Atari Introduces Magic: The Gathering - BattleGrounds for Xbox and PC
Xbox Live! Support Highlights Strategic Fighting Game Based on
Wizards of the Coast’s Premier Trading Card Game
LOS ANGELES - May 13, 2003 - Under license from Hasbro Consumer Products, Atari has announced plans to take one of the most popular trading card games ever created to the Xbox videogame system from Microsoft with the release of Magic: The Gathering® - Battlegrounds. A PC CD-ROM version of the game was also announced. Currently in development by Secret Level, Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds is filled with faithful translations of classic creatures, spells and enchantments from the premier trading card game in a visually stunning 3D game environment rife with real-time strategic fighting, devastating wizard arsenals and intense creature combat.
“Magic represents one of the best game franchises ever created, constantly evolving and always offering something new to challenge and entertain players. When we approached this project we asked ourselves how we could expand the Magic experience interactively to match - the answer: by making it real-time and providing significant Xbox Live! support,” said Jean-Philippe Agati, senior vice president and head of Infogrames, Inc.’s Los Angeles studio. “Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds is like no other Magic game to date - it is incredibly fast-paced, eye-popping in full 3D and filled with more strategic fighting action than you can shake a stick at. What’s more, we’ve gone to great lengths to deliver Xbox Live! features allowing players to compete against friends worldwide, track their stats and rank as well as download new creatures, spells, arenas and more.”
Created by award-winning game designer Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast, the Magic: The Gathering trading card game made its debut in 1993. Today, there are more than six million Magic players worldwide. The card game itself is played between two or more players who attempt to reduce each other’s score from 20 to 0 by utilizing the various creatures, spells, artifacts and more in a series of offensive and defensive maneuvers.
Just as in the Magic® card game, in Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds players will choose a duelist and up to two of Magic's five colors -- red, green, white, blue, and black -- to attempt to reduce their opponent’s life to zero. Of course, getting an opponent to zero will not be easy, players will have to utilize lightning reflexes, strategic brilliance and, on occasion, raw power to overcome an enemy.
An important aspect to Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds will involve the player’s mastery of the five colors in the development of his/her duelist. Each color has a proficiency at certain types of activities, such as attacking, defending and healing. Players will be able to select up to two colors and utilize creatures, spells and enchantments in any combination from those schools. For example, a red duelist may choose to augment the attacking powers of his Lava Dragon by adding powerful green enchantments to his arsenal or increase his resilience by using white’s restorative powers instead.
Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds
will feature an engrossing single-player Quest Mode featuring a story that includes characters from Magic: The Gathering storylines while also introducing a variety of new characters and locales. Single-player Quest Mode will be comprised of six chapters, each featuring up to 15 quests. Most quests will involve battles with resident duelists, sub-bosses or bosses who often control a particular creature or spell that the player has not yet acquired. As the player progresses, the resident duelists get tougher and control more powerful spells. Upon defeating these opponents, players can gain access to these new spells and creatures; the enemy duelist becomes playable within the game; and, the player can select from various clothing and other accoutrements, allowing players to customize the look of their chosen duelist.
In addition to acquiring new spells, Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds will provide players with the ability to increase their duelist’s power with special artifacts. Artifacts are magical relics with varying effects that, when used correctly, enhance a duelist's chances of victory. Every time a single-player chapter is completed by defeating that chapter's sub-boss, the player can select one of several artifacts to add to his collection.
More than 350,000 Xbox gamers are currently enjoying online game play and downloadable content via Xbox Live! Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds will feature an entire host of features that take full advantage of this new opportunity for extended online play. Xbox Live! features will include: a global ranking and statistics system; new downloadable content; convenient cross title invitations; opponent feedback forums; a robust friends list; voice chat; and, more.
Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds
will be available for Xbox and PC in Fall 2003. Additional information about Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds can be found online at www.mtggame.com, which features downloadable and streaming game play movies, screenshots, duelist information and much more.
About Secret Level
Secret Level, Inc., is a growing company balancing tool, technology and title development for the console game industry. Founded in 1999, Secret Level has both shipped game titles with publishing partners Infogrames and LucasArts Entertainment Company, as well as, developed technology for partners such as Epic Games and Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Secret Level is a licensed developer for the Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation®2 and Nintendo GameCube, and holds "Tools & Middleware" licenses for notable platforms such as Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2. Additional info is available through Secret Level's website at www.secretlevel.com.
About Hasbro Consumer Products
Hasbro Consumer Products Worldwide is the licensing and promotions arm of Hasbro Properties Group, which develops and expands Hasbro’s core brands, such as G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, MONOPOLY and CANDYLAND, into a wide variety of entertainment and consumer categories.
Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), is the worldwide market share leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories. A leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products, the company holds an exclusive patent on the play mechanic of trading card games. For more information about Magic: The Gathering, visit www.magicthegathering.com.
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 DriverTM, Enter the MatrixTM, Neverwinter NightsTM, StuntmanTM, Test Drive®, Unreal® Tournament 2003, and Unreal® Championship; and mass-market and children’s games such as Backyard SportsTM, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s CluesTMand Dora the ExplorerTM, Civilization®, Dragon Ball Z® and RollerCoaster Tycoon®. 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.
Magic: The Gathering is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc.
Xbox is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.