UbiSoft Announced as Shadowbane Publisher
9:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
While this has been the subject of many an informed guess for some time now, today it was confirmed that UbiSoft will be publishing the upcoming MMORPG Shadowbane in North America. Earlier in the year, relations between the game's makers Wolfpack Studios and former publisher Gathering of Developers went sour, and many were concerned that a big publisher would never be found. It's great to hear they're in league with UbiSoft, who just helped bring another Mac/PC game Myst III: Exile to market.
One important thing to note from the press release is a mention of Shadowbane's release in the first half of 2002. This is a new delay for a title that was expected to be done sometime this year, originally. But with the Wolfpack team suddenly going silent about the game's status while heavily beta testing the current code, it's not altogether surprising. A game of Shadowbane's magnitude is not something which should be released before it's ready -- as the creators of World War II Online and (PC-only) Anarchy Online, two MMORPGs with somewhat disastrous launches, can attest. Here are several clips from the official press release on the subject:
Shadowbane is expected to launch online commercially in the first half of 2002. Ubi Soft targets to attract several hundred thousand players and to generate in excess of 40 million dollars over the first 2 years of operations. Ubi Soft’s online division will handle all back-end support for the game including network and server infrastructure, billing, customer service and in-game support. Wolfpack Studios will continue to play an essential role after the game’s release by developing updates and ongoing episodic content that will feed the game and its players for years to come.We're definitely curious about the "next beta test" and will be passing along any information on we can dig up. We've also sent out requests for specifics on the Mac/PC relationship from UbiSoft; Shadowbane has said from the very beginning that their goal is a hybrid release, period. We're sure they will support the Mac as they have done with a number of other titles (and with Wolfpack themselves being such huge Mac fans -- one of the lead programmers will only work on the Mac version); the only question is whether it will be a hybrid release or a separate boxed Mac version.
UbiSoft Web Site
Josef Hall, President and Co-Founder of Wolfpack Studios added, "Ubi Soft is the perfect partner for us in North America. Not only are they enthusiastic about the potential of Shadowbane, but they also have a strong understanding of the online marketplace, and are a leader in product promotion and distribution."
For more information about Shadowbane, along with the latest screen shots and info about the next beta test, check in regularly at www.ubisoft.com or www.shadowbane.com.
Shadowbane Web Site
UbiSoft Shadowbane Press Release
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