News

 SITE NEWS:  We’ve been AWOL for 2 months.  Along with that, we passed our 4 year anniversary–the site was originally set up way back in May of 1999.  Check out the FatGems section for a look back at the reporting that started it all.  In today’s update, we have new Rumors, Stories, and Musings.
 newsNew York-based Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. is mulling a bid for the video games business of Vivendi Universal SA which the French media conglomerate has put up for sale to reduce its borrowings. 
  
Take-Two Interactive would make a bid for VU Games with financial partners, according to a source familiar with the situation. The source said Take-Two – which notched up revenue of $794 million in the year to Oct. 31, 2002 – values VU Games at near $1 billion, well short of the $ 1.6 billion that Vivendi Universal Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou is said to be looking for. However, the source’s estimate of the value of a possible Take-Two bid contrasts with reports that VU Games might be sold for only $800 million or less. Other parties reported to be considering a bid for the video-games business are private equity firms Thomas Lee Partners, General Atlantic and Francisco Partners, as well as Bain Capital with TA Associates. The source said negotiations on the fate of the video-games business are at an advanced stage. Vivendi Universal has been seeking a buyer for its games business – a small player in the sector – for many months after it dropped plans last year to raise $800 million from a partial spin-off of the unit through a listing on Nasdaq as market conditions worsened.
 announcement** Art Director ** 
Seeking a brilliant artist with 
*  Strong concept skills, 
*  2D (environments, textures, lighting), and 
*  3D modeling. 
*  3D Studio Max, Character Studio, Photoshop, traditional skills needed. 
*  Painting/illustration background is ideal, since this art director will be setting look and feel. 
*  A strong realistic style is highly desirable. 
*  Must have demonstrated ability to communicate the artistic vision to the team. 
*  Art Director will be a member of core senior leadership team within well-funded company. 
*  Project is an unannounced authentic, modern, military-themed 3D shooter, headed for #1. For this same client I am also seeking a Sr. 3D Environment artist and a Sr. Level Designer. The Art Director is my HIGHEST priority. This client is based in the Great Lakes region. The compensation package includes relocation. If you know anyone who is looking for the next great step in his/her career, please send them my way! 2 ways to send me your demo: Snail-mail to us at the street address listed here: 
http://www.mary-margaret.com/About/contact.aspx or FTP 
ftp://mmc.mcshaffry.com/artist 
Contact us for user name and password. Anyone who is interested should sign in at our website and send a copy of their resume to jobs@mary-margaret.com. We will not send any resumes anywhere without the candidate’s permission.  All information submitted is confidential. If we have reached you by mistake, or you would like to stop receiving updates from Mary-Margaret.com, please reply to this email with REMOVE in the subject line. Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you. 
Cheers, 
Robin Robin Chenoweth McShaffry 
Mary-Margaret.com Recruiting and Business Services 
Specializing in Entertainment Software 
toll free voice: 877.662.3777 
toll free fax: 877.662.3888 
robin@mary-margaret.com 
www.mary-margaret.com
 announcementAt GAMEScog we believe we have a new method of helping fledgling developers gain publishing deals. We are looking to contact a number of these developers to discuss our idea and would therefore like to post this small announcement on your website. If you have any questions concerning this announcement please email me at iwan@gamescog.com “Unsigned developers wanted GAMEScog have developed a new and innovative concept to help early-stage games developer (i.e. pre-publishing agreement) to secure a publishing deal. They are currently looking for a small number of teams to check whether this support structure is really the next big thing in games development. If you’re a serious about game development and don’t mind answering a few questions you can email funding@gamescog.com, or pay them a visit at www.gamescog.com.”April 11, 2003SITE NEWS:  We’re been busy of late securing the forums.  They are back to normal and better than ever.  New Rumors, Stories, plenty of Musings, and Gems.
