AUSTIN, Texas, May 5, 2005â€”NCsoftÂ® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS), the worldâ€™s leading developer and publisher of online computer games and Cryptic Studiosâ„¢ announce the release of City of HeroesÂ® Issue 4: Colosseum, the fourth expansion of the award-winning massively multiplayer online game. The release of Issue 4, free to all current subscribers via automatic download, marks the one year anniversary of City of Heroesâ€™ original launch. During that time the game has undergone a major transformation in terms of size, population and game features, the most dramatic being Issue 4â€™s introduction of player-versus-player (PVP) arenas.
Issue 4 also adds new options to the critically-acclaimed costume customization tool with the addition of a wide-variety of anime-influenced costume choices. Additionally, players now have greater control over the look and feel of their characters with the introduction of body and face scaling features. The costume customization interface now enables players to shape parts of their charactersâ€™ bodies including heads, shoulders, legs and chests. The updated customization options will be available to all new characters. Pre-existing characters can visit any of the tailor shops in Paragon Cityâ„¢ to update their look.
â€œWe took a costume customization tool that offered an almost unlimited number of costume options and added to it by geometric proportions,â€ said Jack Emmert, City of Heroes lead designer and creative director for Cryptic Studios. â€œOne of the achievements we are most proud of is that players know that they can play City of Heroes and may never see another player with the same costume. The updating of custom options also expands our ability to reach more players who are fans of Anime or Manga.â€
The main event for Issue 4, however, is the three new PVP arenas in Paragon City. For the first time, heroes can test their skills against each other in hand-to-hand combat. The arenas, which opened in Galaxy City, Talos Island and Peregrine Island, resemble some of todayâ€™s newest domed stadiums, but also reflect the classic architecture of coliseums throughout history. These arenas provide players with access to instanced PVP zones in which solo, team or super group battles can take place.
â€œPVP has been a highly requested option, but until now City of Heroes has been only player-versus-environment style, so this opens up a whole new opportunity for our community,â€ Emmert said. â€œI believe PVP will supplement the game while not detracting from City of Heroesâ€™ missions or story arcs. I see the PVP arenas as a way for players to hone their skills and as a change of pace from arresting villains.â€
The arenas are open to all player levels and include a ranking system where players can see their skills ranked against all other heroes in Paragon City. Winners in the arena matches gain recognition and those defeated still gain valuable battle experience without earning character debt. Matches will also have a wide variety of battle criteria to select from, so players may customize their battles to their preference.
City of Heroes, which was named â€œMMORPG Game of the Yearâ€ (2004) from Computer Gaming World and â€œ2004 PC or Console Game of the Yearâ€ by Billboard Magazine, is available at most North American computer game retail outlets at an expected retail price of US$29.99 that includes the first month of online game play free. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.95. Sixty-day game time cards are also available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
To purchase the game or other City of Heroes merchandise go to the NCsoft store at: https://store.plaync.com . For more information about City of Heroes, Issue 4: Colosseum, go to: www.cityofheroes.com.
NCsoftâ€™s North American business is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NCsoft, with its own development and publishing offices in Texas and California, also works with subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. The company launched two massively multiplayer titles on the same day last year: LineageÂ® II and City of Heroes, and in April of 2005 released its third title, the highly anticipated, Guild WarsÂ®. NCsoft expects to launch two more massively multiplayer titles in 2005: Auto Assaultâ„¢ and City of Villainsâ„¢. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com.
About Cryptic Studios
Cryptic Studios, Inc., located in Los Gatos, California, was established in July of 2000 and is an independent developer of massively multiplayer online games for the PC and next generation consoles. Its first game, City of Heroes, launched in April 2004. The game takes place in a virtual world where thousands of people play simultaneously, take on the role of super-powered heroes, fight villains and help create a dynamic story in a visually-stunning, 3-D graphical world.
NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, Lineage, Guild Wars, Auto Assault and all associated NCsoft logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. City of Heroes, City of Villains and Paragon City are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cryptic Studios, Inc. and NCsoft Corporation. Cryptic Studios is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.