LOS ANGELES & LONDON - September 13, 2004 - Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) and Empire, a UK computer games developer and publisher listed on AIM, today announced an exclusive agreement by which VU Games will market and distribute Empire's multi-platform destructive racing game titled FlatOut in North America.
FlatOut, featuring cinematic graphics and revolutionary "rag-doll" physics, is anticipated to be Empire's biggest North American launch to date. The title is currently being developed by the award-winning Finnish developer, Bugbear Entertainment, and has received critical acclaim from leading games press.
Ian Higgins, CEO of Empire Interactive, commented, "We have worked closely in the past with VU Games and have great respect for their ability and commitment to distribute and market top quality games in North America. We believe their expertise will help make FlatOut a hugely successful addition to Empire's portfolio."
"Empire Interactive has proven to be a great partner of VU Games since 2001, and we are very committed to a successful North American launch of FlatOut early next year," said Philip W. O'Neil, VU Games' President of North America. "Today's announcement truly underscores VU Games' exceptional trade relations and distribution capabilities in North America."
FlatOut will be distributed by VU Games in the United States and Canada on the PC, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system in the first quarter of 2005. FlatOut will be published in the UK and the rest of Europe by Empire in November 2004.
About Empire Interactive
Empire Interactive is a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software that has been established for 17 years. The company floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange in July 2000. Headquartered in the UK, Empire Interactive also has offices in the US, Germany, Italy and Spain. The company develops and publishes a varied range of titles for current and next-generation platforms in the US, Europe and Asia. Further information about Empire Interactive and its products can be found at: www.empireinteractive.com.
About Vivendi Universal Games
Headquartered in Los Angeles, VU Games is a leading global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. Its development studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra Entertainment, Fox Interactive and Massive Entertainment. VU Games' library of over 700 titles features multi-million unit selling properties such as Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo from Blizzard Entertainment; Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Empire Earth, Ground Control, Tribes and Leisure Suit Larry.