Atari Announces Interactive Game Based On The Animated Feature Film 'Arthur And The Minimoys'
Inspired by the Universe Created by Luc Besson, the Video Game will Accompany EuropaCorp’s Theatrical Release
LYON, FRANCE - 15 December 2005 - Infogrames Entertainment (IESA) announced today that through its Atari Interactive Inc. subsidiary it has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the EuropaCorp Group for the development, publishing and distribution of video games based on world famous film director and writer Luc Besson's 'Arthur and the Minimoys'. Directly inspired by the animated film of the same name, which is currently in production, Arthur and the Minimoys the game is currently in development for PlayStation®2, PSPTM (PlayStation®Portable), Nintendo DSTM, Game Boy AdvanceTM, and the Windows platform, and is planned for European release simultaneously with the film at the end of 2006.
"We are pleased and proud to take part in this international adventure and EuropaCorp's forthcoming film. 'Arthur and the Minimoys' is sure to be an animation blockbuster. Technology will really bring out the sensitivity and energy of the world Luc Besson has created. By working with the film crew from day one, not only have we stayed extremely faithful to the film, but we have also developed parallel adventures specifically for the game, which should be popular with the public," said Atari Group Chairman Bruno Bonnell.
"When you make a children's film, your primary intent is to introduce kids to a new world that is both fantastic and exciting. Atari's video game will keep the film's adventure alive by allowing players to step into the characters' shoes to explore and try to save the world of the Minimoys," said Luc Besson, director of the film 'Arthur and the Minimoys'.
The game allows players to relive the fantastic adventure of young Arthur and his two pals, Selenia and Bétamèche, in their mission to save the Minimoys' world from destruction. The game will incorporate Besson's entire Minimoy universe and its tiny inhabitants (just a couple of millimetres tall) with the richness and extraordinary visuals of the film.
The unique and innovative game concept revolves around the teamwork of the trio (Arthur, Selenia and Bétamèche): players can only progress by cleverly combining the three characters' skills. In solving mysteries and overcoming obstacles, players will realize that anything is possible when you work together.
The PS2 and PC versions of Arthur and the Minimoys are in production with Lyon- and Paris-based Etranges Libellules, creator of several successful animated games, including Asterix XXL and Kirikou. The PSP, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Game Boy Advance versions are also currently in development.
'Arthur and the Minimoys' in a nutshell:
- Originally a four-volume literary adventure written by Luc Besson, with more than 950,000 books sold in France alone, and translations into over twenty different languages
- The highest budget ever for a European animated film ($85 million)
- It is currently being filmed using three technologies (2D, 3D and real film footage) and a unique graphical style that is groundbreaking in the world of animation
- The film will be distributed in more than 40 countries, including the United States, Europe and Asia
- A $125 million global advertising campaign will support the film launch
- Voices and original music for the film by internationally renowned artists including David Bowie, Madonna, and Snoop Dogg.
About Luc Besson:
Writer, director and producer Luc Besson was seduced by the inner workings of the French cinema industry at the age of 17. Following a steady climb through the ranks, during which time he continued to write, he eventually directed his first film "Le Dernier Combat". The film was lauded at the Avoriaz Festival in 1983 winning the jury Grand Prize and critics prize, proving to be the start of a major career. A string of hit films followed, with Besson taking the role of writer, director, and sometimes producer, on movies including "Subway" (1985), "The Big Blue" (1988), "Nikita" (1990), "Leon/The Professional" (1995), "The Fifth Element" (1997), "Taxi" (1998), and "Joan of Arc" (1999) amongst numerous others. In 2000, Luc Besson co-founded a new independent European film studio, EuropaCorp, with an impressive remit. In 2002 he completed and published the first book in the 'Arthur and the Minimoys' series in France generating sales in excess of 950,000. Successful sequels followed, with the books now available across the globe. The animated feature film of the same name is currently in production and represents the first European-made 3D animated feature film produced with a Hollywood budget for global release.
EuropaCorp develops, produces and co-produces movies in France and internationally. It handles all forms of distribution (theatres, dvd, licensing...) and international sales, according to a unique vertical model. With more than 40 movie productions and co-productions since 2000, EuropaCorp posted consolidated sales of approximately 100 million in the financial year ended 31 March 2005.
About Etranges Libellules:
Established in 1994 and based in Lyon, France, video game development studio Etranges Libellules specialises in the adaptation of existing characters to the world of video games. The high quality of its engineers and the exceptional creativity of its designers and graphic artists has led to the development of successful games based on the universes of Kirikou, Pink Panther and Asterix.
By proposing fun, intuitive and innovative gameplay, enhanced by a production process which allows for extreme fine tuning of the products, Etranges Libellules is creating games that have all the ingredients to reach the top of the sales charts.
The company recently completed the latest Asterix game, Asterix & Obelix XXL2, which is based on captivating gameplay and a highly original scenario.
Etranges Libellules has been chosen to produce the video game based on 'Arthur and the Minimoys'. The team has been installed within the film studio where the Film is being shot in order to work hand in hand with the movie team. Never before have a game and a movie been developed in such close collaboration.
About Infogrames Entertainment and Atari:
Infogrames Entertainment (IESA), the parent company of the Atari Group, is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (ISIN code: FR-0000052573) and has two principal subsidiaries: Atari Europe, a privately-held company, and Atari, Inc., a United States corporation listed on NASDAQ (ATAR).
The Atari Group is a major international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for all market segments and in all existing game formats (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) and on CD-ROM for PC. Its games are sold in more than 60 countries.
The Atari Group's extensive catalogue of popular games is based on original franchises (Driver, Alone in the Dark, V-Rally, Test Drive, Roller Coaster Tycoon, etc.) and international licenses (Matrix, Dragon Ball Z, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.).
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