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Pro Cycling Manager – New and Improved

Pro Cycling Manager - Tour de France 2007 invites you to direct one of 60 official teams in a season bursting with more than 180 international competitions. Experience the day-to-day life of a cycling team manager and participate in developing race tactics and strategies as well as managing your team (transfers, contracts, training, media, equipment, etc).

To optimise your comfort within the management portion of game, the career mode interface has been completely redesigned. The team manager will discover an advanced navigation system that is simple, ergonomic, and instinctive to use. There is also an extensive transfer system. This system has received a complete overhaul for this 2007 edition, splitting the season into three phases. The new transfer period now takes place in between seasons, thus creating another level gameplay. The team manager will face a highly competitive and aggressive AI (Artificial Intelligence) on the transfer market, which will lead to fierce battles to get the desired cyclist. The player will have to make careful choices and behave like a true sports management professional, as it will be necessary to manage increasingly more complex human relationships in terms of the cyclists' motivations, the leaders' requirements, and the new budget system, which covers salaries, transfers, transportation, and lots more.

Managers must also develop a strategy for each of the races by assigning a position (leader, team-mate, sprinter, etc.) to each of the cyclists. These positions play a crucial role as they affect the motivation of the cyclists and allow certain race tactics to play out (breakaway, economisation, working for the leader, etc.). The player is then notified on the results page of the effectiveness of their choices, allowing them to adjust or rethink their race strategy to reach the highest position on the podium.

Pro Cycling Manager: A True Technical Challenge

Graphically, Pro Cycling Manager improves with each version, a true challenge for development studio Cyanide. This year heralds the introduction of a specially designed and beautifully detailed lighting and shadowing system. The routes, vegetation, and mountains have been updated to more closely match the various geographical typologies encountered along the actual races. In addition to this, the improvements made to the 3D objects (spectators, bikes, cars, etc.), deliver a result that has never been so realistic and rewarding. The playable real-time stages are in fact produced on about a 1/10 scale and present an area of up to 400km² for some stages, compared to the World of Warcraft world of 'only' 200 km², which uses streaming to load the different areas of the game.

Cyanide made the technical decision to allow the player to pass from one cyclist to another in real time, in the same manner as a televised race, no matter how great the distance is between them. Thus, we can instantaneously go to a group of cyclists breaking away from the stragglers, who may be located tens of kilometres away (consequently, with very different landscape, racers, and environment textures). This strengthens the player's immersion and makes it easier to make strategic decisions during a race.

About Ascaron Entertainment

From Day One in 1989 Ascaron Entertainment has become one of the leading European "boutique" developers and Publishers of games for the PC, with many successful titles including Patrician, Port Royale, DarkStar One and SACRED.

Ascaron maintains development studios in Berlin, Gutersloh and Aachen (Germany), as well as an international department in Birmingham (UK). Ascaron currently markets its products in more than 40 countries and over 15 languages.

Ascaron Entertainment (UK) is an independent office and is highly regarded on a domestic and global scale. With a professional reputation, full-service product management, and a wealth of experience in the games industry, the UK operation manages the international releases of Ascaron's entire catalogue, whilst also providing a bespoke publishing, sales, PR and marketing function to selected affiliate label partners. Ascaron Entertainment (UK) continues to be responsible for successfully launching titles into the UK market from developers and publishers worldwide. Titles include the popular UFO, Panzers, Cossacks and Blitzkrieg series of games, as well as critically acclaimed hits such as Call of Juarez, Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle and TrackMania United.

About 93 Games

"93 Games" is a subsidiary label of FHI France, and in just a few years has become one of the leading publishers and distributors of PC games in France. FHI is critically acclaimed and recognized for its savoir-faire and the numerous successes the company has achieved since its creation.

About Focus Home Interactive

Founded in 1996, Focus Home Interactive is a French publishing and distribution company based near Paris, France. Known for the diversity, quality and originality of its catalogue, Focus now publishes and distributes many of its titles throughout Europe and also world-wide in both boxed retail and digital distribution formats. The last five years have been very successful for Focus in France, with many of its PC licenses becoming top-sellers. Focus has also published several original titles, including the adventure game Runaway, the renowned Cycling Manager and the much-loved TrackMania. The coming months will be exciting and full of surprises with the release of high-quality games such as Blood Bowl, Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle, TrackMania United, Loki, Paradise City, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened and sport games dedicated to major events such as the 32nd America's Cup and the Tour de France.

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