold its 1,000th copy on 27 April 2006 -- less than one month after the initial release. . The Chicago-based studio, famed for its work on Baseball Mogul and Football Mogul announced that this was their best sales year to date thanks to the effort they put into making this the best Baseball Mogul yet.

In celebration of this milestone Sports Mogul has pledged to give one thousand dollars to fight hunger worldwide. "One thousand units is a big milestone for a company like us. Its only right that we give some of it back because of how lucky we are," said Clay Dreslough, CEO of Sports Mogul."Baseball Mogul has always been the best baseball simulation you could buy. This year’sversion is the best version ever and our sales reflect that fact,” commented Dreslough, Lead Developer of Baseball Mogul. “Being able to re-write huge sections of the game this year has allowed us to leapfrog past previous versions. The game engine now calculates the result of every pitch but does it even faster than our previous version. When you add in the new Live Play-By-Play mode, its the best baseball game you can buy for $19.99. Even I am blown away by the results. Baseball Mogul 2007 is by far the best version of the game we have ever developed."

Core game features

Manage your own baseball franchise

Set up the line-ups, your pitching staff and depth charts. Demote the struggling rookie, put the injured starter on the DL and trade for a backup catcher. Manage the 40-man roster and scout the upcoming rookie draft pool. In Baseball Mogul you can do almost anything a real life GM can do to guide your team to glory.

A realistic and accurate simulation engine

No baseball game is complete without stats and Baseball Mogul 2007 is king. In addition to the multitude of statistics, a fully flexible engine allows you to make all the calls pitch-by-pitch. The game is truly as real as it gets.

Customizable financial system

Featuring the most flexible financial system in any baseball simulation ever made, Basbeall Mogul 2007 lets you mirror existing intricacies or allows you to invent your own. The only restriction is your imagination.

Scouting and coaching staff at your disposal

All of the staff in your franchise have varying strengths, weaknesses, personalities and of course contract demands. Basbeall Mogul 2007 puts all of your management skills to the test; it’s in your hands!

Endless possibilities with historical and fictional leagues

Play the game with the real life setup of every major baseball league in the world and in addition, you can import every historical baseball season from 1900 to the present day. If that’s not enough simply create your own fictional baseball league.

Create or join an online league

Featuring a full online league mode, commissioners and multiple owners can battle it out against each other over the internet. Integrating seamlessly with FTP and HTML you can upload and download files and share them with friends.

Slick intuitive interface

Utilizing the technology and expertise of Sports Mogul, the game has a faster, smarter and slicker interface than ever before. What’s more, it’s fully skinable allowing you to change the game to suit your own personal tastes.

Continue reading "Baseball Mogul 2007 Hits A Grand Slam For Charity" »

April 26, 2006

Guild Wars Factions Ships Worldwide

April 26, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA) – ArenaNet®, developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today that one of the year’s most-anticipated PC titles, Guild Wars Factions™, has officially shipped. For fans of the game that revolutionized online roleplaying, the wait is nearly over as Guild Wars Factions goes out today to retail stores worldwide.

Guild Wars Factions is the stand-alone follow-up to Guild Wars, the game that set new standards in online gaming with fresh design, innovative technology and no-subscription-fee pricing. With an expected retail price of $49.99, Guild Wars Factions will be available worldwide and servers supporting the new release will “go live” at 12:01 AM PDT /7:01 GMT on April 28, 2006.

Those who pre-ordered the game will be able to participate in the exclusive Guild Wars Factions Head Start Event beginning at 12:01 AM PDT/7:01 AM GMT on April 27, 2006. These lucky gamers will have access to the game for a total of 48 hours, including a full 24 hours before the game’s global release. During the first 24 hours of the Head Start Event, ArenaNet has planned an exclusive in-game event titled "Day of the Tengu," in which players will join one-day-only "Day of the Tengu" quests, and earn exclusive in-game rewards.

“New features in Guild Wars Factions such as guild scrimmages, alliance battles, ranked character titles, and some surprises still to come all resulted from our drive to create a truly unique gaming experience for existing and new fans of the Guild Wars universe,” says Mike O’Brien, co-founder of ArenaNet. “With a full year of development and a passionate design team, we think what we’ve created delivers on that and much, much more. Either played as a stand-alone game, or linked with your original Guild Wars account, Guild Wars Factions is a game we are thoroughly proud of—and still carries no subscription fee.”

Guild Wars Factions takes place on the Asian-inspired continent of Cantha, where players create a character from eight distinct professions—including the newly created Assassin and Ritualist—and join an epic quest that pits two warring factions, the Luxons and the Kurzicks, against an ancient evil, and against each other. As players become embroiled in this brutal war of conquest, new missions will provide both roleplaying fans and competitive PvP players the opportunity to help determine the fate of Cantha.

Guild Wars Factions is rated T for Teen. For more information, please visit www.guildwars.com


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“Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” Gets Gold-Plating

The epic battle between technology and magic is about to begin – “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” for Windows has gone gold and is in position to ambush North American retail stores on May 9.

“Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” morphs the real-time strategy (RTS) genre into the fantasy space, allowing gamers to rampage through towering cities, flame-swept deserts and brutal ice plains in battles filled with mystic creatures, fantastic machines and stunning acts of magic.

The RTS gameplay of “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” has been improved for a more rewarding experience – gamers have the choice of drawing out battles for multiple hours for the classic RTS feel or focusing on shorter, 20-minute, campaigns.

As the second installment of the “Rise of Nations” franchise, “Rise of Legends” also extends the gaming experience using a 3-D engine with dynamic lighting, deformable terrain, destructible buildings, ground-rattling earthquakes and massive armies locked in enormous strategic battles. “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” combines cutting-edge, industry-leading technology with awe-inspiring art design to create environments unlike anything ever seen.

Developed by Big Huge Games, “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” continues the innovative gameplay tradition established by the critically acclaimed and best-selling, “Rise of Nations,” the best-selling RTS released in 2003 that garnered numerous Game of the Year awards, including GameSpot’s Best PC Game of 2003 and PC Gamer’s Best RTS of 2003.

In addition to being able to lead vast fantasy armies into strategic battles, “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends” introduces a host of gameplay innovations that are unique to the RTS genre. Additionally, the popular Conquer the World (CTW) Campaign returns with fresh concepts that make each strategic decision critical to eventual victory over a constantly adapting enemy. The revamped and improved CTW Campaign immerses players in a land of magical armies and never before seen technologies in an epic battle to save the world against an ominous evil force.

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April 25, 2006

Award-Winning Independent Developer Three Rings Announces Public Beta for Bang! Howdy

San Francisco, CA - April 25, 2006 - Three Rings Design, Inc., a premier developer of multiplayer online casual games, announced today that the public beta for "Bang! Howdy," a multiplayer online tactical strategy game for the PC, will commence in May 2006. Players face off in the steam-powered Wild West, using casual strategy game mechanics in a variety of gameplay modes like Claim Jumping, Cattle Herding and Steam Mustang Hockey!

This follows upon the company's success with "Puzzle Pirates," an internationally acclaimed massively multiplayer online game that TIME Magazine called "addictive." Like "Puzzle Pirates," "Bang! Howdy" will be distributed online and will be free to play, with optional purchase of micro-currency to obtain upgrades and additional content.

"The 'free to play, pay for items' business model has proven very successful in the Korean market with games like 'Kart Rider.' And we have seen similar success with our recent strategic shift to its implementation within 'Puzzle Pirates' which is approaching sales of over five million Doubloons," said Daniel James, Three Rings' CEO.

"Bang! Howdy" is a hybrid between turn-based and real-time strategy gameplay, and is played in short fast-paced rounds. As the player progresses through five unique Wild West settings, new units, gameplay scenarios, arenas, customizations and game features are introduced. Players can customize their in-game avatars with a wide array of Western clothing and accessories.

"We've had all hands and the cook at work down here at the Triple-O ranch,"said Michael Bayne, project lead for "Bang! Howdy" and Three Rings' CTO. "We're pleased as punch to be able to show y'all our new product and mighty excited for ya to get yer hands on it."

Powerful trends in digital entertainment - the popularity of casual games, a move towards the massively multiplayer, and the ascent of digital downloads - have been driving forces for Three Rings. The Company recently became cash-flow positive and funds the distribution and development of its games internally.

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NIKO PARTNERS RELEASES CHINA VIDEOGAME MARKET FORECAST

San Jose, CA – April 25, 2006 – Niko Partners, a leading research and consultancy firm on the Chinese gaming market, today announced results from its latest report showing impressive growth for the Chinese videogame market in 2005. According to Niko’s fourth annual report on the market, 29 percent of China’s 27 million gamers played games more than 60 hours per month, which helped contribute to a 23.6 percent growth rate in China’s videogame market from 2004 to 2005. The Chinese market, of which 84 percent is comprised of online games, now stands at $683 million. The market is forecast to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent for the period 2005-2010, climbing to $2.1 billion.

“Chinese gamers’ passion for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) has extended to the casual and premium casual segments,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. “Premium casual games provide new gamers greater access to the online game market and open up an alternate source of entertainment for hardcore gamers.” Niko Partners projects that premium casual games will gain in popularity comparable to MMORPGs over the next several years, achieving 40 percent of all online revenue by 2010.

Other key findings related to overall China videogame market growth
include:

• Internet Cafés: Gamers access the online gaming universe an average of 4 hours per day through the estimated 20 million PCs in China’s 265,000 officially licensed and unlicensed Internet cafés, almost all of which have broadband access and regularly maintained PCs.

• Adoption of Broadband in Homes: One factor contributing to the rise in gamers is faster adoption of broadband in homes, which enabled more gamers to access online games.

• Increase in Casual Gaming: Casual games, including puzzle, board and advanced casual games, comprised 20 percent of the online market in 2005 and should rise to nearly 40 percent in 2010.

• Hard-Core Gamers: 29 percent of all gamers were classified as hardcore in 2005, up from 20 percent in 2004. The definition is based on more than 60 hours of online game play per month.

Social and Cultural Preferences

There are different preferences held by gamers in China, Niko Partners reports. In particular, gamers enjoy softer graphics and brighter colors of the games. Socializing and competing with friends while gaming are primary factors in the popularity of Internet cafés. When next-generation consoles legally launch in China in the next 1-2 years, their online functionality will allow gamers to continue these social and competitive aspects.

“Not only is it imperative for a foreign videogame company to understand the preferences and demands of Chinese gamers, they must also strive to develop games that fit the restrictive regulations of the Chinese government,” continued Ms. Hanson. “The Chinese market is different than other global markets, and it will take perseverance as well as innovation in business models for foreign companies to succeed there.”

The 2006 Chinese Videogame Market Study by Niko Partners is a comprehensive review and forecast of the 2005-2010 Online, PC, Console and Handheld games market. It was written based on more than 36,000 points of data collected by Niko Partners in 10 Chinese cities.

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April 21, 2006

EIDOS CONFIRMS URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE RELEASE DATE AND RELEASES NEW TRAILER

San Francisco, CA (April 21, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced that URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response will be released in North America on June 13, 2006 on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Developed by London-based Rocksteady Studios, URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response gives gamers the opportunity to step into the shoes of a real urban superhero. Play as Nick Mason, an ex-US marine and leading member of T-Zero - an elite police counter-gang unit. Specially trained in all areas of urban combat and armed with the very latest high-tech weaponry, T-Zero – the last line in urban defense - teams-up with Emergency Services groups including firefighters, paramedics and police to save the city and combat multiple threats including bombings and hostage scenarios.

“URBAN CHAOS is one of the most anticipated games of 2006 and offers a unique experience right at the heart of a full scale riot,” said Helen Clark, Brand Manager, “for fans of the FPS genre, this will be a highly original and intense challenge.”

URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response offers gamers the latest in gaming advancements including realistic and dynamic city environments where all sorts of extreme action takes place, progressive fire effect technology and fully interactive environments, using Havok 3 technology. Players can utilize members of the Emergency Services to progress through levels and save civilians and partner with the riot shield and use it as a weapon or for protection. In hostage scenarios, gamers go head to head with a twisted enemy to save innocent bystanders. Players are tasked to be the hero the city needs... don’t back down in the face of true Urban Chaos!

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NFL MVP SHAUN ALEXANDER SELECTED FOR COVER OF EA's MADDEN NFL 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 20, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that NFL MVP and NFC Champion running back Shaun Alexander will appear on the cover of Madden NFL 07, the newest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the official videogame license of the NFL and its players. With this year’s focus on the running game, Alexander is the perfect representative for the cover of the most popular football videogame franchise. Last year Madden NFL 06 sold more than six million copies.

“To be on the cover of Madden NFL 07 is a big milestone in my career since I have always been a huge fan of this franchise,” said Alexander. “EA SPORTS is focusing on the running game in this year’s version, so I was honored when I was chosen to be on the cover to represent the improved running game.”

Alexander, who was named the NFL MVP and selected for his third consecutive Pro Bowl this past season, is the hottest running back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,150 yards in each of the last five seasons. As the most valuable player in the NFL he rushed for a league-high 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns on 370 carries. He also caught 15 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown, scoring an NFL-record 28 touchdowns, setting a new single-season rushing touchdown record. In addition, he extended his NFL-record number of seasons with at least 15 touchdowns to five. During the season Alexander became the Seahawks career leader in rushing yards (7,817) attempts (1,717) and 100-yard games (33).


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EIDOS INTERACTIVE LAUNCHES WWW.URBANCHAOSGAME.COM, THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE!

San Francisco, CA (April 20, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announces a new website for its urban superhero action game Urban Chaos: Riot Response.

Visit the site and tune in to Channel 7, the up-to-the-minute news station at the centre of the action in Eidos’ new high velocity shooter, Urban Chaos: Riot Response. Fronted by intrepid news reporter Lani York, Channel 7 offers a stylized and a fully interactive news service featuring studio news desk feeds and live at-the-scene reporting. Find full detailed briefs and videos on each member of the Emergency Service Team in the Technology today section as well as a complete de-brief on the elite counter-gang unit T-Zero – the last line of urban defense. The new site also offers the Lonely Hearts Club that ensures you always find the perfect match online and never face inferior opposition and all the extras you’ve come to expect including downloadable screenshots, videos, trailers, wallpapers, and email tags.

Urban Chaos: Riot Response lets you fight alongside the brave men and women of law enforcement, the fire department, and Emergency Medical services to take the city back by any means necessary. Play as Nick Mason, a hometown hero and key member of T-Zero, the elite counter-gang unit. Specially trained in all areas of urban combat and armed with the very latest high-tech weaponry, T-Zero is all that stands in the way of total anarchy. The city needs a superhero – and that’s you.

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Three Rings to Give Away 18th Century Authentic Gold Doubloon for In-Game Five Millionth Doubloon Purchase

San Francisco, CA - April 21, 2006 - Three Rings Design, Inc., a premier developer of multi-player online casual games, announced today that it will give away a 1787 Spanish Gold Escudo Doubloon, rescued from pirate loot, to the player that purchases the five millionth doubloon for their popular online game "Puzzle Pirates."

The company expects to reach the five millionth sale mark later this week and will announce the winner shortly after. In light of some strong market trends, the company recently shifted its strategy from subscription pricing to a "free-to-play" model that includes the option of purchasing micro-currency. Players can then spend their micro-currency on in-game upgrades and additional content.

The sale of five million doubloons is an important milestone for the company and points to the broad acceptance of that model. In fact, the company is launching a new game "Bang! Howdy," a multiplayer online tactical strategy game for the PC which uses the same payment structure and online distribution model.

"Three Rings has led the charge for micro-currency in the US market, and the success of 'Puzzle Pirates' doubloons has convinced us that it represents the future for online entertainment," said Daniel James, Three Rings' CEO. "We were inspired by the Korean market, where 'free to play, pay for item' is the ubiquitous business model for online games. As the US market matures to meet Korea, we intend to keep leading the way."

The company is riding some powerful trends in digital entertainment - the popularity of casual games, a move towards the massively multiplayer, and the ascent of digital downloads. With the shift to "freemium" pricing, the company recently became cash-flow positive and funds the distribution and development of its games internally. To date, over 1.5mm individuals have downloaded Puzzle Pirates.

To learn more about Three Rings and or Puzzle Pirates, please visit their site at: http://www.puzzlepirates.com for more information.

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The Adventure Company Announces Safecracker

April 20, 2006 – The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games is pleased to announce Safecracker, a unique puzzle adventure game with 35 unique safes to crack.

Storyline:

You are hired by the wealthy family of a recently deceased billionaire to search for the last will and testament of their late relative, Duncan Walter Adams, who was “eccentric” to say the least. He has hidden the deed to his riches in one of the safes scattered in his magnificent mansion. The deceased billionaire also happened to be an avid safe collector and you have been hired to crack all 35 of them! The stakes are high and the clues are scarce. You will need your experience, wits, deductive reasoning and puzzle solving skills to earn your pay check.

Features:

· A challenging puzzle adventure game with 35 unique safes to crack

· Explore 40 lavish and intriguing rooms of an extravagant mansion created in great detail

· Decipher unexpected clues inside each safe that will help you open the others ultimately leading you to the master safe

· The ultimate challenge for puzzle enthusiasts and wanna-be safecrackers

· From the developers of Return to Mysterious Island

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Special Abilities of Gunnar Displayed in the Latest Gameplay Video for Rogue Trooper!

Rogue Trooper, the upcoming third person sci-fi action shooter game based off of the popular comic book series from 2000 AD, puts you in the shoes of the last survivor of the Genetic Infantrymen who were set up and brutally massacred. Rogue sets off alone on a mission for revenge as he fights his way through platoons of soldiers to search for the traitor responsible for the death of his comrades. Though alone on the battlefield, the bio-chips containing the genetic information of his fallen comrades Gunnar, Bagman and Helm, have been implanted in his gear, which allows their personalities and abilities to come to life a second time.

Download the new video now at: http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=161!

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April 18, 2006

ALL-STAR CAST SECURED FOR SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME FROM EA AND WARNER BROS.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 18, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today they have secured an all-star cast for the voices in SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME. The game will feature the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent) as well as the voices of Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), all reprising their roles from the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film directed by Bryan Singer.

Launching with the film this summer on June 28, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME allows players to experience a real sense of flying, and master Superman's unrivaled powers in order to save Metropolis. Based on the classic DC Comics books as well as the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME draws from more than 60 years of comic lore to create the ultimate open-world super hero experience.


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Maelstrom’s factions revealed - the human race divided and the new alien threat

New York (April 18, 2006) – Coming late September, exclusively for Windows PC, Maelstrom is an action strategy game where Hollywood sci-fi meets groundbreaking RTS gameplay.

Set against the violent ecological meltdown of Earth, players will be able to unleash a tide of carnage with colossal transforming robots, crush enemies by raining down fire, level entire mountains and freeze the oceans.

In this ravaged world, water has become the most valuable of resources and has divided what remains of mankind in two: the urban freedom fighting ‘Remnants’ and the technologically advanced ‘Ascension.’ Now, these two groups must wage war against a new threat, the invasion of a savage alien race, the Hai-Genti resulting in a desperate struggle for supremacy and survival.

The Remnants, Ascension and Hai-Genti comprise Maelstrom’s three playable factions, and each is superbly different in terms of theme and play strategy.

The Remnants

* Led by ex-US military General James Buchanan, players can take charge with the heroic Remnants, as they modify their units on the fly to deal with the situation.
* Use stealth to infiltrate enemy lines and guerrilla tactics to devise lethal traps involving napalm, proximity mines, bomb cluster chains and devastating nuclear weapons.
* Turn enemy units against their masters, as players hack into and control the Ascension’s ruthless transforming tech, the Mechamorphs.


The Ascension

* Dominate with the insidious Ascension, headed by Arlan Khan, as players command the all-powerful Mechmorphs with their transforming technology.
* Fear no one with advanced technology and shielded units, with their laser weaponry, cryogen rays and orbital weapon platforms, which strike down death from above.
* It’s not just the Ascension’s weaponry that can transform; if players need to relocate their base or buildings, these too can be transformed and moved on.


The Hai-Genti

* Attack the human factions and command the full strike force of the invading Hai-Genti.
* Take on an altogether alien strategy and fire down spores from the skies to grow an army of vicious bloodthirsty beasts.
* Launch surprise attacks and tear the humans limb from limb to feed ravenous spores, the literal hearts of players’ campaigns.
* Sacrifice own units to produce even more vicious and deadly mutated monsters. After all, they’re only fodder for the cause.


Complete with the ability to terraform landscapes and transform units, Maelstrom will provide strategy gamers with the power to harness the forces of nature in the most frantic, destructive, action-packed RTS game yet.

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April 17, 2006

Total Hunting Channel Offers Sneak Peek of its New Online Reality Game Programming

New York (April 12, 2006) – Kuma Reality Games, the company that creates episodic, television-like video games, is one step closer to unveiling its newest project, DinoHunters. Kuma has released a series of machinima videos, giving audiences a sneak peek into its quirky and outrageous new DinoHunters online gaming reality series, The first episode of the DinoHunters game is scheduled to premiere on the fictional Total Hunting Channel this month. The videos are now available for download at www.thedinohunters.com.

DinoHunters is a comedic first-person shooter involving the wanton and bloody destruction of dinosaurs for a fictional sports broadcast style-hunting show. This wild action comedy stars three dysfunctional celebrities, a sexy producer, a one-of-a-kind time-travel premise and numerous mean-spirited, hungry, yet soon-to-be extinct giant reptiles.

