REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 20, 2007 — To the delight of gamers and science-fiction (sci-fi) fans alike, the wait is finally over as "Mass Effect," an award-winning action role-playing game (RPG) described by Game Informer Magazine as "One of the greatest science fiction stories ever told," hits retail shelves today, with a continued rollout to retailers worldwide planned.
Developed by BioWare, the creators of the critically acclaimed "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" and "Jade Empire," comes an epic space saga exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system that spans the entire galaxy. "Mass Effect" combines a deep story with intense, sci-fi tactical combat. Through high-definition graphics and an amazingly realistic and innovative conversation system that allows for lifelike interaction with the voices of scores of digital actors such as of Seth Green, Marina Sirtis and Lance Henriksen, "Mass Effect" provides an immersive gameplay experience never seen before in a video game.
Published by Microsoft Games Studios, "Mass Effect" is an epic sci-fi action RPG that places gamers at the center of a conflict that will decide the fate of the universe. Assuming the role of an elite human Spectre agent, Commander Shepard, players are entrusted with keeping galactic law and order and are charged with uncovering a terrifying truth. Faced with morally challenging decisions that will affect the future of all races, players must travel across an expansive universe to stop a threat so great it could destroy all life in the galaxy. With its exciting blend of rich story lines, intense squad-based combat and crisp high-definition gameplay, "Mass Effect" is destined to be one of the most gripping game experiences ever.
"'Mass Effect' is like playing a movie! The magic of video games bridges science fiction, intense combat and intriguing story lines to create an emotional connection between players and their characters," said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "The Xbox 360 platform allows developers to create rich and engaging stories not found on any other console. 'Mass Effect' is the latest example of our commitment to bringing original and captivating titles to fans everywhere."
Hailed by critics as one of the best games of 2007, "Mass Effect" has already garnered significant and effusive praise from the industry, punctuated by accolades from some of video gaming's most respected publications. These include Game of the Month honors from Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro magazines, and a perfect score of 10 out of 10 along with an Editor's Choice Award from Official Xbox Magazine, which described "Mass Effect" as "a transcendent experience, the new standard-setter for what a game can be." In addition, the title has earned some of the industry's highest honors, such as "Best Console Game" and "Best Role Playing Game" from the 2007 Game Critics Awards.
To celebrate the "Mass Effect" worldwide launch, the SCI FI Channel will air a special episode of "Sci vs. Fi: Mass Effect" beginning today, Nov. 20, at 11 p.m. EST and PST. The special will explore the ways that technology and creativity came together to make "Mass Effect" a compelling experience for gamers and science fiction fans alike. More information is available at http://www.scifi.com/masseffect.
"We set out to redefine the video game experience with 'Mass Effect' and create an immersive, highly interactive game that draws players into a compelling universe," said Ray Muzyka, chief executive officer for BioWare Corp. "'Mass Effect' creates an emotional connection between players and the characters they encounter, and Xbox 360 provided us with the perfect platform to tell this incredible story."
"Mass Effect" is an action RPG available exclusively on Xbox 360 and is rated "M" for Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. It is available now for $59.99 (ERP), or $69.99 (ERP) for the special Limited Collector's Edition, which includes a fiction book titled "Galactic Codex: Essentials"; an art book titled "A Future Imagined"; a bonus DVD featuring four exclusive documentaries about the creation of this epic game titled "Inside BioWare"; and 10 songs from the game's soundtrack.
BioWare Corp. is an electronic entertainment company which develops computer, console, handheld and online video games focused on rich stories and memorable characters. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world's best-selling titles including the award-winning Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series, as well as the 2003 Game of the Year, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Original BioWare-created IPs include the 2005 RPG of the Year, Jade Empire, with next-generation titles Mass Effect and Dragon Age currently in development. Mass Effect will ship to retailers globally in November 2007. The game has received more than 50 awards, including the 2007 Game Critics Awards for "Best Console Game" and "Best RPG" at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. With studios in Edmonton, Canada, and Austin, Texas, BioWare is also hard at work on a new title for the Nintendo DS based on Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as several unannounced projects including a massively multiplayer online game. For more information on BioWare, visit www.bioware.com.
About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as "Age of Empires," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon"; Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as "Gears of War" and franchises such as "Halo," "Fable," "Project Gotham Racing" and "Forza Motorsport"; and MSN Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Hexic."
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 will have a portfolio of more than 300 games and will be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential