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ORIGIN Systems Announces Wing Commander IV Lift Off; PC CD-ROM Interactive Movie to Make History at Planet Hollywood Event.

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 7, 1996--ORIGIN Systems, an Electronic Arts company and a developer of world famous entertainment software, today announced that it will ship Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, the latest version of its award-winning, space-combat interactive movie series, for PC CD-ROM on Feb. 9, 1996.

The new title, which breaks new barriers in the blending of Hollywood filmmaking and computer entertainment, will be unveiled on Feb. 8, 1996 at Planet Hollywood in Beverly Hills, California.

At the Planet Hollywood press event, Wing Commander IV stars Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell will make special costume presentations to representatives of the restaurant, denoting a historic first for the computer gaming industry. It will mark the first time the restaurant has accepted memorabilia from a CD-ROM computer game. The costumes will be on permanent display at one of the many Planet Hollywood locations around the world. Other Wing Commander IV cast members will also attend the event including John Rhys-Davies and Tom Wilson.

Wing Commander IV was shot on 35 mm film at Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood and includes several moving cameras and more than 35 elaborate sets, delivering four hours of live-action video with a "feature film" feel to the cinematics. The graphics explode in super VGA color and are further enhanced with photo-realistic texturing. Player interactivity is expanded both in and out of the cockpit allowing game players to have even greater control of missions and drama. A fully-digitized interactive movie score is included along with Dolby Surround Sound.

Wing Commander IV follows on the heels of the highly successful Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, which sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide and was named "Action Game of the Year" and "Game of the Year" in 1995 by several computer game publications.

All of the highly-talented Wing Commander III cast members returned to film Wing Commander IV, including Hamill (Star Wars), McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Star Trek: Generations), Wilson (Back to the Future I, II and III), Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones movies) and Jason Bernard (While You Were Sleeping, Herman's Head.) Wing Commander III Hollywood scriptwriters Terry Borst and Frank DePalma also returned to write Wing Commander IV. Eric Goldstein served as director of photography, and Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts was the executive producer of the new title and directed the live-action portions of the game.

The Wing Commander IV Storyline

The Wing Commander IV storyline picks up where Wing Commander III left off -- the bloody battle between the Kilrathi and Terrans has concluded and Colonel Christopher Blair (Hamill) has been on a well-deserved sabbatical. It's not long, however, before civil war breaks out on the home front and the Terran government is forced to recall Colonel Blair to his post to face the next enemy. It won't be easy for the Colonel. Signs of decay will be impossible to ignore and the Confederation is beginning to splinter under the new enemy pressures. You, the Colonel, will have to determine how to save it -- or if it should be saved at all.

Wing Commander IV is shipping worldwide in three languages: English, French and German. Spanish and Japanese versions will follow. The title is supported by a $1 million plus marketing and promotions campaign that includes print, radio, television and cinema advertising. An exclusive promotional campaign with General Cinema theaters is a first for the computer entertainment industry.

Wing Commander IV promo trailers will be shown in approximately 580 General Cinema movie houses. In 10 of those theaters, Wing Commander IV games will be available for sale in the lobbies. The expected retail price for Wing Commander IV is $50-60.

Also shipping with Wing Commander IV is ORIGIN's Official Guide to Wing Commander IV, a 224-page hint book, with 48 pages of full color shots from the game, ship specs and game strategy tips. The book is sold separately at a suggested retail price of $19.95.

ORIGIN Systems develops and publishes state-of-the-art entertainment software. To date, the company has released more than 50 titles, including the award-winning Ultima and Commander series of games. ORIGIN is based in Austin, Texas, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., is a leading interactive entertainment software company. EA was founded in 1982 and has an annual sales rate of over $490 million. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for advanced entertainment systems such as the PlayStation, as well as IBM-compatible PCs, Macintosh computers, and major dedicated video game systems.

Electronic Arts markets its products worldwide under four brand names: EA SPORTS, Electronic Arts Studios, Bullfrog Productions, Ltd. and ORIGIN Systems, Inc. EA has subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Austin, Texas. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at -0-

Note to Editors: ORIGIN, We create worlds, Wing Commander and Ultima are registered trademarks of ORIGIN Systems, Inc. The Price of Freedom and Heart of the Tiger are trademarks of ORIGIN Systems, Inc. Electronic Arts is a registered trademark of Electronic Arts, Inc. All other products, symbols and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: ORIGIN Systems Media Relations

David Swofford or Teresa Potts, 512/434-4263
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 7, 1996
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