MacPlay Returns, 5 New Mac Titles
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In what's sure to be one of the most important developments of the Mac games market this year, United Developers has announced that they have licensed the MacPlay brand from Interplay. Longtime fans of Mac gaming will remember MacPlay fondly as one of the early Mac OS game publishers which cranked out dozens of memorable titles such as Castles: Siege and Conquest. Now United Developers is gambling that this name recognition will still have resonance with the Mac game community, by resurrecting not only the MacPlay name but Interplay's interest in the Mac market. The company plans on publishing five Interplay titles on the Mac, including Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate II. Here's the press release:
Interplay Entertainment Corp., announced today the exclusive, worldwide licensing of the MacPlay trademark and MacPlay.com domain to United Developers, LLC, of Dallas, Texas. The new MacPlay, a subsidiary of United Developers, also gains rights to publish five of Interplay's premium titles for the Macintosh platform, including the award winning role-playing games Icewind Dale(tm) and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn(tm), which have cumulatively sold more than a million copies worldwide.The somewhat shocking aspect of this development comes from the fact that Icewind Dale (a parallel title to Baldur's Gate) and Baldur's Gate II were both being eyed by GraphSim, which published Baldur's Gate for the Mac OS. It appears that their involvement in the series will end after they publish the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack.
Founded in the early nineties as the dedicated Macintosh division of
Interplay, the MacPlay label set revolutionary quality standards for
Macintosh games. This commitment to excellence quickly propelled the
MacPlay brand to the top of the sales charts. The new MacPlay is headed by Ron Dimant, also CEO of Ritual Entertainment, who brings together a team with extensive experience in the development, marketing, sales, and support of Macintosh games. MacPlay provides a turnkey solution for developers and publishers to bring premium content to the Macintosh platform.
MacPlay intends to debut three Macintosh titles this holiday season, and to release Icewind Dale(tm) and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn(tm) early next year. The five Interplay properties and other as yet unannounced third party titles position MacPlay to play a prominent role in the Macintosh gaming community. MacPlay's progressive strategy will make many popular computer games available to Mac users, and also promote greater collaboration within the Mac development and publishing community. MacPlay also intends to assert its technological leadership by providing full support for forthcoming Apple technologies such as QuickTime(tm) 5, the industry-leading software for creating, streaming and playing high-quality audio and video over the Internet, and Mac OS(tm) X, Apple‚s next-generation operating system.
"This agreement is a positive move for both companies," said Brian Fargo, Interplay's chairman and chief executive officer. "We recognize the
importance of the Macintosh gaming market and believe that MacPlay will have tremendous success with these products."
"The MacPlay name is legendary in the Macintosh community. No word better defines the concept of Macintosh entertainment than "MacPlay‚" said Dimant. "iMac is arguably the most compelling home entertainment appliance in existence. Everything is primed for MacPlay to be the industry leader."
"The Macintosh offers tremendous business opportunities for game developers who want to take advantage of the platform's high-performance graphics capabilities and ease-of-use," said Clent Richardson, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Apple is happy to have another world class games publisher deliver award-winning game titles to Mac users and we are excited about MacPlay‚s commitment to Mac OS X which will provide our customers with the best gaming experience any platform has to offer."
Anyone who doubted that Ron Dimant or United Developers was serious about the Mac platform is certainly silenced by this development. It seems we have yet another big Mac game publisher on the block, one with the power of the Interplay brand behind them -- and they even left the door open for more 'third-party' (non-Interplay) future releases as well. The three titles UD/MacPlay intends to bring to the Mac this Winter are Sin, the expansion pack Wages of Sin and (both of which should be out within the week) and Fighter Squadron; this leaves three future Interplay titles unaccounted for. Could one of those be Giants: Citizen Kabuto? We can only hope. Only good can come of the resurrection of the MacPlay name and concept.
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