The full press release to follow:
ATARI'S FORGOTTEN REALMS: DEMON STONE HITS RETAIL STORES
Popular Dungeons & Dragons World Explodes Onto PlayStationÂ®2; Xbox and PC Versions to Ship in November
LOS ANGELES Sept. 14, 2004 Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) under license from Hasbro, Inc., today announced that the highly anticipated Forgotten RealmsÂ®: Demon Stoneâ„¢, an action game set in the popular Dungeons & DragonsÂ® world created by Wizards of the Coast, is now available at retail outlets nationwide. Demon Stone for the PlayStationÂ®2 computer entertainment system is retailing for an estimated price of $49.95 and is rated (T) for Teen. Demon Stone is expected to become available for the XboxÂ® videogame system from Microsoft and the personal computer in November.
Designed by Stormfront Studios, developers of The Lord of the RingsÂ®: The Two Towersâ„¢, Demon Stone features a storyline developed by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, and includes the extraordinary talents of actors Patrick Stewart and Michael Clarke Duncan, who provided their voices to two prominent roles in the video game. These combined talents bring Demon Stone to life in a classic story of good versus evil, with a world on the brink of destruction and a party of heroes seeking redemption.
(Demon Stone's intense, action-oriented and cinematic gameplay represents the transition of a brand that has traditionally been associated with niche gameplay to one that is more accessible to a mainstream consumer audience,) said John Hight, executive producer, Atari's Los Angeles studio. (Demon Stone also demonstrates Stormfront Studios' perfection of the immersive, interactive experience by combining all of the important elements into a cohesive presentation, including: the prodigious vocal talents of Patrick Stewart and Michael Clarke Duncan; a powerful story by R.A. Salvatore and a moving orchestral score.)
In Demon Stone, the player directs a party of three characters Fighter, Sorcerer and Rogue. Each of the characters excels at a certain type of gameplay. The Fighter thrives in melee combat, the Sorcerer is excellent at ranged and magical combat and the Rogue excels at jumping, sneaking and disarming traps. The player controls one party member at a time -- switching between them on the fly -- while the other party members are controlled by the engine's sophisticated artificial intelligence.
Demon Stone utilizes an extensive fighting system which is both easy to learn and visually stunning. Characters perform amazing attacks and feats at the simple touch of a button, but the system has sophisticated features for advanced players who want to tailor their attacks to maximize their damage in specific situations. Unique special attacks, combinations, linked combos, super attacks and even group super attacks allow advanced players to excel against their most fearsome foes.
Demon Stone's intense, cinematic action is set entirely within the visually stunning Forgotten Realms fantasy world. Familiar characters, such as the famous drow Drizzt Do'Urden and the legendary mage Khelban (Blackstaff) Arunsun (played by Patrick Stewart); the formidable Slaad Lord, Ygorl (played by Michael Clarke Duncan); terrifying monsters, including Dragons, Orcs, Slaadi, Yuan-Ti and Trolls; as well as geographical locations straight from the popular D&D campaign setting will make appearances and serve as backdrops throughout the game.
Demon Stone is now available for the PlayStationÂ®2 computer entertainment system for an estimated retail price of $49.95 and is rated (T) for Teen. Additional information about Demon Stone can be found online at www.atari.com/demonstone.
About Stormfront Studios
Stormfront Studios develops top quality, award-winning entertainment products for PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, and interactive TV, producing both AAA-quality originals and high-profile licensed titles for clients including Atari, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony and AOL. The company's most recent hit is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PlayStation 2 & Xbox, developed for EA, based on the Peter Jackson Film from New Line Cinema), which has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. Founded in 1988, Stormfront has been named to the Inc. 500 list of entrepreneurial companies three times, and the company owns all of the engines and technology in its games. The company is based in San Rafael, California, and is privately held. For more information, visit www.stormfront.com.
About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games and their method of play (TCGs) and produces one of the world's best-selling TCGs, Magic: The GatheringÂ®, as well as the celebrated Dungeons & DragonsÂ® roleplaying game. Publisher of adventure games, family card and board games, and electronic media products, Wizards of the Coast is also one of the world's premier book publishers of fantasy series fiction whose novels have made numerous appearances on The New York Times best-seller list and have sold millions of copies worldwide. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at wizards.com.
About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company's 1,000+ titles include hard-core, genre-defining games such as Driverâ„¢, Enter the Matrixâ„¢, Neverwinter Nightsâ„¢, Stuntmanâ„¢, Test DriveÂ®, UnrealÂ® Tournament 2004, and UnrealÂ® Championship; and mass-market and children's games such as Backyard Sportsâ„¢, Nickelodeon's Blue's Cluesâ„¢ and Dora the Explorerâ„¢, CivilizationÂ®, Dragon Ball ZÂ® and RollerCoaster TycoonÂ®. Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext 5257), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.