Watch out dinosaurs: washed up celebrities are coming for you! Stay tuned to the Total Hunting Channel for more details (www.thetotalhuntingchannel.com).

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April 13, 2006

NCsoft Launches Auto Assault

AUSTIN, Texas, April 13, 2006—NCsoft® North America announced today that Auto Assault® launched commercial service in North America, Europe and other select markets worldwide. Developed by Colorado-based developer, NetDevil®, LTD, Auto Assault is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game set in a post-apocalyptic world featuring vehicle combat on an epic scale and fully destructible environments.

Auto Assault is available at retailers in North America at an expected price of US$49.99. The Limited Edition, which includes a headset to utilize the game’s voice chat system and a game soundtrack CD, will be available for an expected price of US$59.99. Both the standard and Limited editions of the game include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers for an expected price of US$29.99.

In Auto Assault, players choose from three races and venture into a post-apocalyptic Earth wreaking havoc and vying for control over the few resources left. Players can design their characters and customize many different vehicle chassis to make their own unique fleet of death machines. Players may go on missions with others or on their own, craft unique items, and participate in player-versus-player combat via the arena system and contested outpost battles. No matter what they are doing, players are encouraged to interact with the game world by blasting through buildings, leveling towns and destroying just about everything they see.

“Auto Assault is a truly unique game, and a fantastic addition to our catalog,” said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. “There is nothing like it in the MMO game space – it is easy to play, fast, and very fun. Auto Assault gives players the best of action games, the best of role-playing games and a super-cool world to discover and destroy.”

The release of Auto Assault represents both a continuation of NCsoft’s efforts to provide gamers many compelling products to play online, and the beginning of another great service with free content updates and expansions in the years to come. Additionally, a veteran rewards program has been put in place for players who subscribe to Auto Assault within the first thirty days of service. A detailed description of the veteran rewards is available on the Auto Assault website (www.autoassault.com/gameinfo/vetawards.html).

“Compelling characters, tricked-out vehicles, crazy-fast combat and full-blown destruction make Auto Assault a blast,” said Scott Brown, president of NetDevil, LTD. “This is the game we’ve wanted to play for years; it feels good to launch commercial service. Now the real work starts – today marks the beginning of our ideas for the product and we look forward to rolling out new content for players to enjoy.”

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April 12, 2006

"Ultimate Baseball Online 2006" Announced for the PC

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (April 12, 2006) - Netamin® Communication Corporation today announced the latest edition of the world's first massive multi-player online baseball game - Ultimate Baseball Online(tm) 2006.

Coming on the heels of the first-ever World Baseball Classic(tm), Ultimate Baseball Online 2006 gives players the opportunity to play sports gamers from other countries in virtual competition. Ultimate Baseball Online is currently played world wide, with large fan bases not only in the U.S., but also in Canada, Japan, Korea, England, Germany, Australia, and numerous other countries. Ultimate Baseball Online 2006 (UBO 2006) can be downloaded and played for free at www.ultimatebaseballonline.com.

Ultimate Baseball Online 2006 is a technological innovation which lets sports fans and gamers play a virtual version of baseball in a real-time environment on any PC with a broadband connection. UBO delivers a first-person perspective online sports experience as human players form team to compete against other teams in real-time. UBO players can compete in tournaments to win cash and other valuable prizes.

In Ultimate Baseball Online, players create their own characters, and gain experience for every game they play. When their character "levels up," they get points that they can use to increase their character's abilities in areas such as running speed, throwing power, batting power, etc. Unlike traditional baseball video games, UBO lets players play with teammates - everyone sees the game from their own character's first-person perspective. And just as in baseball, team communication (team chat) is essential for success on the field.

"Ultimate Baseball Online brings the 'team experience' to the sports gaming experience," said Andy Wang, president of Netamin. "A team of people playing against another team of real people is a much different experience than one person sitting alone in front of a console game playing against a computer."

To ensure a true baseball player experience, Darrell Evans, a two-time Major League All-Star ('73 & '74) and World Series winner (1985), serves as UBO's principle baseball consultant. "Ultimate Baseball Online, for me, is the closest thing to being back on the playing field," said Darrell Evans. "The mental part of baseball has finally been captured. UBO will give players a great appreciation for the fine points of each position, as well as an understanding of the teamwork that is involved in playing the sport of baseball successfully."

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April 11, 2006

The Adventure Company Releases Playable Demo for KEEPSAKE

April 10, 2006 – The Adventure Company is please to announce that a new playable demo for Keepsake is now available.

Enhancements include the following as well as many others to enrich the gameplay experience:

· New voiceovers for various characters including: Mustavio, Celeste, young Celeste, Elvander, and Zak

· The addition of an in-game map

· Fine-tuned dialogue to minimize repetitive scripts

· Enlarged ‘hotspots’ making navigation more fluid and intuitive

· Improved pathfinding with Zak and Lydia

Playing the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice, you will discover that something is terribly amiss upon your arrival. Where there should be hundreds of scholars none can be found. While exploring the Academy’s vast structures, Lydia discovers a doll she had given her best friend Celeste many years ago. As she picks it up images of Celeste fill her mind…

Accompanied by a charmed dragon named Zak, you will solve puzzles, explore beautiful surroundings, and uncover the secrets of the Academy until you solve the mystery behind Celeste’s disappearance and the beloved keepsake…

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April 10, 2006

Official TV Commercial Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

Lara Croft is known for traveling the world, however tomorrow it is her new adventure, Tomb Raider: Legend, which is taking a journey as it is set to ship to retailers on April 11th! The wait is over, and the time has come for celebration. What better way to mark the occasion than to deliver you a copy of the official television commercial which you can expect to see on some popular channels soon! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend marks the return of Lara Croft to the tombs, and with the highly detailed interactive environments, it is definitely a game that you do not want to miss! Lara Croft moves with beautiful fluid movement, and her new acrobatic moves coupled with the gaming dynamics brought by gear such as the magnetic grapple make this the most intense tomb raiding experience to date! The commercial features some great action adventure sequences, along with a lot of the stellar praise that Tomb Raider: Legend has been receiving from the press!

Here's the Ad.

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DreamCatcher Games Releases a New Demo for Dungeon Lords Collector's Edition

April 10, 2006 - The Dungeon Lords Collector’s Edition includes numerous updates and enhancements to the original and best-selling RPG Dungeon Lords. In the Dungeon Lords Collector’s Edition, you’ll experience new quests, spells, heraldries, monsters and greater character customization than ever before!

The new demo lets you play 3 of the 7 available races in the game – each with its own unique characteristics and specializations. To survive this large and lengthy demo and defend yourself from the numerous enemies that you will encounter, you’ll be able to equip yourself with a wide array of weaponry and armor including swords, daggers, bows and much more. In addition, you’ll be able to utilize a number of magic spells from summoning the undead, locust and rats to fire bursts and frozen ice shards. Collect experience points as you progress and modify your character as you see fit.

In time only the best will survive, but only one can be Lord.

Good luck – and enjoy your journey.

The Dungeon Lords Collector’s Edition has received an ESRB rating of ‘T’ for Teen and is available at retail stores across North America. For more information, please visit the official website www.DungeonLords.com.

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April 7, 2006

Eidos Releases 6 Spectacular New Videos for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

There are only a few days remaining until the North American launch of the most anticipated game in the Tomb Raider franchise yet! Since the day when you can finally make Tomb Raider: Legend your own is so near, it is time to overhaul you with media, as we are releasing 6 spectacular brand new videos! Tomb Raider: Legend features the return of Lara Croft to the tombs, and she has gained some brand new acrobatic moves and gadgets which make traversing the beautiful interactive environments pure joy. These new videos give you another sneak peak at some of the great new features of the game such as how Lara Croft can climb around with beautiful fluid movement, the new magnetic grapple gadget in action, and some of the deadly traps that she encounters in the tombs. On top of it all, we also are showing you a few cut-scenes which are displayed in true cinematic quality.

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PLAY BALL! ENLIGHT SHIPS BASEBALL MOGUL 2007

PARKVILLE, MD – April 6th, 2006 – Enlight Interactive, a leading software developer and publisher, announced today that Baseball Mogul 2007 will ship during the opening week of the MLB season. The award-winning baseball management simulation continues the series with a new title that gives prospective managers the chance to build their championship dynasty.

The latest chapter in the Baseball Mogul series allows gamers to participate in the ultimate managerial experience and build the ball club of their dreams. Players are given the exclusive opportunity to fill the shoes of a major league general manager and partake in the daily operations of running a team. From scouting potential talent, negotiating trades and even setting ticket prices, players can control all facets of the game in real-time or run an entire season at the touch of a button.

“Baseball Mogul 2007 is an entirely unique experience, taking control over every aspect of the game is every baseball fan’s dream,” said Paul Lombardi, CEO of Enlight Interactive USA. “Aspiring managers can determine the optimal mixture of character profiles, statistical performance and team chemistry to take their ball club to the championship.”

Features will include:

• As an exclusive licensee of the Sean Lahman Baseball Database, Baseball Mogul 2007 allows gamers to acquire hall of fame legends or the next budding superstar. Rosters can be filled with a wide variety of personalities, talent, and chemistry from as far back as 1901.

• Draft, Sign, or Trade your favorite players while using the updated Tradezilla; which features advanced artificial intelligence to challenge gamers in a world of unrivaled realism.

• Utilize the animated play-by-play mode to experience virtual decision making as if you were the manager. Call a hit and run, double steal, or a suicide squeeze to establish your place among the managing elite.

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GameTap Media Alert – Capcom Week

This month, GameTap is featuring entire weeks devoted to some of the hottest publishers and successful series of all time, so who better to kick things off than Capcom!

Last week, three of Capcom’s most notable titles - DarkStalkers: The Night Warriors,, Ghosts’N Goblins, and Ghouls’N Ghosts – appeared on the network, but now 9 more arcade games* as part of Capcom Week make their debut, including:

- Street Fighter II Champion Edition

- 1941: Counter Attack

- Commando

- Exed Exes (Savage Bees)

- Knights of the Round

- Magic Sword - Heroic Fantasy

- Mega Twins / Chiki Chiki Boys

- Mercs / Commandos 2

- Trojan


In addition to these Capcom hits, GameTap - a first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System - delivers more than 400 of the greatest games-on-demand plus original programming via a broadband-connected PC for only $9.95 a month!

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New "Zoo Tycoon" Web Site Roars to Life

Microsoft Game Studios announced today that the popular and best-selling “Zoo Tycoon” franchise is roaring to life with a new Web site. Fans of the franchise can visit http://www.ZooTycoon.com for the latest zoo news, downloadable wallpapers, coloring book pages, ring tones and much more. Gamers can fully immerse themselves in the new “Zoo Tycoon” world, which features an innovative design that is fun, user-friendly and allows fans to easily access information about current games, including “Zoo Tycoon 2” and “Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species,” and upcoming releases, such as “Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure,” “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania” and “Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger Pack.”

The Web site also introduces new community features with frequent postings. “Ask the Zookeeper” answers gamers’ questions about odd zoo topics and animals, such as “Why are flamingos pink?” In addition, roving rodent reporters, Zoey and Zeek the zoo mice, conduct animal interviews in the new column, “Animal Escapades.” Helpful game tips and behind the scenes developer diaries will also be available.

“Zoo Tycoon 2,” the sequel to the award-winning “Zoo Tycoon,” continues to provide the ultimate zoo experience, challenging gamers to design and build the most vibrant zoo possible while working to ensure animal happiness, customer satisfaction and profitability. With “Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species” and the upcoming releases of “Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure” and “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania” E10+ rated expansion packs, and downloadable “Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger Pack,” players can step directly into their zoo where they’ll be face-to-face with guests and exotic animals.


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April 4, 2006

The Intense Stealth Combat Game Commandos Strike Force Ships to Stores Today!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game is on its way to retailers today, and tomorrow the Strike Force team will be waiting for your command. Commandos Strike Force fuses the first person action shooter genre with intense stealth combat to give you a brand new World War II experience unlike any other game. Using the unique skills and abilities of the three different members of your elite Strike Force team, infiltrate behind enemy lines and strike your foes when they least expect it.

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SEGA® ACQUIRES PREMIER U.K. DEVELOPER

LONDON (April 3, 2006) – SEGA Holdings Europe Ltd., today announced that it has acquired the multi award-winning development studio, Sports Interactive. Founded in 1994 by Paul and Oliver Collyer and operating from offices in Islington, North London, the brothers are the talented creators behind the hugely successful Football Managerä series. With only two titles from the franchise released so far, Football Managerä has sold in excess of 1.5 million copies to become the second fastest selling PC game of all time in the U.K.

This new deal highlights SEGA’s emphasis on Western development as part of its long-term strategic vision. In 2005, SEGA also purchased development studio The Creative Assembly.

“Football Manager is an extremely successful brand for SEGA and one of the most significant titles for our European line-up,” commented Naoya Tsurumi, CEO, SEGA Europe Ltd. & SEGA of America, Inc. “This acquisition illustrates that we are achieving our objectives and have our strategic planning up and running. Although we still have a lot more to do, we feel that this is yet another huge step towards strengthening our standing within the European market.”

“We acquired Sports Interactive because SEGA has the utmost respect for the Collyer’s, Miles Jacobson and the Sports Interactive team for what they have achieved. The company is built up of highly talented individuals that have and continue to produce award-winning titles,” commented Mike Hayes, President & COO of SEGA Europe Ltd. “Our objective, as with The Creative Assembly, is to work with the team and build upon their successes as we strive to produce the highest quality games for our consumers”.

Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive adds, “From our first meeting with SEGA, it felt like “home”- they really understand development and it’s an honor to get to work with the overwhelming pool of talent from both the development and publishing side. The partnership was right for the next chapter in Sports Interactive’s history, with more releases from the studio this year than ever before. Myself, Ov, Paul and the SI team are all really excited about the future.”

The first titles to be released under the new partnership will be Football Managerä 2006 for Xbox 360™ and Football Manager Handheld for the PSP™ portable entertainment system, both out for release on April 13, 2006.

About SEGA® Holdings Europe Ltd.:

SEGA Holdings Europe Ltd. is the holding company for the European arms of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. Subsidiaries of SEGA Holdings Europe include SEGA Europe Ltd.


About SEGA® Europe Ltd:

SEGA Europe Ltd. is the European Publishing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, and a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. SEGA Europe’s web site is located at www.sega-europe.com


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Sony Online Entertainment and Planetwide Games Join Forces to Bring Innovative New Service to Online Gamers

SAN DIEGO, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, and Planetwide Games announced today that a web version of Planetwide's Comic Book Creator(TM) is under development for subscribers of SOE's Station Players(TM) service. Additionally, the Comic Book Creator software and special SOE game-themed art packs will soon be available for digital purchase from SOE. The web version is expected to be added to Station Players this fall, while the digital version is expected to be available for purchase through SOE's Station.com Store this summer.

"SOE continues to offer industry-leading innovations in the realm of ancillary service offerings for online game subscribers," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "We're always looking for unique ways to both enrich the online gaming experience as well as offer our subscribers services that extend beyond our game worlds. Comic Book Creator provides additional value for our online communities with its unique features, allowing players to strengthen their connection to their avatars and social groups in a whole new way."

"We see this strategic relationship with Sony Online Entertainment as the innovative way to empower video gamers, who live through their virtual online identities and who want to share their heroic feats and epic victories from their online gameplay," said Kevin Donovan, president of Planetwide Games. "What better way to extend some of the industry's greatest games to this incredibly dynamic community, than to join forces with SOE, a company with a stellar reputation for quality interactive entertainment, who continues to lead this exceptional growth."

Comic Book Creator allows consumers to take game screenshots, DVD movies, digital photos or art assets and create personalized comic books and comic strips. Fans of Sony Online Entertainment's highly acclaimed Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games EverQuest(R), EverQuest(R) II and PlanetSide(R) will soon be able to share their online experiences with fellow guild members and friends by creating personalized digital comic books starring their online avatars using Comic Book Creator.

SOE has entered into a licensing agreement with Planetwide Games that will make Comic Book Creator available to SOE's hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Planetwide Games and SOE are developing a web-enabled version of Comic Book Creator for subscribers of the Station Players service. This new web version will be available to SOE players, on an exclusive basis, for one year after commercial release. Station Players is the official online service that connects players to the EverQuest and EverQuest II communities. This web-based suite offers an array of features that give players incredible access to their characters and guilds by merging the game world with the world wide web. Station Players features include Guild web sites and tools, character profiles, personal images, screen shot galleries, leader boards and advanced game data.

The agreement also allows SOE to bundle their MMO games with Comic Book Creator software, as well as sell a downloadable version through the Station.com Store. These versions of Comic Book Creator will include customizable digital art assets from SOE games. Supplementary art packs themed around SOE games will be available for separate purchase.

For more information on the Station Players service, visit www.stationplayers.com.

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April 3, 2006

EIDOS BRINGS YOU THE HOT NEW LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER:LEGEND PC DEMO

The gaming world’s sexiest and most intrepid adventurer makes her triumphant return in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend! Follow the link to download the hot new PC Demo and get a preview of the action.
http://www.tombraiderlegenddemo.com

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Half a Million Gamers Played More Than Three Million Hours in Guild Wars Landmark Weekend Event

April 3, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA): ArenaNet®, developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, opened the virtual door for a weekend-long sneak peek at its new game Guild Wars Factions™, and players around the world responded in record numbers. From 12:01 am on Friday, March 24 until 11:59 pm on March 26, more than 500,000 players participated in the invitation-only preview event and cumulatively spent more than three million hours online, making the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event (FPE) one of the largest preview events in gaming history. Guild Wars Factions is set to hit store shelves April 28, 2006 with an estimated retail price of $49.99 (US).

“We knew that by focusing on new ways to play and new things to do within the game, such as the 12x12 Alliance Battles, which were extremely popular with both PvP and roleplaying gamers, that fans would respond enthusiastically,” says Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet. “This weekend reinforced that we are on the right track with Guild Wars Factions and are making a game that rises to the challenge to be innovative and ever-compelling for its fans.”

The extraordinary weekend is just the latest success for Guild Wars, the wildly popular game that continues to redefine the online roleplaying experience. The Guild Wars Factions pre-order pack offered a key code for access into the FPE, driving gamers to their local game stores and driving sales of the pre-order pack into weekly Top 10 lists alongside full retail titles at stores and chains around the world.

“Guild Wars continues to set new standards for online roleplaying alongside some heavyweight competition,” says Bob McKenzie, Senior VP of Merchandising, GameStop, Inc. “The combination of a unique pre-order pack for retail, an exciting live preview event for players, and a high level of anticipation for Guild Wars Factions has helped to create one of the best pre-sale campaigns for GameStop and EBGames. We get the impression this is only the beginning of a very exciting year for the Guild Wars franchise, and we look forward to the April 28 release date of Guild Wars Factions.”

Guild Wars Factions is the highly anticipated stand-alone follow up to the critically acclaimed game Guild Wars, an online roleplaying game in which players explore a rich fantasy world, acquire skills, build personalized characters, and compete in head-to-head battles with players from around the world. ArenaNet attributes the success of Guild Wars to compelling game design, innovative technology that offers a unique online gameplay experience, and a revolutionary business model with no monthly subscription fees charged to users.

Continue reading "Half a Million Gamers Played More Than Three Million Hours in Guild Wars Landmark Weekend Event" »

GameTap Monthly Update for March/April 2006

GameTap’s network continues to expand with new games, shows, channels, controls, visuals and price!

Since Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap launched with 300 games, new content has been added every week with a record-setting catalogue now exceeding 400 titles! In addition, GameTap just launched GameTap TV with five new channels to choose from and more than 250 original and popular shows aimed at fans of the video game lifestyle. And that’s not all - As part of GameTap’s evolution, we now have controller mapping, so you can set your controls to whatever keys or buttons you want. Did we mention that this is all at a new subscription rate of $9.95!

Among March’s notable game additions are Baldur’s Gate (Vivendi Universal) for PC, Crazy Taxi (SEGA) for Dreamcast, Virtua Fighter (SEGA) for SEGA 32X, Populous: The Beginning (Electronic Arts) for PC, Golden Axe (SEGA) for the Genesis, and a number of arcade favorites, including Ghosts 'n Goblins (Capcom) and its sequel Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Capcom), Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (Capcom), and Baseball Stars Professional (SNK Playmore).

March’s Top 10 Most Played List:

1. 1942

2. Age of Wonders II: The Wizard’s Throne

3. Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero

4. Sim Safari

5. Warlords Battlecry II

6. Heroes of Might and Magic IV

7. Pac-Man

8. Empire Earth

9. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

10. Railroad Tycoon 3

This month, GameTap is highlighting some of the hottest publishers and successful series with their own special weeks. That’s right, entire weeks will be devoted to new content from Capcom, SNK, the King’s Quest franchise, and the big daddy of them all - Street Fighter! Each week will feature five to a dozen games related to its focus.

