City Of Heroes To Get Fiction Series

NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, Cryptic Studios and CDS Books, the publishing arm of CDS, Inc., the largest independent service provider to the book publishing industry, announced today the inception of a multi-year, multi-book licensing agreement for CDS to publish a series of books based on the world of NCsoft's successful online computer game, City of Heroes.

City of Heroes is the comic book-inspired online computer game from developer Cryptic Studios(tm). Players choose from a multitude of costume options and powers to create a unique hero that can join other players in protecting the fictional Paragon City(tm) from villains. City of Heroes has been a commercial hit and a favorite of critics since its release in late April. In only three months the game reached 180,000 active subscribers and topped computer game sales charts.

The first book, The Web of Arachnos, is expected in late 2005. It will detail the origins of Statesman, the signature hero of Paragon City, and will provide readers with some of the shadowy beginnings of one of City of Heroes' first villain groups.

In the short amount of time since its release, City of Heroes has proven to be the fastest growing massive multiplayer role playing game in the computer game industry," said Hope Matthiessen, associate publisher of CDS Books. "We couldn't be happier working with NCsoft, Cryptic Studios and, of course, the City of Heroes property. We think the game's back story and the excitement generated by the fans provide a perfect combination for a successful series of books."
"This is indicative of the enthusiasm that is building around the City of Heroes property in the three and a half months since we launched the product," said Robert Garriott, president of NCsoft North America. "We're thrilled to partner with CDS. They have excellent experience and a proven track record in the book publishing and distribution business."

The City of Heroes game is available at major North American computer game retail outlets at a suggested retail price of US$49.99, which includes the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.95. Sixty-day game time cards are available at many North American retailers for a suggested retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

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