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The Lord of the Rings Announced

by Peter on Dec. 10, 2001 @ 2:25 p.m. PST

Meudon, December 10th 2001: Universal Interactive, a studio from Vivendi-Universal Publishing, will publish games based on J.R.R. Tolkien's worldwide best-selling saga "The Lord of the Rings," the company announced today.



As part of Vivendi Universal Publishing's long-term deal with Tolkien Enterprises, the company acquired the exclusive rights to develop interactive entertainment based on selected Tolkien literary works. Universal Interactive will create games for multiple next-generation and PC platforms. Game content will derive from Tolkien's novels "The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King."

"I am delighted that Universal Interactive will be bringing the enchanting and timeless world of Middle-Earth to life in its upcoming games," said Laurie Battle, director of licensing of Tolkien Enterprises. "Universal Interactive's expertise in creating and developing well-known, best-selling products rich with character and story make them a welcome addition to our family of licensees. These games will draw on the depth and complexity of Tolkien lore to create a world compelling to long-time fans of the books and enticing to those just being introduced to this magical realm."

"Universal Interactive has assembled a talented team of Middle-Earth enthusiasts to develop and market these games," said Jim Wilson, president of Universal Interactive. "The people who know and love the legendary epic best have a mandate to create games that completely immerse players in a rich mythological world populated by Tolkien's myriad original characters."

"It's a good day for Tolkien fans," said Cliff Broadway aka "Quickbeam" from TheOneRing.netTM, Universal Interactive's Internet consultant on the Tolkien project. "What matters most to us is fidelity to the source. The game designers at Universal Interactive have the ability to reach deep into that source for inspiration. Developing games built upon Professor Tolkien's original books promises very big things."

About Tolkien Enterprises
Since 1978, Tolkien Enterprises, a division of the Saul Zaentz Company, has licensed the names and likenesses of the fanciful characters, places, things and events associated with J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-Earth for use as trademarks and service marks in connection with various lines of merchandise.

About Universal Interactive
Universal Interactive develops and publishes innovative interactive entertainment for next generation game consoles and PC platforms based on original content and Universal Studios character, movie, and television franchises.

About Vivendi Universal Publishing
Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU Publishing), the publishing division of the world's second largest communications group (Vivendi Universal), is an international leader in multi-platform publishing and content distribution. As one of the top three players in the global publishing market and the only publisher with an international reach, the Company's key content areas include literature, reference, education, games and consumer press. VU Publishing publishes content in four major languages, including English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and has strong local publishing brands, including Anaya, Atica, Houghton Mifflin, Knowledge Adventure, Larousse, Nathan and Scipione. In the games category, VU Publishing is a leading publisher of online, PC and console-based games. Its studios include Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra On-Line and Universal Interactive.


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