The following press release was issued by Sigil and Sony Online Entertainment. It regards Vanguard's publishing rights being handed over by Microsoft to the two aforementioned companies. ===============================================
VANGUARD: SAGA OF HEROES FINDS A NEW HOME
- Sigil Games Online and Sony Online Entertainment In Talks To Co-Publish Sigil's Ground-Breaking New Game -
May 5, 2006 – Carlsbad & San Diego, CA – Sigil Games Online and Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced that Sigil is working with Microsoft Game Studios on an arrangement to acquire the rights to its highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. These efforts have resulted in a tentative agreement for Vanguard to be co-published by both Sigil Games Online and SOE. All three companies will be showing the game at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as they work closely together for a successful transition. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is scheduled to launch this winter.
"As the development process is ongoing and constantly shifting, it became clear that MGS and Sigil had varying visions and direction for the title's development," said Brad McQuaid, CEO of Sigil Games Online. "In the best interest of Vanguard, it was decided that we would buy back the publishing rights from Microsoft."
As co-publisher of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Sigil assumes greater control of marketing and PR, while maintaining responsibility for game development, community relations, media relations, customer support, and quality assurance. Under the terms of the agreement, SOE will provide distribution, marketing, hosting and back-end support -- including billing and technical support -- for the game. Additionally, SOE is tentatively planning on adding Vanguard, upon its release, to SOE's Station Access™ subscription plan. Station Access allows players to enjoy all of SOE's MMO titles for one low monthly price.
"We are very excited to be working with so many old friends at Sigil," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "Vanguard looks beautiful and has an incredibly rich game world. It's the type of game that will appeal directly to SOE's hundreds of thousands of players and should fit in perfectly with the current line-up of games available in Station Access."
"This decision was made mutually by Sigil and Microsoft, in the best interest of the long-term goals for the title," said Phil Spencer, General Manager at Microsoft Game Studios. "As a key Windows development partner, we will continue to work with Sigil to ensure Vanguard's ongoing success." Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is the next generation of massively multiplayer online games. The journey takes place in the fantasy setting of Telon, a vast and ancient world of magic, intrigue and adventure. Facing the challenges of a war torn world, the diverse people here struggle to rebuild their once great civilizations. A fragile alliance has been struck, with the lands set upon by invading forces, the races must band together to survive.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is currently in a closed beta phase. The game will remain available via Fileplanet for existing beta testers during the transition to SOE. New information will be sent out to testers as the changeover occurs.
For more information about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes please visit www.vanguardsoh.com.
About Sigil Games Online
Based in Carlsbad, California, Sigil Games Online is a studio dedicated to creating massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Founded in 2002 by Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler, key figures in the development of award-winning EverQuest, the company plans to be a driving force in the continued evolution of this unique genre. Sigil Games Online is comprised of an all-star team of experienced developers with an impressive pedigree of commercially successful and critically acclaimed online games. For more information, visit www.sigilgames.com.
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development. SOE is owned by Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment America.