 press release
WHIPTAIL INTERACTIVE – POSTAL 2 Goes GoldWhiptail Interactive announces Postal 2 has gone gold.West Chester, PA, – Publisher Whiptail Interactive (www.whiptailinteractive.com) announced today that POSTAL 2, the highly anticipated action game developed by Running With Scissors has gone gold. “We are thrilled with the final product that Running With Scissors has delivered.” said Fred Heslop, President, Whiptail Interactive. “Postal 2 is a fantastic combination of great game play, outstanding visuals and hilarious content.””Thanks to Whiptail, Postal fans world wide will get their hands on Postal 2,” said Vince Desi, CEO of Running With Scissors (www.gopostal.com). “I’m ecstatic that the greatest fans in the world will be playing postal 2 for a long time to come.”Sequel to the famous (some would say infamous) POSTAL, the new iteration of the envelope-pushing franchise puts players once again in the well-worn shoes of the hair-trigger Postal Dude. POSTAL 2 features fully-explorable open ended 3D environments, innovative first person shooter action, over 100 unique NPC’s including Gary Coleman and Epic’s Unreal Warfare Engine.Postal 2 will be available for shipment to retailers on April 14th, 2003
 announcement
PS2 comes out on top for games developers New survey reveals what developers have been playing at BRISTOL, UK: – The PS2 was the leading console choice for games developers according to a new survey by independent tools developer SN Systems*. More than a fifth (23%) of industry experts put the PS2 top of the list of consoles they have most enjoyed playing, ahead of other leading platforms Nintendo Gamecube and Microsoft Xbox. Games developers from across the industry were asked which console they most enjoyed playing during it’s lifetime. Sony’s Playstation 2 came out top but was closely followed by vintage Nintendo favourite SNES which managed to secure 19% of the votes.  Other old generation consoles also proved popular with Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast emerging as the favourite for one in 12 games developers (8%). Nintendo’s Gamecube was the least popular of the big three banking only 12% of the online votes. Top 10 Games Developer choices include: 
Console Vote 
Playstation2 23% 
SNES 19% 
Xbox 16% 
GameCube 12% 
Dreamcast 8% 
Genesis/Megadrive 7% 
N64 7% 
Psone 5% 
Gameboy Advance 3% 
Lynx 1% Andy Beveridge, Director at SN Systems commented, “We had a great response to the online vote with developers from across the industry keen to register their views. Although current generation consoles feature strongly in the list of developer favourites, it’s interesting to see that some of the older platforms and their games are still highly regarded. In an industry which is constantly looking for the next big thing, it can be difficult for platforms to retain their appeal. As the gaming industry as a whole eagerly awaits the next generation it’s reassuring to see that many developers are still enjoying classic platforms and games. Perhaps the gaming experience is not changing as much as today’s technology would lead you to believe.”
 announcement
Asylumsoft, Inc. announces the commercial launch of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game, DRANSIK. Austin, Texas – Asylumsoft, the Austin, Texas based game development company, is pleased to announce that its eagerly anticipated Multiplayer Online Game (MPOG) DRANSIK is available globally via download at www.dransik.com.  DRANSIK combines the best in classic role-playing with innovative and fresh game play to deliver the most fun and deep MPOG experience. Asylumsoft welcomes all online game players to download the highly acclaimed game for FREE, as well as 10 days to play for free. The client is available at www.dransik.com/download.asp.Asylumsoft, Inc., a team of pioneering developers and artists that have worked on some of the gaming industry’s top titles, have offered DRANSIK in beta format for the last several months. The commercial release version of the game, DRANSIK 1.0, is based on traditional game play features with a fresh pace of game play. The game offers more quests and monsters, magic systems, and vast lands to explore. Features to be added into the game will include a construction system, paper-dolling, and a revolutionary player-controlled government system. The game will be offered as a monthly online subscription service, and discount programs are available for longer-term subscription commitments. Asylumsoft, Inc., founded in 1999, will also re-release its first title, Dransik Classic.  Asylumsoft is conversing with a publisher about plans to release yet another version of Dransik for the Asian market by mid-year.”It is truly amazing to finally have the much anticipated commercial version of DRANSIK available.  So many upgrades have been made available through the beta period, so we really want to thank all of our beta players for making this truly great game what it is today,” said Jason Ely, Asylumsoft’s President and Chief Executive Developer. 
