Franchises Provide Innovative Content for All
Segments of Growing Market
AGOURA HILLS, Calif., May 4: Leading independent video game publisher THQ Inc. (Nasdaq: THQI) today announced the company is entering the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with its strongest line-up to date, featuring innovative products for core and mass-market gamers spanning all platforms. The company's portfolio features internally developed next-generation console and Windows PC titles, mass-market licensed products and all new content for handheld and gaming system wireless devices. The line-up will be on display in THQ booth #1324, in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center May 10-12.
THQ is capitalizing on a growing internal studio system of 14 wholly-owned developers and more than 25 of the best independent development teams worldwide to build a formidable product line-up that provides all gamers with new and innovative content. Playable for the first time, exclusively at the THQ booth, will be the much-anticipated Saints RowTM, developed by Volition, Inc. for the Xbox 360TM video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, as well as cross-platform next-gen console title FrontlinesTM: Fuel of WarTM, developed by THQ's Kaos Studios. WWE® SmackDown® vs. Raw® 2007, developed by Yukes Co., Ltd. for THQ/Jakks, will be on display for both current and next-gen systems. Additionally, new original properties will include next-gen Windows PC titles Company of HeroesTM, developed by Relic Entertainment, and Supreme CommanderTM.
High-profile licensed properties Disney/Pixar Cars, SpongeBob SquarePantsTM: Creature from the Krusty Krab and Avatar: The Last AirbenderTM, all scheduled to ship for next-gen and current gen systems, will also be on display.
"THQ is positioned to deliver original content to all segments of the video game market and capitalize on industry growth opportunities over the next several years," said Brian Farrell, president and CEO, THQ. "Our extensive studio system is building an impressive product pipeline of high-profile original and licensed properties that will keep THQ on the cutting edge of innovative development for all viable platforms."
Next Generation Console Line-Up
THQ's next-gen console line-up includes original, internally developed titles, and a high-profile addition to the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw franchise that brings the series to the Xbox 360 for the first time:
Saints Row: An explosive, third person, open-world action/driving hybrid developed by THQ's Volition, Inc., Saints Row is the only game in its genre that offers players unrivalled character customization options and a multiplayer experience through Xbox Live® online entertainment network. In the game, players assume the role of a member of the 3rd Street Saints on a mission to rise up the gang ranks and eventually take over the city of Stilwater, controlled by rival gangs. In Saints Row, actions have consequences and players decide how best to muscle their way to the top. Saints Row is scheduled to release for Xbox 360 in fall 2006. Saints Row is also scheduled to ship for wireless devices in fall 2006.
Frontlines: Fuel of War: Developed by THQ's Kaos Studios, Frontlines: Fuel of War is an open world infantry and vehicle-based First Person Shooter featuring advanced next-gen weaponry that places gamers in a desperate struggle set in the near future. A global war for oil is being waged between two superpowers, the Western Coalition (US/NATO) and the Red Star Alliance (Russia/China), and gamers will play both sides within the context of battle. The single player campaign will focus on this story, as players battle through intense scenarios with other squad members, moving the frontline through enemy territories in this war-torn universe. Frontlines: Fuel of War is expected to ship for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC in 2007. *
WWE® SmackDown® vs. Raw® 2007: The eighth release in THQ/JAKKS' critically-acclaimed franchise, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 delivers the next generation of World Wrestling Entertainment® experience with incredible high-definition graphics, intense action and unprecedented levels of choice and control. New additions this year include a brand new analog control grappling system, new high-impact movesets, user-controlled environmental hotspots and an interactive fighting area within the crowd. In addition, the game includes updated rosters for Raw and SmackDown, an expanded General Manager Mode and online multiplayer game play with voice chat support. In development by Yuke's Co. Ltd., for the PlayStation 3 system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSPTM (PlayStation®Portable) system and Xbox 360, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 is scheduled to release beginning in fall 2006. *
The Sopranos: A mob war is brewing as Philadelphia's and New Jersey's most powerful families are about to collide. As the illegitimate son of "Big Pussy," the gamer has been born into the organization and is now being given an opportunity to demonstrate loyalty to Tony Soprano. As a soldier, players must earn money on collections, protect turf through intimidation and gain admiration within their own family to move up in the ranks of the organization. Carry out orders from Paulie, Silvio, Christopher and Tony in familiar locations such as the Bada Bing!, Nuovo Vesuvio's and Satriale's. The storyline was created in collaboration with show creator David Chase, and the show's key cast members provide the voices. The Sopranos is scheduled to release in holiday of 2006.
