EA Ships the Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will be in stores everywhere on November 6, 2003. The blockbuster action adventure game will be available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), PC, and Game Boy(R) Advance under the EA GAMES(TM) brand.

Based on New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson’s upcoming film adaptation of the classic novel, The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King video game will once again put the fate of Middle-earth(TM) in the hands of gamers as they become the hero in a cinematic action adventure of epic scale. In the final installment of the blockbuster movie trilogy, players must destroy the One Ring by casting it into the Crack of Doom, freeing Middle-earth from the clutches of the Dark Lord Sauron.

EA’s second The Lord of the Rings action adventure game, The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King will allow players to journey through multiple gameplay paths, taking control of the motion picture’s heroes. Defend the walls of Minas Tirith as Gandalf, raise the Army of the Dead as Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli, and with Frodo and Sam, deliver the ring to the fiery depths of Mount Doom.

Based on the breathtaking environments from the upcoming film, The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King’s third person gameplay will include immersive action and adventure elements set in rich, interactive levels. Fans eagerly awaiting the third theatrical installment (hitting theaters nationwide on December 17, 2003) will have a “sneak peek” opportunity to see and experience footage from “The Return of the King” movie. In addition to actual footage, over 200,000 production assets from the movie were used in the game’s development, along with portrayals and voiceovers from the film cast members, motion capture data from the movie stunt team, and an immersive musical score composed by Academy Award-winner Howard Shore.

An all-new multiplayer cooperative mode will let players form their own Fellowship before embarking on their journey through Middle-earth. The PlayStation 2 console version features two-player online cooperative play throughout the entire game’s fifteen levels. From game lobbies, players can find their friends through buddy lists and chat via EA Messenger instant messaging, or be paired automatically with a gamer of comparable level. Players will be able to choose any two of the six playable characters, and chat hands-free for maximum teamwork. An Internet connection, network adaptor, and memory card for the PlayStation 2 console are required for online play.

The Lord the Rings; The Return of the King, which was developed by EA Redwood Shores Studio (Amaze Entertainment for Game Boy Advance), is rated “T” (Teen) by the ESRB and retails for $49.95 on console platforms and $39.95 for PC and Game Boy Advance. For more information on online features of the product, see the platform-specific pages of the official franchise website at http://lordoftherings.eagames.com/.

Under an exclusive licensing agreement with New Line Cinema, EA has the rights to create and publish interactive entertainment games based on the movie trilogy. A real-time strategy game for the PC, The Lord of the Rings(TM), The Battle for Middle-earth(TM), is under development for release in 2004.

New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King film will be released in theaters nationwide on December 17, 2003. For more information about The Lord of the Rings movies, please go to http://www.lordoftherings.net/.

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