More exciting details, storylines, and the downloadable file are available at our website www.dransik.com.  Enjoy the game players have voted January’s “Game of the Month” on http://www.mpogd.com .March 10, 2003SITE NEWS:  The forums were hacked–they will be fixed soon.  In the mean time, we have an update for you with lots of Rumors, Stories, Musings, and new Gems.
 announcement
MASSIVE ONLINE GAMING Returns!   IMGS Releases MOG #2 in March When “Massive Online Gaming” (“MOG”) debuted in October 2002, it received rave reviews as the first and only print magazine devoted exclusively to the unique culture of massively multiplayer online gaming. Fans of the first issue were disappointed, however, when the second issue failed to appear as scheduled.  Unfortunately, MOG’s original publisher had gone out of business, putting the magazine on hold as we searched for a new publisher. Now we are pleased to announce that we will be publishing MOG ourselves, with issue #2 scheduled to appear at the end of March 2003. (Who are we? See “About Incan Monkey God Studios,” below.) We’re also making several exciting changes to the magazine: *  MOG is now MONTHLY. *  Each issue will continue to be full color, with about 144 pages per issue. *  Each issue will sell for $5.99 via internet sales (less than 40% of the price for issue #1). Canadian subscriptions are $7.99 USD per issue; all other international sales are $9.99 USD per issue. The purchase price DOES include postage and handling worldwide, but not sales tax for Texas addresses. *  MOG will not be distributed to retail outlets (at least for awhile). It can only be purchased online, by anyone in the world. *  There are many things that are staying the same. We are keeping all of the premium features, news, updates, “Ping” thumbnails, columns, interviews, screenshots and other content that made MOG #1 so popular. (Want to see PDFs of MOG #1 or the contents of our next issue? visit www.mogonline.com) *  MOG may be accepting a limited number of paid ads (less than 10% of the pages). You told us you wanted to see a few ads, but only ads that directly relate to massive online games. That’s what we’ll be giving you. Issue #2 contains articles on A Tale in the Desert, Adellion, Anarchy Online, Asheron’s Call, Asheron’s Call 2, Ballerium, Dark Age of Camelot, DarkSpace, Dransik, Earth & Beyond, EverQuest, Furcadia, Horizons, Meridian 59, Neocron, Star Wars Galaxies, The Sims Online, Ultima Online, Warhammer Online, and World War II Online, plus thumbnails on over 150 MOGs. ******  ONLINE SUBSCRIPTIONS  ****** MOG will be sold and marketed under an exciting new concept that takes full advantage of the ease and convenience of e-commerce, as well as the universal internet connectivity of our readers. The primary way to buy MOG will be through internet subscriptions. By “subscription” we mean something basically identical to your monthly game subscriptions. When you sign up for MOG, your credit card will be charged when the issue ships. You will be charged again each month (when each issue ships) until you cancel your subscription. The subscription price DOES include all postage and shipping and everything else (except sales tax for Texas subscribers ‹ sorry!). (Those who really, really want to subscribe to a specific number of issues, or who just don’t do e-commerce, may pay by check ‹ as many issues as you want at the regular subscription price per issue. Subscription forms will be available in downloadable format on the MOG website, and in the magazine.) Online subscriptions are now being accepted at www.mogonline.com. Gift subscriptions are also available there. For those who like to see what you’re buying before you pay for it, PDFs from MOG #1 are posted at www.mogonline.com, so you can see exactly the depth and quality you can expect from future issues. (MOG will not be offered immediately through traditional retail magazine distribution. However, retailers or distributors who wish to purchase copies in bulk for resale may contact wholesale@mogonline.com for terms.) ******  ABOUT INCANMONKEY GOD STUDIOS (AUSTIN, TEXAS)  ****** For six years IMGS has made its name as the most respected production house for computer game strategy guides, particularly in massively multiplayer online games. IMGS has created successful and respected official guides for Ultima Online, EverQuest, Asheron’s Call, Asheron’s Call 2, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Earth & Beyond. Now IMGS is leaving behind the strategy guide business, to concentrate exclusively on making “Massive Online Gaming” magazine *your* source for complete coverage of massively multiplayer online games.February 13, 2003SITE NEWS:  Time for Fatbabies, the game industry site of champions.  New Rumors, Stories, Musings, and Gems.
