London, UNITED KINGDOM – January 10, 2005 – Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, and interactive entertainment developer inXile entertainment jointly announce a new European publishing deal for The Bard's TaleTM. This action-role playing game (RPG) with a twist has been developed by inXile, founded by industry veteran Brian Fargo, the creator of the original The Bard's Tale. The terms of the agreement give Ubisoft exclusive publishing and distribution rights in most of Europe for the PlayStationÃ‚Â®2, XboxÃ‚Â® and PC versions of the game. The title is expected to hit stores this March.
Set in medieval times, the player takes on the role of the Bard, a sarcastic, self-centred musician whose adventures are motivated strictly by "coin and cleavage" and who has absolutely no intention of following noble pursuits if at all possible. As he interacts with the other characters throughout the game, the player can choose whether the Bard uses 'snarky' or 'nice' dialogue, with direct consequences on the events to follow. Renowned film and television actor Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights) provides the perfect British voice for the English version.
Although humour is clearly the defining feature of The Bard's TaleTM, a great deal of attention has also been given to the plot and game rendering. Built on the superb engine from Snowblind studios used for Champions of NorrathTM and Baldur's Gate: Dark AllianceTM, the game uses the popular top-down view method of gameplay, and benefits from excellent graphics and sound. Players can not only resort to traditional magical and non-magical weapons to get themselves out of tight spots but can also summon a variety of creatures using music.
The console versions of The Bard's TaleTM have already received praise from North American media for the game's humour, personality and originality. It garnered 4.5 out of 5 from Official PlayStation Magazine for "the content, the script and the wit", Official Xbox Magazine singled out the title as a "Pick of the Month", and Game Industry News gave it 5 out of 5 GiN gems.
"The Bard's TaleTM is a refreshingly different RPG, able to poke irreverent fun at both the genre and itself. It manages to respect the rules of its category while breaking them at the same time. We are delighted to introduce players to a title that can both satisfy those looking to try a lighter RPG as well as those RPG aficionados ready to sit back and laugh," said John Parkes, EMEA Marketing Director at Ubisoft.
"We think European gamers are waiting for an intelligently funny game, and are delighted to be working with Ubisoft to make sure they find out first hand what gamers in North America have been laughing about the last couple months!" said Brian Fargo, CEO and founder of inXile entertainment. "The IGN reviewer called it 'one of the funniest games we've ever played and I have to say objectively that I agree."
More information on the game is available at www.thebardstale.com.
Ubisoft is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubisoft has grown considerably, especially through its strong and diversified lineup In addition to steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubisoft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubisoft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 21 different countries including the United States, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge videogame titles to consumers around the world. Ubisoft generated a turnover of € 508 million for the 2003–2004 fiscal year, up 22.5% at a constant exchange rate over the previous fiscal year. To learn more, visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.
Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, inXile entertainment was founded in 2002 by industry veteran Brian Fargo, who turned one of the first small game developers from the early 1980s into one of the top 5 PC game publishers of the 1990s. Development focus is on producing Role-Playing Games (RPGs) from a legacy of creating and releasing iconoclastic RPGs to market like Wasteland, Dragon Wars, Fallout, Neuromancer, and Baldur's Gate. For more information, visit www.inxile-entertainment.com.
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