Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wheel of Time MMO: EA Signs Up

I've talked about RedEagle Games' The Wheel of Time MMO some time ago.(You can read that very brief article here.) However, now the Dragon Reborn's virtual avatar will be backed by more than just Saidin, he'll be backed by EA.(Yeah I know my Wheel of Time.) As I mentioned before, RedEagle Games will be releasing much more than just an MMO, but also standalone video games for a variety of consoles and handhelds. The deal with EA will allow other third party companies such as Valve, Harmonix, and id.

If all these blockbuster names get together for the virtual appearance of so many WoT games, my skepticism over one of my favorite fantasy worlds being turned into a virtual world for the masses lessens to a degree. However I can't help but remember the evil that is Warhammer.(I'm sorry, I detest it.) For those who enjoy words, here is the press release with all the gooey details I was too lazy to put here.
Malibu, Calif. – January 15, 2009 – Red Eagle Games today announced they have signed a strategic distribution agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) for games based on Robert Jordan's beloved fantasy series, The Wheel of Time.

Red Eagle Games will develop and publish a line of stand-alone games on all major videogame platforms, including consoles, personal computers, handheld systems and wireless devices. The games will be distributed by EA. In addition, Red Eagle will launch and operate a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that encompasses the themes, characters and world of The Wheel of Time, which will be distributed at retail by EA.

"The Wheel of Time is a blockbuster global brand and our relationship with EA Partners will ensure that Red Eagle Games' products are made available to consumers around the world through familiar retail channels," said Rick Selvage, Chairman and President of Red Eagle Games.

"EA Partners is excited to team up with Red Eagle as their global distribution partner for games based on The Wheel of Time series," said David DeMartini, senior vice president and general manager of EA Partners. "The Wheel of Time series has a massive worldwide following and we're excited to help give Red Eagle Games' interactive products a blockbuster launch on the global stage."

The rich details of Jordan's meticulously crafted series have captivated readers since 1990, when The Eye of the World, the first book in the series, was published. Eleven additional books, including one prequel, have since been added to the series and have consistently appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List with the last four of his novels in the series debuting at No. 1. Jordan passed away in 2007 at the age of 58, but a final book, A Memory of Light, will be finished by fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson using notes and a partial draft left with Jordan's wife and editor, Harriet Rigney, and is expected to be published in fall 2009 by Tor Books.

Jordan's wildly popular books have been translated into 24 languages, and have sold about 44 million copies worldwide. In addition, the series has a vast global on-line community of tens of thousands of dedicated fan Web sites.
As a huge fan of the late James Oliver Rigney, Jr (His pen name was Robert Jordan) I hope these companies do their best to both remain true to the series and make the game entertaining. It wouldn't be the FIRST wildly popular book series turned MMO that turned out to be mediocre at best if it didn't however.(I'm so subtle...see what I did there?)

Also I'm very sorry for the lack of a post today concerning the victor of the Round 2 Event. I'll get that up as soon as possible tomorrow where I'll showcase the epic struggle between a peg-legged warrior and a lagging enchanter.


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