LONDON - Sept. 1, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed some of the best game development talent to create exclusive content for the Xbox video game console under the Microsoft® label. Microsoft unveiled a list of 18 development studios, including United Kingdom-based Lionhead Satellites, prior to the opening of the annual European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) in London.
"By providing the industry's best game developers with Xbox's future-generation technology and familiar tools today, Microsoft is ensuring intense, action-packed Xbox experiences for gamers at launch," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft. "As always, we will work closely with our development partners to provide them with the resources and support they need to create a broad portfolio of great Xbox games for Microsoft."
With the first wave of developer tools just released, Xbox is rapidly gaining popularity among leading game designers. Xbox is slated for a worldwide release in fall 2001.
"Lionhead is committed to creating games that push the boundaries of creativity and technology," said Peter Molyneux, president and founder of Lionhead Satellites. "As a game developer, the PC has always been the platform of choice due to its ability to provide the best tools and technology to work with. We have elected to develop content for Xbox for two key reasons: its revolutionary technology is the best to come to market, and Xbox is the only game console based on an architecture we are already familiar with, which allows us to focus on what we do best - bring our creative visions to life."
In addition to Lionhead Satellites, Microsoft has enlisted the expertise of several U.S. and European development studios to create Xbox titles. These include Stormfront Studios, creator of the popular "NASCAR" series and "Madden Football" games published by Electronic Arts Inc.; Kodiak Interactive Software Studios Inc., best known for the "WCW Mayhem" series published by Electronic Arts; Totally Games Inc., founded by industry veteran Lawrence Holland (creator of the best-selling "X-Wing" series for LucasArts Entertainment Co.); Rainbow Studios, renowned for the "Motocross Madness®" titles; and Universal Interactive Studios, which has had great success on the console to date with character-based games such as "Crash Bandicoot" and "Spyro the Dragon."
The list of development studios creating Xbox content under the Microsoft label include the following:
· Lionhead Satellites
· Universal Interactive Studios
· Stormfront Studios
· Kodiak Interactive Software Studios Inc.
· Totally Games
· Rainbow Studios
· Artificial Mind and Movement
· Boss Game Studios
· Climax Group
· Digital Illusions
· High Voltage Software
· KnowWonder Digital MediaWorks
· Meyer/Glass Interactive
· Pipeworks Software Inc.
· Pseudo Interactive Inc.
· Tremor Entertainment
· VR×1 Entertainment
In addition to allying with independent development studios, Microsoft also intends to continue to expand its internal pool of development talent across all game genres. The recent acquisition of Bungie Software Corp. increased Microsoft's internal games group to more than 700 designers, programmers, testers and producers.
Over the next few months, Microsoft expects to announce additional details on its Xbox titles currently in development as well as other developer alliances.
About Microsoft Games:
Microsoft's Games Division is recognized as one of the world's leading games businesses in four key areas: PC and Xbox game development and publishing, Zone.com, SideWinder® game devices, and Xbox video game console. Microsoft games developed and published for the PC and Xbox platforms target hard-core gamers and casual players. Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/) is the Internet's largest game site, and SideWinder is the best-selling brand of game devices in the world. Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game machine scheduled to ship fall 2001.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.