 
 NPD Techworld’s Top 10 PC Games:  Week Ending February 1RankTitlePublisher1Sim City 4Electronic Arts2Sims DeluxeElectronic Arts3Sims Unleashed ExpansionElectronic Arts4Zoo TycoonMicrosoft5Warcraft IIIVivendi Universal6Age of MythologyMicrosoft7Roller Coaster Tycoon 2Infogrames8Zoo Tycoon: Marine ManiaMicrosoft9Medal of Honor: Allied AssaultElectronic Arts10Battlefield 1942Electronic ArtsAll Microsoft & or EA need to do is buy out a few more of their closest competitors (FTC please take note…) and then they’ll be the only 2 publishers that matter… totally dominating the top 10 or 20 even.  Free market competition is going away quickly here…
 news
Game Sales Top $10 BillionThe U.S. video game industry reportedly posted another year of record-breaking sales in 2002. NPD Group in a press release Monday estimated that $10.3 billion was spent on video game hardware and software last year – up 10 percent from the previous record of $9.4 billion in 2001. Software sales rose 21 percent and sold 15 percent more units in 2002. Hardware sales dropped four percent to $3.5 billion from $3.7 billion – but unit volume sales rose 10 percent as prices of hardware systems fell to almost a third of their original price in the first half of 2002.
[Eat your heart out, Hollywood!]
 announcement
The POSTAL Dude Takes Aim, Shoots – AND SCORES! Running With Scissors cuts loose with some serious heavy metal to warn the world that POSTAL 2 is going Gold this quarter!Tucson, AZ – Proving once again that good taste and common decency have no place amongst hardcore videogamers, Running With Scissors took its best and most twisted shot at putting “fun” back into “dysfunctional” by hosting the biggest game press machine gun shoot in history to warn the world that POSTAL 2 is going Gold this quarter!”It was just in-friggin-sane,” yelled a deaf and defiant Vince Desi, Running With Scissors ‘ moderately sane CEO and Chief Instigator of Mayhem. “The phrase ‘shooting your wad’ is never going to be the same now that the game press got to fire what they got to shoot in the game for real out at the range!”The POSTAL Dude delivered Gary Coleman and strippers toting RPG-7s and LAW rockets at this weekend’s FULL-METAL-KICK-OFF for POSTAL 2. (http://www.gopostal.com/postal2/video.htm)Desi, whose company made gaming history (and more than a few blacklists) with the original POSTAL back in 1997, organized the brass-burning event with the help of Brassroots, Inc., a national civil rights organization based out of Tucson.The shoot was held at Desert Trails Gun Club and Training Facility. Brassroots and the Desert Trails’ range staff provided technical training and a safe and sane shooting environment for over 50 Running With Scissors ‘ supporters and Betty Ford survivors. Milton Schick of Starlight Enterprises supplied all of the Class III weaponry; ranging from suppressed submachine guns to a tripod-mounted, belt-fed, Browning 1919A4.”I didn’t even let anyone from the POSTAL 2 dev team take time away from their desks to go take a leak for the past two years,” cackled Desi, “but once their eyes got adjusted to seeing sunlight again, they were blasting away like pros!”
