"The Lord of the Rings" Computer Games Deal Agreed
Vivendi Universal Publishing and Tolkien Enterprises Announce Long-Term,
Exclusive Deal to Create Games Based on Classic Fantasy Novels The Hobbit And
The Lord of the Rings
Vivendi Universal Publishing's Sierra Studio to Release First Game,
Fellowship of the Ring,' in Early 2002
TORRANCE, Calif., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU
Publishing), a division of Vivendi Universal, and Tolkien Enterprises today announced a long-term, exclusive deal
calling for the development of interactive games based on J.R.R. Tolkien's
worldwide best-selling novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, a trilogy
comprised of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of
Under the deal, VU Publishing's Sierra studio will develop and release
multiple games based on the literary works The Hobbit and The Lord of the
Rings over the next eight years. The first game, "The Fellowship of the
Ring," in development by Seattle-based WXP, Inc., will be released in early
2002 for a next-generation console system.
"The Tolkien license, combined with our development, marketing and
distribution strengths, is truly a formidable combination," said Agnes
Touraine, Vice Chairman & CEO, Vivendi Universal Publishing. "It will
reinforce our leading position in the games market, enlarging our offer to
"The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings properties are the pre-eminent fantasy work
s of our time and represent one of the strongest brands in the entertainment
industry," said Hubert Joly, CEO, Vivendi Universal Games. "They provide a
tremendous amount of rich material from which we expect to make some of the
best fantasy games ever created."
"We plan to release titles on all major gaming platforms in order to make the
interactive versions of Tolkien's great works available to as many gamers as
possible," continued Joly.
"The world of Middle-Earth will come to life in Sierra's upcoming games,"
said Laurie Battle, Director of Licensing for Tolkien Enterprises. "This
relationship will allow us to reach out to a new audience which may never
have experienced the magical realm that J.R.R. Tolkien created in The Hobbit
and The Lord of the Rings. In addition, people who are already fans of the
books will now have the opportunity to step into the shoes of their favorite
characters and explore the lands that they have imagined."
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have set the standard
for fantasy writers and creators of epic worlds. The novels are massive best
sellers, having sold close to 100 million copies worldwide and been
translated into 26 different languages. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the
subject of three movies being created by New Line Cinema for release over the
next three years.
More details about Sierra's game lineup will be revealed at the Electronic
Entertainment Expo (E3) held in Los Angeles, California from May 17th to the
Sierra On-Line, Inc., http://www.sierra.com , a studio of Vivendi Universal
Publishing and part of its Games division, is one of the original developers
and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and
productivity software. Sierra is renowned for releasing critically acclaimed
and award winning titles that represent a wide variety of computer
entertainment on both next generation console and PC platforms.
About Vivendi Universal publishing
Vivendi Universal Publishing is a world leader in mass-market multimedia
communications. The Company has 22,000 employees and 300 brands in 40
countries and aims to become the unchallenged leader in each of its operating
sectors -- Games, Education, Literature, Health and Information. VU
Publishing had 2000 pro-forma revenues of 3.6 billion euros. A leading
publisher of online and PC and Console-based interactive content, the
Company's portfolio of entertainment software brands includes Blizzard
Entertainment, Flipside.com, Sierra and Universal Interactive Studios.
Interactive entertainment is one of parent company Vivendi Universal's key
content areas, along with Movies, Music and other Publishing activities.
CONTACT: Adam Kahn of Sierra On-Line, 425-649-9800, ext. 5606, or