On the original programming front, we just announced that GameTap TV now boasts more than 250 videos on demand! Among the new channels that Game Tap subscribers will experience for the first time are:

· OnTap channel: This guide keeps you looped in with the latest programs on the GameTap service

· GameTap Originals channel: All of the GameTap original programs are housed here in their entirety

· Music channel: This channel brings top musical artists to the network, including music videos, “GamePads,” a show about celebrities and how games have impacted their lives, and this month’s debut of “GameTap 10,” a celebrity-driven top 10 favorite video games countdown show, featuring segments with Fall Out Boy and Dem Franchize Boyz, among others

· Animation channel: Debuting later this spring, the channel will kick-off with an original series of animated shorts

· Games channel: With a mind boggling 400+ games, this channel lets subscribers preview games in the network prior to selecting what they want to play

Continue reading "GameTap Monthly Update for March/April 2006" »

March 31, 2006

Opening Day Announced for OOTP Baseball 2006

Friday 31st March, 2006 – With the new baseball season just hours away, Sports Interactive, the sports management development specialists, have announced that their latest masterpiece, Out of the Park Baseball 2006, will be released on May 31st.

Available via digital download only, Out of the Park Baseball 2006 offers gamers the ultimate in realism with its brand new pitch-by-pitch game engine, unrivalled playability and unparalleled customization. You can create your own fictional baseball universe or team dynasty, sign free agents, draft hot prospects, and more, creating the most engrossing franchise management game ever.

Via his personal blogs on the official game website (www.ootpbaseball2006.com) Lead Developer Markus Heinsohn has kept fans up-to-date with the latest game developments and feature implementations and more are planned in the run up to release. “The community has played an important part in the game’s growth during the past seven years and for me it has made perfect sense to keep them informed every step of the way as the game evolves. Without them, OOTP 2006 wouldn't be what it is once released - the best baseball management game ever.”

Out of the Park Baseball 2006 will be released on PC and Mac and is available from May 31st 2006 priced at $34.99. Pre orders and further information can be found at www.ootpbaseball2006.com

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March 30, 2006

The Adventure Company Releases Official Trailer For Crime Stories

About Crime Stories:

Travel from the busy streets of New York City to ancient Mayan ruins as you take on the role of Martin Mystère, the brilliant detective investigating the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What fascinating discovery had the professor uncovered and why is he now dead? Engage your inner detective and solve this horrific crime and the mystery that lies beneath…

* A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!
* Beautifully detailed 3D graphics with rich, colorful environments to explore.
* 3rd person gameplay with numerous inventory items to discover and interact with.
* Creative and original puzzles that will challenge you!
* Loads of characters to talk to and assist you with your investigations – you choose what you want to say to them.
* A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!
* A rich atmospheric soundtrack accompanies gameplay and adjusts to your surroundings.

Crime Stories has an ESRB rating of ‘T’ for Teen and is currently available in retail stores across North America.

Here's the trailer.

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Agent 47 Displays Methods of Accessing His Targets in the Latest Video

In order to execute the perfect hit, a detailed plan of action is needed. However, though planning is essential, the actual implementation is where your life is on the line, and a single mistake could be deadly. In order to gain access to your target, you must use a variety of tactics, all without being seen. This latest video shows Agent 47 in action, as he gets close to his target, and obtains a position to make the kill. Hitman: Blood Money, the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise gives Agent 47 brand new moves to gain access to his targets and puts the decision making in your hands, as the brand new levels provide you with complete freedom to determine how to make the hit. Prepare to make a killing, as Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring 2006, for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

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March 29, 2006

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend Has Officially Gone Gold!

It seems as if Lara Croft has acquired the Midas touch, because her latest game Tomb Raider: Legend has officially Gone Gold and is ready for production! Tomb Raider: Legend marks Lara Croft’s return to what she does best, as she is set to travel the world raiding the most deadly tombs the series has seen yet. Equipped with new acrobatic moves and beautiful fluid movement, Lara Croft allows you to explore the vastly detailed and interactive environments with such grace that makes the experience like poetry in motion. Action, adventure and beauty... what more can you ask for from a game?

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New Trailer Released for Rogue Trooper Featuring Stealth Combat!

Rogue Trooper, the new sci-fi action shooter game based of the comic book series from 2000 AD, puts you in the shoes of a pissed off genetic infantryman whose sole purpose is getting revenge on those who set up his race for destruction.

Vastly outnumbered, take on full platoons of soldiers with only the aid of your fallen comrades, whose bio-chips have been implanted into Rogue’s gear. With such a difficult task at hand, the only chance you have at success is to plan out your attack, stay low, and strike when it hurts the most. Luckily for Rogue Trooper, his comrades Gunnar, Helm and Bagman have a few surprises in store for their enemies. Set up Gunnar as a turret, to provide cover fire while you get a better vantage point. Use Helm to act as a Holodecoy to distract your enemies as you attack them from behind. And when the situation calls for an ambush, Bagman is more than happy to lay down a field of micro-mines to ensure that it’s an explosive encounter. These special abilities give Rogue Trooper the edge he needs, and along with his massive arsenal of high-tech weaponry, anyone who stands in his way is in for some pain.

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The Adventure Company Ships KEEPSAKE

Toronto, March 29, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today announced that KEEPSAKE has been shipped to retailers across North America. In the enhanced North American version, players will be immersed in an enchanting world of mystery reminiscent of King’s Quest® and Syberia® with a touch of Harry Potter®.

The adventure unfolds as you take on the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to the gates of Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice. The Academy is an institution of magical research – a place where the arcane arts are taught to a new generation of mages. Upon Lydia’s arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. In this world of mystery, beauty, and unparalleled imagination you will explore and master the forces of magic to uncover the secrets that lie beyond the gates of Dragonvale Academy. Challenge yourself to solve the mystery behind the strange disappearances, the beloved keepsake, and the treachery that lurk the halls of the prestigious Academy.

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Navigate easily throughout the vast campus using the new in-game map
* Interact with an intriguing cast of characters with the addition of fine-tuned dialogue to minimize repetitive scripts
* New voiceovers have been added including: Mustavio, Celeste, young Celeste, Elvander, and Zak
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity
* Enlarged ‘hotspots’ making navigation more fluid and intuitive

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TURNER BROADCASTING’S GAMETAP SPURS EVOLUTION OF BROADBAND ENTERTAINMENT WITH NEW LOOK, CHANNELS AND SHOWS

ATLANTA - March 29, 2006 - Don’t touch that dial, er, game controller! GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), today unveiled the all new “GameTap TV,” which features a dynamic mix of new channels and shows for the rapidly growing broadband community with more than 250 videos on demand. GameTap also surpasses a key milestone today by offering more than 400 video games, making it by far the largest collection of on-demand games on the internet. In addition to its new look and content, GameTap subscriptions are now available at a new price of $9.95 per month.

“Broadband entertainment is a brave new world, and as industry leaders, we’re taking it in brave new directions,” said Stuart Snyder, GameTap’s General Manager. “By boasting the largest library of on-demand games coupled with original shows all at the right price, GameTap is at the forefront of broadband entertainment and culture.”

At the center of the new “GameTap TV,” GameTap now offers an array of channels each with their own unique focus, all still appealing to fans of the video games lifestyle. In addition, the shows are easily accessible and fun to watch thanks to the “big screen” TV-style viewing controls which also allow subscribers to bookmark programs, games and more, so they can click back to their favorites at any time.

“GameTap is about playing games and a whole lot more,” said Ricardo Sanchez, vice president of content. “We have compelling and funny TV shows that you really can’t find anywhere else. Every week, we launch new games on our service and serve up original shows to entertain you on gameplay breaks—we don’t just push recycled TV content and cutting room floor material at our audience.”

Among the new channels that GameTap’s subscribers will experience for the first time are:

· OnTap channel: This guide delivers the latest programs on the GameTap service. Whether you want the new episode of “Space Ghost Coast To Coast,” with Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak in the hot seat or the “Tapped In” story of the SEGA Dreamcast, the best shows on “GameTap TV” are always “OnTap.”

· GameTap Originals channel: Exclusive shows you won’t find anywhere else! All of the GameTap original programs are housed in their entirety on this channel, such as the reality show “Challenged” (friends settle grudges with game-offs), “GameTap Survival Guide” (experts teach novices all they need to know to master specific games), “The Class of…?” (a pop-culture clip and quiz show), and “Hyper 5” (a top five countdown show spotlighting the wild, weird and wacked elements of games), to name a few.

· Music channel: The world of games collides with the music scene in original programming and music videos. This channel brings top musical artists to the network, including “GamePads,” a show about celebrities and how games have impacted their lives, and this month’s debut of “GameTap 10,” a celebrity-driven top 10 favorite video games countdown show, featuring segments with Fall Out Boy, Joe Nichols and Dem Franchize Boyz, with many others in the wings. Also featured are dozens of music videos spanning the rock, hip-hop and country genres.

· Animation channel: Debuting later this spring, the channel will kick-off with an original series of animated shorts about a campus computer lab and its unusual characters in a usual situation. It is being developed by Soup2Nuts, the creators of “Home Movies,” which airs on Cartoon Network. Other original animated features are also in the works.

· Games channel: With an industry record-setting library of more than 400 games, this channel lets subscribers preview games in the network prior to selecting what they want to play. Among the marquee titles joining this month are “Crazy Taxi,” one of SEGA’s most revered offerings and “King of Monsters 1 and 2” from SNK. Capcom also delivers its first batch of games, leading off with the legendary “Ghouls ‘N Ghosts” and “Ghosts ‘N Goblins,” as well as classic fighter “Dark Stalkers.” “Populous” from EA, “Oregon Trail” from River Deep and “Baldur’s Gate” from Vivendi Universal round out GameTap’s new March titles. Stay tuned for what’s new in April: Capcom Week, SNK Week, “King’s Quest” Week and “Street Fighter” Week.

With its ever-expanding menu of shows and games, GameTap has established a solid leadership position in on-demand broadband entertainment. The estimated 184 million consumers using broadband in 2005 will nearly double to 360 million in the next five years. With a robust catalogue of on-demand offerings and new competitive price point, GameTap will remain a frontrunner in the broadband movement.

Continue reading "TURNER BROADCASTING’S GAMETAP SPURS EVOLUTION OF BROADBAND ENTERTAINMENT WITH NEW LOOK, CHANNELS AND SHOWS" »

March 28, 2006

SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPION PITTBURGH STEELERS COACH BILL COWHER TO GRACE COVER OF NFL HEAD COACH FROM EA

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 29, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Bill Cowher will be on the cover of NFL Head Coach¸ available in stores June 20, under the EA SPORTS™ brand. NFL Head Coach is in development at EA Tiburon, EA’s studio responsible for other NFL videogame franchises including: Madden NFL Football and NFL STREET. This is the first-ever 3D sports strategy game where you can experience the emotional rollercoaster of coaching with the most true-to-life and authentic sports strategy game ever created.

Cowher, the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL, is fresh off his first Super Bowl title with a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. In 14 seasons under the leadership of Cowher, the Steelers have earned 10 postseason berths, captured nine division titles, advanced to six AFC Championship games and have made two Super Bowl appearances. The Pittsburgh-area native is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least eight division titles and ranks ninth in NFL history for longest head coaching service with one team.

“With NFL Head Coach there is finally a game that gives true football fans the chance to strategize and become the head coach of their favorite team,” said Cowher. “Coaching is about leadership and everyone will now see how difficult, but also how rewarding coaching can be.”

NFL Head Coach challenges gamers to build and manage every aspect of a football team from the ground up. A simple conversation system and an engaging graphical interface allow users to immerse themselves into the lives of an NFL head coach. As head coach, you develop a team strategy, execute it on and off the field, and try to build a winning organization year after year. Your status as a coaching legend will rise and fall based on all of your actions as you strive to become the greatest head coach of all time.

Continue reading "SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPION PITTBURGH STEELERS COACH BILL COWHER TO GRACE COVER OF NFL HEAD COACH FROM EA" »

March 25, 2006

Get Another Inside Look at the Commandos Strike Force Team in the Latest Developer Video!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game which fuses first person shooter style gamplay with strategic stealth combat is almost at your fingertips. To give you another inside glimpse of Pyro Studios hard at work redefining their successful franchise we have made another developer video available over at Eidos Interactive. This week’s video goes into detail about the teams involved to make the different versions of Commandos Strike Force for the PS2, Xbox and PC, as well as how they strived to make the game set itself apart from other games in the first person shooter genre. There is also a segment that goes into detail about the extensive testing that was done on the title, to ensure that it stands up to their rigorous standards of quality. The wait is almost over, as Commandos Strike Force is set to ship April 4th in North America for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

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THE ADVENTURE COMPANY LAUNCHES OFFICIAL CRIME STORIES WEBSITE

Toronto, March 24, 2006 – The Adventure Company announced today the launch of the website for Crime Stories, its investigative thriller now available in retail stores across North America. Junior detectives and adventure gamers alike will be able to find character information, screenshots, artwork and much more at www.crimestories-game.com.

Play as the brilliant detective Martin Mystère as you investigate the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What fascinating discovery had the professor uncovered and why is he now dead? Travel from the busy New York streets to ancient Mayan ruins as you investigate this murder.

Only you can solve this horrific crime – and the mystery that lies beneath it…

· A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!

· Beautifully detailed 3D graphics with rich, colorful environments to explore.

· 3rd person gameplay with numerous inventory items to discover and interact with.

· Creative and original puzzles that will challenge you!

· Loads of characters to talk to and assist you with your investigations – you choose what you want to say to them.

· A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!

· A rich atmospheric soundtrack accompanies gameplay and adjusts to your surroundings.

Crime Stories has and ESRB rating of ‘T’ for Teen and is currently available in retail stores across North America.


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March 24, 2006

The Adventure Company’s KEEPSAKE Goes Gold

Toronto, March 24, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today announced that KEEPSAKE has gone gold. Developed by Wicked Studios, this epic tale of mystery, fantasy, and friendship will take you deep into a world of beauty and boundless imagination.

Embark on a journey like no other. Playing the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to the gates of Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice, you will be fascinated by this enchanted world. Upon Lydia’s arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. Accompanied by a unique companion, challenge yourself to solve the enigmas that lie beyond the gates of Dragonvale Academy and uncover the mystery behind the strange disappearances and the beloved Keepsake...

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity


Continue reading "The Adventure Company’s KEEPSAKE Goes Gold" »

NCsoft Forms Subsidiary, NCsoft China, in Shanghai

SEOUL, South Korea, March 24, 200— NCsoft® Corporation (KSE:036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, today announced the opening of NCsoft China, a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China.

The new company is a result of NCsoft’s acquisition of a 51 percent equity stake in NC Sina, a joint venture formed by NCsoft and Sina.com in 2003. NCsoft China now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of NCsoft and will strengthen the company’s content development and publishing power in the ever-growing Chinese game market.

NCsoft China will not only provide services for existing games created by NCsoft’s global network to the Chinese market but also will develop and publish new games that will appeal to Chinese gamers’ interests.

NCsoft currently has branch offices in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, Taiwan and Thailand for overseas services. It also has established NCRC (NCsoft Research and Development Center) in Beijing, China and NCsoft Japan in Osaka, Japan to reinforce the company’s global network for content development under its commitment to “global infrastructure, local content.”

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EA LINES UP THE WORLD’S TOP SOCCER SUPERSTARS FOR 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP

Redwood City, Calif., March 24, 2006 – This is your chance to step onto the pitch and play with your heroes in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Finals! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today revealed the superstar players who will be featured on the front packs of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ video game around the world. Designed to celebrate each country’s top star, the cover athletes have been individually selected to represent their team, their nation and their loyal fans. Working in partnership with adidas, the only official branded sports apparel manufacturer for the real-world 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament, EA has been able to deliver customized covers for nearly a dozen countries.

“We are thrilled to have the world’s top athletes representing 2006 FIFA World Cup in each of these countries,” said Clive Downie, VP of Marketing, EA. “Game players around the globe are engaging in this phenomenal tournament by experiencing it for themselves through the video game.”

“2006 FIFA World Cup lets players live out their greatest soccer fantasy of playing with their heroes. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with EA and provide direct access to each of the superstars,” said Thierry Weil, head of football sports marketing at adidas.

Demonstrating athletic excellence, undying determination and masterful skill, the line-up of players featured regionally on 2006 FIFA World Cup are true sports champions.

TEAM

ATHLETE

PACK AVAILABILE IN:

China

Zhi Zhen

China

England

Frank Lampard

England

Germany

Lukas Podolski

Germany

Italy

Alessandro Del Piero

Italy

Mexico

Jamie Lozano

USA, Canada, Mexico

Portugal

Simao

Portugal

Netherlands

Arjen Robben

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg

Switzerland

Ricardo Cabanas

Switzerland

Spain

Xavi

Spain

USA

Claudio Reyna

USA, Canada, Mexico

All other countries will feature the FIFA World Cup trophy and the Official Emblem.

Players step into the heart of the action as they play their favorite team or most loathed opponent. Featuring stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, gamers experience the 12 official stadiums as they take their team from qualification to glory. In addition to taking control of one of 127 national teams, players will enjoy groundbreaking new play modes. Global Challenge tests even the biggest soccer fanatic by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup history with modern teams. True champions can challenge their friends in eight-way multiplayer matches and take advantage of tremendous in-game un-lockable content such as legendary players and exclusive licensed football apparel.

2006 FIFA World Cup, developed by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C. will be available on April 24 in North America and April 28 in Europe and Asia. The game will be available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game systems from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, and Game Boy® Advance, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, PC and mobile. The game is rated is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and has a PEGI rating of 3+.

Screenshots and renders can be downloaded at http://info.ea.com.

###

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers, and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS BIG™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S and/or other countries. Official FIFA licensed product. FIFA World Cup is the property of its respective owner and used with permission. Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox 360 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark and PSP is a trademark of SCEI. Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance are trademarks of Nintendo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Continue reading "EA LINES UP THE WORLD’S TOP SOCCER SUPERSTARS FOR 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP" »

Agent 47 Prepares to Make a Killing in the Latest Video for Hitman: Blood Money!

To be a professional hitman, you must always be prepared. Not having a proper plan put together will only lead to mistakes, and as the world’s deadliest assassin, Agent 47 does not make mistakes. Planning the proper hit takes strategy, wits and precision; the ability to get into position unnoticed, execute your plan, and then leave without a trace. It’s like an art form, and the latest video from Hitman: Blood Money shows the legendary artist of execution at work as Agent 47 puts together a plan that ends with the perfect shot. The latest installment of the Hitman franchise puts you in control, as you determine the best way to make the hit... but be prepared, for the blood will be on your hands.

Download the video now here:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=159!

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March 23, 2006

BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII CLEARS FOR DEPARTURE FOR XBOX 360, XBOX, AND PC

SAN FRANCISCO March 23, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today proudly announces that Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, the intense squadron-based flight action game, has released for Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft and PC in the U.S. and will be arriving in North American stores this week. Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII will be releasing on March 30, 2006, in Europe and Australia.

"Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII is a very exciting launch for Ubisoft," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "This is the first flight game for Xbox 360, and it takes full advantage of the technological and graphical power of the new system, delivering a truly amazing and gorgeous flight combat gameplay experience like no other game in its genre before."

In Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, players test their air-combat skills as they experience the most famous battles of World War II. As a squadron leader, players can fly up to 38 WWII aircraft in both single-player and multiplayer missions.

Developed by Ubisoft, Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII features innovative squadron-based combat, in which each artificial intelligence wingman's specialized skill can be used to the pilot's advantage. During the course of the 18-mission campaign, players will evolve along with their wingmen into an ace fighting force. Spectacular graphics enhance the combat experience in true World War II battle sites such as England, Germany, France, Morocco, Pearl Harbor, Midway and Tokyo. The heroic storyline that follows the evolution of a single squadron and the cinematic presentation create moments reminiscent of classic World War II movies. Pilots fly in close to Germany's industrial terrain during a bombing raid or emerge from the fog and cloud cover over London to engage the enemy. Up to 16 players online can engage over the Xbox Live® online game service in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons in 10 additional missions.

Key features of the Xbox 360 and Xbox versions include:

• WWII's most epic and famous air battles: Experience the greatest air battles of World War II in famous locations from across the globe. Whether it's the Battle of Britain, the attack on Pearl Harbor or the fierce fighting over Berlin, the player and his squadron will be tasked with turning the tide of war.

• Innovative squadron-based gameplay: Command AI wingmen and make use of each one's special abilities. The pilot's heroism and leadership will grow during the course of the 18-mission campaign. Engage in legendary air battles and lead a squadron of Blazing Angels to victory.

• A large variety of realistic-looking WWII aircraft: Pilot 38 authentic WWII aircraft including the famous P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the British Spitfire, and planes like the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt and the Japanese Zero in multiplayer. From the wing rivets to the nose art to the detailed cockpits, these planes look like the real thing.

• 18 heart-stopping missions in a compelling storyline: Pilots will begin as untrained recruits and evolve through battle experience into ace combat pilots. WWII missions will take place around the globe in a large variety of locations such as London, the Pacific theater, North Africa, Normandy and Berlin.

• Authentic WWII atmosphere: Fly low over Germany's industrial terrain for a bombing raid, strafe the islands of the Pacific, or emerge from the cloud cover over London and engage the enemy. The environment is so real you'll feel like you're the pilot in a famous WWII movie.

• Planes are easy to handle and fun to fly: No need to attend the Air Force Academy to pilot these planes; players can jump right into air combat action without extensive tutorials.

• Xbox Live for up to 16 players online: Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons on huge maps with large formations.

Key features of the PC CD-ROM version include:

• Heart-pounding single-player campaigns: Over 18 missions grouped into a compelling historical battle campaign. More than 40 missions in standalone modes (Mini-Campaign, Arcade and Ace Duel).

