NEWS - Monday, October 23, 2000


Microsoft Secures Exclusive


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PRESS RELEASE: OCTOBER 23, 2000
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For Release 3 a.m. PDT

Microsoft Secures Exclusive Worldwide Rights To Publish "Oddworld" Games for Xbox

Four Titles in Globally Lauded Action/Adventure Game Series to be Developed Exclusively For Xbox Video Game Console

REDMOND, Wash. - Oct. 23, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed a deal with leading interactive entertainment publisher Infogrames Inc. to obtain the exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to the best-selling "Oddworld" game series, created by Oddworld Inhabitants. Beginning with the much-anticipated game "Munch’s Oddysee," Microsoft will exclusively publish the next four installments in the "Oddworld Quintology" for its Xbox video game console. Scheduled to launch in fall 2001, "Munch’s Oddysee" will be available only on Xbox.

"The opportunity to bring the full force of our publishing and marketing resources to bear on such a popular game series as ’Oddworld’ is a major coup," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft. "This maps perfectly to our longstanding strategy of working with the world’s best game designers to create experiences that will excite the imaginations of gamers everywhere."

Since its debut, the "Oddworld" game series has become one of the most globally popular game franchises of all time, with more than 4 million copies worldwide, garnering more than 100 industry awards and gracing the cover of more than 35 magazines. The two previously released chapters, "Abe’s Oddysee" and "Abe’s Exoddus," have been heralded as revolutionary for their mix of brilliant graphical artistry, unique personality and compelling gameplay. The upcoming "Munch’s Oddysee" continues the inventive spirit.

According to Lorne Lanning, president and co-founder of Oddworld Inhabitants, the choice of the Xbox platform was an easy one. "Our goal with ’Munch’s Oddysee’ and future installments in the ’Quintology’ has always been to create an immersive experience that pushes the boundaries of reality. Only Xbox gives us the graphical muscle and intense digital sound to unleash our creative juices and allow us to bring the imaginary world and rich characters of Oddworld to life."

The popular "Oddworld" series was originally published by Infogrames. According to Yves Blehaut, senior vice president of Infogrames Inc., allowing Microsoft to exclusively publish the next titles in the "Oddworld" series will further strengthen its worldwide popularity. "The ’Oddworld’ franchise lends itself to cutting-edge technology such as that provided by the Xbox system. We feel Microsoft’s marketing plans for the Xbox launch coupled with its first-party publishing support will provide tremendous value for ’Munch’s Oddysee’," Blehaut said.

Oddworld Inhabitants joins an impressive list of development studios - including Lionhead Satellites and Stormfront Studios - that will create exclusive Xbox content under the Microsoft label. "Teaming up with Microsoft also gives the opportunity to combine the talents of two great companies," Lanning said. "We were impressed with Microsoft’s marketing and distribution muscle, but what really won us over was its commitment to and vision for producing the best games."

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of momentum-building events solidifying industry support for Xbox. More than 150 of the world’s best game companies recently pledged their support for the platform because its future-generation technology will allow them to realize their creative visions for games.
Source: http://www.xbox.com/

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