Electronic Arts Extends James Bond Rights

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Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced an extension of the relationship with MGM Interactive and Danjaq LLC to extend the exclusive worldwide rights to develop, publish and distribute the ongoing series of interactive games based on the world-renowned James Bond franchise. The agreement, for one of the most popular video game licenses in history, will be continued until 2010.

The agreement allows EA to create games based on the world of James Bond, including the entire library of Ian Fleming books, the existing 20 feature films produced by MGM and Danjaq and all new James Bond films released during the term of the agreement.

EA also announced details about the next Bond game: James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, which is scheduled for a holiday 2003 release. The game’s unique storyline features James Bond driving, flying and combating terrorism across the globe with adventures in such exotic locales as Peru, Moscow, New Orleans and Egypt. The fifth in EA’s Bond series, the game is in development for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo Game Boy Advance. The game will be unveiled this week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

Following the successes of James Bond 007 in… Agent Under Fire and James Bond 007: NightFire, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing marks the third video game in the celebrated Bond series to feature an original storyline.

"EA produces some of the most popular and exciting video game titles on the market today," said Travis Rutherford, Senior Vice President of MGM Consumer Products and Interactive. "There’s no better partner to carry on the Bond legacy in the interactive space."

"James Bond is one of the most popular and enduring figures in the history of video games," said EA President and Chief Operating Officer John Riccitiello. "The action and intrigue of the James Bond character is a perfect fit for the interactive genre and the generation that loves video games. This agreement guarantees that the Bond world – all the characters, gadgets and action – will continue to thrill players on this generation of video game console technology and the next."

"Our hands-on process in collaborating with EA every step of the way – throughout production, marketing, and the sales cycle – ensures that we create compelling, world-class product for the interactive video game marketplace," said Neil Haldar, Vice President of Production and Business Development of MGM Interactive. "We are extremely pleased to continue this successful partnership with EA for a long time to come."

"EA’s development team enjoys a reputation for understanding and working closely with the film and television industries," said David Pope, Chief Operating Officer of Danjaq LLC. "This knowledge and experience has been essential in carrying the essence and integrity of the Bond franchise into the video game arena."

Last year, James Bond 007: NightFire was among the top 10 best sellers worldwide on both the PlayStation 2 console and Xbox.

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