• Thrilling multiplayer combat: 16-player online and LAN play in 10 game types (Dogfight, Aces High, Seek and Destroy, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Kamikaze, Historical Battles and Capture the Base) in three multiplayer modes (Solo, Co-op and Squadron).

• Innovative graphical features: Amazingly detailed terrain including a variety of high-resolution specular maps. Photorealistic recreations of iconic cityscapes and locations including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the London Bridge and the ships in port at Pearl Harbor.

• Over 39 flyable high-definition, authentic-looking planes: High-resolution plane models (8,000-10 000 polygons per plane) and usage of large textures for the planes (1024x1024 = 4 Mb of texture per plane). Other aircraft features include multiple plane skins and nose-art, and destruction details for each plane model. Over 70 planes can be seen in the sky at once.

• Detailed vehicles and 3D-modeled people: High-resolution and 3D detail for over 40 vehicle models, and all vehicle models have damage levels. Each 3D-modeled person has over 10 animated movements.

• Impressive sound features: Hear all the combat excitement with the 48 KHz high-quality sampled sound and up to 64 3D sound sources 5.1 compatible.

Blazing Angels will ship with an ESRB rating of T (Teen) for Xbox 360, Xbox and PC. For more information and updates, please visit www.blazing-angels.com.

© 2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Blazing Angels, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Continue reading "BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII CLEARS FOR DEPARTURE FOR XBOX 360, XBOX, AND PC" »

March 22, 2006

The Adventure Company Releases Concept Art for Keepsake

Toronto, March 22, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today released 6 sketches from different environments in KEEPSAKE.

Take a glimpse into the beginnings of KEEPSAKE, an epic tale of fantasy and boundless imagination that unfolds in a world of unparalleled beauty. Embark on a journey of enlightenment playing the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to the gates of Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice. Upon her arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. Players will be fascinated by this enchanted world on their quest to uncover the mystery behind the strange disappearances, Dragonvale Academy, and the beloved Keepsake...

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity

Continue reading "The Adventure Company Releases Concept Art for Keepsake" »

Stunning New Trailer Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

This trailer is worth watching. The gameplay looks amazingly fluid.

Lara Croft is back in action, and her new adventure is the best looking Tomb Raider game you’ve ever seen! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend marks Lara’s return to the tombs, which are now larger, more immersive and interactive then ever before, delivering you the true sense of adventure and exploration which made the series rise to the top. Next generation graphics coupled with the beautiful fluid movement of Lara Croft ensure that both the environments and gaming’s lead heroine are absolutely stunning to watch. Her new acrobatic moves along with new gear such as the magnetic grapple make traversing the deadly terrain of the tombs absolutely exhilarating, as you take control of Lara Croft and perform death defying stunts at great heights. The latest trailer gives you another look into Lara Croft’s latest adventure, and it will prove that Tomb Raider: Legend is definitely a game you do not want to miss!

Download the new trailer here at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=158

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EA AND DIGITAL ILLUSIONS ANNOUNCE BATTLEFIELD 2142 FOR PC

Redwood City, Calif. – March 22, 2006 – Fight an all-out war for survival in the year 2142. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Sweden-based developer, Digital Illusions, today announced development of the next installment in the award-winning Battlefield™ franchise, Battlefield 2142™. The ground-breaking first-person shooter is scheduled to ship this fall for the PC.

The year is 2142, and the dawn of a new Ice age has thrown the world into a panic. The math is simple and brutal: The soil not covered by ice can only feed a fraction of the Earth’s population. Some will live, most will die. In Battlefield 2142, players will choose to fight for one of two military superpowers in an epic battle for survival, the European Union or the newly formed Pan Asian Coalition. Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech assault rifles, cloaking devices and sentry guns, players will also do battle using some of the most imposing vehicles known to man. Massive battle Mechs wage fierce combat on the ground, while futuristic aircraft rule the skies. When facing one of these new behemoths, players will need to use their wits and an arsenal of new countermeasures like EMP grenades to level the playing field.

"Battlefield has long been synonymous with innovative, best-of-breed online multiplayer action," said Sean Decker, Executive Producer, DICE. "By stepping into the future with Battlefield 2142, the team at DICE has reinvented the rules of engagement for the next century.”

Team play features allow up to 64 players to enter the action on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or work behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their teammates. With in-game success, players increase their rank and unlock awards, including new weapons, medals and more, delivering the most comprehensive and flexible persistence in the Battlefield universe to date.

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NCsoft’s Auto Assault Revs Up, Goes Gold

AUSTIN, Texas, March 22, 2005—NCsoft® North America announced that Auto Assault® has reached gold master status and will appear on retailers’ shelves in both North America and Europe April 13. Also, customers who purchase and register their Auto Assault pre-order boxes will receive the benefits of a special in-game weapon and loot bonus, plus a four-day head start for game play.

Auto Assault, the sixth major online game published by NCsoft, was developed by Colorado-based developer, NetDevil®, LTD. The first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in a post apocalyptic setting, Auto Assault combines fast action with the depth of role-playing games and features fully destructible environments. The game is also expected to launch service simultaneously in North America and Europe on April 13. Pre-order customers may participate in the four-day head start beginning at 9 a.m. EST on April 9. Players who wish to participate in the head-start may purchase the Auto Assault pre-order box, currently available at retailers across North America, and register the product at www.PlayNC.com.

“Auto Assault is a dream come true for gamers who enjoy the depth of traditional online role-playing games but crave the fast, frenetic pace of action games,” said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. “This title has everything you’d expect from a MMORPG – all at 100 miles per hour.”

“We are very excited about the upcoming launch of Auto Assault, but this is just the beginning,” said Scott Brown, president of NetDevil and project lead. “One of the reasons we partnered with NCsoft is that they provide the best value to their customers, with free content expansions in addition to other ways to grow their game worlds. Auto Assault customers will be able to enjoy new content for years to come.”

In Auto Assault, players can choose to be a Human, Mutant or Biomek character and set out in a post apocalyptic land in personalized combat vehicles, fighting for the few resources left on a shattered Earth. Combat is extremely fast-paced and challenges abound as players blast through buildings, set fire to forests, and level entire settlements. Player avatars may own many different vehicles, specialize in several crafting disciplines to create truly unique items, and participate in player-versus-player battles both in arena combat and in contested outpost areas.

Auto Assault’s standard edition box will be available at an expected retail price of US$49.99. The Limited Edition, which includes a headset to utilize the game’s voice chat system, will be available for an expected retail price of US$59.99. Both the standard and Limited editions of the game include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

For more information about Auto Assault, go to: www.autoassault.com.

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March 21, 2006

NEW CALL OF DUTY 2 XBOX 360 TITLE UPDATE NOW AVAILABLE

Santa Monica, CA – March 21, 2006 – Fans of the award-winning, blockbuster hit, Call of Dutyâ 2, will be locked and loaded with today’s Title Update for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), the Title Update offers significant enhancements, including improved multiplayer performance, the ability to reserve friend slots in private game lobbies, post-game lobbies so friends can play longer, configurable host options and more. The Xbox 360 update will be automatically applied the next time users log into Xbox Live® with Call of Duty 2.

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CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: 3 DIMENSIONS OF MURDER AVAILABLE NOW FOR PC

SAN FRANCISCO March 21, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: 3 Dimensions of Murder has shipped to retail stores and is now available for PC. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder is based on CBS' hit television drama set in Las Vegas. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder has an ESRB rating of M for Mature and an MSRP of $29.99.

CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder will continue the authentic experience of Ubisoft's popular CSI video games. Players will work alongside Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the rest of the original Las Vegas cast to help solve intense cases and investigate crimes using cutting-edge techniques and real-world forensic equipment. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder improves upon the successful core design concepts of previous CSI games, featuring an all-new, real-time 3D engine, enriched character interactions and animations, and longer, more immersive stories.

"With CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder we are taking gamers back to where all the success began, with the original CSI cast in Las Vegas," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "We have worked closely with CBS to integrate the newest elements from the hit CSI television show to deliver not only the most authentic CSI game available to date, but the most exciting and immersive crime solving experience currently available on the market."

Key Features:

• NEW 3-D Graphics: Investigate crime scenes that are more like the hit TV show than ever. Move around the crime scene and get a close-up look. Feel like you are really using the tools for collection and detection of evidence and interact with the CSI cast like never before.

• Five New Cases with Deeper Plot Lines with Shocking Twists: Players will be drawn into the action with improved character interaction and longer, more immersive cases. The five new and distinctive cases will draw players in like never before.

• New Mobile Crime Lab: Just like the hit TV show, CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder features the GMC Mobile Analysis Unit that can be used to analyze evidence quickly in the field.

• More Satisfying Evidence Analysis: Players will really feel like they are solving the case, not like the computer is solving it for them. Use high-tech tools to collect and process evidence such as, Mikrosil casting material, magnetic powder for enhanced finger print analysis and Luminol for detecting traces of blood evidence.

• The Original CSI Series is the #1 Hit TV Show: CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder returns to the original Vegas-based series. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation remains the top show on TV with 26 million weekly viewers.

CSI is the top-rated television drama on network television and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Series in 2003 and 2004. The series was created by Anthony Zuiker, is executive produced by Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Ann Donahue and are produced by CBS Productions and Alliance Atlantis Communications, in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

The CSI franchise published by Ubisoft has sold more than 1.6 million units worldwide since the first CSI title was released in March 2003.

Ubisoft has also published CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as well as CSI: Dark Motives and CSI: Miami. CBS Consumer Products manages the worldwide licensing, merchandising and video activities for these properties.

Continue reading "CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: 3 DIMENSIONS OF MURDER AVAILABLE NOW FOR PC" »

EA’S THE GODFATHER THE GAME WELCOMES YOU TO THE FAMILY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 21, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced The Godfather™ The Game videogame has shipped and is on store shelves today in North America and March 24th in Europe. Gamers worldwide can step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC. Developed by EA, the highly-anticipated open-world videogame is based on the critically-acclaimed book by Mario Puzo and the classic film by Paramount Pictures through a strategic licensing relationship with Viacom Consumer Products. A Limited Edition for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, featuring behind the scenes content including footage from voice over sessions with James Caan and Robert Duvall, also is available in stores. The Godfather The Game for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system will be available later in 2006.

EA’s The Godfather The Game puts the player at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and choose which style to work your way to the top – Il Capo Tutto di Capi. The game goes beyond the films and book to actually create the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s-50s New York City. Relive classic moments from the fiction and experience open-world gameplay alongside unforgettable characters from the film such as Luca Brasi, Sonny, Tom Hagan, and of course, Don Vito Corleone himself. Actors from the film, including Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall, reprised their roles lending their voices to the game.

“The Godfather is one of the most exciting, dramatic and memorable works of fiction in the world and we worked very hard to create the Godfather Interactive experience,” said David DeMartini Executive Producer of The Godfather The Game.

“Our goal has always been to maintain the legacy of The Godfather and empower players to interact in the world based on one of the most remarkable motion pictures of all time,” said Sandi Isaacs, Vice President of Interactive at Viacom Consumer Products. “Electronic Arts has been an exceptional partner and we’re incredibly excited to launch one of the most anticipated games of the year.”

Continue reading "EA’S THE GODFATHER THE GAME WELCOMES YOU TO THE FAMILY" »

March 20, 2006

Official ArchLord website launches revealing exclusive info on player ascension and new movie

New York (March 17, 2006) - Codemasters’ official website for ArchLord, the MMORPG where one player will rule the world, is now live at www.archlordgame.com. In addition to revealing the first details of the unique ArchLord player ascension system, the site also carries the game movie ‘Episode 1: The Legend of Chantra.’

With its unique competitive premise, ArchLord is a fantasy based MMORPG unlike no other in today’s market and due to launch in Q3 2006. The ArchLord system, which sees one player rise to become the game world’s supreme ruler for a month, revolves around a player securing three holy relics known as Archons.

ArchLord’s game world is the mystical land Chantra, and play is set deep within the world’s Middle Ages. In order to challenge for the ArchLord crown, players embark on specific quests to gain great knowledge surrounding the true history of Chantra and the Archons that reside within.

Within its borders, Chantra’s diverse and challenging landscape holds three immense castles, each fiercely protected from those who wish to enter. To challenge for the castles’ rule, players and their guilds must fight their way through a hoard of enemies, guardians of the sacred Archons.

Victory will yield reward in the form of an Archon and a summon to the battle arena. Here players are pitted against one another as they challenge for control of all three Archons. From here it is but a mere glimpse to being crowned ArchLord as you go head to head with the current monarch in a battle like no other. Success brings power! Death brings nothing but sorrow. Win your fight and be crowned the ArchLord!


Continue reading "Official ArchLord website launches revealing exclusive info on player ascension and new movie" »

March 17, 2006

EA ANNOUNCES BLACK & WHITE 2: BATTLE OF THE GODS EXPANSION PACK

Redwood City, Calif. - March 16, 2006 - You’ve conquered Eden and its tribes, now return to find an even more powerful foe – a rival god who is determined to convert your subjects and become the ruler of Eden. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, today announced that Lionhead Studios is developing Black & White® 2: Battle of The Gods, an expansion pack for Black & White® 2, which will become available to customers worldwide in April 2006 via retail channels and the EA downloader at www.downloader.ea.com

The Battle of the Gods expansion pack for Black & White 2 offers player a host of new challenges in a much darker, more sinister game world. It takes the player back once more to the world of Eden where something strange has started to happen: The Aztecs have not accepted defeat lightly and by making a huge number of human sacrifices they have raised their own evil deity, forcing the player to return to Eden to fight it head on. As customary in the Black & White world, the player has the freedom to choose how they will rise to this new challenge by either countering the evil deity’s actions with good deeds or attempting to defeat him with extreme evil.

Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods will feature a brand new creature, two new lands and four new miracles. An all new enemy unit AI system enhances the battle experience but players will have to watch out for two new enemy armies and their ultimate weapon: the new enemy creature. There will also be six new challenges and other new content for players of the PC game to explore.

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The Adventure Company Ships Crime Stories

Toronto, March 16, 2006 - The Adventure Company announced today that its investigative thriller, Crime Stories has shipped to retailers across North America.

As the brilliant detective Martin Mystère, you have just been called upon to investigate the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What fascinating discovery had the professor uncovered and why is he now dead?

Intelligent and inquisitive, Martin will captivate you with his eccentric personality as he takes you on an adventure all over the world confronted with danger, crime and mystery. Only you can solve this horrific crime – and the mystery that lies beneath it…

* A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!
* Engage your senses with brilliant high-quality environments to explore and just the right music to set the mood.
* Many interesting objects to search for, collect and use.
* Creative and original puzzles to solve.
* Loads of characters to meet and talk to - you choose what you want to say to them!
* A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!
* From the award winning publisher of MISSING® and Syberia®.

Crime Stories has an ESRB rating of "T" for Teen.

About DreamCatcher Inc.:

DreamCatcher Inc. is a leading worldwide publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software. Established in 1996, the company markets its products under two popular labels: DreamCatcher Games, featuring the critically acclaimed, best-selling game Painkiller; and The Adventure Company, the number one brand for PC adventure game sales worldwide including award winning titles such as Syberia and Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None.

DreamCatcher products include titles for the PC as well as leading hardware platforms - the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PlayStation® Portable (PSP) system, the Xbox® video game and entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube® and Game Boy® Advance.

DreamCatcher’s head office is located in Toronto, Canada. The company also services European, Middle Eastern and Australasian territories through its international office based in Paris, France.

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March 16, 2006

Agent 47 Practices His New Moves on a Giant Chicken in the Latest Batch of Screenshots for Hitman: Blood Money!

Normally it’s rare to come across a man in an oversized bird suit, but at the world’s largest party, the Mardi Gras, it’s commonplace. However, what’s definitely out of the ordinary is to see a professional hitman stalking such a man in costume. Sadly for the man in the bird suit, he must have rubbed Agent 47 the wrong way, because in the latest batch of screenshots he is trying out a few of his new kill moves at the bird man’s expense!

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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Midway Demos

I met with Midway yesterday at the W Hotel where they had the greatest rice krispy squares dipped in chocolate.

SpyHunter: Nowhere to Run
spyhunter.jpg
This ships on June 19, 2006 for PS2 and Xbox. It's more than the same old SpyHunter because there is an added 3rd person action element staring The Rock. It's pretty melee heavy. I got to play this one and it was a lot of fun. Driving had that exciting combat. I kept dying during the level with the boat. The gun battles and fighting were pretty cool and they really bring a new dimension to the game.

Stranglehold
stranglehold.jpg
This will be Midway's first next generation game for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. It's a John Woo project, the spiritual sequel to Hardboiled. Chow Yun Fat plays Inspector Tequila and the game takes place in both Hong Kong and Chicago. There is environment is massively destructible and rooms look like a gun battle took place there with debris on the ground and the walls being all chewed up by bullets. The theatrical effects are there with blood spray and the animation is very fluid. There's also Tequila Time where you move in real time and everyone else moves in slow motion. It's being developed by the same team that did Psi-Ops and they're using Havoc physics and the Unreal Engine 3.0. Stranglehold is scheduled to ship in winto 2006.

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March 15, 2006

Battlefield 2: Euro Force™

The Battlefield 2: Euro Force™ Booster Pack is now available for download via the EA downloader. Developed by Digital Illusions Canada, Battlefield 2: Euro Force™ is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB. Battlefield 2: Euro Force™ will be available for $9.99 USD via download at www.downloader.ea.com.

The European Union joins the battle in, Battlefield 2: Euro Force™, the first booster pack for Battlefield 2™. Take the powerful new Euro Force into action against Middle Eastern Coalition and Chinese armies as you battle for control of all-new Asian locations.

Battlefield Battlefield 2: Euro Force™takes you on the offensive admist burning oil fields, the Great Wall of China, and the immense Taraba Quarry , each having a unique tactical advantage on the battlefield.

The action escalates in each new map with the latest high-tech vehicles and weapons including attack helicopters, battle tanks, assault rifles, and much more.

The Battlefield 2 game engine and physics system brings the modern battlefield to life like never before. The material penetration feature measures weapons' ability to fire through barriers based on their composition and players will need to know the difference between concealment and cover in order to survive.

Team play features allow players to enter the action on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or work behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their teammates.

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ACTIVISION AND LIONHEAD STUDIOS BREAK-A-LEG WITH THE MOVIES: STUNTS & EFFECTS EXPANSION PACK

Santa Monica, CA – March 15, 2006 – Suited up and ready for action, Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and Lionhead® Studios today announced The Movies™: Stunts & Effects, the expansion pack to the 9th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards’ “Simulation Game of the Year.” Building on The Movies’ critically acclaimed gameplay, The Movies: Stunts & Effects ups the ante on movie production with the addition of stuntmen to the lot, a movie-making toolset, a diverse selection of dangerous stunts, astounding visual effects, impressive new sets and a number of brand-new techniques and technologies that can be used when making a movie. Currently in development at Lionhead Studios, The Movies: Stunts & Effects will be released Spring 2006 and has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

The Movies: Stunts & Effects allows players to hone their movie making skills with features that can turn an ordinary script into an extraordinary blockbuster. In addition to stunts and effects, the game introduces new backdrops, costumes and props, as well as upgrades to the Advanced Movie Making mode that lets players take control of even more movie features. Players are further immersed into the Hollywood lifestyle as they train and manage stuntmen, as well as compete for industry awards and achievements by uploading their movies to www.themoviesgame.com for the entire world to see.

The online community for The Movies continues to grow with new movies being posted daily. The website, www.themoviesgame.com, has attracted more than three million unique users, has received more than 300 million hits*, and currently features more than 60,000 user-created movies, available online for anyone to view.

The Movies for Windows® PC is available now for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and is rated “T” (Teen with blood and gore, crude humor, mild language, sexual themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence) by the ESRB.

*These statistics apply to www.themoviesgame.com/community.

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JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

Electronic Arts announced today that The Godfather™ The Game has gone gold for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. Gamers worldwide will step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC on March 21st in North America and March 24th in Europe. The Godfather The Game will also be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system later in 2006. EA’s The Godfather The Game puts you at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and work your way to the top. For the first time ever, you will go beyond the films and book to actually step into the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s New York City. You will work your way up the mob ranks your own way, choosing just how much force to use as you rise to power.

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BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII GOES GOLD FOR XBOX 360, XBOX, AND PC

SAN FRANCISCO “March 14, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today proudly announces that Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, the intense squadron-based flight action game, has gone gold for the Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft and PC and will be releasing to U.S. stores on March 23, 2006.

In Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, players test their air-combat skills as they experience the most famous battles of World War II. As a squadron leader, players can fly up to 38 WWII aircraft in both single-player and multiplayer missions.

Developed by Ubisoft, Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII features innovative squadron-based combat, in which each artificial intelligence wingman's specialized skill can be used to the pilot's advantage. During the course of the 18-mission campaign, players will evolve along with their wingmen into an ace fighting force. Spectacular graphics enhance the combat experience in true World War II battle sites such as England, Germany, France, Morocco, Pearl Harbor, Midway and Tokyo. The heroic storyline that follows the evolution of a single squadron and the cinematic presentation create moments reminiscent of classic World War II movies. Pilots fly in close to Germany's industrial terrain during a bombing raid or emerge from the fog and cloud cover over London to engage the enemy. Up to 16 players online can engage over Xbox Live® online game service in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons in 10 additional missions.

