LucasArts And Ensemble Studios Enter Into Innovative Business Partnership
AGE OF EMPIRES® DEVELOPER AND LUCASARTS TO PIONEER NEW DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER RELATIONSHIP; ANNOUNCE STAR WARS® GALACTIC BATTLEGROUNDS FOR FALL 2001
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- February 27, 2001 -- LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC today announced a strategic alliance with Ensemble Studios to develop a new and compelling Real Time Strategy (RTS) franchise for the digital interactive gaming market. The initial release from this cooperative venture, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, will be built upon PC-based technology created by Ensemble and used in the highly acclaimed Age of Empires series. Combining the design talents of LucasArts and Ensemble -- including noted designer Bruce Shelley -- Galactic Battlegrounds will build upon Ensemble's proprietary engine technology to usher in a new phase in the evolution of the RTS game. Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds is expected to release fall 2001.
Future ventures with LucasArts are envisaged to encompass new technologies developed by Ensemble, weaving increasingly innovative engineering into the core premise of interactive strategic warfare within the Star Wars universe.
"From the first time I played Age of Empires, I knew someday LucasArts and Ensemble should work together to create the ultimate RTS franchise," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "Gaming is evolving rapidly and fewer massively successful games are stumbled upon by accident. The market is more aware of what it wants, and consequently we are providing a marriage of superlative design, consummate technology, and an IP-based gaming universe with which most of the western world is familiar. In short, LucasArts very much views this as the birth of a market leading franchise."
"All of us at Ensemble are huge Star Wars fans and we're very pleased to be partners with LucasArts in creation of Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds," says Ensemble Studios CEO Tony Goodman. "The passion and talent of the LucasArts team blends well with our Real Time Strategy game expertise to make the Star Wars universe a compelling and fun game experience."
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.
Ensemble Studios is one of the world's most successful independent game developers and masters of the real-time strategy game genre. Ensemble Studios created the series of Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences award winning Age of Empires games published by Microsoft. Those games have sold over 6 million copies to date, and all feature the technology and design expertise that differentiate Ensemble's game creations. Ensemble created titles are distinguished by the highest quality art and game-play dynamics applied in familiar historical settings and appeal to "hard-core" gamers and mass audiences alike. Ensemble Studios is based in Dallas, Texas, and can be found on the Internet at www.ensemblestudios.com.