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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Atari signs Ridley Scott For 'Driv3r' Short Film

by Rainier on Jan. 2, 2004 @ 9:45 a.m. PST

Further extending its already deep ties within the entertainment community, Atari, Inc. today unveiled another "convergence first" between Hollywood and the interactive entertainment company. Atari announced that it has retained Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) - the commercial production company owned and run by legendary filmmakers Ridley and Tony Scott - to produce an original three-minute live-action film inspired by Atari's highly anticipated upcoming game, DRIV3R. The film short, which is the first of its kind in the video game industry, is titled "Run The Gauntlet" and will be the core component of both the DRIV3R web site, www.DRIV3R.com, and an extensive marketing and advertising campaign for DRIV3R being launched globally by Atari, beginning in late January.

RSA, the producers of several of the original series of short films on BMWFilms.com, is currently in post-production on "Run The Gauntlet," which was written and directed by RSA's Sean Mullens, and inspired by the characters, plot and action of DRIV3R. The third installment in the DRIVER franchise, DRIV3R casts players once again as the original Wheelman -- undercover cop Tanner -- who must infiltrate a global car theft ring in an action-packed adventure that features Hollywood-caliber production values and a gripping, narrative story line.

"DRIV3R is a unique property and we wanted a marketing approach that matched the game in innovation. Since Hollywood and interactive entertainment have become more and more intertwined in terms of content, it was a natural progression to expand that relationship to encompass marketing and promotion," said Wim Stocks, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Atari. "With RSA's tremendous talent and experience, we knew we would get an explosive film that would enhance the DRIV3R brand the way BMWFilms enhanced the BMW brand. And by bringing this original film to gamers in an interactive environment on the Internet, we will be able to deliver the same kind of immersive, adrenaline-filled experience that they get actually playing games."

While the plotline of "Run The Gauntlet" is being closely guarded, RSA, in collaboration with Atari, is producing a series of :30 second vignettes as preview trailers for each one-minute episode of the film. A rough-cut of "Run The Gauntlet" in its entirety will debut at Atari's DRIV3R U.S. launch event on Tuesday, January 13 in San Francisco, CA. The two vignettes promoting Episode I will debut on www.DRIV3R.com on January 13 and 19, 2004, respectively, building to the exclusive release of Episode I on the site on January 23, 2004. Episodes II and III, and their corresponding vignettes, will be released exclusively to www.DRIV3R.com during February and March, respectively, leading to the launch of the game itself.

"To be given artistic license to bring the world of DRIV3R to life through our vision, is an incredible creative opportunity," said Jules Daly, President of Ridley Scott Associates. "DRIV3R plays like an interactive movie, with richly developed characters, expansive environments and non-stop action. There are no boundaries in the world of DRIV3R and Atari put no creative boundaries on RSA for this project."

"Run The Gauntlet" and its supporting vignettes will be at the heart of www.DRIV3R.com, which will contain exclusive content that will only be available at the official site, which launched in late December 2003. In addition to "Run The Gauntlet," the site will contain detailed character studies and renderings, interactive vehicle showcases and information, video content and more.

Developed by Reflections Interactive (an Atari studio), the masterminds behind DRIVER and DRIVER 2 - which have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide - DRIV3R is an action-packed driving adventure game that stays true to its roots, incorporating the cinematic gameplay and gritty street crime of its predecessors with ground-breaking graphics and three mammoth, wide-open city environments: Miami, Florida; Nice, France; and Istanbul, Turkey. DRIV3R is slated for release in March 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. For additional information on DRIV3R visit www.DRIV3R.com.

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