that they are acquiring the Asheron's Call MMORPG franchise they
developed for Microsoft Game Studios from the Redmond giant. Here's the deal:
WESTWOOD, Mass. – Dec. 17, 2003 – Turbine Entertainment Software
Corp., a leading developer and publisher of online subscription entertainment,
announced today that it signed a final agreement to purchase the complete
Asheron’s Call massively multiplayer online game franchise from Microsoft®
Game Studios. The franchise transfer includes all Asheron’s Call intellectual
properties, including Asheron’s Call®, Asheron’s Call®: Dark Majesty and
Asheron’s Call 2®: Fallen Kings™.
The complete change of ownership is expected to take nearly a year. During this
transition period, Microsoft will be less and less involved, eventually
transferring all of the services back to Turbine, including testing, customer
service and billing services.
In preparation for the franchise’s arrival, Turbine has been building a
customer service group to manage its games’ day-to-day operations. Over the
next year, the company will assume all responsibility for Asheron’s Call and
Asheron’s Call 2 game and player support, including customer service, tech
support, quality assurance and a new billing system. Specific details and dates
regarding on-going operations of the Asheron’s Call franchise will be
announced in the near future.