SAN DIEGO — July 14, 2005 — Today at Comic-Con International, the world’s largest comic book convention, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) and Marvel Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: MVL) announced a licensing agreement that will team the entertainment powerhouse Marvel with Microsoft’s proven creative and technology success in the interactive gaming space. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft has obtained the exclusive rights to develop and publish massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) featuring Marvel’s iconic universe of Super Heroes™ for use in games developed for the Xbox 360™ system and published by Microsoft Game Studios.
“Marvel has created some of the most iconic and exciting characters and stories in the past century. We’re thrilled to bring this universe to interactive entertainment,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for Xbox at Microsoft. “With this next generation of gaming, Marvel fans will finally have the ability to create choices with their favorite Super Heroes, villains and creatures in unbelievable detail — all with the power of Marvel’s incredible vision and the Xbox® platform.”
Marvel’s stable of Super Heroes is known throughout the world and their epic stories have been forever etched into popular culture. Though originating in comic form, the Marvel myths have been a force in feature films, television shows and video games such as best-selling titles based on the Spider-Man, X-Men and Hulk franchises.
MMOGs, which enable thousands of players to interact online simultaneously, represent one of the biggest areas of growth for the multibillion-dollar interactive entertainment industry. The Marvel-based titles will be developed for the Xbox 360 console platform.
“The alliance with Microsoft catapults us into the games category in an unprecedented way. Microsoft is an acknowledged leader in the interactive game space, and backed by their technology, creative and marketing clout, Marvel will establish a strong presence in the burgeoning online gaming arena,” said Tim Rothwell, worldwide president of the Consumer Media Group at Marvel Enterprises. “We are very excited to be working with Microsoft to bring our fans what we expect will be a world-class online gaming experience. We also believe online gaming will provide valuable, global exposure to our character brands.”
Further details regarding Microsoft and Marvel’s MMOG titles will be released in the coming months.
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel’s operations are focused in three areas: licensing and entertainment (Marvel Studios), comic book publishing and toys. Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, DVD/home video, video games and television programming based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel’s characters and plot lines are created by its publishing segment that continues to expand its leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the future-generation video game and entertainment system that places gamers at the center of the experience. Available this holiday season in North America, Europe and Japan, Xbox 360 will ignite a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalized and always in high definition.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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