5-09-03 Latest News

Vivendi Universal Announces Middle-earth Online!
Flinch @ 12:19 pm EST


LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 9, 2003 – Vivendi Universal Games, Inc. (VU Games) announced today that it has entered into a production agreement with Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. to develop “Middle-Earth Online,” a massively multiplayer (MMP) game to launch in 2004. The game will be developed as part of VU Games’ long-term agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to create interactive entertainment based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel “The Lord of the Rings.”

The 3D role-playing game (RPG) will immerse players in the Middle-earth world where they will choose their identities from a cast of archetypal Tolkien characters, form kinships, build race-specific dwellings, explore the landscape, craft unique items and weapons, and perform myriad other activities to bring the world-renowned fantasy realm to life.

“We are extremely excited to be working with a world-class developer like Turbine. Their track record and proven expertise in building, launching, and supporting massively multiplayer games is exceptional, making them the right partner for a franchise as beloved and well-known as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” said Jim Wilson, EVP Product Development, Vivendi Universal Games. “Together, our goal will be to bring the vision and spirit of the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien to life in ‘Middle-Earth Online.’”

More information about “Middle-Earth Online” can be found at http://www.lordoftherings.com/meo.

About Turbine Entertainment Software Corp.
Turbine Entertainment Software Corp., headquartered in Westwood, Massachusetts, is a pioneer in the design and production of massively multiplayer (MMP) games. Turbine's first MMP game was the award-winning Asheron's Call®. Turbine recently completed work on the G2 Engine as seen in Asheron's Call® 2 this year. This groundbreaking technology and uurbine’s commitment to shipping quality games on schedule continues to strengthen Turbine’s position at the forefront of MMP gaming.

About Vivendi Universal Games
Headquartered in New York, Vivendi Universal Games (www.vugames.com) is a global leader in multi-platform interactive entertainment. A leading publisher of PC, console and online-based interactive content, Vivendi Universal Games’ portfolio of development studios includes Black Label Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Coktel, Fox Interactive, Knowledge Adventure, NDA Productions, Sierra Entertainment and Universal Interactive. Through its Partner Publishing Group, Vivendi Universal Games also co-publishes and/or distributes interactive products for a number of strategic partners, including Crave Entertainment, Interplay, Majesco, Mythic Entertainment and Simon & Schuster, among others.

© 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Asheron's Call is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.