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Virgin Interactive announces more than 25 games in development for console and PC platforms in 1997/1998; leading international interactive entertainment publisher will showcase titles at industry's Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 16, 1997--Virgin Interactive (VI), one of the world's leading interactive entertainment publishers, today announced that it has more than 25 console and computer game titles currently in development for release in 1997 and 1998.

The company will showcase many of these titles including NHL POWERPLAY `98 (Sony PlayStation, PC), HELLRACER (Sony PlayStation, PC) and SABRE ACE (PC) at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Atlanta this June.

"Virgin Interactive has a very solid, high quality line-up of titles for all the major gaming platforms in 1997 and 1998," said Martin Alper, chairman of Virgin Interactive. "The streamlined product slate that we will showcase at E3 will clearly illustrate our very real, company-wide charter to deliver only AA games for every viable platform."

VI has recently begun implementing one of the interactive entertainment industry's most demanding quality control programs for video and computer game software. The company's review board, comprised of its top international executives in both product development and marketing, closely monitors each product throughout the development cycle to ensure that it will meet the tough demands of its gamer audience. The product review board evaluates products for release both domestically and in Europe, where VI is one of the continent's most successful publishers.

The 25 plus games currently on VI's production slate span across multiple genres, including racing, flight simulation, sports, action and role playing. Game development is handled through external developers, the company's Las Vegas-based Westwood Studios and in-house at Virgin's Irvine headquarters. -0-

At this years E3, VI's product line up will include, among others:

Sabre Ace: Conflict Over Korea

SABRE ACE: CONFLICT OVER KOREA delivers the ultimate combination of realistic flight simulation and immersive combat missions. Players can fly five different aircraft used in the Korean War, aiming to advance their U.S. or Soviet air force careers by successfully completing a series of compelling missions. The games advanced artificial intelligence enables the player to interact simultaneously with up to 16 planes, all of which react realistically and strategically correct, creating an unpredictable experience during each gameplay session.

NHL Powerplay `98

NHL POWERPLAY `98, the sequel to the critically acclaimed NHL POWERPLAY `96 game, will be available at the start of this year's season in September. Gamers will step into the skates of the NHL's greatest talents -- skating, fighting and hooking their way down the ice toward the goal. Once in scoring position, players go head-to-head with goalies who take on the characteristics of their real-life counterparts to ward off every attempted fake-shot, stumble pass and dump-in. On-the-fly 3D environments and motion-captured 3D animated players are featured on both platforms. Gamers can track stats over a season, create and trade players and live the ultimate hockey fantasy in NHL POWERPLAY `98.

HellRacer

Gamers will strap themselves into the cockpit of a lightning-fast, ground-skimming custom ship in HELLRACER, the only true free-environment 3D racing game for the PlayStation. Players can blaze their own trails through five planets and 23 race circuits while battling up to 15 other drivers and a variety of police ships. With multiple terrains and challenging environments, gamers experience the white-knuckle thrill of tearing through a scorching hot molten lava world, of navigating through a rough and rocky mountain course and ripping through the narrow, winding desert canyon environment at speeds in excess of 800 mph.

The first racer to cross the finish line is rewarded through HellRacer's unprecedented upgrading system, which allows racers to invest in speed-altering engine power-ups, hard-hitting weaponry and to enter HellRacer's amazing bonus arenas.

"Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror" (Working Title)

Embark on an international adventure in BROKEN SWORD: THE SMOKING MIRROR. Gamers will unravel a tightly spun web of danger and deception in this suspense-laden adventure, which features superb graphics, an engrossing storyline and stunning backgrounds. In BROKEN SWORD: THE SMOKING MIRROR, players must solve a multitude of intriguing puzzles to propel them through exotic locales and ultimately back more than one thousand years to uncover a great Mayan struggle for power and riches.

Virgin Interactive will also be showcasing hot new titles from Westwood Studios including LANDS OF LORE II: GUARDIANS OF DESTINY and BLADE RUNNER.

Virgin Interactive Inc., based in Irvine, is a worldwide publisher and developer of interactive entertainment. Publishers of the best selling THE 11TH HOUR: THE SEQUEL TO THE 7TH GUEST and COMMAND AND CONQUER, both on PC CD-ROM, and distributors of COMMAND AND CONQUER: RED ALERT for PC CD-ROM, VIE is an operating unit of Spelling Entertainment. More information on the company and its products can be found at www.vie.com .

In addition to VIE, Spelling Entertainment Group comprises Spelling Television, Spelling Films, Worldvision Enterprises, Republic Entertainment, Big Ticket Television and Hamilton Projects. Through the combined libraries of Spelling Television, Spelling Films, Worldvision, Republic and Big Ticket Television, the company controls 20,000 hours of programming. Viacom Inc. (AMEX: VIA/VIAB) owns approximately 75% of Spellings common stock.

CONTACT: Virgin Interactive Entertainment

Michelle Nino, 714/833-8710

michelle_nino@vie.com

or

Faiola Davis Public Relations

Heidi Davis, 213/933-4959

FDPR1@primenet.com
COPYRIGHT 1997 Business Wire
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Date:Apr 16, 1997
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