 press release
AURAN COMPLETES NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SHOWING “ULTIMATE TRAINZ COLLECTION” GAME TO 35,000 PEOPLE BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Gamers and railroad enthusiasts in North America had the opportunity throughout January to experience a new computer game called Ultimate Trainz Collection, created by game developer Auran (www.auran.com), during a seven-city tour.  Over 35,000 railroad fans in Los Angeles, Syracuse, Baltimore, Buffalo, Houston, Toronto, and Chicago experienced Ultimate Trainz Collection in action. Ultimate Trainz Collection will be demonstrated at a range of Model Railroad, Railfan, and Rail Historical shows over the coming months.   Check the Auran web page for cities and dates. “More railroad fans enjoyed our computer game ‘live and in person’ last month than any other railroad game on the market,” said Tim Carter, Auran’s Director of Marketing.   “Based on the responses we received, it’s clear that Ultimate Trainz Collection was very popular with people who had not experienced a railroad game before, and even more popular with those who had previously tried to play the Microsoft game.” Walter Aumuller, a Deputy Fire Chief in New Jersey who demonstrated the game, commented, “The crowds fell in love with Trainz. We had a crowd around our booth all day, for both days.   The comments we heard were ‘Would you look at that!!’ and ‘Wow, I thought it would be in the hundreds of dollars for graphics like that.’” Another of the game demonstrators, Russ Milland of Toronto, said, “Many simply didn’t believe what they saw happening on personal computer just like they own.  The realism of the simulation left others spellbound.” 
 press release
Emergency 2 Brings Pulse-Pounding, Realistic Rescue Missions to LifeARUSH Entertainment to publish real-time strategy game based on fire, police, ambulance, rescue and other emergency services; Due in stores this March SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Terrorists attempt a poison gas attack on a visiting foreign dignitary, and he and his bodyguards are severely injured. You must decontaminate the area and stop the criminals from reaching their next target–the life of the President is in your hands.  This is just one of the 25 exciting missions in Emergency 2. In the game the player takes the command chair, directing groups of emergency services teams including police, fire fighters, hostage negotiators, K9 units, ambulance services and search and rescue units.  In 25 action-packed, pulse-pounding missions, the player orders units to close roads, tend to the injured, prepare sharpshooters in tense hostage standoffs, contain nuclear disasters, make arrests, 
put out fires, rescue people trapped in wrecked vehicles and protect civilians and politicians. “Emergency 2 puts the player in some insane situations that require quick, strategic thinking and the ability to accomplish multiple tasks at once,”said Jim Perkins, president and CEO of ARUSH Entertainment.  “Just like in a real life emergency, you must act quickly to ensure the situation doesn’t get out of control, and you must be efficient to make sure lives are saved.” Missions are extremely varied with nearly 50 types of units including K9, Special Forces, Firefighting Planes, Helicopters, Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Teams, Psychologists and more.  Combined with night and day environments, fully accessible indoor and outdoor environments and settings ranging from urban cityscapes and 
countrysides, Emergency 2 is a realistic, immersive experience that gives the player an opportunity to be a hero. Emergency 2 will be in North American retail stores in March.  Screenshots and boxshots are available online at <http://www.arushgames.com/games/emergency2/>. 
To request a review copy, please contact Donald Case at donald@arushgames.com or 480-609-8665 x. 203).
 press release
SOJOURN DEVELOPMENT’S ONLINE GAME “GLYMPSE” TO USE HAVOK PHYSICS TO CREATE AUTHENTIC, DYNAMIC CONTENT SAN DIEGO, CA – Sojourn Development (www.sojdev.com), developers of a massively multiplayer online game called Glympse, scheduled for release in 2004, and Havok have inked a deal to provide real time physics for Glympse .   Sojourn Development will utilize Havok’s cutting edge physics to create hyper-realistic movement for player models, land and air vehicles, combat situations, and myriad special effects. The freedom to engage the online game in an un-predetermined way will be a hallmark of using the Havok physics engine. ”Players who enter the world of Glympse can expect to see incredible animation in a massively-multiplayer environment. By blending motion-captured animation with selective usage of real-time ‘rag doll’ constraints, we’re able to provide incredible realism without sacrificing performance. Middleware physics solutions have come of age, and with a project of Glympse’s scope, using Havok will get us into the game much more quickly than creating our own physics simulations,” said Dave Cerra, COO of Sojourn Development, LLC. “We now have over 65 titles in development on all major console platforms using Havok physics. Developers such as Sojourn are setting the standard for future expected levels of online gameplay with their use of physics. Our job will always be to keep up with the demands of our game customers as they develop scenarios and gameplay that require new and exciting physics,” said Mitch Morando of Havok, North America. January 29, 2003SITE NEWS:  A truly massive(ly) multiplayer round-up with this update.  Plenty of Rumors of layoffs, buyouts, and killed projects.  Stories, Gems, and Musings too.
