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Nintendo, LucasArts Announce Limited Exclusive Star Wars Deal for Video Game Systems; Nintendo Granted Worldwide Distribution for Five Years.

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 3, 1998--Nintendo of America Inc., LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC and Lucas Licensing today announced a five year worldwide agreement for three new Star Wars games, granting limited exclusivity to Nintendo.

Two of the games will be based on the upcoming 1999 Star Wars feature film, Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The games will debut exclusively in home console form on the Nintendo 64 and in portable form on Nintendo's Game Boy Color system at launch. All titles will be distributed exclusively by Nintendo.

The first game under the agreement, Star Wars(R): Rogue Squadron(TM), will be released in North America on December 7 for the Nintendo 64 system. It allows players to assume the role of Luke Skywalker in piloting more than a dozen vehicles, and draws from the classic Star Wars characters and themes.

Each of two future games, will be based on the feature film Episode I scheduled to premiere next May. Like the film, the games will introduce a new cast of characters, new settings, and a new story line.

LucasArts will develop and publish the Nintendo 64 versions of these upcoming games, while Nintendo will develop the same titles for Nintendo's new Game Boy Color handheld system. Under terms of the agreement, Nintendo will market each of the games and hold exclusive worldwide distribution rights for five years following the release of each game.

"The Star Wars franchise is undeniably one of the gold-plated entertainment properties of the 20th century," says Howard Lincoln, chairman, Nintendo of America Inc. "And this agreement, launching new Star Wars video games surrounding the eagerly-anticipated new Star Wars movie, propels both Nintendo and LucasArts aggressively into the new century of interactive entertainment."

"When the Star Wars saga began on film, it existed only in a traditional narrative form," says Jack Sorensen, President, LucasArts Entertainment Company, LLC. "But interactive play added a new dimension to Star Wars, and Episode I will further redefine what LucasArts can achieve in gaming. We believe these new high-resolution titles on Nintendo 64 will allow our fans to feel a part of the Star Wars saga as never before."

The upcoming Rogue Squadron will be one of the first games to use Nintendo's new Expansion Pak memory cartridge, which inserts into the top of the Nintendo 64 video game machine. It will boost screen resolution to 640 x 480 pixels, resulting in unprecedented visual effects as game players emulate Luke Skywalker speeding through 16 different 3D environments drawn from past and future Star Wars story lines.

Rogue Squadron is scheduled for release in North America on December 7 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $59.95.

Nintendo's 4MB Expansion Pak for the Nintendo 64 is scheduled for release in North America on November 23 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $29.95.

The portable versions of the new Episode I games will be designed to fully incorporate the 32,000-color palette, 56-color screen display of Nintendo's new Game Boy Color system. The system is scheduled to launch on November 18 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $79.95.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, is the leader in the worldwide $15 billion retail video game industry. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its best-selling home video game systems, including the handheld Game Boy, the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the 64-bit Nintendo 64. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere, where more than 40 percent of American households owns a Nintendo game system.

For more information about any Nintendo product, visit Nintendo's web site on the Internet,

LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC is a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for a variety of computer and console platforms. Based in San Rafael, Calif., as well as on the Internet at, LucasArts is one of five companies in the Lucas group which include Lucasfilm Ltd., Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC, Lucas Licensing Ltd., and Lucas Learning Ltd. Lucasfilm is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm's businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucas Digital, which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, provides visual effects and audio post-production services to the entertainment industry. Lucas Licensing is responsible for the merchandising of all Lucasfilm's film and television properties. Lucas Learning strives to create an "uncommon learning" experience by offering engaging interactive software products that provide learning opportunities through exploration and discovery.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Nov 3, 1998
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