Key features of the Xbox 360 and Xbox versions include:

• WWII's most epic and famous air battles: Experience the greatest air battles of World War II in famous locations from across the globe. Whether it's the Battle of Britain, the attack on Pearl Harbor or the fierce fighting over Berlin, the player and his squadron will be tasked with turning the tide of war.

• Innovative squadron-based gameplay: Command AI wingmen and make use of each one's special abilities. The pilot's heroism and leadership will grow during the course of the 18-mission campaign. Engage in legendary air battles and lead a squadron of Blazing Angels to victory.

• A large variety of realistic-looking WWII aircraft: Pilot 38 authentic WWII aircraft including the famous P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the British Spitfire, and planes like the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt and the Japanese Zero in multiplayer. From the wing rivets to the nose art to the detailed cockpits, these planes look like the real thing.

• 18 heart-stopping missions in a compelling storyline: Pilots will begin as untrained recruits and evolve through battle experience into ace combat pilots. WWII missions will take place around the globe in a large variety of locations such as London, the Pacific theater, North Africa, Normandy and Berlin.

• Authentic WWII atmosphere: Fly low over Germany's industrial terrain for a bombing raid, strafe the islands of the Pacific, or emerge from the cloud cover over London and engage the enemy. The environment is so real you'll feel like you're the pilot in a famous WWII movie.

• Planes are easy to handle and fun to fly: No need to attend the Air Force Academy to pilot these planes; players can jump right into air combat action without extensive tutorials.

• Xbox Live for up to 16 players online: Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons on huge maps with large formations.

Key features of the PC CD-ROM version include:
• Heart-pounding single-player campaigns: Over 18 missions grouped into a compelling historical battle campaign. Over 40 missions in standalone modes (Mini-Campaign, Arcade and Ace Duel).

• Thrilling multiplayer combat: 16-player online and LAN play in 10 game types (Dogfight, Aces High, Seek and Destroy, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Kamikaze, Historical Battles and Capture the Base) in three multiplayer modes (Solo, Co-op and Squadron).

• Innovative graphical features: Amazingly detailed terrain including a variety of high-resolution specular maps. Photorealistic recreations of iconic cityscapes and locations including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the London Bridge and the ships in port at Pearl Harbor.

• Over 39 flyable high-definition, authentic-looking planes: High-resolution plane models (8,000-10 000 polygons per plane) and usage of large textures for the planes (1024x1024 = 4 Mb of texture per plane). Other aircraft features include multiple plane skins and nose-art, and destruction details for each plane model. Over 70 planes can be seen in the sky at once.

• Detailed vehicles and 3D-modeled people: High-resolution and 3D detail for over 40 vehicle models, and all vehicle models have damage levels. Each 3D-modeled person has over 10 animated movements.

• Impressive sound features: Hear all the combat excitement with the 48 KHz high-quality sampled sound and up to 64 3D sound sources 5.1 compatible.

Blazing Angels will ship with an ESRB rating of T (Teen) for Xbox 360, Xbox, and PC. For more information and updates, please visit www.blazing-angels.com.

© 2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Blazing Angels, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Continue reading "BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII GOES GOLD FOR XBOX 360, XBOX, AND PC" »

March 14, 2006

Spore Lecture from GDC

Spore Gameplay Video - Google Video

Check out this video of Will Wright's lecture about Spore at GDC. This game looks amazing.

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March 13, 2006

SEGA's Condemned: Criminal Origins Goes Gold for PC

Today SEGA announced that its award-winning Xbox 360 launch title, Condemned: Criminal Origins, has gone gold for the PC. With the launch date set at April 11th, PC gamers are less than a month away from the haunting thrill and excitement that took critics and gamers by storm on the Xbox 360. In Condemned: Criminal Origins, gamers play Agent Thomas, an investigator in the FBI's Serial Crimes Unit (SCU), whose pursuit of relentless serial killers leads him through urban environments filled with sociopaths lurking in the shadows, waiting to destroy him.

March 11, 2006

Brand New Website Update for Tomb Raider: Legend Including a New Trailer!

And you thought that new screenshots featuring Tokyo would be enough for one day! Today we are loading you up with new content by also bringing you a massive new web update! Two new characters have been added,
including the Yakuza boss Shogo Takamoto, and the wealthy media mogul Toru Nishimura. Details about the recently revealed Tokyo level have also been included, along with descriptions for a couple more of Lara
Croft’s new weapons and gear. And how could we possibly forget Lara’s stunning attire that she wears to corporate party in Tokyo? Think that’s enough? We have also added a brand new trailer which shows Lara Croft in some truly breathtaking sequences! Talk about a Tomb Raider: Legend media overload! Head on over to www.tombraider.com now to check out the new assets! Seeing is believing, when Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend ships April 11th for the PS2, Xbox and PC, with the Xbox360 and PSP
versions to follow shortly after.

Continue reading "Brand New Website Update for Tomb Raider: Legend Including a New Trailer!" »

Lara Croft Looks Stunning in the Latest Batch of Screenshots Featuring a Stop in Tokyo!

When getting ready to travel the world in search of rare artifacts, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Dual Pistols... check. Magnetic Grapple... check. Cocktail Dress... CHECK!! That’s right, Lara Croft is traveling to Tokyo, and she is definitely dressed to impress! When you are there to crash a party, it’s not a crime to look sizzling in the process, now is it? But why is she there? Well, she needs to collect some information about the rare artifact that she wants to add to her collection, the... now we can’t go and spoil that for you yet! But what we can reveal is a brand new batch of screenshots featuring Lara Croft in one of her beautiful new outfits as she bursts into action on the rooftops of Tokyo!

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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ARENANET AND NCSOFT ANNOUNCE APRIL 28 AS GLOBAL RELEASE DATE FOR GUILD WARS FACTIONS

March 10, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA): ArenaNet® , developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today the release date of Guild Wars Factions™, the hotly anticipated second game release from the critically acclaimed studio. Guild Wars Factions will be available in stores worldwide April 28, 2006.

Guild Wars Factions takes place on the Asian-inspired continent of Cantha, where new and existing Guild Wars players join an epic quest to defeat an ancient evil and save a war-torn empire. Roleplaying and competitive player-versus-player gamers alike will be able to join together in guild alliances to take control of territory and determine the fate of Cantha. New scored challenge missions and strategic competitive missions allow players to test their roleplaying prowess and earn the right for their alliance to take control of cities, towns and outposts. Large-scale alliance battles pit teams from opposing factions against each other in a struggle to conquer new territory and redraw the battle lines across the continent of Cantha. New elite missions allow the most skilled players exclusive access to areas designed to be the ultimate cooperative challenge.

“Guild Wars Factions is an exceptional game that invites players to immerse themselves in a truly epic adventure unlike any they have seen,” says Patrick Wyatt, a co-founder of ArenaNet. “The four new mission types create a unique experience that will engage both the roleplaying and competitive gamer in cooperative conquest of territories and strategic battles. Set against the landscapes of the visually stunning, Asian-themed continent of Cantha, and with two new characters to choose from - Assassin and Ritualist - Guild Wars Factions will redefine the online RPG experience.”

New players will join the more than one million gamers already playing Guild Wars worldwide, and existing players will have a new continent and storyline to explore within the universe of Guild Wars, the ground-breaking online roleplaying game that took the gaming world by storm in 2005 with its innovative design, depth of play and no-subscription-fee model. While Guild Wars Factions is a standalone product that does not require Guild Wars to play, gamers with Guild Wars accounts who purchase Guild Wars Factions will be able to play in both campaigns with their existing characters and even gain extra character slots.

For gamers who can’t wait until April 28 to get their hands on a copy of Guild Wars Factions, ArenaNet is hosting a massive beta test event in which all existing Guild Wars players and their friends are invited to delve into the experiences awaiting them in Cantha. For those who want to be the first to enjoy all that Guild Wars Factions has to offer, a limited edition pre-order package is currently available at retail stores throughout North America. This pre-order pack includes an access key to the Factions Preview Event (FPE) on March 24, and also provides access to Guild Wars Factions twenty-four hours before the street date, exclusive in-game items for each of the game’s new professions, a “friend-key” that gives access to the FPE for friends without an existing Guild Wars account, a limited trial of Guild Wars (original Prophecies campaign) for a friend, a tactical guide, a quick reference card, and a CD that includes concept art, wallpapers, and in-game trailers.

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March 9, 2006

The Countdown to Oblivion Has Officially Begun!

As you’re already aware, the long-awaited "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" has finally gone gold and will begin shipping to store shelves across the country on March 20th. To tide over anxious gamers, the official Elder Scrolls homepage will update daily with exciting new content such as screenshots, wallpapers, previews, reviews and other captivating glimpses into the world of Oblivion. Be sure to check back daily for all the latest information at www.elderscrolls.com.

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NCsoft Announces Publishing Deal with Spacetime Studios

AUSTIN, Texas, March 8, 2006—NCsoft® Corporation (KSE:036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today its latest partnership with a new company in Austin. Spacetime Studios™, composed of a core team with previous leadership roles on successful franchises such as Privateer, Wing Commander and Star Wars Galaxies, will publish its next game under the NCsoft brand.

Collectively the Spacetime group has shipped 14 previous titles, two of which have been million-unit sellers.

“Having the Spacetime team on board is a great step forward for NCsoft,” said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. “This group has a proven track record in creating games in the space genre. They’ve also been successful in developing massively multiplayer games and we believe that’s a winning combination and a perfect fit for the NCsoft lineup of products.”

“Spacetime and NCsoft is a great match,” said Gary Gattis, Spacetime Studios co-founder. “They are a top-notch publisher that really cares about their developers and the quality of their games. NCsoft has shown us strong support and a willingness to provide a great balance of direction and freedom to develop a game that we have been dreaming of doing for years.”

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March 8, 2006

TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER SHI PS TO RETAIL THIS WEEK FOR XBOX 360 AND XBOX

SAN FRANCISCO March 7, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has shipped to retail stores for Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon®. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has an ESRB rating of T for Teen and an MSRP of $59.99 for Xbox 360
and $49.99 for Xbox. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system version will ship in late March 2006. The PC version will be arriving in May 2006.

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will set a new benchmark for what is possible in graphic quality, content and intense multiplayer action," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Already, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is among the highest-rated games released on any next-generation platform and is being hailed as the killer app for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. This is the game that Xbox 360 owners have been waiting for."

"[Tom Clancy's] Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is not only the best tactical shooter I have ever played, it is one of the most immersive and exciting shooters ever." -- Game Informer Magazine, April 2006

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter should prove to be Xbox Live's killer app on Xbox 360 for months to come"" -- Official Xbox Magazine, April 2006

"Warfighter is by far the best Ghost Recon game in the series and a hands-down must-buy shooter for the 360." -- Electronic Gaming
Monthly, April 2006

About Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter:
The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts. In 2013, the U.S. Army will implement the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS) evolving what we know as the modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon systems, satellite communication devices and enhanced survivability into one fully integrated combat system. The IWS program has been developed to meet these new threats head on. Now, it can be tested on the battlefield. Following an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the U.S. Army's most elite Special Forces team is deployed to the center of the conflict to regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered but fully equipped with the IWS, this elite team is the first and last line of defense on the battlefield. They are the "quiet" professionals. They are the Ghosts.

Key Features:
• Next-generation gaming technology: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is built from the ground up for next-generation consoles, taking full advantage of powerful technology with amazing textures, lighting and particle effects, multi-windowing, and state-of-the-art physics. Current generations will be built using top technology that pushes those systems to their limits.
• Become the soldier of the future: Gain access to the future of military technology. Using a fully integrated combat system with cutting-edge weapons and revolutionary communication systems (see below), gamers will embody the soldier of the future. Based on actual U.S. Army research, the Ghosts give gamers a realistic view of how war will be fought in the next decade.
• Revolutionary feature: Use the revolutionary Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology. Attached to the soldier's monocle, the Cross-Com provides full situational awareness and command of the battlefield. Command the Ghost squad and remote allied forces and drones, and direct artillery and air strikes. See what the squad sees and receive visual and auditory intelligence from allied forces and unmanned drones.
• Stunning urban environment: One city, multiple locations. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter takes place entirely in Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities. A stunning, meticulously detailed universe will provide complete immersion in the urban war of the future.
• Top-notch multiplayer experience: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter returns to deliver industry-leading multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for one of the hottest online franchises with a host of exciting new features.

Continue reading "TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER SHI PS TO RETAIL THIS WEEK FOR XBOX 360 AND XBOX" »

BioWare/Pandemic Studios Celebrates Creative, Commercial Success in 2005

Los Angeles, Calif. and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, March 7, 2006 — BioWare/Pandemic Studios celebrates a banner year in 2005 with four top ten titles, including three original games. The company, one of the world’s largest independent video game developers, is proud to have received more than 50 industry awards as well as rave reviews from customers and critics alike.

Highlights include:

· Mercenaries™, developed by Pandemic in Los Angeles and published by LucasArts, was the best-selling game based on a new intellectual property for all of 2005, according to NPD. This innovative 3rd-person action-shooter also received an IGN.com “Editor’s Choice Award,” scoring an impressive 9.1.

· Jade Empire™, developed by BioWare in Edmonton and published by Microsoft, was IGN's Xbox Game of the Year and one of the top sellers for Xbox in 2005. IGN called Jade Empire “the greatest RPG on Xbox” and rated it a near perfect 9.9 (out of 10). The Associated Press named Jade Empire to its list of the Best Games of 2005, while Metacritic tabbed it as their RPG of the Year and, at the Ninth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, it was awarded Game of the Year in the RPG category.

· Star Wars Battlefront™ II, developed by Pandemic in Los Angeles and published by LucasArts, made history by surpassing its predecessor, Star Wars Battlefront™ to become the best-selling Star Wars™ video game of all time. With more than 4 million units sold to date, Battlefront™ II was ranked by NPD as the second best-selling game in the United States for 2005 despite having been on the shelf for only two months.

· Destroy All Humans!™, developed by Pandemic in Brisbane and published by THQ, sold more than one million copies adding to the impressive roster of successful original titles the studios are known for. The innovative twist on the classic science fiction flying saucer genre has been delighting critics with its sleek retro design and snappy, irreverent humor. Hailed by Team Xbox as, “Utterly unique and delectable.”

In addition to the awards received for their titles, the studios themselves received significant industry honors. Pandemic Studios was named the “Best Overall Developer for PS2” by IGN, and BioWare was honored as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” for the third year in a row.

“We are truly honored to be sitting amongst our most valued publishing partners on the ‘best of’ lists,” said Josh Resnick, president of Pandemic Studios. “The best-selling entertainment our studios have been releasing over the past few years is made possible by the passion and applied genius of some of the best talent in our industry. At both BioWare and Pandemic, the team ethic is at the center of our success.”

BioWare/Pandemic Studios’ strategy is to continue to invest and take the creative risks to produce exceptional new games, and in particular, new intellectual properties. Collectively, the studios have sold more than 28 million copies of games accounting for more than $800 million in revenue.

“And, the best still lies ahead for BioWare/Pandemic,” added Ray Muzyka, joint CEO of BioWare Corp. “The advent of next generation platforms opens up new vistas for us to experiment with new approaches and fresh ideas. By pushing the limits of these new worlds and building ‘event’ products, and by continually focusing on creating the best place for team-oriented talent, we will continue to drive innovation in the industry and deliver top-quality games to our valued community of fans.”

In November 2005, Elevation Partners, a private equity firm, announced the formation of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, a creative and management partnership of two leading independent video game developers. The joint investment, including future capital needs, is more than $300 million. The companies each have two co-founders, and under the deal, all four became shareholders and senior executives in BioWare/Pandemic Studios. The combined group comprises close to 500 employees, with offices in Los Angeles, Edmonton, Canada, and Brisbane, Australia.

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NCsoft Reveals Auto Assault Limited Edition Retail Package

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2006—NCsoft® North America today revealed the contents for the Auto Assault® Limited Edition retail game pack that will be released to stores in North America when the game launches this spring.

Auto Assault, developed by NetDevil®, LTD and published by NCsoft, is the first massively multiplayer role-playing (MMORPG) game featuring post apocalyptic car combat in a fully destructible world. Highlighting the Auto Assault Limited Edition package is the HS-150 headset by Creative to use with the game’s built-in voice chat system, and an Auto Assault soundtrack CD featuring music specially created for the game by electronic music pioneer Richard Dekkard.

The Auto Assault Limited Edition will also contain the game client, access to an exclusive in-game remote control car (pet), and all three starter packs for the Auto Assault Online Trading Card Game from Worlds Apart. Also included in the package is a 14-day trial code players can give to friends that do not already have an Auto Assault account.

The Auto Assault Limited Edition will sell at an anticipated price of US$59.99, a tremendous value compared to other similar game offerings. Auto Assault preorder purchases can be applied to the Limited Edition or standard edition of the Auto Assault game. Subscription pricing for the game will be announced in the coming weeks.

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March 7, 2006

6 New PC Screenshots for Fuel

March 7, 2006 - DreamCatcher releases 6 PC and 3 high resolution XBOX screenshots from FUEL to showcase some of the 20 stunts available to players in this high energy multi-vehicle racing game.

The Ultimate Racing Experience!

Play as one of 10 characters from around the globe. Switch between off-road vehicles, ATVs, or personal watercrafts – choose from over 35 vehicles! Perform stunts and tricks racking up points as you navigate through a variety of terrains including: Amazon Run, Orient Express, Chilled to the Bone, Tropical Turmoil, Beaches n’ Babes, and over 20 other available and unlockable exciting locations from around the world. Compete in the wildest race ever!

There are no rules in this all out frantic race. A no-holds-barred, free-for-all, action-packed game, with one goal - get to the finish line first! …and scoring points along the way would help!

· Collect as many points as possible to help gain FUEL boosts!

· Over 70 single player tracks available and unlockable

· Drive anywhere and do whatever it takes to finish the race!

· XBOX® features split-screen, 4 player multiplayer mode, “Reverse” and “Sandbox” modes


If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Continue reading "6 New PC Screenshots for Fuel" »

Nemesis of Tomb Raider: Legend Revealed

The newest villain in the Tomb Raider franchise has finally been revealed and man is she... mystical! Amanda Evert is an old friend of Lara Croft who was thought to be killed while excavating a tomb while back in graduate school. Little did she know that she would come back from the dead, and let’s just say that the friendship isn’t what it used to
be... While you may think this is a spoiler, we’ve barely scratched the surface because there is definitely more to hear about this mysterious new villainess! Since we know you are shaking in anticipation to take a look, here’s some new screens featuring Amanda in action. There will be much more to see when Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend ships April 11th in North America for the PS2, Xbox, and PC, with the PSP and Xbox360 versions to follow shortly after!

Continue reading "Nemesis of Tomb Raider: Legend Revealed" »

March 3, 2006

Brand New Website Redesign for Hitman: Blood Money Along With a New Trailer

The time is coming near for some serious activity with our friend Agent 47. What better way then to start it off with a brand new redesign for the official Hitman: Blood Money website! Not only does it come equipped with more content such as 20 new screenshots and a new Guide to Being a Hitman video, to up the excitement even more we have included a brand new trailer as well!

Hitman: Blood Money is the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise, putting you in the shoes of the world’s most deadly assassin, Agent 47. Equipped with some new kill moves and a weapon upgrade system, Agent 47 travels to locations in the United States for the first time to work on earning “blood” money by doing what he does best. New to the franchise, the Blood Money system allows players to adjust Agent 47’s notoriety level, which represents his visibility status based on his past methods of achieving his hits. In other words, if you accomplished your last mission by shooting everything in sight, other characters will start to react accordingly by recognizing you as a wanted man. Check out the latest trailer now to see the most recent sneak peak at the game. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Continue reading "Brand New Website Redesign for Hitman: Blood Money Along With a New Trailer" »

Eidos Unveils New Futuristic Site for Rogue Trooper!

Eidos Interactive today launches a new futuristic website for ROGUE TROOPER, a tactical action game based on the 2000 AD comic strip which is set to be released in North America in Spring 2006 for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

The official site is now live at www.ROGUETROOPER.com.

The site is an introduction into the universe of the Genetic Infantryman (G.I.), with detailed information on characters and weapons used on Nu Earth. The hi-tech site is a detailed hub of up-to-the-minute information on the game - allowing you to size up your opposition with detailed briefs on enemies, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, plus a tactical tutorial with a video section illustrating a few of the multiple ways to play the game.

There are a host of downloadable videos, wallpapers and even artwork available on the site, plus a selection of screenshots, including some 360 view shots, which the viewer can navigate around.

Continue reading "Eidos Unveils New Futuristic Site for Rogue Trooper!" »

New Commandos Strike Force Team Tactics Video Released by Eidos!

Download Now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=155!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game, not only fuses first-person shooting style gameplay with strategic stealth combat, but also allows for on-the-fly switching between different members of the elite Commandos Strike Force team. This new feature provides you with more options to fit your play style while allowing a completely new element of strategy that puts you in control of the action. To showcase some of the new strategy possibilities by utilizing the different strengths of your commandos, we are bringing you a brand new gameplay video focusing solely on team tactics. Lead a frontal assault with your Green Beret, and take out problematic enemies from a distance with your Sniper; or pick off enemies one by one with your Sniper, and use your Green Beret for protection before they get too close... the choice is yours to decide and the possibilities are endless.

