On avait raté l’annonce il y a deux semaines (a-t-on idée d’annoncer quelque chose le premier avril, aussi) : Destineer Games a lancé le développement de deux nouveaux titres de la franchise Close Combat. L’un deux, Red Phoenix (toute ressemblance…) sera un RTS pour fillettes, tandis que celui qui nous intéresse, First to Fight, sera un tactical shooter en vue subjective.

Close Combat: First to Fight, qui utilise un moteur 3D propriétaire, est prévu pour la fin 2004, et ses développeurs bénéficieront des bien judicieux (et toujours désintéressés) conseils de l’US Marine Corps. Il sortira sur PC, Xbox et Mac OSX. Le tout sera édité par Gathering, la filiale de Take Two.

Et maintenant qu’on a bien rigolé, place au gros morceau : ce nouveau Close Combat se situera en Irak et en Afghanistan, de nos jours. On y enverra au casse-pipe une escouade de quatre pauvres fous. Le jeu de stratégie Red Phoenix racontera lui l’invasion de la Corée du Sud par les Stalinistes de sa voisine du Nord, et la brave lutte des US Marines contre les communistes. Un vrai petit cours de politique étrangère américaine à la Tom Clancy.[–SUITE–]Le communiqué de presse annonçant les deux jeux :

NEXT GENERATION OF CLOSE COMBAT GAMES ON THE HORIZON

Award-winning Atomic Games Joins forces with Destineer and Gathering to Create Highly Realistic, Action-oriented Battlefield Simulations

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – April 1, 2004 – Destineer, Atomic Games, and Gathering announced two new titles; Close Combat: First to Fight, a team-based 3D shooter anticipated to be released in late 2004, and Close Combat: Red Phoenix, a real-time strategy game anticipated to be released in early 2005. Both games are being developed with the close involvement of the United States Marine Corps and feature next-generation graphics enabled by Destineer’s proprietary 3D engine. Gathering, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), will exclusively distribute both products in North America and publish them in Europe.

“The Close Combat formula has always been to present warfare in a realistic and respectful way,” said Keith Zabalaoui, creator of Close Combat and president of Atomic Games. “We’re now bringing this approach to the modern battlefield and extending Close Combat’s realism to both 3D shooters and real-time strategy games.”

Close Combat: First to Fight is an authentic, team-based first-person shooter created under the direction of active-duty United States Marines fresh from the front lines of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Set in a modern mid-eastern urban battleground, players lead a four-man Marine fireteam through the perils of modern urban combat. Together with the United States Marine Corps and Atomic Games, Destineer is creating First to Fight as a training simulation for use by the Marine Corps and will make it available to consumers in late 2004 for Xbox®, Macintosh®, and Windows®.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Sharp of the United States Marine Corps, “Marines from the First Marine Expeditionary Force have been working closely with Destineer and Atomic throughout development to ensure as much realism as possible in these games.” Peter Tamte, Destineer’s president adds, “There is no guesswork on how to make the games realistic since we are developing First to Fight and Red Phoenix with significant input from Marines who, just weeks before, were being shot at in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

First to Fight is brought to life by a visually advanced 3D engine created from the ground up by Destineer. This engine, filled with next-generation features like volumetric shadows, normal maps, natural skin lighting and specularity, promises to give players a first-hand look at the chaos and terror of modern urban combat.

The next in the series, Close Combat: Red Phoenix™, is a realistic real-time strategy game set on the challenging terrains of today’s Korean peninsula. Loosely based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Larry Bond, Red Phoenix puts players in command of a reinforced rifle platoon of U.S. Marines or South Korean soldiers fighting against an invasion by North Korea in 2006. Red Phoenix is scheduled for worldwide release in early 2005.

The original Close Combat® series, released between 1996 and 2000, merged realistic warfare with modern technology. Created by Atomic Games® and originally published by Microsoft®, the result was a groundbreaking game series that went on to win dozens of military strategy game awards, as well as being named by PC Gamer as one of “The 50 Best Games Ever” in October, 1998.

More information about these games is available at www.closecombat.com.

Le communiqué de presse sur l’accord d’édition :

GATHERING AND DESTINEER ANNOUNCE THE NEXT TWO INSTALLMENTS OF THE AWARD-WINNING CLOSE COMBAT SERIES

New York, NY – April 1, 2004 – Gathering, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), and Destineer Publishing Corp., today announced the next two titles in the Close Combat series; Close Combat®: First to Fight and Close Combat®: Red Phoenix™, for the Xbox®, PC, and Macintosh® systems.

Close Combat: First to Fight, anticipated to be released in late 2004, is a team-based first-person shooter created under the direction of active-duty United States Marines. Close Combat: Red Phoenix is a real-time strategy game loosely based on the best-selling novel Red Phoenix by Larry Bond, and is anticipated for worldwide release in early 2005. Both games are being developed by Destineer and Atomic Games.

The Close Combat titles are being released under Take-Two’s previously announced exclusive multi-product, multi-platform, worldwide distribution and publishing agreement with Destineer. Under this agreement, Gathering will distribute all Destineer products in North America and publish them in Europe.

“We are pleased to add the next two installments of the Close Combat series to Gathering’s expanding portfolio,” said Jeffrey C. Lapin, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two. “Destineer’s management team has substantial experience in delivering high quality entertainment products and we are excited to be working with them on these and other compelling titles.”
“Gathering understands how to market and distribute hit games,” said Paul Rinde, Chief Executive Officer of Destineer. “We chose to work with Gathering and Take-Two because of the strength of their global publishing and distribution capabilities.”
About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an integrated global developer, marketer, distributor, and publisher of interactive entertainment software games and accessories for the PC, PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox®, Nintendo GameCube™ and Game Boy® Advance. The Company publishes and develops products through its wholly owned subsidiary labels: Rockstar Games, Gathering, Global Star and Joytech. The Company maintains sales and marketing offices in Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Milan, Sydney, Breda (Netherlands) and Auckland. Take-Two’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at www.take2games.com.