Thursday Morning News
UbiSoft will be distributing the EverQuest expansion pack, Ruins of Kunark, to a few countries in Europe. The distribution deal with Verant and Sony Interactive will see the game reach countries through Europe, Russia, Turkey, and Israel. The European and U.S. dates will correspond; currently the release date is April 27th. Up until this agreement, gamers in Europe who wanted the expansion pack were being forced to go through Verant's online store to order and were being charged an additional $50 (in U.S. dollars) for international shipping. The Ubisoft distribution deal should take quite a bit off the game's price.
Square EA will be showing Vagrant Story, Legend of Mana, Threads of Fate, Chrono Cross, Parasite Eve 2, and Final Fantasy IX at E3.
Anarchy Online, a multiplayer RPG from Norwegian devloper Funcom, will be on display for the first time at E3. The game takes place in a sci-fi/fantasy setting 28,000 years in the future. It's claim to fame? To be "A solid challenger to established MMORPGs like Asheron's Call and EverQuest." For you E3 attendees, Funcom's booth will be located in South Hall at booth #868, where you can meet the designers and lead coder of Anarchy Online.
A few RPGs have been announced as nominees for The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Interactive Achievement Awards. Pokémon Yellow for Game Boy has been nominated as Game of the Year and Console Game of the Year. Both Asheron's Call and EverQuest are up for Online Game of the Year. For Adventure/Role Playing Game of the Year for a Console is Final Fantasy VIII, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, and Legend of Legaia, all for Playstation. For the same category under PC is Asheron's Call, Gabriel Knight 3, Outcast, Planescape: Torment, and Ultima IX: Ascension. Heroes of Might & Magic III is a contender for Strategy Game of the Year-PC. Final Fantasy VIII is also up for a Craft award in Art Direction and Animation. The AIAS Awards will be given out during the week of E3.
Next month, Sega of Japan will begin offering PC-Engine (Turbografx 16 in the U.S.) and Mega Drive (Genesis) games for download on the Dreamcast. Each game will cost 150 yen ($1.42 in U.S. dollars) each and will have VGA Box support. Sega is considering expanding the Dream Library software to include Mark III (Master System), PC-Engine CD-ROM2 (Turbografx-CD) and even Sega 32X titles. But where's our Sega CD games?
May 18th will see the release of Fog's Bonds of Kudou ~ Second Edict for the Dreamcast in Japan. Priced at 5800 yen ($55.06 in U.S. dollars), it's a port of the Playstation love-adventure game. New to the DC version will be 40% more scenarios, enhanced graphics, a more readable text font, the ability to adjust the speed the text scrolls, and other small improvements.
April 13th, 2000