 announcement
The development web site for the upcoming suite of GURPS Online products, from Steve Jackson Games and Worlds Apart Productions , is now live, at http://www.gurpsonline.com/The web site will provide news about the ongoing development of the GURPS Online products, as well as give players the chance to provide feedback on every part of their design.Scott Martins, President of Worlds Apart Production, was enthusiastic about the launch of the new site. “We’re looking forward to feedback from other GURPS fans about the implementation of GURPS in online game settings that range from massively multiplayer persistent worlds to player-created environments and play sessions.”
GURPS Online products will focus on tapping the potential GURPS has when it comes to using one common set of rules for a myriad of game settings and genres. The two initial settings being developed for online play are GURPS Old West and Transhuman Space .More information on release dates, game content, and other aspects of development can be found at http://www.gurpsonline.com/
 announcement
UNDERLIGHT SHOWS OFF THEIR PERSONALITYLyra Studios introduces the New Personality Point System.This could be one of the single biggest additions to Underlight, ever. We call it the Personality Point system or PP for short. Simply said, it is an OOC (out of character) mechanism for the following: rewarding your fellow players for positive role-playing, alternative advancement, and a way for dreamers to perform unique acts. The Reward (Grant) side of the system is completely OOC and thus allows you to reward -any- dreamer, whether friend or foe, for positive role-playing. Players may use their Personality Points to aid their character in ways not normally possible, including: Permanent Stat increases
Bypassing Train requirements to learn or advance an art
Evoking arts the character is normally unable to cast“I’m incredibly excited about the addition of Personality Points, the roleplay opportunities are amazing. Besides that, I just think it is FUN!” ~ Lyra-Zephyr“This system has incredible potential. Get rewarded for making the game fun for others, what could be better than that?!” ~Lyra-Dagger
 press release
XICAT LURES GAMERS WITH “REEL” FISHING FUN – TOP ANGLER ™ TO BE FIRST FISHING GAME FOR THE NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM) FORT LAUDERDALE , Fla. – Xicat Interactive, will lure gamers with “reel” fishing fun with the release of Top Angler(TM) for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) console. Top Angler (currently available on PlayStation® 2), will be the first fishing game for the Nintendo GameCube(TM). “Video games are now the number one form of entertainment in the U.S. and fishing is a $30 billion a year industry. It makes perfect sense for us to expand the release of Top Angler,” says Reto Bodmer, president of Xicat Interactive, whose company has tripled its sales over the past six months. Top Angler, offers gamers of all ages a fun, realistic and challenging bass fishing experience. “Our developers (SIMS) went out of their way to make it look and feel like real bass fishing. SIMS has had quite a bit of experience with this genre as well, they developed the best-selling Sega® Dreamcast(TM) version of Sega Bass Fishing(TM). With life-like motion graphics, unpredictable weather and some great fishing holes, the only thing missing is a six-pack,” quips Bodmer. It’s quick to learn, yet hard to master and you don’t need to be a fishing enthusiast to enjoy this addictive, good-time game. Top Angler is packed with innovations that allow the player to always have “a good day of fishing.” Along with the many levels of play, Top Angler has a “deep” interactive tackle box with over 36 lures, real pole action/response, a zoom view feature and an enhanced “live well” feature that shows cumulative weight, type of fish caught and lures used. It also boasts real-time scenery and weather changes as well as the split screen “fight/underwater” view. Xicat teamed up with SIMS in developing the unique split screen “fight/underwater” view, which alone makes this game a must see and play. The instant the fish hits the lure, the view changes into the split screen mode. The player experiences the “fight” from above and below the waterline seeing the valiant twists, turns and leaps of the fish up close on one side of the screen, while the other side reveals the player struggling with their monster bass. “The split screen fight/underwater view is a fun touch and an innovation we are proud to have developed,” says Bodmer. Xicat is planning to cast Top Angler to console gamers in Q1 of 2003. Top Angler will be available for the Nintendo GameCube(TM).January 8, 2003Site News:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  We’ve got plenty of new Rumors, Stories, Musings and Gems for you to break into 2003.