Continue reading "New Commandos Strike Force Team Tactics Video Released by Eidos!" »

EA AND DEPECHE MODE COLLABORATE ON SIGNATURE SONG FOR THE SIMS 2 OPEN FOR BUSINESS

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 2, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that the signature sound of legendary alternative rock band, Depeche Mode has been translated to The Sims native Simlish language for the first time ever. ‘Suffer Well,’ a popular track from Depeche Mode’s critically acclaimed album ‘Playing the Angel,’ has been recorded in Simlish and will be made available to fans of music and PC games through The Sims™ 2 Open for Business, the third expansion pack to build on the celebrated The Sims™ 2 entertainment experience.

The Sims development team created the unique Simlish language by experimenting with fractured Ukrainian and Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. Inspired by the code talkers of WWII, Sims creator Will Wright also suggested experimenting with Navajo.

“Like the Sims, Depeche Mode is a worldwide phenomenon, with a distinct style. This unprecedented collaboration brings together two celebrated entertainment icons, and gives millions of Sims fans the opportunity to hear one of their favorite bands sing in Simlish, a language that appeals directly to them,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA. “Simlish is an emotion-filled language that defies translation—it’s a great fit for the music of Depeche Mode which is so focused on creating a mood, and appeals to people on an emotional level.”

Depeche Mode’s lead singer, David Gahan, said, "Depeche Mode has always been open to new ways of sharing our music, but re-recording a Simlish-language version of 'Suffer Well' just sounded completely bizarre. Of course, that's why couldn't resist doing it."

A video for the song, featuring footage of Depeche Mode and gameplay from The Sims 2 Open for Business will be available at thesims2.ea.com and www.depechemode.com.

The song is also included in the PC game, The Sims 2 Open for Business, which puts commercial creativity in the hands of gamers who can create virtually any kind of business for their Sims, from a trendy clothing boutique or hip beauty salon to a blooming floral shop or bustling restaurant chain. As a savvy entrepreneur, your Sim must keep an eye out for slacker employees and be prepared to fire them as quickly as they hired them!

Twenty Five years into a career that has influenced countless artists--while selling 50 million albums and playing to approximately 10 million people--Depeche Mode continue to enjoy massive success. ”Playing the Angel,” the band’s 11th studio album, spawned the radio and club hit “Precious” while 2005’s triumphant U.S. tour featured multiple sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “Playing the Angel” debuted on the Billboard pop album chart at #7 and has reached #1 in 18 countries while selling nearly 2 million copies worldwide. As their new single “Suffer Well” emerges on radio, the band continues to tour in support of ”Playing the Angel,” their highly praised new album (Sire/Reprise). With 800,000 tickets sold on the European leg of their massive world tour--where they’ve sold out an imposing 69 stadium and arena dates throughout 30 countries--Depeche Mode is set to return to the U.S. to headline opening night at Coachella (April 29) as part of a new round of North American dates that will be announced shortly.

Continue reading "EA AND DEPECHE MODE COLLABORATE ON SIGNATURE SONG FOR THE SIMS 2 OPEN FOR BUSINESS" »

March 2, 2006

The Adventure Company Announces Game Enhancements for KEEPSAKE

Toronto, March 1, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today announced the specific enhancements that will be added to the North American version of KEEPSAKE.

Enhancements will include the following as well as many others to enrich the gameplay experience:

* New voiceovers for various characters including: Mustavio, Celeste, young Celeste, Elvander, and Zak
* The addition of an in-game map
* Fine-tuned dialogue to minimize repetitive scripts
* Enlarged ‘hotspots’ making navigation more fluid and intuitive
* Improved pathfinding with Zak and Lydia

Developed by Wicked Studios, KEEPSAKE is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and fantasy. The compelling and involving storyline is revealed as players take on the role of Lydia, a young girl who embarks on a quest that unfolds across the enchanted campus of Dragonvale Academy. Upon her arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. Players will be fascinated by this world of beauty and boundless imagination on their journey to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances, the treachery that lurks in the halls of Dragonvale Academy, and the beloved Keepsake...

Continue reading "The Adventure Company Announces Game Enhancements for KEEPSAKE" »

March 1, 2006

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

March 1, 2006 - Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, is pleased to announce that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighterâ„¢, the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, has gone gold on Xbox360. Check below for further details on Xbox and PC release dates.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will be shipping for the PC in May 2006. Ubisoft has extended the launch of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the PC version allowing the developers more time to put the finishing touches on the game and make it the best possible PC gaming experience.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will be available March 9 worldwide. For the Xbox it will be shipping March 9 in the U.S. and March 16 in Europe. Look for more news regarding Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter in the coming days.

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EA CELEBRATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY™ WITH EXCLUSIVE Release of officially licensed videogame

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 1, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) will celebrate the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ - the world’s largest sporting event - with the launch of 2006 FIFA World Cup™, the event’s only officially licensed videogame. The videogame will ship on all platforms including Xbox 360™ in April 2006 in anticipation of the real-world tournament which begins in June.

2006 FIFA World Cup, under the EA SPORTS™ brand, will feature stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, 12 official stadiums that will be used at 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany and stadiums from each qualifying region. Gamers will be able to play as their favorite team from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of the tournament in Germany.

“The FIFA World Cup will be the single most watched sporting event by a worldwide television audience, bringing together soccer fans from around the world,” said Joe Nickolls, lead producer of the game. “Our game, 2006 FIFA World Cup celebrates this passion by capturing all of the national rivalries in-game, enabling fans to play their heroes and be a part of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.”

With enhanced player animations, EA SPORTS has emulated close to 100 of the world’s superstars, capturing their playing styles and individual likenesses. In addition to enabling gamers to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany by taking control of one of 127 national teams, the game features new compelling modes of play, including the groundbreaking Global Challenge that will test even the most hardcore soccer fan by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup™ history. Furthermore, the game supports up to eight-way multiplayer matches and boasts a plethora of in-game unlockable content such as legendary players and exclusive apparel.

For the first time ever, the officially licensed game of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be available for download via mobile phones. Upon release, gamers can purchase 2006 FIFA World Cup through major North American carriers and will have the option of downloading either English or the Spanish language version of the game. This robust title features all of the 32 international teams vying for the most coveted title in soccer and offers gamers on-the-go a compelling gameplay experience that truly captures the essence of the sport and this global event.

Continue reading "EA CELEBRATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY™ WITH EXCLUSIVE Release of officially licensed videogame" »

GameTap Monthly Update for Feb/March 2006

GameTap’s vault continues to expand with new games and shows! Since Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap launched with 300 games and a slew of original programming, new content has been added every week with a catalogue now approaching 400 titles and constantly updated programs.

Among February’s notable additions were a couple installments of the Lords of the Realm series, Pitstop and three Might and Magic games, while the “Mexican Pac-Man” short was recognized by Adweek as one of the top 50 commercials of 2005 (download a copy at ftp://puppetshow.mullen.com and see for yourself).

February’s Top 10 Most Played List:

1. Army’s Men: Sarge’s War

2. Galaga

3. Root Beer Tapper

4. Worms Armageddon

5. BurgerTime

6. Pac-Man

7. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

8. Hoyle Slots & Video Poker

9. Dig Dug

10. Sonic the Hedgehog

This month, three of SEGA’s most popular games are coming to GameTap, including the world’s first 3D CG fighting game! Also, Capcom will be entering the GameTap arena with nine – yes nine – additions to the GameTap library.

On the original programming front, big news is on the horizon in terms of content and presentation, so expect a detailed press release soon. We will reveal this much though – two of the biggest names in the punk and country music scenes, respectively, will be featured in shows addressing their love of video games.

GameTap is a first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network that delivers hundreds of the greatest games-on-demand plus original programming via a broadband-connected PC. Be sure to check out the latest and greatest games and original programming at www.gametap.com.

Continue reading "GameTap Monthly Update for Feb/March 2006" »

Get a Taste of Revenge with the Latest Rogue Trooper Screenshots!

How would you feel if all of your comrades were brutally massacred, and the only one left behind with the aftermath was yourself? That’s the case for Rogue Trooper, the last of the Genetic Infantrymen, and he’s pissed off and hell-bent on revenge. Having taken the bio-chips containing the digitized personalities of his dead friends, their souls come alive in his equipment. With the abilities of Gunnar, Helm and Bagman at his side, Rogue Trooper is ready to dish out the world of pain that was dealt to him. Rogue Trooper features intense sci-fi action in a futuristic battlefield where you must use your surroundings to gain the edge you need to take on full armies single-handedly. To give you another
glimpse of the vengeance, we’re bringing you 10 new screenshots!

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Continue reading "Get a Taste of Revenge with the Latest Rogue Trooper Screenshots!" »

WEBZEN SIGNS EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE PUBLISHING DEAL WITH RED 5 STUDIOS

SEOUL – Feb. 28, 2006 – Global online entertainment company WEBZEN, Inc. (NASDAQ: WZEN) today announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with U.S.-based Red 5 Studios, Inc. to publish a new MMOG property. The contract was executed today at WEBZEN’s headquarters in Seoul.

Creating tremendous industry buzz and anticipation since the company’s inception in September 2005, Red 5 Studios was formed by key members behind Blizzard Entertainment®’s World of WarCraft®, including the game’s Team Lead Mark Kern and Art Director William Petras and Online Director for Asia, Taewon Yoon.

“WEBZEN and Red 5 Studios share the same vision and passion to create next generation online games that can successfully suit the tastes and demands of gamers worldwide,” said Nam Ju Kim, CEO, WEBZEN, Inc. “We are confident that projects such as these will help WEBZEN reach its goal of becoming a top global online games publisher.”

The core members at Red 5 studios have proven their development prowess in launching successful online game properties such as Diablo II, Starcraft series and Warcraft III on a global scale. As such, WEBZEN is being heralded for obtaining the company’s promising new game property, which is primed to deliver worldwide market appeal. For WEBZEN, the publishing deal is an important component to its mid-and long-term objective of building a world-class games portfolio.

“WEBZEN offers the optimal environment for developing games, with its world-class technology and overall expertise in online game entertainment,” said Mark Kern, President and CEO, Red 5 Studios. “WEBZEN is becoming a huge force in the global online games marketplace. Their commitment and determination partnered with our unique game concept is a winning combination for a blockbuster title.”

The new game from Red 5 Studios is in its initial stages of development, and more details on the title will be released at a later date.

Continue reading "WEBZEN SIGNS EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE PUBLISHING DEAL WITH RED 5 STUDIOS" »

February 28, 2006

EA SHIPS THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II COLLECTOR'S EDITION

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., February 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) officially announced today that the highly anticipated, The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II has shipped to retailers nationwide and will be in stores on March 2, 2006. The sequel to the critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™, this real-time strategy (RTS) game offers the chance to experience Middle-earth in a way you have never seen.

Developed at EA’s Los Angeles (EALA) studio for the PC under the EA™ brand, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II includes all new content from J.R.R. Tolkien's original fiction, and allows the player to delve deeper than ever before and engage in new battles that go beyond the award-winning movie trilogy. The development team at EALA have brought The Lord of the Rings™ world to life in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.

"The Lord of Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II introduces players to new heroes, creatures, places and stories from Tolkien's fiction brought to life in the visual style of the films from New Line Cinema," said Mike Verdu, Executive Producer at EA LA. "The game combines a rich and wonderful world with innovations in real-time strategy game play to deliver the complete Middle-earth experience. This is the Middle-earth you've never seen."

In The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, players wage war in the Northern regions of Middle-earth where they can choose to assume command of the most storied civilizations in all of Middle-earth history - the Elven and Dwarven armies - or fight on the side of Evil with heroes and creatures that have never been seen in The Lord of the Rings™ films. Reprising his role as Lord Elrond, Hugo Weaving lends his voice to the game, helping to set the scene and tone for each mission.

Players can customize their experience by creating their own hero and building all new customized RTS units. Build landmark castles with fully customizable and upgradeable fortresses and walls or control the entire war with War of the Ring Mode; a high level “Risk” style meta-game on the Living World Map with all new strategic AI.

In conjunction with the shipping of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II PC game (US MSRP of $49.99), EA will release a special Collector’s Edition. For the first time ever, fans of The Lord of the Rings can see what goes into the making of a blockbuster PC game with the DVD release of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Collector’s Edition (US MSRP of $59.99) as well as experience exclusive in-game content. Both versions of the game are rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

Continue reading "EA SHIPS THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II COLLECTOR'S EDITION" »

EA SHIPS THE SIMS 2 OPEN FOR BUSINESS TO STORE SHELVES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – February 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped The Sims™ 2 Open for Business, the heavily anticipated expansion pack for the best-selling PC game, The Sims™ 2 to retailers around the globe today.

The Sims 2 Open for Business builds on The Sims 2 experience, which allows players to create and control characters called Sims. Now, players who own The Sims 2 can install The Sims 2 Open for Business expansion pack to access a whole new type of gameplay that takes Sims out of their homes, and allows them to flourish at their dream business.

The Sims 2 Open for Business encourages fans to create virtually any kind of business for their Sims, from a trendy clothing boutique alongside a hip beauty salon, to a bustling restaurant chain selling blooming floral bouquets. The Sims 2 Open for Business puts players at the center of their professional ambitions, allowing them to build a business from the ground up while playing an integral role in the commercial focus. Players will be able to design the floor plan and sales display, hire and fire employees, and set prices on merchandise they create or purchase for sale. With more than 125 new items and all new gameplay elements to choose from, the business possibilities are endless.

The entrepreneurial focus of The Sims 2 Open for Business was among the most requested themes by fans of The Sims 2. According to Senior Producer, Don Laabs, “The Sims 2 Open for Business opens a limitless world of new gameplay for Sims fans. The game includes all the tools players will need to create businesses that reflect their unique personalities, be they buttoned-down professionals, or wacky worker bees who explore the limits of the workplace. This is one of the most open-ended expansion packs we have created and we encourage fans to discover their irreverent, quirky business personalities.”

The Sims 2 Open for Business will ship under the EA™ brand and is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB. Budding entrepreneurs and Sims fans alike can find The Sims 2 Open for Business on store shelves March 2, 2006 in North America and Europe. The Sims 2 is required to play The Sims 2 Open for Business.

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CSI 3 Dimensions of Murder

February 27, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announces that new details and assets for CSI 3 Dimensions of Murder are now available. This is the first window into this all new iteration of the CSI franchise. Check below for a quick rundown of what new information and materials are available. Look for more news regarding CSI 3 Dimensions of Murder as it approaches its March 2006 release:

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

The Facts:
Join the famous CSI team in Las Vegas and investigate 5 all new cases using the latest forensic science. Work along side Grissom, Katherine and the entire cast as you utilize the latest crime-solving equipment. To discover the truth behind the crimes, you must visit the scene, interview suspects and collect and analyze physical evidence. Use puzzle-solving and interrogation skills to establish a relationship between the suspect, the victim and the crime scene. Only then will you be able to make an arrest and resolve the case.

Key Features:

NEW 3D graphics:
Investigate crime-scenes that are more like the hit TV show than ever. Move around the crime scene and get a close-up look. Feel like you are really using the tools for collection and detection of evidence and interact with the CSI cast like never before.

5 NEW cases with deeper plot lines with shocking twists:
Players will be drawn into the action with improved character interaction and longer more immersive cases. The 5 new and distinctive cases will draw players in like never before.

NEW Mobile Crime Lab: Just like the hit TV show, CSI 3 Dimensions of Murder features the GMC Mobile Analysis Unit that can be used to analyze evidence quickly in the field.

NEW more satisfying evidence analysis:
Players will really feel like they are solving the case, not like the computer is solving it for them. Use high tech tools to collect and process evidence such as, Mikrosil casting material, magnetic powder for enhanced finger print analysis and Luminol for detecting traces of blood evidence.

Continue reading "CSI 3 Dimensions of Murder" »

February 27, 2006

TOCA Race Driver 3 screeches into stores today

New York (Feb. 24, 2006) – TOCA Race Driver 3 hits the streets today and gamers can take a final test drive with the new multiplayer Windows PC demo, now available to download from http://www.codemasters.com/tocaracedriver3.

This new TOCA Race Driver 3 demo takes the PC edition online with up to 12 simultaneous players competing for tire-burning victory. Who will fare against the fiercest players in events featuring Mercedes C-Klasse cars in a heavyweight DTM race at Hockenheim, Racing Renault Clios in the Autosport Clio Cup at Brands Hatch or competing in a stock car event with Dodge Chargers at Indianapolis?

The demo is just a taste of the wealth of online and offline racing content that’s crammed in TOCA Race Driver 3. Featuring an incredible 120+ championships spanning 35 different motorsport disciplines, TOCA Race Driver 3 delivers the most motorsport ever.

The game offers two main game modes complete with explosive damage effects, head-to-head online multiplayer racing and a game engine supercharged for a greater degree of simulation. For true to life racing, Pro Career mode puts gamers at the center of the motorsport world, ready to embark on careers across six specialist motorsport disciplines – Open-Wheel, GT, Touring Car, Oval, Off-Road & Rally and Classics. Race gamers can also embark on a World Tour, putting them straight in the driving seat as they leap disciplines and blaze their own trail through the game!

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February 26, 2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Bethesda Softworks invited me to play Oblivion last week and I really enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, they gave us from 1 to 4:30 to play the game. At 2:15 I looked at my watch and I thought, this is cool but do I really want to play it for another 2 hours when the USA is playing Russia in Olypic hockey. Then the next thing I knew it was 4:30 and it was time to go. I got so swept up in the game that I lost all sense of time. I play a lot of games every year and this is a rare thing so it certainly says something positive about the quality of the game and the power of the story.

Oblivion is a role playing game (RPG) that is the latest chaper in the epic and highly successful Elder Scrolls saga. It's really well done. I'd give it very high scores in sound and video quality. The first thing that struck me about the game is its soundtrack which enhances the environment well. The freeform gameplay allows you to unravel the main quest at your own pace so I just immediately set off on randomly exploring the world. It was very easy to get the hang of the controls. There are stealth aspects to moving around dungeons and sewers and stealth attacks do more damage. There's a very deep alchemy system in which you mix different ingredients together to make something that you then apply to your character to enhance his abilities. A lot of the things you can make are poisons that you apply to your weapons.

The storey goes that after the mysterious and untimely death of the Emperor, the throne of Tamriel lies empty. With the Empire ready to crumble, the gates of Oblivion open and demons march upone the land - laying waste to everything in their path. To turn the tide of darkness, you must find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel.

This game is well worth playing if you like action RPGs. I don't rate previews but if I did this would get a 5.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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February 24, 2006

Eidos Releases the First Official Trailer for its Upcoming Action Sci-Fi Game ROGUE TROOPER!!

Nu Earth is a poisoned planet where a seemingly endless war rages between the Norts and Southers; a futile struggle, with no end in sight. Based on the popular sci-fi comic book by 2000AD, Rogue Trooper drops you in the middle of the futuristic, hi-tech battle as you take control of the last survivor of the massacred Genetic Infantryman; one whose allegiance is only to his mission and his mission is revenge. Vastly outnumbered, take on entire platoons with only the aid of your fallen comrades whose souls come alive in your equipment. Today you can take a first look into the action, as the first official trailer is now available for download at Eidos Interactive. Rogue Trooper is set to ship for the PS2, Xbox, and PC this Spring, 2006!

Continue reading "Eidos Releases the First Official Trailer for its Upcoming Action Sci-Fi Game ROGUE TROOPER!!" »

Heroes of Might and Magic Invade GameTap

Given the deep heritage and loyal fan base of the Heroes of Might and Magic series, GameTap, a first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is excited to announce that the following three PC-DOS games have been added to the network:

- Might and Magic® III: Isles of Terra

- Might and Magic® IV: Clouds of Xeen

- Might and Magic® V: Darkside of Xeen

Because the popular franchise has such an extensive amount of installments, gamers can now use GameTap to witness the amazing evolution of this genre-defining strategy game which melds classic deep fantasy with outstanding visuals and gameplay. Other games in the Might and Magic franchise currently available on GameTap are:

- Heroes of Might and Magic IV®

- Heroes of Might and Magic®

- Heroes of Might and Magic® II: The Succession Wars

- Heroes of Might and Magic® III: The Restoration of Erathia

Stay tuned - Might and Magic I and II are coming in March!

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Agent 47 Appears in his Signature Style on the Hitman: Blood Money Box Art!

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With his stylish suit, signature red tie, and simple but deadly weapon of choice, Agent 47 appears on the official Hitman: Blood Money box art with the elements that made him notorious.

The world’s deadliest assassin is back, and the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise puts the blood on your hands as you not only fulfill the contract, but determine how the contract will be fulfilled. Will you keep your identity a secret, and leave the spectators in wonder as to what just took place? Or blast your way to your target, and then pay off the press with your giant wad of blood stained earnings? With the new Blood Money system, the decisions that you make will affect the way that your future surroundings interact with you. Keep your face out of the papers or you are going to have a load of trouble on your hands, unless of course, that’s what you’re looking for. Either way, Agent 47 comes equipped with a new arsenal of moves and weaponry to deal with whatever situation you encounter. Prepare to make a killing, as Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring, 2006.

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February 22, 2006

CRIME STORIES

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Toronto, February 22, 2006 - The Adventure Company releases 6 new screenshots from Crime Stories, its investigative thriller adventure title.

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As the brilliant young FBI agent Martin Mystère, you have just been called upon to investigate the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What sensational secret has the professor uncovered that has made him the victim of such a horrific crime?