MotoGPTM '06: Building on the successes of its Xbox predecessors, MotoGP '06 re-launches the franchise on Xbox 360. Gamers will be met with new tracks, bike models, refined handling and Live! functionality, making this a truly fresh and aspirational title for even the most hardened fans of the series. MotoGP '06 will launch with the current 2006 season data, giving an unprecedented accuracy to the real sport, in addition to visual effects that surpass any racing title to date. All extreme mode circuits have been revamped, streamlined for speed and fast-flowing racing action. Customize and ride all new extreme bikes in street racing action from the gleaming skyscrapers of Rio de Janeiro to the jagged mountains of Tuscany. MotoGP '06 is scheduled to release for Xbox 360 in spring 2006.
GTR: Crafted by award-winning Swedish development studio SimBin Development Team AB, GTR features all the cars, drivers and tracks from two full FIA GT Championships and challenges casual racers to become world-class drivers. Directed by professional racing driver and former FIA GT Team Owner, Henrik Roos, GTR sets new standards for auto racing realism. GTR is expected to ship globally on Xbox 360 in spring 2007.
Next Generation PC Line-Up
In addition to carving out a leadership position on next-gen console systems, THQ is showcasing a collection of triple-A, next-generation Windows PC properties at E3, highly targeted at the core gamer:
Supreme CommanderTM: Developed by Gas Powered Games, founded by Chris Taylor, creator of Total Annihilation and the Dungeon Siege series, Supreme Commander features a riveting, action-packed storyline, ground-breaking gameplay and genre-defining online multiplayer battles. In the 37th Century, the galaxy is torn apart by three rival factions, each vying to eradicate its enemies from the universe, end the Infinite War and become the reigning power supreme. Supreme Commander represents the next evolution in the Real Time Strategy genre through its truly strategic and tactical gameplay and mind-blowing scale and scope, which is coupled with unrivalled zoom and control features. Supreme Commander is scheduled to release for Windows PC in early 2007.
Company of HeroesTM: Developed by THQ's Relic Entertainment, creators of game of the year Warhammer® 40,000TM: Dawn of War, comes Company of Heroes, the next revolution in action strategy. Company of Heroes is a WWII RTS game that brings to life the brave men of Able Company in cinematic intensity as they fight across Europe in the greatest war mankind has ever known. Relic's proprietary next-gen Essence Engine provides unprecedented graphics and physics complete with the destruction of all terrain and buildings. Featuring 2-8 players MP competition via Lan or Internet, Company of Heroes is scheduled to release for Windows PC in fall 2006. Company of Heroes is also scheduled to ship for wireless devices in fall 2006.
- WINNER Best Strategy Game of E3 2005 -- Game Critics' Best of E3 Awards
- WINNER Best PC Game, Best Strategy Game of E3 2005 -- GameSpot
Titan QuestTM: From the co-creator of Age of Empires, Brian Sullivan, and his team at Iron Lore Entertainment, comes an all-new action role-playing game set in the mythical worlds of ancient Greece and Egypt. Amazing visuals and fast-action gameplay deliver a true cinematic gaming experience. Lush ancient-world settings crafted in near-photo realistic detail provide the player with an extraordinary canvas on which to embark upon an epic quest of the ultimate good versus evil. Titan Quest is scheduled to release in summer 2006.
Warhammer® 40,000TM Dawn of War - Dark CrusadeTM: The highly-anticipated second expansion pack to internal THQ studio Relic Entertainment's critically-acclaimed real-time strategy hit Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade features an all new single-player experience and 2 new races - The Necrons and The Tau - allowing the gamer to play up to 7 unique races from the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War universe. Based on the world of Warhammer 40,000 - the dark, futuristic universe from Games Workshop - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade offers massive non-linear strategy and is scheduled to release for Windows PC in fall 2006.
Industry Leading Mass-Market Line-Up for Next Generation and Current Generation Systems
THQ will be displaying titles based on its own core IP, mass-market titles and established original franchises for next-gen as well as the huge installed base of current-gen console and hand-held systems:
Disney*Pixar Cars: Cars, the video game, is a high performance interactive experience in the open world created in the film, challenging players to relive the excitement created by Lightning McQueen and his friends. Fans will discover unique characters and environments inspired by the film with more than 10 playable characters and 30 races and minigames to choose from. The game features a fully immersive re-creation of all major environments introduced in the movie, including Radiator Springs and Ornament Valley, which will offer distinctive racing experiences to players while maintaining the artistic style of the film. Disney*Pixar Cars, the video game, is expected to ship for PlayStation 2 system, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube®, Game Boy® Advance, PSP system, Nintendo DSTM, Windows PC and Mac in June 2006 and for Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii console in fall 2006.