 announcement
Weaker than expected sales of Activision’s holiday game slate – which featured a number of properties in a season dominated by a few well-established brands – have led the company to lower its expected net revenues and earnings for 2003 and 2004. Activision now expects fiscal year 2003 third quarter net revenues of $362 million since established brand names such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 aren’t performing as well as had been expected. The company said sales of these brands on PS2 are very solid – GameCube and Xbox are where the titles aren’t performing well. Activision also cited conservative initial orders from retailers followed by lower than expected reorders even for top-selling titles. The straw that broke the camel’s back: An apparent shift in consumer demand resulting in purchases concentrated in a narrow selection of well-established brands. (FB: This means that fewer titles are accounting for a higher percentage of retail sales.)
 announcement
Activision dives on forecast 
Videogame publisher cuts outlook for Q3, Q4, 2003 and 2004, citing weak 
holiday sales. SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Reuters) – Videogame publisher Activision Inc. ealier slashed its profit and revenue outlook for its fiscal third and fourth quarters, and for fiscal 2003 and 2004, citing weaker-than-expected holiday sales. Activision shares plunged in after-hours trade on the news, dropping 28.5 percent to $11.25 in after-hours trade on Instinet from a close of $15.73 on Nasdaq. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision, the No. 2 game publisher, said it now sees a third-quarter net profit of about 60 cents a share on revenue of $362 million. Analysts surveyed by First Call had expected a profit of 77 cents a share on revenue of $419.9 million. “While the company’s established brand names are among the top-selling titles for the holiday season, overall they are not performing as well as had been expected,” the company said in a statement. The company’s holiday titles, many of which have been cited by analysts as underperforming, include “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4,” “X-Men” and “Minority Report.” Activision also cut its fourth-quarter revenue guidance to about $100 million, and it now sees a loss of 15 cents a share. Analysts had forecast revenue at about $140.4 million and a profit of about 2 cents a share. For fiscal 2003, which ends in March, Activision forecast earnings per share of 88 cents on revenue of $823 million. For fiscal 2004 the company said it expects revenue of $823 million and earnings per share of 80 cents. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $1.23 and revenue of $922.7 million in fiscal 2003, with earnings per share of $1.37 on revenue of $1.05 billion in fiscal 2004, according to First Call. Excluding Tuesday’s after-hours moves, Activision shares are off 39.5 percent for the year and off almost 20 percent since Dec. 6. The stock has been battered over the last two weeks by analyst rating and estimate cuts, as independent retail checks and data from market research service NPDFunworld indicated Activision’s year-over-year software sales were down sharply in November. Most analysts have said the stock was oversold after its drop of the last two weeks, citing the company’s balance sheet and cash on hand as well as its track record of strong titles.
 announcement
UNDERLIGHT OFFERS QUICK SIGN UP FOR NEW PLAYERSImagine a world whose focus was on internal technology, on developing and extending the mind. Progressing not through spear, bow, gun and missile, but through mental discipline, meditation, lucid dreaming and finally-conscious entry to the Dreamstate. Imagine a world where the mind is the supreme element.Underlight is a role-playing game that revolves upon living, breathing people. Unlike most role-playing games, advancement in Underlight is a social effort and the only true way to power is through the support of others. In this unique role-playing environment characters play out their political intrigues, alliances, victories, defeats and deceptions to create the fascinating, evolving story of Underlight.And now, Underlight has a new and improved express account creation system! We feel this new system is very user friendly, come check it out:https://asmodeus.lyrastudios.com/cgi-bin/billing.cgiSign up and get a free month trial, Experience The Dream today!Lyra Team