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Turning Japanese

Reed Hubbard Posted:
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The official press release has been issued and Star Wars Galaxies is headed East.  SW:G will be available in Japan.  The target date is December.

September 9, 2004 (Tokyo) - LucasArts, leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment products for video game consoles, computers and the Internet, has jointly announced with Electronic Arts K.K. (EA Japan) that the two companies have agreed to distribute and operate the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Star Wars GalaxiesTM : An Empire DividedTM  in the Japanese market. Under this agreement, the parties will begin offering the MMORPG in Japan, starting with the launch of the first expansion, Star Wars GalaxiesTM : Jump to LightspeedTM.

Developed and operated by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided launched in June 2003 in North America and quickly became the fastest growing online RPG with over 500,000 registered users to date. Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed is the highly anticipated first expansion, slated for release in late October in the United States. In Japan, a fully localized Japanese version is planned to be shipped in December, together with the original product: Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided.

EA Japan has worked closely with LucasArts for the past five years as distributor of certain LucasArts titles in the Japanese market. This new project represents a natural extension of the parties' relationship by building a partnership on the Japanese version of Star Wars Galaxies. LucasArts will provide a localized version of the product, while EA Japan will be in charge of operations, hosting, maintenance and customer support for the service.

Jim Ward, President of LucasArts, said, "We believe that Electronic Arts Japan, who has extensive experience in the Japanese online gaming business, is an ideal partner for us in introducing this innovative title to the Japanese market, which represents the long history and the highly imaginative world of the Star WarsTM series. We are confident that the Japanese gamers will be able to fully enjoy the Star Wars universe with this title.

"In handling this new franchise, we intend to fully leverage our capabilities as a marketing powerhouse in distributing packaged games, as well as the extensive know-how of our online games team that successfully secured over 100 thousand accounts for the Ultima Online," said Tamio Yamamoto, President of EA Japan, Japan branch of Electronic Arts, the largest entertainment software manufacturer in the world. "Star Wars Galaxies is currently considered as one of the most acclaimed titles in the U.S. Although competition is fierce and gamers are becoming increasingly hard to please, we are confident that this title will be powerful enough to trigger a boom in and outside of the MMORPG market."

Official Websites
The soon-to-be-released official Web site for Star Wars Galaxies is currently under construction. Basic information on the title may also be obtained from www.japan.ea.com/swg, where EA plans to post key announcements regarding Star Wars Galaxies in the future.

As mentioned in the press release, the EA Japan site is the best place for announcements regarding this version.  You may visit the current Star Wars Galaxies site by clicking here.


Reed Hubbard