2005-05-18 - E3 2005 Announcements

LucasArts, Verant, And Sony Online Entertainment Join Forces In Massively Multiplayer Online Star Wars®Game


LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC announced today it will partner with Verant Interactive Inc. and Sony Online Entertainment to create the first massively multiplayer Star Wars online role-playing game. Expected to release in 2001, the title will immerse thousands of game players into the classic Star Wars universe. Gameplay will feature a unique combination of combat, specialized missions, and daring quests.

The Star Wars online game will be developed by Verant, distributed and sold at retail by LucasArts, and available for play exclusively online at The Station@sony.com (www.station.sony.com).

The partnership brings together three of the foremost companies in the interactive entertainment industry. LucasArts, a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, has developed critically acclaimed and commercially successful Star Wars titles across a variety of platforms since 1991. Verant, creator of EverQuest, the most successful massively multiplayer online game to date, is recognized as the leading creator of persistent gaming universes. EverQuest currently boasts more than 200,000 customers, 120,000 of whom play daily. Sony Online Entertainment produces and distributes online games and gameshows targeted to mainstream consumers and game enthusiasts, including EverQuest.

"The combined expertise of LucasArts, Verant, and Sony Online Entertainment will bring to gameplayers an incredibly dynamic online gaming experience worthy of Star Wars," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "The immensity and richness of the Star Wars universe lends itself ideally to a game of this nature."

"We couldn't possibly ask for a better universe in which to create a massively multiplayer game, " says John Smedley, president and CEO of Verant. "Star Wars offers such an incredible amount of depth and detail that we'll be able to create a place for fans to feel right at home. This game is going to be incredible!"

"Star Wars online will be a phenomenon that transforms online gaming for both gamers and casual game players," says Lisa Simpson, president of Sony Online Entertainment. "It is a great addition to the blue chip brands our audience has come to enjoy at The Station. We are delighted to work with LucasArts and continue our close association with Verant Interactive."

About LucasArts

LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC is a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for a variety of computer and console platforms. Based in San Rafael, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts is one of five companies in the Lucas group which include Lucasfilm Ltd., Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC, Lucas Licensing Ltd., and Lucas Learning Ltd. Lucasfilm is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm's businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucas Digital, which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, provides visual effects and audio post-production services to the entertainment industry. Lucas Licensing is responsible for the merchandising of all Lucasfilm's film and television properties. Lucas Learning creates engaging interactive entertainment products that provide learning opportunities through exploration and discovery.

About Verant

Verant Interactive is an independent development studio that develops cutting-edge online games. Based in San Diego, California, Verant Interactive has a staff of over 70 employees who consist of the development teams responsible for the online games EverQuest®, Tanarus™ , and Sovereign™

About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment produces and distributes online games and gameshows targeted to mainstream consumers and game enthusiasts. SOE's site, The Station@sony.com (located at http://www.station.sony.com), is one of the leading online game destinations. The Station distributes online games and gameshows from Sony Pictures Entertainment, 989 Studios, and third-party developers. SOE's advertising sales and partnership marketing team also works with Sony Music Online and Sony Pictures Entertainment Online to offer integrated marketing and sponsorship opportunities for online advertisers across the SOE network of premiere branded entertainment-based Web sites. SOE, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, is headquartered in New York.

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