Midway let us know that Area 51
has shipped to retail outlets across the nation. Originally slated for a holiday 2004 release, Midway decided to push the release date back so that it wouldn't have to compete with the likes of Halo 2
. Smart move, except Midway just shipped Unreal Championship 2
last week which should be in direct competition with Area 51
The last time we saw Area 51 was at E3 2004. It was a small, self-contained demo but what we played was actually quite good. The multiplayer was fun and the combat controls were highly accesible and intuitive. It'll be interesting to see if the David Duchovny and Marilyn Manson roles pan out. There was high quality talent in Midway's NARC
but that didn't quite work out too well.
MIDWAYâ€™S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SCI-FI THRILLER
AREA 51Â® INVADES RETAIL OUTLETS NATIONWIDE
Backed By a Blockbuster Marketing Campaign, Midway Delivers Ultimate First-Person Action Experience
CHICAGO â€“ April 25, 2005 â€“ Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, announced today that AREA 51Â® the story-driven, first-person action thriller has shipped to retail outlets nationwide for the PlayStationÂ®2 computer entertainment system and the XboxÂ® video game system from Microsoft. AREA 51 will also be available for PC and is scheduled to ship on May 23, 2005. Midway has created an action-thriller that features an intense storyline packed with scripted events, an arsenal of both human and alien weapons, and powerful multiplayer modes that allow up to 16 players to battle it out online.
â€Midway is a company with a deep vault of classic gaming franchises and reinventing some of those, such as AREA 51, is a core part of Midwayâ€™s strategy for 2005 and beyond,â€ said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. â€œDelivering riveting and suspenseful gameplay that no console or PC owner should pass by, AREA 51 is the only first-person action thriller to be set within the confines of the U.S.â€™s most secret military base.â€
Rounding out the complete entertainment experience, AREA 51 features a blockbuster line-up of Hollywood voice talent. Cast in the lead role is David Duchovny, star of the ultimate conspiracy-theory television show, The X-Files, will bring his instantly recognizable voice to AREA 51â€™s lead character Specialist Ethan Cole, a special forces soldier specializing in hazardous materials investigations. Powers Boothe, who currently appears in the HBO mini-series Deadwood, will provide the voice of Major Bridges, while shock-rocker Marilyn Manson will deliver an unforgettable performance as Edgar, the gray alien.
AREA 51 Reviews:
â€œThis one [AREA 51] could just be your second HALO.â€ Electronic Gaming Monthly
â€œâ€¦an extremely fast-paced shooter that also manages to look nothing short of gorgeous.â€ 4/5; Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine Cover Story
â€œWith guns firing at full tilt, and mindless carnage taking center stage, Midway has a surefire hit on its hands.â€ 8.5/10 Game Informer
â€œThe action is intense and immediate...â€ 5/5 Top Play!; Maxim
â€œGorgeous graphics, an excellent physics model, tons of action, and atmospheric environments all contribute to the formula.â€ IGN.com
â€œâ€¦a visual powerhouse.â€ GameSpot.com
â€œâ€¦exceptional first-person shooter.â€ 8.7/10; PSE!
â€œâ€¦PS2â€™s surest, sharpest shooterâ€¦â€ Fun Factor 4.5/5; GamePro
AREA 51â€™s Major Marketing Highlights Include:
Â· National television advertising campaign on multiple mainstream broadcast and cable networks including MTV, E!, Comedy Central, WWE and Fox, Fox Sports Network, Sci-Fi, FX and more
Â· Aggressive online campaign to top-tier enthusiast and mainstream consumer sites including Gamespot.com, IGN.com, UGO.com, amongst others
Â· Dedicated web presence at www.area51-game.com
Â· Participating in several nationwide game tours including GameRiot and GAME LIVE
Â· Print advertising campaign across multiple major video game and consumer publications
Â· National pre-sell programs at select game retailers, where gamers can pre-order a copy of AREA 51 and receive a copy of Midway Arcade Treasures 2, for free
About AREA 51
The U.S. Army has received a distress signal from Area 51 where a viral outbreak has just shut down the research facility and the automated quarantine procedures have locked all scientific and military personnel inside. A small Special Forces unit led by Specialist Ethan Cole of the HAZMAT (hazardous materials) Division is sent to investigate. As Cole, players will delve into five massive levels within the confines of Area 51, discovering a deadly mutagenic side effect of the virus that controls the minds of those infected, as well as an ancient alien colony buried beneath the facility. With a multitude of human and alien weapons, players must explore chilling conspiracies such as the extraterrestrial crash at Roswell and the faked lunar landing, in order to solve the enigma of Area 51 before the viral mutagen is released and irrevocably mutates all life on Earth.
Headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Austin, TX , Los Angeles, CA, Munich, Germany and London, UK, Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for major video game systems. More information about Midway can be obtained at www.midway.com.
AREA 51 is a registered trademark of Midway Games West Inc. MIDWAY is a registered trademark of Midway Amusement Games, LLC. â€œPlayStationâ€ and the â€œPSâ€ Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Midway has provided the www.xbox.com, IGN.com, GameSpot.com and UGO.com links solely as a convenience for you. The information on these sites has been prepared by third parties, and Midway does not monitor, endorse or accept responsibility for the content on non-Midway sites.
Xbox (http://www.xbox.com) is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The new tagline, "it's good to play together," captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business conditions and the outlook for Midway Games Inc. (the "Company") based on currently available information that involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the financial strength of the interactive entertainment industry, dependence on new product introductions and the ability to maintain the scheduling of such introductions, the upcoming console platform transition and other technological changes, dependence on major platform manufacturers and other risks more fully described under "Item 1. Business - Risk Factors" in the Companyâ€™s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and in the more recent filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.