[an error occurred while processing this directive] Press Release :: EA GAMES and Lionhead Studios Announces the Highly Anticipated Release of Black & White for the PC

27 March 01 Press Release
EA GAMES and Lionhead Studios Announces the Highly Anticipated Release of Black & White for the PC

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 27, 2001 – What if you were an all mighty being with the ultimate power of divine intervention – would you be a malevolent god or a benevolent god?

Enter the world of Black & White(TM), a unique Role Playing God/Strategy simulation PC title from legendary game creator, Peter Molyneux. Credited by many industry experts(1) as the title that will engage the masses through its breakthrough gameplay, revolutionary design, and massive scope, Black & White for the PC has begun to ship under the EA GAMES(TM) brand and will be in stores nationwide this weekend.

Black & White, as implied by the name, offers a unique opportunity to alter the player’s alignment – good or evil – based on way you choose to play the game. Good and evil are two extreme approaches – right or wrong doesn’t enter into the experience other than morale consciousness. Set in the magical and mystical world of Eden, players are summoned to save a drowning boy from the deep ocean filled with ravenous sharks and by doing so are venerated into a deity whose every action and bidding will determine the story progression and player alignment (good or bad). As a god, the player will select and raise a highly intuitive AI Creature to gigantic proportions to act as your representative within the world of Eden.

The world is laden with puzzle-like challenges broken down into mini-tests and micro quests that the player must contend with. How players proceed with these challenges and quests will alter their alignment, which affects whether the world they rule is benevolent or malevolent. Likewise, the Creature raised by the player will grow, learn, behave and respond to the world around them according to the moral values and principals they are taught, so they can mature into a gentle or malicious Creature.

Helping to gauge the direction of both the player and Creature, the game and audio will reflect either a good or bad existence. For example, the player’s citadel – which also act as the main menu and home for the Creature – will change appearances that may range from doves circling above with a heavenly halo surrounding to bats circling above the dark, ominous sphere above with talon like beams that curl upwards. Similar graphic changes will support Creature alignment that ranges from friendly looking beasts, filled with love, goodness and kindness to an evil colossus of mass destruction and terror.

Key features include:
  • Choose the course of white or black – or anything in between – with neither being wrong or right.
  • Eleven unique Creatures (i.e. Ape, Cow, Tiger, Sheep) powered by an emerging AI technology that allows for an infinite amount of behavior and learning ability, including emotions.
  • Persistent AI results in Creatures retaining knowledge and learning from single player to multi player, and vice versa.
  • Choose from three leashes that help encourage the Creature to obey commands, which includes moving around the world.
  • Personalize the Creature with an array of supplied tattoos, and/or import additional bit map images as tattoos.
  • Rich storyline filled with more than 400 scripts in the form of “gold story” scrolls, which progresses the single-player story, and “silver reward” scrolls, which provides rewards.
  • Reign as supreme god by encountering and conquering a total of eight different tribes, each with their own characteristics, to increase power and belief over the course of five different Lands.
  • Cast more than 40 miracles (and power ups) – water miracles, food miracle, shield miracles, etc.
  • Strategy element to include the ability to assign (and re-assign) villagers to nine different disciples types: builders, foresters, fisherman, farmer, missionary, craftsman, trader and breeder.
  • Varying day/night effects; as well as a unique “Internet weather” function that allows players to designate the weather within the game to literally reflect that of their local area.
  • Rich, detailed graphics and unique interface – clean of menu buttons – and an easy to learn control system via mouse peripheral (keyboard support available).
  • Robust cooperative and combative online support of up to eight players (and four teams) via www.bwgame.com – from multiplayer combat to a personal web page created by the Creature.
Black & White for the PC was developed by Lionhead Studios (www.lionhead.com), which was founded by Peter Molyneux in 1997. The game will carry an ESRB rating of “T” (Teen) and have an MSRP of $49.99 (US). More product information can be found on www.black.ea.com and www.white.ea.com.

Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, EA posted revenues of more than $1.4 billion for fiscal 2000. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. EA markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA GAMES(TM) and EA.COM(SM). More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at: http://retailsupport.ea.com/press.

Black & White and Lionhead are trademarks of Lionhead Studios Ltd. Electronic Arts, EA GAMES and EA SPORTS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA.COM is a service mark of EA.com Inc.
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