Destroy All Humans!TM 2: The plot for world domination is renewed as acclaimed developer Pandemic Studios transforms conventional expectations -- allowing gamers to play as the Alien and take on the most feared enemy in the universe -- mankind. Packed with non-stop action, an explosive arsenal of alien weaponry, advanced mental abilities and an irreverent personality that satires 1960's era icons and science-fiction mythology, Destroy All Humans! 2 uncovers an open-ended world where the player can unleash massive destruction on the ground or in their UFO. Destroy All Humans! 2 is scheduled to release for the PlayStation 2 system and Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in fall 2006. Destroy All Humans! 2 is also scheduled to ship for wireless devices in June 2006.
SpongeBob SquarePantsTM: Creature from the Krusty Krab: In a unique and creative twist, SpongeBob SquarePants explores the peculiar world of Bikini Bottom as it transforms through a series of various unique visual styles. Continuing the popular sea sponge's reign as a gaming and TV property, SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab offers fans brand new gameplay mechanics through nine visually bizarre levels and is expected to ship for Nintendo's Wii console, PlayStation 2 system, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Windows PC and Nintendo DS in fall 2006. SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is also scheduled to ship for wireless devices in fall 2006.
Monster HouseTM: Based upon the upcoming computer animated film from Columbia Pictures, the Monster HouseTM videogames will allow players to experience key moments of the movie as they unravel the creepy mysteries of old man Nebbercracker's possessed house. Players will encounter unique adventures as they explore a living, breathing house, full of traps and secrets. With three playable characters, fans of the film will enjoy seeing the movie come to life in their living rooms. The Monster House videogames are expected to be available for the PlayStation 2 system, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS in July 2006.
Bratz: Forever Diamondz: YasminTM, CloeTM, SashaTM, and JadeTM are back for a brand new adventure sending them across the country in search of the hottest fashion designer. Players will experience unique adventures through the eyes of the four playable characters, in detailed open world environments, as they compete for a spot in "America Rocks Fashion" TV show. Fans will discover new features that include a figure skating competition and the ability to adopt a pet to train, dress, accessorize and showcase in competitions. Bratz: Forever Diamondz is expected to ship for PlayStation 2 system, Nintendo GameCube, Windows PC, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in fall 2006. *
Barnyard: Enter the world of Nickelodeon's newest adventure and bring the "Barnyard" movie to life. Players will interact with their favorite movie characters while trying to prove they are the biggest party animal of them all. The film is written, produced and directed by acclaimed comedy writer/producer Steve Oedekerk ("Bruce Almighty," "Ace Ventura," "The Nutty Professor," "Kung Pow") and Nickelodeon Movies, producers of the Oscar® nominated "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius." The Barnyard video game is expected to ship for PlayStation 2 system, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Windows PC in July 2006.
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Based on Nickelodeon's hottest new show, fans will play as Aang, Katara, Sokka and Haru as they grow into an unstoppable team utilizing the kung fu inspired bending arts through the Avatar universe. Players will explore the four Avatar nations in beautifully detailed environments and battle new enemies. Avatar: The Last Airbender is scheduled to ship for Wii, PlayStation 2 system, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP system and Windows PC in fall 2006.
JuicedTM: Eliminator: Developed by THQ's newly acquired studio Juice Games, real street racing speeds onto the PSP system, utilizing wireless functionality to offer never-before-seen multiplayer games. Building on the crew & pink-slip racing that established Juiced as a leader in the street-racing genre, the game offers two new 'ad-hoc' multiplayer modes, Eliminator & Relay, challenging gamers to put their hard-earned cars on the line. In addition, players will choose from new crew chiefs, locations, tracks, as well as new cars with tons of new body-kit components. Juiced: Eliminator is scheduled to release for the PSP system in June 2006. Juiced: Eliminator is also scheduled to ship for wireless devices in June 2006.
Alex RiderTM: StormbreakerTM: Embrace the role of Alex Rider to out-spy, out-wit and out-cool evil in a thrilling action adventure featuring third person stealth game play, fast-paced racing action, intense fighting and unlockable mini-games. Players will relive defining moments from the StormbreakerTM movie and become the ultimate spy. Alex Rider: Stormbreaker is scheduled to release exclusively for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in Summer 2006.
Wireless: THQ Wireless will be also demonstrating games based on some of its biggest brands. In addition to wireless extensions of console and Windows PC brands listed above, feature titles will include Star Wars, NFL Football 2006 and others. For more information about THQ Wireless at E3, please visit www.thqwireless.com.
These titles and others, including games for the PSP system, GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS will be on display at the THQ booth.
