UbiSoft have announced that they have acquired the publishing rights for Sony Online Entertainment's Planetside in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Quebec and Japan. They have also confirmed that the UK release date for it is May 23rd. More details about the forthcoming release and Europes own server follow...

    May 6th, 2003. Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's leading video game publishers, today announced an exclusive agreement with Sony Online Entertainment to publish the eagerly awaited PlanetSide in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Quebec and Japan. Currently in development, the game is the first massively multiplayer online action game that allows literally thousands of gamers to play at the same time.

    Its global release on PC CD-ROM is scheduled for the week debuting May 19, 2003, with the UK release date scheduled for May 23, 2003. European gamers will benefit from a server that is based in Amsterdam, thus providing great service with regards to connection and customer support.

    PlanetSide's developer, Sony Online Entertainment, has made good use of the wealth of experience it has gained from its previous title EverQuest. With over 430,000 subscribers worldwide, EverQuest is one of the most successful online multi-player RPG in the world today.

    "PlanetSide represents a whole new genre for massively multiplayer games." Says Alain Corre, Ubi Soft 's managing director for Europe, the Asia Pacific region and South America. "It combines the best of online interaction with the thrill of first-person combat and action to immerse players in a totally new universe. It is a real pleasure working with Sony Online Entertainment, in Europe for this revolutionary title, which reinforces our leading position in the online gaming sector."

    "The initial response from our player community has been overwhelming with thousands of players in the game at any moment." Says John Smedley, Sony Online Entertainment's president and CEO. "The future of first-person action games is unfolding before our eyes as we see people from around the world take part in battles the size and scale of which have never been imagined before in any other online action game. We are confident in our partnership with UBI Soft and look forward to growing our global player base together".

    PlanetSide promises to be outstanding in terms of quality. It is a persistent, virtual universe, represented by a planet divided into several continents. On this planet, thousands of online gamers will play the role of mercenaries from different rival Empires contesting for supremacy. Conflicts take place within a wide variety of environments, ranging from an ice desert to arid lands, where Commanders assign missions to other players, with the aim of taking control of rival technology bases... by any means possible.

    Each player is free to carry out missions independently or as part of a team or larger battle group. A wide selection of weapons, special equipment and military ground and air vehicles made available by their empire will assist them in their tasks.

    Finally for an even greater level of player involvement and immersion, all players can develop their characters with specializations and certification which will open a path to more game play options.