EA to Bring Harry and the Magic of Hogwarts to Life in Computer and Video Games
Chertsey, UK- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, today announced that it has been awarded the exclusive worldwide interactive rights to develop, publish and distribute computer and video games based on the wildly popular Harry Potter book series. Financial terms of the deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products were not disclosed.
"EA has accepted the challenge to create a series of interactive games that reflect the incredible imagination of J.K. Rowling's books," said Don Mattrick, president of EA worldwide studios. "We are extremely excited to become part of the Harry Potter phenomenon by bringing our own brand of interactive magic to this fantastic series."
Under the agreement, EA will publish games based on all current Harry Potter books (HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE) the upcoming feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures; and any subsequent Harry Potter films distributed during the terms of the agreement. The license grants EA the exclusive right to develop and publish products for all current and next generation video game consoles and handheld platforms. In addition, EA has been granted rights to publish and distribute games designed to be played online over the Internet. EA's online division, EA.com has the exclusive programming rights for the AOL Games Channel and game areas of the AOL brands.
EA will work closely with J.K. Rowling, the author of the Potter series, film Director Christopher Columbus, Executive Producer David Heyman and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to deliver an interactive entertainment experience that remains true to the books' characters and environments. With their input, EA will bring Harry Potter to life through the visually immersive nature of interactive games.
"With the Harry Potter series of books, J.K. Rowling has created an interactive experience that has sparked the imaginations of readers worldwide," said Dan Romanelli, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products. "Warner Bros. Consumer Products continues to be focused on capturing the magic of Harry Potter and we look forward to working closely with EA to bring this experience to the gaming world."
The J.K. Rowling Harry Potter book series has been published in 115 countries and in 28 languages with more than 18.4 million books in circulation in the United States alone. The Harry Potter books have rocketed up and stayed atop national best-seller lists in several countries. A global literary phenomenon, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE currently is being developed as a theatrical film by Warner Bros. Pictures. EA will produce the Harry Potter games at its new state-of-the-art, interactive entertainment studio in Chertsey. The new facility, designed by Sir Norman Foster is the cornerstone of EA's European strategy for development of global best sellers such as F1 RACING and THEME PARK.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., is one of the leading and most diversified licensing and retail merchandising organizations which includes a vast library of intellectual properties and the Warner Bros. Studio Stores, including wbstore.com, an e-commerce Web site. With more than 3,700 licensees, Warner Bros. Consumer Products licenses the rights to names, likenesses and logos for a variety of entertainment properties, categories, and Warner Bros. name icons that include Looney Tunes, Batman, Superman, Scooby-Doo, The Wizard of Oz, Friends, ER, and its newest member, Harry Potter.
Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts (EA) posted revenues of more than $1.4 billion for fiscal 2000. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS(tm), EA GAMES(tm) and EA.COM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com.
Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS, EA GAMES and Theme Park are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA.COM is a service mark of EA.com Inc. HARRY POTTER, characters, names, and related indicia are trademarks of Warner Bros. (c) 2000. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.# # #