FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LONDON, UK - March 9th, 2005 - SEGA Europe Ltd, today announced that the legendary gaming icon Sonic The Hedgehog has received a Star on the Metreon Walk of Game (www.walkofgame.com) in San Francisco, USA. The heroic hedgehog was awarded a star in the highly competitive category for favourite Games/Characters, obliterating heavy competition from the likes of Solid Snake and Lara Croft.
On Tuesday March 8th, 2005 the Metreon Walk of Game became a first-of-its-kind landmark destination for gamers worldwide. The Metreon is a state-of-the-art entertainment centre located in the heart of downtown San Francisco. This 350,000 square-foot complex features an eclectic mix of the Bay Area's best restaurants, shopping venues, theatres, and entertainment destinations, including the West Coast's largest IMAX theatre.
"As SEGA look forward to the future of the Sonic brand, it's good to look back at just how far this icon of computer games entertainment has come," commented Matt Woodley, European Marketing Director of SEGA Europe. "From his first steps on the MegaDrive, to chart topping success in 2005, he's demonstrated his enduring appeal across all ages through the years. This is a worthy salute to a true gaming superstar"
Attending this prestigious event were President of SEGA America Simon Jeffery and Takashi Iizuka, game director, SEGA Studio USA. After the ceremony they presented onlookers with a homage to Sonic via a retrospective video. Then surprisingly tantalised gamers with a sneak-peek of a mysterious trailer labelled Shadow the Hedgehog; one of several new projects coming from the Sonic franchise in 2005.
About the 'Walk Of Game'
Walk of Game is the first-of-its kind destination that honors the icons and pioneers of the video game industry. This year, Walk of Game will honor Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of "Mario Brothers" and "Donkey Kong") and Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari and "Pong"), in the Lifetime Achievement category, and Halo, Link (The Legend of Zelda), Mario, and SEGA's Sonic The Hedgehog in the category for favorite Games/Characters. Inductees will be on hand to meet fans and help shape history at this unprecedented inaugural event.
- Tuesday, March 8th, 2005 will be a significant day in gaming history, as it will mark the official unveiling of 2005's first inductees to the Walk of Game, a first-of-its-kind landmark destination for gamers worldwide.
- Every year, six Walk of Game inductees will receive a 24"x24" star, permanently installed inside Metreon, a 350,000 square foot entertainment center in downtown San Francisco.
- The San Francisco Bay Area is the Hollywood of the interactive entertainment industry, and employs one of the greatest concentrations of videogame creators in the world.
- As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, the videogame industry has recently eclipsed Hollywood box office revenue with blockbuster sales in excess of $10 billion annually.
- In 2003, more than 239 million computer and video games were sold, or almost two games for every household in America. The video game industry comprises more than 108 million gamers 13 years and older in the United States, who spent $7.4 billion on video games in 2003 (Entertainment Software Association).
- Media from more than 12 different countries have already written stories about San Francisco being host to Walk of Game, crediting it as the first landmark destination for the international gaming community and is poised to become the "Mann's Chinese Theater" for gamers, offering a physical place that finally recognizes the achievements and contributions of the bourgeoning interactive entertainment industry.
- March 7-11, 2005, several gaming related events in San Francisco will join together to capture the attention of the global community and will truly mark the Bay Area as the epicenter of the interactive entertainment industry. Highlights include: 3/7: Final Fantasy concert at the Masonic Auditorium - (orchestral rendition of the popular Final Fantasy game franchise). 3/8: Inauguration of WOG that celebrates the contributions of the icons and pioneers of the videogame industry. 3/7-11: Game Developers Conference (GDC) will be taking place at Moscone West - this is a focal point of the global game development calendar where industry leaders come together to decide the future of games
- Much like San Francisco, the Interactive entertainment industry takes the traditional principals of business and pairs it with the latest in entertainment, design, and technology resulting in a progressive art form for the 21st century. This positions San Francisco as the natural "Hollywood" of interactive entertainment
For more information on the Walk of Game, please click: http://www.walkofgame.com
SEGA Europe Ltd. is the European Publishing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. SEGA Europe's web site is located at www.sega-europe.com