LucasArts And Electronic Arts K.K. Agree To Launch Fully-Localized Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided In Japan
August 25, 2004 (Tokyo) -- LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment products for video game consoles, computers and the Internet, has jointly announced with Electronic Arts K.K. (EA Japan) that the two companies have agreed to distribute and operate the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided in the Japanese market. Under this agreement, the parties will begin offering the MMORPG in Japan, starting with the launch of the first expansion, Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed.
Developed and operated by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided launched in June 2003 in North America and quickly became the fastest growing online RPG with over 500,000 registered users to date. Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed is the highly anticipated first expansion, slated for release in late October in the United States. In Japan, a fully localized Japanese version is planned to be shipped in December, together with the original product: Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided.
EA Japan has worked closely with LucasArts for the past five years as distributor of certain LucasArts titles in the Japanese market. This new project represents a natural extension of the parties' relationship by building a partnership on the Japanese version of Star Wars Galaxies. LucasArts will provide a localized version of the product, while EA Japan will be in charge of operations, hosting, maintenance and customer support for the service.
Jim Ward, President of LucasArts, said, "We believe that Electronic Arts Japan, who has extensive experience in the Japanese online gaming business, is an ideal partner for us in introducing this innovative title to the Japanese market, which represents the long history and the highly imaginative world of the Star Wars series. We are confident that the Japanese gamers will be able to fully enjoy the Star Wars universe with this title.
"In handling this new franchise, we intend to fully leverage our capabilities as a marketing powerhouse in distributing packaged games, as well as the extensive know-how of our online games team that successfully secured over 100,000 accounts for Ultima Online," said Tamio Yamamoto, President of EA Japan, Japan branch of Electronic Arts, the largest entertainment software manufacturer in the world. "Star Wars Galaxies is currently considered as one of the most acclaimed titles in the U.S. Although competition is fierce and gamers are becoming increasingly hard to please, we are confident that this title will be powerful enough to trigger a boom in and outside of the MMORPG market."
The soon-to-be-released official Web site for Star Wars Galaxies (www.starwarsgalaxies.jp) is currently under construction. Basic information on the title may also be obtained from www.japan.ea.com/swg, where EA plans to post key announcements regarding Star Wars Galaxies in the future.
LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. Based in Marin County, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multi-faceted entertainment company.
Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; and Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties. Additionally, Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Lucasfilm's motion-picture productions include five of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and 53 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm's television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in Marin County, Calif.
About Electronic Arts K.K. (EA Japan)
Electronic Arts K.K. (Minato-ku, Tokyo/ President: Tamio Yamamoto) is the Japan office of Electronic Arts Inc., the world's leading entertainment software manufacturer based in California, United States. The company provides next-generation entertainment for the Japanese market, including "Harry Potter", "Medal of Honor", "Lord of the Rings", and "FIFA" franchises for the PS2 and other game consoles, as well as numerous PC titles. It also distributes and provides customer services for "Ultima Online", an online game with over 100 thousand registered users. For more information on Electronic Arts K.K., visit http://www.japan.ea.com.