Black Isle Studios, the role-playing game division of Interplay Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: IPLY), and BioWare Corp. announced today that the expansion product to the award-winning role-playing game Baldur's Gate(TM) II: Shadows of Amn(TM) entitled Baldur's Gate(TM) II: Throne of Bhaal(TM), has shipped to retail.
The add-on product expands and enriches the gameplay experience by adding several new locations, high-level spells and powerful new characters to the Baldur's Gate II game. Set in the Forgotten Realms(R) campaign world of the Dungeons & Dragons game, Throne of Bhaal is the ultimate conclusion of the Baldur's Gate legend as gamers fulfill their destiny as a child of Bhaal.
Developed by BioWare and published by Black Isle Studios, the Baldur's Gate franchise -- consisting of Baldur's Gate, its Tales of the Sword Coast(TM) expansion and Baldur's Gate II -- redefined the role-playing genre and has since dominated the PC game charts with sales of over 3.5 million units worldwide.
The franchise continues to receive accolades from press and pundits around the world. Top PC gaming magazines Computer Gaming World and Computer Games Magazine have awarded RPG of the Year nods for Baldur's Gate in 1998 and Baldur's Gate II in 2000, as have the popular gaming-oriented online sites, GameSpot and IGN (Black Isle Studios has been presented the RPG of the Year award from Computer Gaming World and Computer Games Magazine for the last four years running). Additionally, Computer Games, Computer Games Online, IGN and Vault Network named Baldur's Gate Game of the Year for 1998, while leading websites such as MSNBC.com have named Baldur's Gate II Game of the Year for 2000, an honor rarely bestowed upon role-playing games.
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal takes players through an all-new storyline rich with intrigue and treachery as they unravel the mysteries of the Dungeon of Watcher's Keep and explore other new areas such as the City of Saradush, the Fortified Monastery of Amkethran, Sendai's Underdark Fortress and the player's own Planar Stronghold. Throughout their journey, characters may reach up to level 40, made possible with a raised experience cap of 8 million points, quite possibly the highest level ever achieved by characters in any Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer game. Also included in the quest are over 40 new powerful high-level spells and abilities. The Wild Mage Character Kit will also be included to the already extensive class list allowing gamers to create a powerful new character able to cast spells with very unpredictable results.
Baldur's Gate II players will be pleased to hear that the Dungeon of Watchers Keep (the add-in section contained within the Throne of Bhaal expansion pack) is fully playable either while questing through their Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn adventure or while completing the Child of Bhaal Saga (as part of the add-on section of the Throne of Bhaal expansion).
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal has shipped to retail for Windows(R) 95/98-based computers and gamers will need to own the original Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn in order to play. Black Isle Studios recently announced their next epic game, TORN(TM). Set in an original high-fantasy world created exclusively by Black Isle Studios, TORN includes many of the popular gameplay elements found in the award-winning Fallout(TM) series and adds unique new features that will heighten the player's experience. This exciting, real-time 3D saga, which takes place in the ancient kingdom of Orislane in western Agathe, will be available for Windows(R) 95/98/00/ME-based computers in Q4, 2001. More comprehensive information about Black Isle Studios can be found on the official Black Isle web site.
BioWare Corp. is an electronic entertainment company that develops computer and console games. Their published projects include: Shattered Steel(TM), the genre-defining Baldur's Gate role playing game series, MDK(TM)2 for Dreamcast and PC and MDK(TM)2: Armageddon for Playstation 2. BioWare's developers are currently hard at work on Neverwinter Nights(TM) for PC, Linux, Mac and BeOs -- to be published by Black Isle Studios/Interplay. Information about BioWare Corp. can be found at the BioWare website. BioWare Corp. is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) and the worldwide market share leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, is a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products as well as the owner and operator of one of the nation's largest specialty game retail chains. Producing both the Pokemon(TM) and world's best-selling Magic: The Gathering(R) trading card games, the company holds an exclusive patent on the play mechanic of trading card games. Publisher of adventure games such as the classic Dungeons & Dragons games, family card and board games and electronic media products, Wizards of the Coast is also one of the world's leading fantasy and science fiction book publishers. The company's retail locations, many of which provide game-play areas, include a growing chain of Wizards of the Coast(R) specialty game retail stores as well as 53 The Game Keeper(R) stores. Headquartered near Seattle, Washington, Wizards of the Coast has international offices in Antwerp, Paris, Milan, London and Beijing. For more information on Wizards of the Coast visit their web site.
Black Isle Studios is a division of Interplay Entertainment Corp., a leading developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for both core gamers and the mass market. Interplay currently balances its development efforts by publishing for personal computers and current generation video game consoles. Interplay releases products through Interplay, Shiny Entertainment, Digital Mayhem, Black Isle Studios, 14 Degrees East, its distribution partners and its wholly owned subsidiary Interplay OEM, Inc.