WWIIOL
A History In The Making


"Articles"
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E3Expo 2000 pre-registration alert
by James Fudge

Posted 03/15/2000

The Interactive Digital Software Association announced today that General attendee and media pre-registration for E3Expo 2000 ends April 7, 2000. Pre-registration for E3Expo 2000 is available online at www.e3expo.com. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is a game industry tradeshow which takes place May 11-13. Workshops will take place from May 10-12. E3 is not open to the general public. This year's event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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America is playing games
by James Fudge

Posted 04/19/2000

A new survey by Peter D. Hart Research Associates says that three-in-five (60 percent) Americans age six or older (or about 145 million people) say they routinely play computer or video games, and that nearly half of these game players (43 percent) are female.

The survey results were released today by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo.

The study also found that the average age of computer and video game players is 28 years old, and that 61 percent of all game players are age 18 and over.

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E3Expo 2000 Survey Data
by James Fudge

Posted 04/26/2000

According to figures released by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) today, more than 2,400 new interactive software titles will debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) 2000 this May 11-13. The Interactive Digital Software Association owns and adminsters the gala interactive entertainment trade show.

According to the IDSA more than 2,400 new titles in 14 genres will fill 550,000 net square feet of space at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The show will feature everything from video games to video game hardware and peripherals.

The IDSA also released data from their E3Expo 2000 Exhibitor Survey, which was tabulated during the sign-up process for the event; The survey showed that those exhibiting at the event belive that the targeted segment of consumers this year will be ages 18-24, followed by adults ages 25-40. Also, an IDSA survey revealed that 63 percent of all games to be showcased at E3Expo 2000 are specifically developed for families and children.

Action games top the list as the most popular category of interactive software, according to the survey, followed by children's, puzzle and family games. Other popular genres include sports, adventure and education and edutainment. ( Editor's Note: Although this data might be true among what is perceived to be the most popular genres, retail sales figures for 1999 showed that strategy was the most popular genre - PC Data)

Other E3Expo 2000 Exhibitor Survey information revealed that software developers and publishers rank multiplayer network capabilities as the most important technology to impact interactive entertainment in the coming year; that injecting game characters and franchises into the mainstream culture are important to publishers, with more than 100 titles under consideration for television or film development; 455 new titles feature sports and celebrity figures.

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IDSA also adds Developer Super Session to talk about industry’s future
by Jason Ocampo

The Interactive Digital Software Association said today that the Electronic Entertainment Expo has officially sold out. Exhibit and meeting space will total 534,000 square feet, which as reported yesterday equals approximately 34 football fields.

The IDSA also announced today that has added The E3Expo ’98 Developers Super Session for Friday, May 29. The session will feature Peter Molyneux, managing director of Lionhead Studios; Toby Gard, managing director of Cofounding Factor; Dave Perry, managing director of Shiny Software; and Louis Castle, executive vice president of Westwood Studios. The panelists will discuss the future of the $10 billion entertainment software industry from a creative perspective.

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Former Imagic Online Employees form Playnet
by James Fudge

Posted 05/03/1999

According to the online game magazine, Dogfighter (www.dogfighter.com), former Imagic online employees from the now defunct Grapevine, Texas development studio have formed another game company called Playnet. Playnet tried to purchase the rights to two games they are very familiar with: WarBirds and Dawn of Aces. Details of the bid placed by Playnet were not disclosed. The company was also interested in purchasing the underlying technology that was created by Interactive Creations Inc. - later named iMagic Online. Interactive Magic has not responded to the offer made by Playnet, according to Dogfighter.

In an interview with Dogfighter, John MacQueen of Playnet said, "When I decided to form Playnet, buying WarBirds and DoA was not part of my planning. We had set course on forming Playnet to develop new and exciting simulations stemming from the talented people who were developing the products and supporting the players. We took a look around and decided it might be in everyone's interest if Playnet was to carry on with the strong online community and product line, so we made a substantial offer."

Playnet is comprised of former IMagic Online employees that left the company when parent company Interactive Magic decided to move the offices to North Carolina. The entire Grapevine Texas team has joined Playnet with the exceptions Michelle Colley and Scott Inglis. The company is also adding other developers including former ICI Macintosh programmer, Steven "Caligula" Evans. Playnet will begin working on an unnamed online World War II Sim, which the company will detail at a later date.

On a related note, Interactive Magic has contracted help from another company to fill the void left by the departees of Grapevine; namely HiTech Creations Inc. The company will pick up development work on War Birds for the time being.