About Pixar Animation Studios
Pixar Animation Studios (Nasdaq: PIXR) (http://www.pixar.com) combines creative and technical artistry to create original stories in the medium of computer animation. Pixar has created six of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Pixar has won 20 Academy Awards® and its six films have grossed more than $3.2 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The Northern California studio's next two film releases are Cars (June 9, 2006) and Ratatouille (summer 2007).
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) manages the third largest licensing business in the world -- representing leading entertainment properties including SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. NVCP handles the merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV. Nickelodeon, in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 89 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than ten consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
About World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. Information on television ratings and community activities can be found at parents.wwe.com.
About JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAKK) is a multi-brand company that designs and markets a broad range of toys and consumer products. The product categories include: Action Figures, Art Activity Kits, Stationery, Writing Instruments, Performance Kites, Water Toys, Sports Activity Toys, Vehicles, Infant/Pre-School, Plush, Construction Toys, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, and Pet Toys and Accessories. The products are sold under various brand names including JAKKS Pacific®, Play Along®, Flying Colors®, Creative Designs InternationalTM, Road Champs®, Child Guidance®, Pentech®, Trendmasters®, Toymax®, Funnoodle®, Go Fly a Kite®, Color Workshop®, JPITM and Plug It In & Play TV GamesTM. JAKKS and THQ Inc. participate in a joint venture that has worldwide rights to publish and market World Wrestling Entertainment video games. For further information, visit www.jakkspacific.com.
About Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP), a Division of Columbia TriStar Consumer Marketing (CTCM), is based in Los Angeles and handles the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television.
Columbia TriStar Consumer Marketing is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). SPE is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.
About Games Workshop
Games Workshop is the world's largest hobby war games company. Based in Nottingham, UK, it designs, manufacturers and distributes its range of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 games, miniature soldiers, novels, comics and resin models through more than 340 of its own Hobby centres, mail order, Internet and independent retail channels in more than 50 countries worldwide. Further details on the company can be obtained at www.games-workshop.com
About Buena Vista Games
Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG) is the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company. The division publishes, markets and distributes a broad portfolio of multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment worldwide. The company also licenses properties and works directly with third-party interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market.
About Samuelson Productions
Stormbreaker is produced by Marc Samuelson and Peter Samuelson, whose producing credits include "Arlington Road", "Wilde", "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Tom & Viv" and, as executive producers, "Keeping Mum", "The Libertine" and the forthcoming "Chromophobia".
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television-programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 40 million subscribers in the United States via cable and satellite delivery. Home Box Office's international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50 countries around the globe.
MGA Entertainment, a consumer entertainment products company with headquarters in Van Nuys, California, manufactures innovative lines of proprietary and licensed products, ranging from fashion and mini-dolls to radio-controlled vehicles. Bratz was introduced in June 2001, and has since become one of the world's premier toy lines and girls lifestyle brands. The brand is also noted for having won a Family Fun magazine's Toy of the Year Award three years in a row. With over 400 licenses worldwide, Bratz brings together innovative companies and cutting-edge fashion styles to create exciting new products in apparel, footwear, fashion accessories and so much more. Visit www.mgae.com
Nintendo's next system, Wii, will feature a controller designed to be used with either one hand or two -- a first in the video game industry. When picked up and pointed at the screen, the controller gives a lightning-quick element of interaction, sensing motion, depth, positioning and targeting dictated by movement of the controller itself.
THQ Inc. (Nasdaq: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com and www.thqwireless.com. THQ, THQ Wireless, Juice Games, Kaos Studios, Rainbow Studios, Relic Entertainment, Volition, Inc., Company of Heroes, Destroy All Humans!, Frontlines: Fuel of War, Juiced, Juiced: Eliminator, Saint's Row, Titan Quest and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the business of THQ Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as "THQ"), including but not limited to expectations and projections related to the release, performance and features of our video games and wireless applications, and are based upon management's beliefs and certain assumptions made by management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements, including, but not limited to economic, competitive and technological factors affecting the operations, markets, products, and pricing of THQ. Unless otherwise required by law, THQ disclaims any obligation to update its view on any such risks or uncertainties or to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements. Readers should carefully review the risk factors and the information that could materially affect THQ's financial results, described in other documents that THQ files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended March 31, 2005, and particularly the discussion of risk factors that may affect results of operations set forth therein. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.
The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox Live are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Frontlines: Fuel of War is not yet concept approved for PlayStation 3 by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 has not yet been concept approved for PlayStation 3 or the PSP system by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Bratz is not yet concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
® Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2004. Dawn of War, Dawn of War logo, GWI, GWI logo, Games Workshop, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 Device, and all associated names, insignia, marks, and images are either ®, TM and/or ® Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2004, variably registered in countries around the world. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.
Franchises Provide Innovative Content for All
Segments of Growing Market