Movie property The Matrix is set to return to videogames twice this year, with Sega confirming that The Matrix Online is due for a March launch, while Atari has confirmed the existence of a new offline game scheduled for Q4.
The Matrix Online, developed by Monolith in conjunction with Warner Bros and Matrix creators the Wachowski brothers, will be published by Sega on March 22 in North America, having missed its original date of January 18th. A European launch will follow on April 8th.
The massively multiplayer title ties in with the film trilogy and features a number of characters from the movies, and Sega has announced a number of bonuses for customers who preorder the title - including special abilities in the game and access to the beta test.
Meanwhile, Atari has also revealed its plans to return to the world of The Matrix, after staying silent on its plans for the franchise since the advent of the commercially successful, but critically derided, Enter The Matrix back in 2003.
The new game is called The Matrix: Path of Neo, will launch on PS2, Xbox and PC in Q4 2005, and offers players the chance to play as the hero of the three films - rather than as the minor characters who featured in the previous videogame.
Like Enter The Matrix, the title is being developed by Shiny Entertainment, and the involvement of producer Joel Silver means that actor likenesses and voices will be intact, the scenes will be scripted by the Wachowski brothers, and footage from the movies will be included in the game.
The performance of both games will be interesting to watch, as they represent to some degree an attempt to resuscitate a franchise. Although it sold well, Enter The Matrix was generally considered to be a low quality cash-in, and the second pair of movies also met with derision from audiences and are widely seen as having damaged the cult appeal of the original.