Riot Entertainment (RIOT-E, www.riot-e.com), the global leader in wireless entertainment, today announced that it had secured the exclusive handheld wireless interactive game rights for New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This pioneering partnership will bring the fantasy and adventure of The Lord of the Rings to mobile users throughout the world.
RIOT-E will develop interactive games for The Lord of the Rings fans and gaming communities, as well as a growing portfolio of interrelated wireless entertainment features throughout the movies’ lifecycle. Content is currently being created and is expected to be available later this summer in Europe, Asia and the United States – marking the first time wireless entertainment will be available to U.S. mobile users.
A variety of products will develop from simple SMS services to multiplayer experiences on a 3G platform during the lifespan of the rights.
Already boasting a potential global wireless community of 110 million through partnerships with mobile phone operators in Europe and Asia, RIOT-E anticipates that its potential user numbers will rise to 300 million by the end of the summer.
Jan Wellmann, CEO Riot Entertainment Ltd, said: “Partnering with New Line Cinema on a project on the scale of The Lord of the Rings is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the immense potential of wireless marketing and entertainment to a global audience. Through our partnerships with Marvel Enterprises Inc., Twentieth Century Fox and Helen Fielding, Author of Bridget Jones’s Diary, we have shown that we can get thousands of people hooked on an idea – and transformed the way they think about their mobile phone as an entertainment device. We aim to get millions of people interacting in the Lord of the Rings wireless community, building their awareness of the movie and feeding their imaginations with exciting content around what is set to be the movie event of 2001, 2002 and 2003.”
The first film of the New Line Cinema trilogy, The Fellowship of the Rings, premieres on December 19, 2001. The second and third films – The Two Towers and Return of the King – are scheduled to launch in December 2002 and 2003 respectively.
Helmer Peter Jackson, whose visionary style of filmmaking and emotional acuity won accolades for his Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, brings his deep love for the source material to the project. Produced by Barrie M. Osborne, the films feature a strong international cast that includes (in alphabetical order) Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Bernard Hill, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood. But the real star of the films is the story itself - a classic hero’s quest in which the smallest of beings changes the course of the future with the vastness of his courage.
The official The Lord of the Rings Website – www.lordoftherings.net - generated over 350 million hits in the first three months since its re-launch on January 12, 2001. There are at least 400 fan sites exclusively devoted to the production, many featuring countdowns, to the very second, of the first film’s opening.
“The excitement surrounding this epic adventure continues to grow,” comments David Imhoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising, New Line Cinema. “RIOT-E’s mobile games will provide a launch pad into unique wireless The Lord of the Rings experiences, fuelling the world’s excitement and curiosity about the movie.”
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