Microsoft Inks Deal With Newly Formed Digital Anvil

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 19, 1997 — Intensifying its position as a leading games publisher, Microsoft Corp.’s games group today announced it has entered into a long-term publishing agreement with Digital Anvil, the new Austin, Texas-based development company founded by gaming superstars Chris Roberts, Tony Zurovec and Erin Roberts. The multi-title publishing deal includes a significant minority investment by Microsoft and ensures that Digital Anvil will work exclusively with Microsoft to produce cutting-edge games for the PC and online platforms.

“This is a major coup for the Microsoft® games group and is in line with our strategy to establish long-term relationships with the best game developers in the world,”
said Pete Higgins, group vice president of the interactive media group at Microsoft.
“Digital Anvil has assembled one of the industry’s most respected game-development teams, and we’re excited to work with them to create top-quality games that break new ground and deliver the best PC games experiences.”

“Microsoft has established itself as a leader in publishing quality entertainment software, and its powerful worldwide distribution and marketing systems will enable us to reach our global fan base,”
said Chris Roberts, CEO and producer at Digital Anvil.
“This agreement will supply us with the necessary equity to boost our resources, and Microsoft’s willingness to invest in the development periods and budgets necessary to build high-quality, groundbreaking products made them the ideal partner for Digital Anvil among all of our publishing alternatives.”

Launched today, Digital Anvil is led by three former Electronic Arts designers who collectively have received more than 50 industry awards for their development efforts. Their Wing Commander and Crusader series have sold approximately 1.4 million licensed copies in the United States alone. Digital Anvil’s creative team includes the following:

  • CEO and producer Chris Roberts , creator of the Wing Commander series, which has won multiple industry awards, including Top 10 Action Game of All Time by c/net, Hall of Fame recognition from Computer Gaming World and Reader’s Choice award from PC Gamer magazine.

  • Producer and director Tony Zurovec , creator of Crusader: No Remorse, which was selected as the 1996 Top Action Game of the Year by Computer Gaming World, Computer Games/Strategy Plus and PC Games magazines. Zurovec also produced the recent sequel, Crusader: No Regret.

  • Producer and director Erin Roberts , producer of Privateer, which received an Editor’s Pick award from PC Entertainment and Top 100 Games of the Year by Games Magazine, and its sequel, Privateer 2: The Darkening, which was released in December and received an Editor’s Choice award from PC Gamer magazine.

With the help of executive producer Robert Rodriguez, the young director and producer behind movies
“El Mariachi,” “Desperado”
“From Dusk ’til Dawn,”
Digital Anvil’s mission is to become a premier entertainment and software gaming company, creating innovative content, with a focus on making an immersive, movie-like game experience. Microsoft and Digital Anvil’s first produced titles, due in 1998, will be in the action-story and action-strategy genres, with an emphasis on 3-D, multiplayer and cinematic presentation.

Digital Anvil, an equity investment of Microsoft, is a multimedia, entertainment software company formed to create innovative, cutting-edge, high-impact interactive games with star power and mass-market appeal.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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