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<b>E3 2004:</b> Sega set to publish The Matrix Online

Monolith's massively multiplayer title The Matrix Online is now to be published worldwide by Sega, the company has announced at E3 - quashing speculation that it would be handled directly by IP holder Warner Bros.

Monolith's massively multiplayer title The Matrix Online is now to be published worldwide by Sega, the company has announced at E3 - quashing speculation that it would be handled directly by IP holder Warner Bros.

The announcement was made at a special press conference just ahead of the show, and is indeed the much-vaunted major news from Sega at the show - which had been dubbed "SegaTon" by fan sites, and was rumoured to be anything from a return to the hardware business to a new Shunmue title.

The Matrix Online was originally set to be published by Ubisoft, but that deal was ended amicably earlier this year, and it was widely expected that Warner Bros' newly formed Interactive Entertainment division, headed up by former Monolith boss Jason Hall, would enter the publishing business directly by self-publishing the title.

However, the game's autumn release will now be handled by Sega in all global territories - the latest major third-party publishing deal to be done by the Japanese giant in the west, with previous deals netting the likes of Sports Interactive's Football Manager and Climax' Warhammer Online for the company.

Public beta testing of The Matrix Online is due to begin at the start of next month.

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.