News: Sega Makes Deal With ESPN

Sega drafts ESPN to bring its critically acclaimed Sega Sports games to new levels of authenticity.

SAN FRANCISCO May 9, 2002 -- SEGA Sports(TM), the brand that continues to set new standards in sports video gaming, today announced a multi-year deal between SEGA(R) of America, Inc. and ESPN, Inc., the worldwide leader in sports, to make SEGA Sports' critically acclaimed video game franchises more authentic and realistic than ever before. With this teaming of two of the biggest brands in sports, compelling ESPN presentation features will be added to the SEGA Sports lineup, further blurring the lines between a SEGA Sports game and a sports television telecast.

More than 74 percent of sports gamers rank realism and authenticity as the top features they look for when purchasing a game.(1) SEGA Sports development teams responded to this request and are adding popular ESPN branded elements, including Intros, Replays, Camera Angles, and Stat and Score presentations into its 2K3 series of games. As a result, gamers will be able to play their games the way they like to watch them on television.

"Building upon the strongest foundation possible -- our world renowned SEGA Sports franchises -- this relationship helps solidify our commitment to authenticity by continuing to bring the SEGA Sports gaming experience closer to the true experience of the sport," said Peter Moore, president and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. "With the unique features and the additional sports expertise that ESPN will infuse into our games, we expect to continue to set the standard for authenticity when it comes to sports simulation video gaming."

"ESPN and Disney Interactive are pleased to be working with SEGA Sports to push sports video gaming to the next level," said George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN. "ESPN's mission is to serve sports fans in every way possible, and working closely with SEGA Sports' outstanding product gives us a significant advantage in the video game arena."

SEGA Sports will build exclusive ESPN features into the "SEGA Sports 2K3" series of sports games including "SEGA Sports(TM) NFL 2K3," "SEGA Sports(TM) NBA 2K3," "SEGA Sports(TM) NHL 2K3" and "SEGA Sports(TM) World Series(R) Baseball 2K3." The first title to unveil these features will be "SEGA Sports(TM) NCAA(R) College Football 2K3," available in the fall for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft(R) and Nintendo GameCube(TM). All "SEGA Sports 2K3" titles containing the new ESPN features will carry the ESPN logo on the package front. Under the terms of this deal, SEGA Sports will also work closely together with ESPN to market these titles in numerous ESPN properties via advertisements, promotions and other marketing vehicles.

"ESPN is absolutely the best when it comes to sports telecast presentations," said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts Entertainment -- the development house behind the "SEGA Sports 2K" series. "Incorporating ESPN elements into SEGA Sports games will make them even more authentic, bridging the gap between a sports TV presentation and an immersive sports video game experience. Our development team has added key features that people recognize and identify with -- so that the end result is a sports video game that is unmatched in the industry."

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