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Your investigations into the murder will take you all over the world as you are confronted with many dangerous and exciting adventures. Only you can solve this horrific crime - and the mystery that lies beneath it...

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· A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!

· Amazing hi-quality 3D environments to expore and interact with.

· Many interesting objects to search for, collect and use.

· Creative and original puzzles to solve.

· Loads of characters to meet and talk to - you choose what you want to say to them!

· A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!

· From the award-winning publisher of MISSING® and Syberia®

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February 16, 2006

Witness TOCA Race Driver 3’s Damage Engine In Action With Every Scrape, Crash and Smash

No other racing game lets you see and experience the true impact of spectacular race car collisions to the level of what’s seen in TOCA Race Driver 3. In preparation for the game’s launch on February 24th, put on your crash helmet and take a look at the new ‘Damage’ video, now available online at http://www.codemasters.com/tocaracedriver3/.

The TOCA series has pioneered the use of damage visuals and physics so gamers can experience the reality of what happens when they don’t remain in total control of a 500bhp race car. TOCA Race Driver 3’s advanced Terminal Damage Engine is hugely rich in its visuals thanks to incredible particle effects and physics that affect the car’s handling and ultimately race results.

The additional particle effects highlight the punishment cars receive: sparks fly spectacularly when cars bottom out and end up grounding the car. Players will witness windshields shatter, wings get ripped off, and spoilers break and fly from the car. Plus, new game effects will show incremental amounts of damage as bodywork realistically deforms around crumple zones during a race.

Delivering 100 times the level of damage effect detail over its predecessor, TOCA Race Driver 3 slams into retail on February 24th for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. Get fuelled up for the release with the new ‘Damage’ video, the playable demo and more online at http://www.codemasters.com/tocaracedriver3/.


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Science fiction screenwriter sets scene for PC futuristic action strategy title Maelstrom with anarchy, destruction and annihilation

New York (Feb. 16, 2006) –Codemasters is tapping into experienced screenwriting talent to create the backdrop for its futuristic strategy action epic Maelstrom, coming Q3 exclusively for PC.

When it launches, the game will not just have the action and characters of a science-fiction blockbuster movie, but will also feature a gripping scenario devised by James Swallow, an experienced science fiction screenwriter whose previous credits include Star Trek: Voyager and Doctor Who.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Maelstrom project,” said Swallow. “We have a dynamic and compelling plotline, epic scope and strong characters. As the game unfolds, the conflicts between the factions and the characters within them become the flashpoints for player missions. What begins as a battle to live another day soon becomes a global fight for survival, with the player at the heart of the action.”

hugely important - it doesn’t just set the tone and atmosphere, but it also ties directly into the game mechanics giving the player a better understanding of each faction and how they play,” said Carl Johnson, Maelstrom’s game designer at Codemasters. “The story follows the apocalypse that has befallen Earth and provides the player with a greater understanding of the motivations behind each of the game’s three factions, the origins of the technology for each side and the reasons behind the conflict.”

Expanding on Swallow’s backstory, gamers can sign up online (www.codemasters.com/maelstrom) for exclusive e-mail newsletters that will detail additional scenarios, including first hand accounts from all of the main protagonists featuring in Maelstrom. The episodic content will start with General James Buchanan, the heroic leader of the Remnants faction. More revelations from the game’s other factions – the Ascension and the Aliens – will follow.

50 Years And Counting – the events leading to The Maelstrom:

In the span of a single generation, Earth will become a desolate wasteland, ravaged by an ecological apocalypse
and fought over by the survivors of and war.
(Editors: The following backstory is available online to link to: www.codemasters.com/maelstrom)



In the space of fifty years, Earth changed from a planet on cusp of a challenging future to a world a breath away from lifelessness. The survivors gave this time of chaos and madness a name, drawing on a word from an ancient language that describes a storm so terrible it could tear open the world. They called it The Maelstrom.


2010:
* As the first decade of the Millennium came to a close, the rise of franchise terrorism and global paranoia led to a fortress mentality across the globe. Threatened from without by fanatical aggressors and from within by populations angered by the erosion of their personal freedoms, the leading governments of the world saw their power beginning to crumble, to be usurped by huge multi-national corporations.

2015:
* Obsidian – a huge asteroid – crashed into the North Pacific with the impact of a dozen nuclear warheads, and triggered the Earth’s weather system and ecology to completely collapse. First there were storms that measured off the conventional scales for hurricanes; then surge tides and earthquakes. It was if the planet itself was rising in anger against humanity.

2023:
* A full-blown ecological cataclysm hits the planet as the damage done to the environment came back tenfold. Rising sea levels and flooding turned cities like Tokyo and Sydney into vast lakes, leaving the national governments powerless to combat this unstoppable force.

2029:
* The fundamentalist terrorists who had plagued the early years of the 2000’s attacked once more. This was the excuse the corporations needed, and many of them unveiled their own military forces, deploying troops and agents to hunt down and wipe out the bands of fanatics. As wars raged on the doomed planet only a few of the conglomerates survived, among them the powerful Ascension Industries. They seemed destined to make the planet their own.

2040:
* Mass rioting in Europe, America and Russia. Pushed to the brink of despair by years of warfare, poverty and tyranny, the common people rose up in hundreds of isolated pockets of insurrection. It was no great rebellion, not some calculated revolution designed to shatter the old order – it was simply rage and hate, gone beyond breaking point. Soon the planet fell into a state of anarchy as open combat boiled over in every city, on every continent.

2042:
* Against the backdrop of a failing ecosystem, humanity crashed back into its ancient tribal ways, fighting and killing to survive. The governments finally disintegrated and at last someone, somewhere pushed the button that unleashed salvos of missile strikes. Cities were vaporized in the nuclear infernos and civilization fell.

The Maelstrom had struck.

For another eight years, the small wars flared and died like guttering embers in a fire, until there were no more battles to fight and precious few resources to fight over. It was only the Ascension, thanks to the foresight of its master Arlan Khan, who were spared the brunt of the global uprising. While they went to ground and made ready to weather the storm, Khan’s rivals around the world caught the full fury of it, and were ripped apart.

2050:
* From the ruins of this apocalypse emerged the survivors, the few who had the cunning or the intelligence to wear the passing of the Maelstrom. They hoped to rebuild, to start anew – but the seeds of conflict lay deep, and the old lines of battle had never been erased. In the ashes, the fight for freedom would be reignited. Only this time, whomever was the victor would decide the future of mankind.

The time is now. The war is just beginning...

Maelstrom is the result of a unique collaboration between Codemasters and the award-winning Russian development team KDV games (previously known as K-D LAB) whose previous credits include award-winning PC strategy title Perimeter.

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FlatOut 2 Wrecks Its Way Onto Consoles and PC

flatout2screenshot4.JPG

San Francisco – Feb. 16, 2006 – As worldwide sales of FlatOut crash through the 700,000 mark, the sequel to the much-acclaimed destruction racer is set to accelerate its way onto the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC in the nitrous charged form of FlatOut 2 this June, courtesy of Bugbear Entertainment and Empire Interactive, one of the UK’s leading independent game publishers. Vivendi Universal Games will distribute the title in the U.S.

Featuring an enhanced version of the original’s lauded physics engine with even faster driving track designs, FlatOut 2 also boasts numerous improvements, enhancements and additions to make the title the definitive FlatOut experience. Twice as many vehicles, a more sophisticated career mode, additional race environments, double the number of tracks, twice as many mini-games along with brand new and much requested online multiplayer modes are just some of the exhaustive features that are included in FlatOut 2.

With more than 5,000 fully destructible objects on every track as well as 40 deformable parts on each vehicle, physical interaction in a racing game is taken to unprecedented heights. With a greater emphasis placed on causing destruction on the track by offering greater rewards, game play will be even more frantic than ever. Drivers will need to tear into competitors’ cars, trash the local scenery, litter the track with obstacles, while at the same time trying to concentrate on their own race in a bid to cross the line first.

The ever-popular Ragdoll mini-games from the original FlatOut game make a welcome return and are better than ever with 12 Ragdoll events, a Ragdoll Championship and full online support. New Ragdoll events include basketball, baseball and royal flush cards.

Game Features

* Bigger variety of race environments including Big City, L.A. Storm Drains, Rocky Mountain Forest, Corn Fields and Desert
* Twice as many tracks with alternate track routes included for the first time
* Enhanced Championship Mode with multiple cups across increasing difficultly levels
* Twice as many vehicles plus additional car types--Muscle cars, Sports cars, Pickup Trucks and Compacts
* Garage feature allows player to now own multiple vehicles
* Unlockable bonuses including additional cars, Championship Cups and Destruction Arenas
* Improved opponent AI with each AI driver represented by a character and exhibiting a unique driving style
* MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT
o Online multiplayer modes - up to six players on PlayStation 2 and eight players on Xbox
o Four player offline split screen Multiplayer mode on Xbox; two player on PlayStation 2
o Now available online! -- Destruction Derby Arenas and Ragdoll Mini Games


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February 14, 2006

The SIMS 2 OPEN FOR BUSINESS Goes GOLD

Electronic Arts announced today that The Sims 2 Open for Business expansion pack for the PC has gone gold and will hit store shelves on March 2nd. With The Sims 2 Open for Business, your Sims can create virtually any kind of business from a trendy clothing boutique or hip beauty salon to a blooming floral shop or bustling restaurant chain. As a savvy entrepreneur, your Sim must keep an eye out for slacker employees and be prepared to fire them as quickly as they hired them!

Create a Bustling Business

Open your Sim’s dream store, decorate it from the ground up and watch it thrive! Choose the floor plan and design, hire employees and buy merchandise. You can sell anything from clothing and electronics to toys, flowers and robots. Have fun teaching your Sim that the customer is king and maintain employee morale by creating interesting sales incentives. Your Sim will do everything needed to create a lucrative -- and fun -- business.

Learn the Tricks of the Trade

Improve your Sim’s sales skills and determine if your employees should use a “hard sell” or drop the price to close the deal. Teach winning techniques to help your Sim win the best-of-the-best award and establish their business reputation.

Turn Talents into Cash

Is your master-skilled Sim waiting to turn their talents into profit? From arranging flowers and designing robots to serving food and making toys, your Sim can create the most valued, expensive goods in the business and rake in the Simoleons!

More than 125 New Items

Stock up on essentials for your Sim’s business including display cases, a makeover station, a salon chair, a toy workbench, flower arranging stations, cash registers and more.

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EA ANNOUNCES THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II FOR THE PC HAS GONE GOLD

Offering the chance to experience the Middle-earth you have never seen … Electronic Arts officially announced today that the highly anticipated, The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II has gone gold and will be on store shelves in North America on March 2, 2006. The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, is the sequel to the critically acclaimed real-time strategy (RTS) game The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™.

Developed at EA’s Los Angeles (EALA) studio for the PC under the EA™ brand, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II includes all new content from J.R.R. Tolkien's original fiction, and allows the player to delve deeper than ever before and engage in new battles that go beyond the award-winning movie trilogy. The development team at EALA have brought The Lord of the Rings™ world to life in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.

"The Lord of Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II will introduce players to new heroes, creatures, places and stories from Tolkien's fiction brought to life in the visual style of the films from New Line Cinema," said Mike Verdu, Executive Producer at EA LA. "The game combines a rich and wonderful world with innovations in real-time strategy game play to deliver the complete Middle-earth experience. This is the Middle-earth you've never seen."

In The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, players wage war in the Northern regions of Middle-earth where they can choose to assume command of the most storied civilizations in all of Middle-earth history - the Elven and Dwarven armies - or fight on the side of Evil with heroes and creatures that have never been seen in The Lord of the Rings films. Reprising his role as Lord Elrond, Hugo Weaving lends his voice to the game, helping to set the scene and tone for each mission.

For access to all the behind-the-scenes details of creating a blockbuster The Lord of the Rings PC game, fans will enjoy the first ever Collector’s Edition DVD release from the highly successful The Lord of the Rings franchise with The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Collector’s Edition. This special, limited edition will ship simultaneously with The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II and will be available at select retailers with a US MSRP of $59.99. The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II will be available at retailers nationwide with a US MSRP of $49.99. Both games are rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

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HASBRO TAPS ACTIVISION TO PUBLISH RANGE OF VIDEO GAMES BASED ON THE TRANSFORMERS FRANCHISE AND LIVE-ACTION FILM FROM DREAMWORKS AND PARAMOUNT PICTURES

PAWTUCKET, R.I. Feb. 13, 2006– The Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and Activision, Inc, (NASDAQ: ATVI), a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software products, announced today a license that grants Activision the global rights, excluding Japan, to develop console, handheld and PC games based on Hasbro’s renowned TRANSFORMERS brand. The first game will be tied to the much-anticipated July 4, 2007 movie release of the live action TRANSFORMERS film from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

The TRANSFORMERS brand has been one of the best-selling boys’ action brands in a wide-range of categories, from toys to publishing to apparel, since its launch as a global property in 1984. Hasbro is currently gearing up to activate one of the Company’s most ambitious marketing and merchandising programs yet to coincide with the live action movie in 2007.

“We are thrilled to work with Activision to bring the widely popular TRANSFORMERS brand to the world of digital entertainment and introduce millions of consumers to our best-known TRANSFORMER and biggest hero of all time—OPTIMUS PRIME,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group (HPG). “As the leading developer of video games, Activision shares our passion and excitement for the TRANSFORMERS story line. We know this world-class and creative team will bring TRANSFORMERS to life in powerful and exciting ways as we immerse a broad audience in this pop-culture phenomenon.”

“TRANSFORMERS has all of the elements necessary to translate incredibly well into video games,” said Mike Griffith, President and CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “We look forward to bringing the Transformer robots to life with the latest interactive technology and graphics.”

The announcement of Activision as the global game publisher for the TRANSFORMERS brand marks the beginning of Hasbro’s commitment to bring its well-known toy and game brands further into the digital media space. This effort follows the reacquisition of its video gaming rights from Infogrames Entertainment SA last June.

“Video gaming is a natural next step for our classic properties as children and adults alike live more of their lives around technology,” said Ritson-Parsons “We see the digital arena as a great complement to the lifestyle experiences that we’re providing to consumers in a variety of categories.”

In addition to console, handheld and PC-based games, Hasbro plans to expand the TRANSFORMERS brand’s reach through ring tones, mobile gaming and a host of other products for gaming fans of all ages.

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Microsoft Gaming News

While Xbox 360 continues its global rollout to worldwide fanfare, Peter Moore reiterated Microsoft’s intentions to lead gaming to new heights with the Xbox and Windows platforms during his keynote, titled Changing World of PC Games, last Friday at the 2006 DICE Summit. Moore emphasized that the recent organizational re-alignment, coupled with knowledge gained from a successful Xbox 360 launch, enables the company to pave the way for a Games for Windows renaissance. As a games platform, Windows has always been the home of continuous innovation – multiplayer, mods, and mind-blowing graphics. Moore’s presentation provided perspective on Microsoft past, present and future efforts to bring game innovation across multiple platforms, including Windows PC, Xbox and portable devices.

The Xbox 360 Phenomenon

On track to meet our shipment goal of 4.5-5.5 million units by June, manufacturing efforts will be further boosted this month by third manufacturing partner Celestica, joining manufacturers Flextronics and Wistron in the effort to help feed gamers’ insatiable appetite for the next generation of gaming.

As we continue to ship new consoles to retail stores throughout the world, 11 additional countries are preparing for Xbox 360’s entry. Xbox 360 is now available in Mexico and Colombia as of February 2 – the first simultaneous launch for a videogame product in Latin America. The system will launch in Korea on February 24, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore on March 16, Australia and New Zealand on March 23, with a global presence in 30 countries by the end of March.

Highlights from the January NPD report include:

· Xbox 360’s software attach rate is 3.7 games per console. This remains the highest attach rate ever for the first three months of a console launch in the U.S.

· “Call of Duty 2” on Xbox 360 was the #1 selling title across all platforms in January.

· Xbox 360’s accessory attach rate is 2.9 accessory units sold per console with a wireless controllers attaching to almost every console.

Engadget – the highly respected technology/gadget blog that is the fourth most-visited blog on the Internet – recently named Xbox 360 as gadget of the year, topping Apple iPod, along with the award for console of the year.

Meanwhile, Xbox Live continues to lead the way online. On Xbox 360, more than half of all consoles are connected. This growing popularity continues to reinforce the notion that Xbox 360 is the only next generation console with an established, credible online service. Leveraging the expertise of Microsoft’s online infrastructure, the service continues to evolve and improve the gaming experience based on community feedback. Earlier this month, the Xbox Live team issued a free Xbox dashboard update to all Xbox Live members that included a series of improvements and enhancements. Changes in the update include:

· Improvements to the Xbox Guide.

· Option to retain your saved games when you delete a profile (i.e., improved logic around deciding whether a saved game should be deleted. The service also offers the option to delete only the profile, but leave all the saved data.

· Increased accuracy of "last time played."

Xbox 360 will have up to 50 high-definition games from the best names in gaming by June, including Bethesda’s “Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion,” Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s “Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter,” and EA Sports’ “Fight Night: Round 3.” You can expect a consistent release of titles well into the future representing all genres of gaming with 200 titles currently in development.

Gamers can look forward to a host of new Xbox 360 titles scheduled to debut in February:

* “Full Auto” (Sega)
* “Fight Night: Round 3” (EA Sports)
* “Astropop” (Popcap)
* “Feeding Frenzy” (Sprout Games)
* “Jewel Quest” (iWin, Inc.)

Tecmo’s “Dead or Alive 4” is winning the hearts and minds of gamers around the world. Gamestats.com posts that “DOA4” has received a 9.0 average rating from the 23 press sites polled, including a perfect 10 from GamePro. Japanese gamers can also look forward to “Ninety Nine Nights,” “Lost Odyssey” and “Blue Dragon,” a highly anticipated game from Mistwalker that was met with enormous fanfare from Japanese audiences.

Other Xbox games currently available worldwide have just won awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS):

* MGS’ “Jade Empire” – awarded Outstanding Character Performance: Female, and Role Playing Game of the Year honors by the 2006 AIAS Awards. Such credentials cap off a solid launch and overwhelmingly positive reviews from all facets of the media and multiple year-end awards and nominations.
* Reflexive Entertainment’s “Wik: Fable of Souls” for Xbox Live Arcade – honored as Downloadable Game of the Year by the 2006 AIAS Awards, an Xbox Live Arcade first, which recognizes the growing popularity of the service as medium that gamers continuously utilize for a comprehensible selection of downloadable games.
* Other award winning titles playable on Xbox included Activision’s “Call of Duty 2: Big Red One” for Story and Character Development, EA’s “SSX On Tour” for Sports Game of the Year and “Need for Speed Most Wanted” for Racing Game of the Year across multiple platforms including Xbox 360.

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February 11, 2006

Desktop Lara is Ready to Raid Your Computer

Staring at a computer screen all day can definitely get monotonous. We know exactly what you need to spice things up... your very own Lara Croft to keep your company on your desktop! Watch her as she runs,
grapples, and climbs all over your computer screen showcasing some of her moves from her new adventure. She is also more than happy to engage in some quick conversation as well. Lara Croft is very excited about Tomb
Raider: Legend, and will be sure to keep you in the loop about the latest news, screenshots, trailers, and wallpapers! Go download her now at http://www.tombraider.com/buddy_launch_page.html!


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EIDOS CONFIRMS APRIL 4 NORTH AMERICAN SHIP DATE FOR COMMANDOS STRIKE FORCE AND RELEASES A NEW FMV

San Francisco, CA (Feb 10, 2006) – Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software today confirms that Commandos Strike Force™, developed by Pyro Studios, will be released on April 4th, 2006 on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC in North America.

In a new direction for the multi-million selling series, Commandos Strike Force takes you right into the heart of the action with an innovative blend and first person perspective. Set in war torn Europe amid the backdrop of World War II, take your elite ‘Strike Force’ unit behind enemy lines on a series of linked missions through France, Russia and Norway. Undertake action, infiltration and stealth missions with the Green Beret, Sniper and Spy, using any means necessary to challenge a winning enemy and pave the way for invasion. Enter into battle alone, or take the fight online with your friends.

Commandos Strike Force features an innovative blend of stealth and action gameplay new to the genre. With the ability to freely move within the battlefields players execute attacks with a high degree of control. This gives the player the ability to set ambushes, attack silently and unseen, infiltrate prisoner of war camps, stalk and stab, all while being surrounded by the enemy.

Commandos Strike Force also features several missions where players control two commandos at the same time switching between the two on-the-fly. The game boasts a variety of multiplayer modes, up to eight players online with console and 16 players via the internet.


View the trailer.

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February 10, 2006

NCsoft launches gigantic expansion for Lineage II, increasing its world by 1/3

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 9, 2006—NCsoft® North America has released Chronicle 4: Scions of Destiny, an expansion that adds 800 megabytes of new content and features to Lineage® II: The Chaotic Chronicletm, the market’s premier player-versus-player (PvP) massively multiplayer online PC game. The expansion is one of the largest updates released in the MMO industry and is free to current Lineage II subscribers.

Chronicle 4 adds several new major features to Lineage II, including the opening of the high-level hunting areas Rune and Godard, a new castle in Godard which players can attempt to seize, the nearly invincible fire dragon Valakas, and a fishing system that provides players with a profitable non-combat activity.