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World War II Online Announced
by James Fudge

Posted 05/12/2000

Playnet and its in-house software development studio, Cornered Rat Software announced World War II Online, a massively multi-player online game being developed by CRS as the flagship premium game for Playnet's Internet game service at www.playnet.com. WWII Online is an Internet based simulation of WWII combat offering simultaneous gameplay in three geophysical dimensions...on land, at sea, and in the air. Players can captain ships and submarines, command tanks, pilot combat aircraft, or fight as infantrymen or marines with action taking place in a persistent virtual world.

Players can create a persona in either Axis of Allied forces service, and for an individual country specific to that side. Players can then go on missions and gain combat experience in all three branches of military service, or focus on a single one, and rise through a ranking system. The game system within WWII Online also supports a player who simply wants to log on for a fight without concern for rank or power.

WWII Online's first release, Blitzkrieg 1940, will feature a terrain map that covers 1,444 Kilometers from east to west, and from north to south spanning 1,175 Kilometers. Strongholds like the Maginot Line and the Ardennes forest will stand ready to be defended, or invaded by the Blitzkrieg, depending on which way the game goes. World War II Online begins in 1940 and ends with the final battles of World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters. World War II Online reportedly features combat situations in three simultaneous geophysical dimensions, with land forces (soldiers, tanks, jeeps, transport vehicles), ships and submarines at sea, and planes in air-to-air and air-to-ground scenarios. World War II Online is driven by technology created by developer Cornered Rat Software.

Registration information for the Beta Test version of World War II Online can be found on the Playnet Web site at www.playnet.com.


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Cornered Rat Software at E3Expo
by James Fudge

Posted 05/13/2000


Cornered Rat Software (a division of Playnet) announced at the E3Expo two new massively multi-player game titles; Kharduum and Traveller.

Kharduum is the result of the planned acquisition of Realms Network. This transaction is scheduled to be completed within thirty days. Realms Network are the developers behind the fantasy role playing game, Panterra, which has been available as a pay-for-play game on the Internet for more than two years. Kharduum will use reworked technology from Panterra to create a persistent, large-scale gameworld. according to the company, the game will feature everything from simple one-on-one battles to challenging quests and epic large-scale land and sea engagements. Kharduum is slated for release in 2001.

Traveller will be based on the paper & pencil Sci-Fi role-playing game of the same name, originally created by Marc Miller in the late 1970s. The game will use the Traveler rule set and locations detailed in the classic RPG. Further details as they are revealed.Traveler is still in the early conceptual stage of development.

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Playnet plans portal
by James Fudge

Posted 05/13/2000

Playnet announced at the E3Expo that they plan on launching an online gaming and interactive entertainment destination, playnet.com (www.playnet.com), later this year. The game portal will feature classic game offerings as well as premium internet titles. In addition, the company says that their recently announced multiplayer World War II combat simulation game, World War II Online, will be available exclusively on playnet.com when it launches this summer. More information about Playnet can be found at www.playnet.com.

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WildCards goes Live
by James Fudge

Posted 05/13/2000

Cornered Rat Software announced the launch of WildCards -- five classic multi-player card games: hearts, spades, pinochle, rummy, and bridge. WildCards is part of the Playnet.com online gaming network. The game properties were recently acquired along with the assets of the company that created them - Wildcard Software Corp. The acquisition is expected to be completed within the next thirty days.

WildCards can be played online in multi-player mode against players from around the world or offline. A competitive Card Playing Ladder and Tournament competitions are being planned for future implementation. For further info, check out www.wildcards.com.

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World War II Online Development Update
by James Fudge

Posted 05/22/2000

Cornered Rat Software announced today that World War II Online has entered into the final developing cycle before it heads towards "beta status". Some of the stuff they are fianlizing includes vehicle LODs / Damage / Cockpits, host code optimization, trooper animations keymapper, user interface screens. the developers are also testing the the mission/RPG layer and the strategy layer of the game. At an undisclosed time the company will announce what they plan on doing with the beta version test - whether it will be public or private is unknown at this time. For more information on the game, checkout www.wwiionline.com.

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World War II Online Beta Application closes May 26
by James Fudge

Posted 05/24/2000

Cornered Rat Software today announced that the beta application (signup) for their upcoming online game, World War II Online, will close on Friday, May 26. The company says that the response to the persistent world combat simulation game has been overwhelming - so much so that they need to shut the beta application down soon, to sort through the applicants. For more information on this game, check out www.playnet.com.

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