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SHADOWBANE FINDS PUBLISHER, PUBLISHER FAILS TO SAVE VS CRUSH [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

Here it is. I have done you the favor of putting all the outrageous fabrications in italics for you.

Ubi Soft announces deal to publish Shadowbane as part of an aggressive strategy to enter the online gaming market

Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the top 10 video game publishers in the world, announced its plans to enter the massively multi-player online (MMO) gaming market with a deal to publish Shadowbane in North America. Already the publisher of another well-known MMO in Europe, this agreement will mark the first foray of Ubi Soft into the North American MMO market. Ubi Soft will use its renowned marketing and distribution network to publish the boxed version of the game, while its new online division will play host to the intricate worlds of Shadowbane. The highly anticipated game is being developed by Wolfpack Studios, based in Austin, Texas.

Shadowbane is expected to launch online commercially in the first half of 2002. Ubi Soft targets to attract several hundred thousand players and to generate in excess of 40 million dollars over the first 2 years of operations. Ubi Soft\’e2\’80\’99s online division will handle all back-end support for the game including network and server infrastructure, billing, customer service and in-game support. Wolfpack Studios will continue to play an essential role after the game\’e2\’80\’99s release by developing updates and ongoing episodic content that will feed the game and its players for years to come.

Shadowbane is the first persistent world massively multiplayer online game to combine the fantasy role-playing and strategy genres. In addition, Shadowbane is the first such product to embrace a dynamic world design model, in which players can physically affect the history, politics and landscape of the game itself. In Shadowbane, you can build castles, raise armies, and lay siege to vast areas of virtual terrain. These kingdoms remain even as players come and go– the game simply continues evolving over time. Early buzz about the game has been phenomenal, with \’e2\’80\’9cPC Gamer\’e2\’80\’9d fans repeatedly voting Shadowbane as the most anticipated game in the \’c2\’ab Waiting Is The Hardest Part \’c2\’bb poll, most recently in the August 2001 issue.

Ubi Soft\’e2\’80\’99s new online division will concentrate on the most profitable area of online gaming: pay-to-play games, including MMOs such as Shadowbane. The MMO market is a fast-growing sector in which current games have pulled in $40 to $50 million dollars annually, with 350,000+ subscribers playing an average of 20 hours a week per person.

Gilles Langourieux, General Manager of Ubi Soft\’e2\’80\’99s online division, stated, \’e2\’80\’9cShadowbane is an extraordinary opportunity for us to further strengthen our online presence. According to Datamonitor, 80% of all online game revenues in 2000 were generated by subscriptions or transactions. Ubi Soft intends to make its presence known in this market, and working with Wolfpack Studios gives us a chance to grow with a quality development team and an excellent product in order to do just that .\’e2\’80\’9d

Josef Hall, President and Co-Founder of Wolfpack Studios added, “Ubi Soft is the perfect partner for us in North America. Not only are they enthusiastic about the potential of Shadowbane, but they also have a strong understanding of the online marketplace, and are a leader in product promotion and distribution.”

For more information about Shadowbane, along with the latest screen shots and info about the next beta test, check in regularly at www.ubisoft.com or www.shadowbane.com.

About Ubi Soft

Ubi Soft Entertainment is a global developer, publisher and international distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the industry, Ubi Soft\’e2\’80\’99s strong and diversified lineup has grown considerably over the past couple of years. As well as developing original properties, Ubi Soft has recently acquired several high-profile game companies and blockbuster titles. The company has offices in 18 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany and China and sells its products in a total of 52 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, please visit http://www.ubisoft.co.uk

About Wolfpack Studios

Founded in early 1999, Wolfpack Studios, Inc. is dedicated to servicing the Internet gaming marketplace. Focused on pushing the boundaries of Internet technology, the Woflpack Studios develops products and services for a worldwide customer base with the mission of establishing a new standard in the areas of virtual 3D environments and persistent world gaming. For more information on Wolfpack Studios\’e2\’80\’99 upcoming titles, please visit the company’s World Wide Web site at http://www.shadowbane.com.

PS: some have asked for an explanation of the italicized text. ShadowBane is not the first to introduce strategy and landscape alteration to the MMOG market. It may (or may not) take these elements further than before, but sorry boys – that is still a stretch. Second, Ubisoft, if I am to believe our discussion board, takes boxes of EverQuest, puts them on trucks, and drives those trucks to European shopping centers where people can then purchase those EverQuest boxes. Technically, that means they publish it, but you and I both know that all it really means is that they drive crates full of EQ boxes from the airport over to the shopping center. I would have looks harder at this release for more questionable claims but I’m dizzy from the spinning.