Vivendi Universal Publishing Announces New Titles Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Literary Works ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’

Games Division to Develop Online Massively Multi-player Role Playing Game Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU Publishing) announced today several new games as part of its Games division’s (VU Games) long-term agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to develop interactive entertainment based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” The new titles include The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Online, an Online Massively Multi-player (OLMMP) role playing game, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Ring, a real time strategy (RTS) game, and additional PC and console titles based on Tolkien’s “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King.”

The new titles join VU Games’ previously announced Tolkien line-up, which includes The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring titles due this fall from Black Label Games, and The Hobbit from Sierra Entertainment due for release in 2003.

The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Online will focus on both the heroic adventures and well-known community of Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Additionally, the OLMMP will enable gamers and Tolkien fans to experience the fantasy of the vast “The Lord of the Rings” world in a growing and dynamic environment.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Ring will allow the player to take on the role of good or evil forces. Focusing on the events leading to the formation of the Fellowship and the Ring Quest, the game will expand on the world of Middle-earth.

All new titles based on “The Lord of the Rings” will be developed by VU Games’ Black Label Games studio.

“The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are beloved by generations of fans around the world and the development of these additional titles across new platforms underscores our commitment to the franchise,” said Luc Vanhal, VU Games’ President & COO, North America. “We have engaged some of our finest creative and technical teams to deliver a rich and diverse range of products to gamers and true fans of the Tolkien universe.”

Additional information regarding the new Tolkien titles will be released in future months.

About Vivendi Universal Publishing

Vivendi Universal Publishing, a division of the world’s second largest communications group (Vivendi Universal), publishes content in four major languages and has strong local brands. As the world’s third largest publisher, the Company’s key content areas include literature, reference, school, college, kids, games and consumer press. Vivendi Universal Publishing is a global leader in multi-platform interactive entertainment. A leading publisher of PC, console and online-based interactive content, its portfolio of development studios includes Black Label Games, Blizzard Entertainment, NDA Productions, Sierra Entertainment and Universal Interactive. Through its subsidiary VU Games, it distributes worldwide its interactive contents and co- publishes and/or distributes products for a number of strategic partners.