Also, Chronicle 4 rolls-out several features for high-level players including a third class transfer where players who reach level 76 may obtain more powerful and useful skills. Also introduced is a “hero and noblesse system” where level-75 players can compete in the Grand Olympiad, an extreme PvP challenge in which the winner is designated the rank of “hero” and receives new powerful weapons and a special heroic aura.

“Chronicle 4 packs in a huge amount of content that gives players the ultimate challenge whether they want PvP action in the Grand Olympiad or PvE adventures with the addition of Valakas the fire dragon,” said Adam Davidson, the North American producer of Lineage II. “Our last expansion made Lineage II more accessible to new players and Chronicle 4 rewards those who have been long-time participants. This new update rounds out a game that is one of the deepest and provides more action than just about any other MMO available.”

Lineage II was launched in 2004 and prior to Chronicle 4 had added more than 1.5 gigabytes of content free to subscribers.

Lineage II is available in a game time card package that includes a 60-day pre-paid Lineage II game time card and a game pack with the full version of Lineage II, including previous content expansions: Chronicle 1: Harbingers of War; Chronicle 2: Age of Splendor and Chronicle 3: Rise of Darkness. Additionally, players will find a 14-day free trial game code for purchasers to share with a friend.

The Lineage II sixty-day game time card packages are available at North American retailers and at the NCsoft online store for an estimated street price of US$29.99. To purchase the game or other Lineage II merchandise, go to the NCsoft store at: https://store.plaync.com .

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The Adventure Company Announces New Ship Date for KEEPSAKE

Toronto, February 9, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, announced today that they will be changing the ship date for KEEPSAKE on the PC to April 18, 2006. They are planning to add enhancements unique to the North American version of the game, including new voiceovers and other goodies for the North American audience.

Developed by Wicked Studios, KEEPSAKE is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and fantasy that unfolds across the enchanted campus of Dragonvale Academy. Players will discover a world of beauty and boundless imagination that begins with the quest of Lydia, a young girl embarking on a journey of enlightenment that takes her to the gates of the Academy where she will become an apprentice.

Upon her arrival, something is terribly amiss… The campus is deserted and even Celeste, Lydia’s best friend, who is a Dragonvale scholar, is nowhere to be found! Confused and intrigued, Lydia explores the vast surroundings, the great hall, and the labyrinth of rooms and corridors of the immense Academy. After stumbling upon one of Celeste’s most treasured keepsakes, she suddenly realizes that treachery and sorrow lurks in the halls of the Academy.

Accompanied by a charmed dragon named Zak who helps unravel the many enigmas along her journey, Lydia must quickly overcome trials in The Chamber of Passage, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and master the forces of magic to reveal the mystery behind Dragonvale Academy and the beloved Keepsake…

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new features become available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity

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February 9, 2006

Master Chief Dual-Wields His Way to Windows Vista

”Halo 2,” the game that redefined first-person combat and multiplayer action for millions of gamers worldwide, is set to explode onto PCs exclusively for Windows Vista. ”Halo 2” for Windows Vista will be developed by a dedicated Microsoft Game Studios team in partnership with Bungie Studios.

Only for Windows Vista, "Halo 2" will offer gamers both the single-player campaign and multiplayer experience of the original, as well as the additional maps offered in the “Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack.” Gamers will also have the exciting opportunity to build, create and customize their own multiplayer levels.

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February 8, 2006

UBISOFT TO RELEASE BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII FOR PC IN MARCH 2006

SAN FRANCISCO February 8, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that the action-filled flight combat game Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII will also be released for the PC in March 2006.

"Blazing Angels has exceeded our expectations in terms of quality on both Xbox and Xbox 360, and now we're proud to be able to take it another step further and show how incredible it is on PC," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Ubisoft Romania, creators of our award-winning Silent Hunter III for the PC, will bring that same level of quality and attention to detail to the PC version of Blazing Angels."

In Blazing Angelsâ„¢ Squadrons of WWII for the PC, players test their air-combat skills as they experience the most famous battles of World War II. As squadron leaders, players can fly up to 39 WWII aircraft in both single-player and multiplayer missions. Advancing a great line of graphical and technological features along with a very intuitive interface, Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII for the PC provides a combat experience from the entire breadth of World War II. Battle sites include locations from Western Europe and the Pacific, including England, Morocco, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Pacific, France, Norway and Germany

Special features from this DVD version will include:

•Heart-pounding single-player campaigns - Over 18 missions grouped into a compelling historical battle campaign. Over 40 missions in standalone modes (Mini-Campaign, Arcade and Ace Duel).

•Thrilling multiplayer combat – Sixteen-player online and LAN play in 10 game types (Dogfight, Aces High, Seek and Destroy, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Kamikaze, Historical Battles and Capture the Base) in three multiplayer modes (Solo, Co-op and Squadron).

•Innovative graphical features – Amazingly detailed terrain including a variety of high-resolution specular maps. Photorealistic recreations of iconic cityscapes and locations including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the London Bridge and the ships in port at Pearl Harbor.

•Over 39 flyable high-definition, authentic-looking planes – High-resolution plane models (8,000-10 000 polygons per plane) and usage of large textures for the planes (1024x1024 = 4 Mb of texture per plane). Other aircraft features include multiple plane skins and nose-art, and destruction details for each plane model. Over 70 planes can be seen in the sky at once.

•Detailed vehicles and 3D-modeled people – High-resolution and 3D detail for over 40 vehicle models, and all vehicle models have damage levels. Each 3D-modeled person has over 10 animated movements.

•Impressive sound features – Hear all the combat excitement with the 48 KHz high-quality sampled sound and up to 64 3D sound sources 5.1 compatible

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February 7, 2006

EXPERIENCE THE FIRST DECADE OF EA’S GROUNDBREAKING COMMAND & CONQUER SERIES

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., February 7, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) is pleased to announce Command & Conquer™ The First Decade, one of the largest PC franchise compilations to date, shipped to stores nationwide today. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the special collector’s edition includes a dozen of your favorite Command & Conquer™ (C&C) games spanning the last ten years plus a bonus DVD of commemorative video features.

With over 23 million units sold worldwide to date, the C&C franchise has defined the Real-time strategy (RTS) genre with cutting-edge visuals, epic storylines, and rich mission complexities. The series has evolved over a decade, spawned over a dozen titles, and continues to be the genre benchmark by which all RTS games are measured. With its explosive style of warfare, the C&C franchise has grown over the years to span multiple fictional genres, including the science fiction Tiberium universe, the revisionist history of the Red Alert universe, and a twist on modern warfare with Command & Conquer™ Generals.

“Command & Conquer The First Decade is a true collection of amazing, innovative C&C games from the last ten years,” said Louis Castle, VP of Creative Development at EALA. “We wanted to give back to our loyal community and avid fans and also offer a great way for gamers to experience the series and immerse themselves into the legendary franchise for the first time.”

The Command & Conquer The First Decade bonus DVD features a half-dozen exclusive videos including an interview with Louis Castle, who is also co-founder of Westwood Studios, the creator of the C&C franchise. As a special bonus and rare opportunity, C&C fans from around the world were offered a chance to prove their undying devotion to the C&C series by submitting videos showcasing why they are the biggest C&C fan. Six fan videos were selected and are featured in a montage piece included on the bonus DVD.

Command & Conquer The First Decade will combine the following titles:

* Command & Conquer™ (Aug. 1995)
* Command & Conquer The Covert Operations™ (April 1996)
* Command & Conquer Red Alert™ (Oct. 1996)
* Command & Conquer Red Alert™ The Aftermath™ (Sept. 1997)
* Command & Conquer Red Alert Counterstrike™ (Mar 1997)
* Command & Conquer™ Tiberian Sun™ (Aug. 1999)
* Command & Conquer™ Tiberian Sun™ Firestorm™ (Feb. 2000)
* Command & Conquer Red Alert™ 2 (Oct. 2000)
* Command & Conquer Red Alert™ Yuri’s Revenge™ (Oct. 2001)
* Command & Conquer Renegade™ (Feb. 2002)
* Command & Conquer™ Generals (Feb. 2003)
* Command & Conquer™ Generals Zero Hour (Sept. 2003)

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February 6, 2006

EIDOS ANNOUNCES URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE

San Francisco, CA (February 6, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response, a high velocity, first person shooter where the player confronts real terror in an American city for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system by Microsoft and PC. URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response is scheduled to ship this Spring in North America.

Currently in development by London-based Rocksteady Studios, URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response gives gamers the opportunity to step into the shoes of a real hero. Play as Nick Mason a member of T-Zero, an elite counter-gang unit, putting his life on the line in response to a terrorist threat. Specially trained in all areas of urban combat and armed with the very latest high-tech weaponry, T-Zero – the last line in urban defense, teams-up with Emergency Services groups including firefighters, paramedics and police to combat multiple threats on the city such as bombings and hostage scenarios. Gamers can explore realistic and dynamic city environments where all the intense action takes place.

Sefton Hill, Director of Rocksteady Studios said, “Urban Chaos has been designed to offer something fresh and new for gamers who are looking for a new challenge in the FPS genre. We put the player right in the middle of a full scale riot and it’s no easy ride, this will be an original and intense challenge for gamers.”

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February 3, 2006

Guild Wars Guru Announces Contest Sponsored by Zboard(tm) - The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard

TORONTO, CANADA - February 3, 2006 - The MMO Guru Network site Guild Wars Guru is happy to announce the start of a new contest sponsored by Zboard(tm) - The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard to the community. This contest is open to everyone with two (2) grand prize winners receiving a new Zboard(tm) (retail value $49.99).

To participate, the GuildWarsGuru.com website is having a scavenger hunt. It's as simple as finding all 10 Guru button logo's and then submitting your full name and GuildWarsGuru.com forum name along with the URL
links to the locations. A bonus find will allow an individual an additional entry into the contest. Only one prize will be awarded per individual. Included are clues and hints to find all 10 locations as well as the bonus find. The contest deadline is Friday, February 10th 2006 with winners announced on Monday, February 13th 2006.

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ACTIVISION AND LIONHEAD® STUDIOS RELEASE OFFICIAL PC GAME DEMO FOR THE MOVIES™

Santa Monica, CA – February 3, 2006 – Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and Lionhead® Studios announced today the availability of a PC game demo for The Movies™. Currently available at http://www.lionhead.com/themovies/demo.html, PC gamers can download the official 285 MB demo which provides an in-depth introduction to the Story Mode, where players are guided through how to become the ultimate Hollywood movie mogul by building and managing all aspects of their own movie studio from talent and resources to research and development.

The Movies for Windows® PC is available now for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and is rated “T” (Teen with blood and gore, crude humor, mild language, sexual themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence) by the ESRB.

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Torino 2006

Video games based on the Olympics have traditionally been pretty sucky, so I expected very little from Torino 2006. It's essentially a bunch of mini games that are sports related. I think when I was a kid there was a company called Epyx that made a decent summer games. Torino 2006 is fairly standard fare for a genre that is more likely to be collected as a souvenier rather than be played.

Score = 2.5 our of 5

Given the high quality of racing and snowboarding genres one would think that a good winter olympic games game. Apply the knowledge obtained by developing a racing game to the luge and that of developing a snowboarding game to skiing and things should look and feel good.

The speed skating mechanics are pretty good down - the player mashes alternate buttons to generate enough speed to be maintained by a rhythmical, consistent tapping of the two buttons. This imitates the motion of the left and right leg and is one of the only control systems that has an actual feel to it. Timing the presses is required for straightways and curves. You'll need long strides to gain speed on the straightways and short strides in the corner. You can sense when you're getting out of synch (ignore the on screen bars as they appear to have nothing to do with your timing) and do the right thing to get back on track.

torino_122705_02.jpg

Not only are there very few events, but some of them are repeated. Cross-country skiing is included in no less than three different events including the Nordic and Biathlon. There's not much difference between bobsled and luge, only that in bobsled you can move your men left or right, neither of which really matters. In both events you shoot yourself off like a plunger hitting a pinball. Press the button at the appropriate time to generate the most power and your sled will snake its way through icy channels. The analog stick allows you to move to the right or left to avoid hitting the walls. Controls are sluggish at first, but then as your sled or luge speeds up it becomes more responsive.

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Tomb Raider: Legend Ship Date

San Francisco, CA (Feb 2, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirmed today that Lara Croft’s latest and most anticipated adventure, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend™ will begin shipping on April 7th in Europe and April 11th in North America on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC
with Xbox®360 and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system versions to follow shortly after.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh title to be released in the Tomb Raider™ series, which originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 30 million copies sold. Lara Croft™ has transcended games in a way no other character has, including action figures, comic books and two major motion pictures starring Angelina Jolie.

Larry Sparks, Head of Brands Management, Eidos said: “Everyone working on Legend is buzzing right now, we are all so excited that this totally new incarnation of Lara will capture gamers’ hearts, just as her original game did, and challenge their minds like no Tomb Raider they’ve ever seen.”

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February 1, 2006

ENLIGHT SOFTWARE ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH SPORTS MOGUL INC. TO DELIVER "BASEBALL MOGUL 2007"

PARKVILLE, MD – February 1st, 2006 – Enlight, a leading software developer and publisher, today announced their partnership with Sports Mogul Inc. to deliver the next installment of their award-winning "Baseball Mogul" series, "Baseball Mogul 2007." As the premier sports statistical-simulation game on the market, "Baseball Mogul" will provide baseball enthusiasts with all the intense excitement and addictive entertainment that they have come to expect.

With new features and additions to "Baseball Mogul 2007," gamers will have the opportunity to create or take charge of any Major League Baseball team from 1900 to 2006 while managing all operations and team objectives. General Managers can actively scout and train talent from the best high school and colleges around the world to build their championship caliber ball club. Players will also be able to engage in complex trades, sign multi-year contracts, negotiate with sports agents, and handle team expenses with detailed budget management. From balancing rosters to actively calling the shots on the field through animated play-by-play mode, "Baseball Mogul 2007" will be the most comprehensive baseball management simulation available.

“With their reputation as a leader in the PC market, Enlight provides us with full confidence that the 'Baseball Mogul' series will continue to thrive again this year,” said Clay Dreslough, President of Sports Mogul Inc. “We have added a host of new features to enhance the simulation for this year’s title, and players will be able to enjoy the most realistic and compelling experience ever.”

“After having been involved in baseball as a player, coach and teacher, along with my son currently being recruited by major colleges and pro scouts, my passion for the sport is continued through this incredible game,” said Paul Lombardi, CEO of Enlight Interactive. “Never before has a sport simulation title provided such attention to detail and
'Baseball Mogul 2007' will be the ultimate statistical companion for all hardcore baseball enthusiasts.”

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CURIOUS GEORGE™ SHIPS!

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (February 1, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Curious George™ has shipped for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system, Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy® Advance and PC. Based on the February 10th animated feature film of the same name from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, Curious George allows players to jump in and control the world’s most curious chimp through an array of madcap mishaps and mischievous fun. Curious George is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

For more than 60 years, children and adults alike have followed the tales of Curious George – known for his insatiable inquisitiveness and taste for adventure. The story begins as The Man with the Yellow Hat travels to Africa in search of a lost artifact and returns with some unexpected cargo — a precocious chimp named George.

Curious George allows players to meet and interact with their favorite characters from the animated film in this exciting and colorful game world. As the fun-loving George, players can run, jump, climb and swing through 12 action-packed levels including the jungle, museum and Big City. Players must also use the character’s skills, which include crafty escapes and distracting performances, to elude trouble and avoid one entertaining predicament after another. Throughout George’s big adventure, players are encouraged to be curious and explore the “Curious Objects” in each environment – drawers to peek in, machines to activate, trunks to pop open and even chairs to bounce on! Interacting with these objects awards players “Curious Points,” which enable them to purchase items in the Museum Gift Shop including concept art, scenes from the animated movie and accessories for George. Curious George’s bonus features and challenging mini-games provide players hours of replay beyond the main story.

“We couldn’t be more pleased how well this game brings to life the loveable and playful nature of George in both the console and handheld video games,” said Jeff Lujan, business director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “Our partnership with Universal has been instrumental in developing a video game that not only captures George’s more modern look, but also contains countless hours of action and adventure the whole family can enjoy!”

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UBISOFT AND CAPCOM ANNOUNCE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT FOR THREE HIT VIDEO GAME TITLES

SAN FRANCISCO FEBRUARY 1, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it has signed an agreement with Capcom to distribute Resident Evil 4, Onimusha 3 and Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening Special Edition video games for the PC. Ubisoft will distribute Capcom's games in North American and European territories beginning in February 2006 with the release of Onimusha 3: Demon Siege.

"Capcom has created fantastic universes which have become blockbuster franchises," said Jay Cohen, vice president of publishing at Ubisoft. "Ubisoft is excited to be bringing three of the industry's most innovative titles, including Resident Evil 4, which has been recognized by many publications and organizations as the best game of the year for 2005, to PC gamers around the world."

Resident Evil 4 is a shining star in the survival horror genre garnering critical acclaim and numerous "Game of the Year" awards from media outlets including Game Informer magazine, North America's largest gaming magazine and GameSpot.com, a leading source for gaming information. Onimusha 3: Demon Siege stars French actor Jean Reno and is the latest episode in the Onimusha franchise. This action adventure series has become a phenomenon thanks to its amazing backdrop in medieval Japan mixed with heroic fantasy elements. Devil May Cry made an outstanding debut on console and quickly became a popular action game. Renowned for its gothic atmosphere, non-stop action and thrilling combat, the latest installment to the franchise adds a new character a new boss and many new levels.

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January 30, 2006

EA and Crytek announce development of Crysis

Redwood City, Calif. – January 30, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company and award-winning developer Crytek, today announced they will bring Crysis, an exciting new first person shooter, to gamers worldwide. Developed by Crytek, the makers of the award-winning Far Cry™, Crysis will be an original first person shooter game for PC based on new intellectual property.

“Our focus has always been on innovating gameplay and technology, and bringing new experiences to gamers through our original intellectual properties,” says Cevat Yerli, CEO & President of Crytek. “Crysis will be a showcase for that commitment and will offer gamers from all over the world the next step in FPS gaming.”

Shooter fans will face a new kind of gameplay challenge requiring adaptive tactics and customisation of weapons and armour in dynamic, hostile environments as mankind struggles to survive in the face of a horrific alien invasion.

Crysis will bring together the creative and technical talent of Crytek with the publishing expertise and unrivalled reach of Electronic Arts. Crysis is to be published by EA following the worldwide relationship announcement between the two companies and is being developed using the leading-edge technology of Crytek’s proprietary engine CryENGINE™ 2.

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January 29, 2006

FINAL FANTASY XI: TREASURES OF AHT URHGAN AND XBOX 360 VERSION LAUNCH ANNOUNCED

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (JANUARY 27, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ entertainment products in North America, announced a simultaneous launch for FINAL FANTASY® XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan™, the third expansion pack for the title. The long-awaited release of FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will also be available that day. Specifically, retail product and service will be available as listed in the following regions (based on time zone differences) – April 18 in North America, April 20 in Europe and Japan.

FINAL FANTASY XI, the first cross-platform, cross-continent massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) will be accessible on Xbox 360 for the first time to players in North America, Europe and Japan. Gamers will be able to communicate and play together no matter where they are or from what platform they connect - the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows® operating system or Xbox 360 (platform based on region availability). FINAL FANTASY XI has more than 500,000 subscribers in North America, Europe and Japan, combined. With the release of the third expansion pack and Xbox 360 version, the world of Vana’diel® will be an even livelier place to visit, expanding the community even further.

Treasures of Aht Urhgan can be played along with the original version of FINAL FANTASY XI (which is required to play any of the expansions) and does not require the Chains of Promathia™ and Rise of the Zilart® expansion packs. The third expansion will be sold separately for PlayStation 2 and Windows users at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD). Treasures of Aht Urhgan will be available as part of the complete package for Xbox 360 which includes PlayOnline™, FINAL FANTASY XI and all three expansion packs for the title - Chains of Promathia, Rise of the Zilart and Treasures of Aht Urhgan at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD).

Features
- Players will uncover the tales and legends surrounding the the Aht Urhgan Empire.

- New jobs, including the highly requested Blue Mage and Corsair, have been added to expand battle strategies even further.

- Along with additional areas to explore, powerful monsters have also been added, including the Mamool Ja, a powerful tribe of the beastmen that hold dominion over the Mamool Ja Savagelands, a land hostile to the Near Eastern Aht Urhgan Empire.

- Keeping with the FINAL FANTASY XI principles, system enhancements in addition to those listed have been implemented to enrich gameplay in a variety of ways.

- On Xbox 360 gamers will be able to see and hear the world of Vana’diel like never before in high definition video.

- Join a community of over 500,000 with players from around the world and on several platforms.

Services Fees
North American service fees remain the same and are as follows: FINAL FANTASY XI subscribers will receive their first 30 days of access without charge. Aside from Internet service provider access charges, the free trial period will begin on the date players create their first “Content ID” or character. Any additional Content IDs purchased are also available without charge until the end of the free trial period. After 30 days, players can continue to play FINAL FANTASY XI by paying a monthly fee of $12.95 (USD) for one FINAL FANTASY XI character, and can create up to 15 additional characters for an additional charge of $1.00 (USD) per character, per month. Payment for monthly access charges must be made by credit card only (restrictions apply).

System Requirements
FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360
Requirements for Xbox 360 version are as listed: Xbox Live® account, Broadband connection (Xbox 360 does