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Electronic Arts and ESPN announce
first-of-its kind televised video game
competition with X Games Pro Boarder

 

Redwood City, Calif., December 11, 1998 - Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), the world’s largest interactive entertainment software company, has teamed up with ESPN for an exciting, first-of-its kind televised interactive entertainment game competition centering on its popular snowboarding game, X Games Pro Boarder. The competition will be featured as a lifestyle event at ESPN’s upcoming Winter X Games scheduled for Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado from January 14 through 17, 1999.

Ron Semiao, director of programming for ESPN2, explains, "The inclusion of X Games Pro Boarder is part of an ongoing effort to remain close to our alternative sports viewership and to mirror the culture and lifestyle of the Winter X Games’ target market. We’re incorporating X Games Pro Boarder into the Winter X Games as a lifestyle element rather than an athletic competition. Not all of our viewers can pull off 720’s on a snowboard, but they can do it in X Games Pro Boarder, and it will enable them to better connect with our athletes."

The competition will pair up eight professional snowboarders with eight finalists who will have pre-qualified at promotional events at selected malls across the United States. No purchase is necessary to qualify and there is no cost involved in entering the tournament. Each mall qualifying event will feature an eight-hour day of competition. Qualifying will take place on the PlayStation version of the game, and winners will be determined by the highest computer generated score of the day for completion of the game’s Half Pipe run. No other forms of entry will be available. Winners of each qualifying round will receive two round-trip flights to the Winter X Games at Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado (minors must bring a guardian), hotel accommodations for three nights, four days; transportation to and from the airport and event site; and $400 spending cash.

The final game competition will take place at Rafters Restaurant, located at the base of Mt. Crested Butte, from 8:00pm to 11:00pm on Friday, January 15, 1999. The final competition will be held as a single elimination bracketed event using the PC version of X Games Pro Boarder. The highest computer generated score from each match-up will move on to the next bracket. The champion will be awarded an official X Games Gold Medal.

Qualifying tournaments will be held in special X Game Pro Boarder promotional display areas at the following shopping malls:

  • December 12 in New York/Nanuet, NY at Nanuet Mall
  • December 12 in Chicago at The Brickyard
  • December 12 in Houston, TX at Alameda Mall
  • December 19 in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX at Irving Mall
  • December 19 in Torrance, CA at Del Amo Fashion Center

Tournaments have already been held in Boston, Seattle/Tacoma and Philadelphia.

X Games Pro Boarder for the PlayStation was released to stores on November 10, 1998, and represents the only snowboarding game to feature eight professional snowboarders as well as the ESPN and X Games brands. Winter X Games competitors like Olympic medallist Shannon Dunn, Peter Line, Todd Richards and Tina Basich worked closely with the game designers to ensure X Games Pro Boarder truly captures the snowboarding lifestyle. Each professional snowboarder helped design every phase of X Games Pro Boarder - from the more than 2,000 trick combinations to the rider’s apparel.

"This is an excellent opportunity to extend a unique competition to gaming enthusiasts and beyond," said Frank Gibeau, vice president of marketing for EA. "Video and PC games are steadily becoming a more integral part of our entertainment lifestyle so it’s exciting to be able to introduce such an event to a national television audience."

The third annual Winter X Games will take place January 14 through January 17, 1999 in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado. The Winter X Games annually gathers approximately 250 of the world’s best snowboarders, skiers, ice climbers, snowmobile racers and snow mountain bikers, who compete for more than $250,000 in prize money. ESPN, ESPN 2, and ABC will combine to televise 17 hours of original programming, while ESPN International will distribute the Games worldwide.

Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader In Sports, is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds the remaining 20 percent interest in ESPN. ESPN, Inc. includes four domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS), ESPN International (21 international networks), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Regional Television, OCC, SportsTicker, The Big Fights, Inc. and ESPN Enterprises, overseeing brand extensions such as ESPN Zone, pay subscription packages, consumer products and ESPN - The Store.

X Games Pro Boarder carries an ESRB rating of "E" (Everyone) and is available for MSRP US$49.95 for the PlayStation and US$44.95 for the PC. Developed by Radical Entertainment of Vancouver, British Columbia, EA is distributing the PC version worldwide and distributing the PlayStation version worldwide (except in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, parts of Africa and the former Soviet Union) under license from Disney Interactive.

For more information on the game and the tournament, visit the product web site: www.proboarder.com.

Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in San Mateo, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of $909 million for fiscal 1998. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for personal computers and advanced entertainment systems such as the PlayStation and Nintendo64. Electronic Arts markets its products under seven brand names: Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS, Maxis, Origin Systems Inc., Bullfrog Productions Ltd., Westwood Studios and Jane’s Combat Simulations. EA has international subsidiaries and distribution in more than 75 countries worldwide. The company has eleven major development operations located throughout the world based in San Mateo, Irvine and Walnut Creek, Calif.; Baltimore, Maryland; Austin, Texas; Maitland, Florida; Seattle, Washington; Las Vegas, Nevada; Vancouver, British Columbia; the United Kingdom and Japan.

 

Electronic Arts Contact
Electronic Arts Inc.
1450 Fashion Island Blvd.
San Mateo, CA 94404
(650) 571-7171

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