Expanding upon Atari's established publishing relationship with Firaxis Games, the renowned developer behind the blockbuster Sid Meier's Civilization franchise and home of the legendary designer Sid Meier, the new deal includes the development/publishing of the long-awaited return of Sid Meier's Pirates!; a variety of additional properties from the Civilization franchise over the next several years; and the transfer of rights to Firaxis of certain classic Sid Meier games, some of which will be published by Atari.
The new Pirates!, which will launch on the PC in 2004, will be the follow-up to the award-winning 1987 smash hit game which set the industry standard for innovative game design with its unique blend of open-ended role-playing, real-time adventures and thrilling action sequences. Civilization Conquests, the new expansion pack to Civilization III, will debut in time for the holidays, joining the illustrious Civilization franchise which has already sold more then 4.5 million units worldwide to date.
Atari has transferred to Firaxis the rights to several classic properties, including Sid Meier's Pirates!, Sid Meier's Colonization, Covert Action, Gunship, Silent Service: The Submarine Simulation, F19 Stealth Fighter, F15 Strike Eagle and Sid Meier's CPU Bach. Firaxis Games plans to continue to partner with Atari to publish certain of these key properties.
And, in a further extension of the relationship between the two companies, the first rights of negotiation to develop and publish two unnamed future titles have been granted to Firaxis and Atari, respectively.
"The team at Firaxis, led by Sid Meier and Jeff Briggs, is among the most accomplished and respected in our industry," said Bruno Bonnell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Atari, Inc. "We could not be more delighted to expand what has already been such a productive and successful relationship with Firaxis."
Mr. Bonnell continued, "Deals such as this not only demonstrate Atari's commitment to working with the finest talent but also our resolve to deliver Triple A games now and into the future, as well as our commitment to the PC gaming market. We share Firaxis' passion for innovation and desire to continue to push the boundaries of interactive entertainment and we, like the rest of the gaming world, will await these new titles with great anticipation."
"With Civ III, Firaxis and Atari have shown the world that we can take a fresh look at the games that fans have played and loved for decades and deliver some of the best gameplay experiences available today," said Sid Meier, Director of Creative Development at Firaxis Games. "We're inundated with requests from fans asking us to bring back some of my classic games and I'm excited that we now have that opportunity," Meier added.
"Atari is a premier publisher in the industry and we're thrilled that our strong relationship with them will once again reunite us with Sid's classic games," said Jeff Briggs, President and CEO of Firaxis Games. "These titles represent some of the most engaging and fun games ever created for the PC, and both Firaxis and Atari are looking forward to bringing these classics to a new generation of gamers."