NEW YORK, January 30, 2001 Simon & Schuster Interactive, in association with The Jim Henson Company, announced today plans to publish a computer game based on the popular television show Farscape in Q1 2002. Farscape, the number one original series airing on the SCI-FI Channel (by Nielsen media research), has garnered a tremendous fan following and is widely praised by critics for its feature-film quality. Cutting-edge special effects and technologically innovative creature design from Jim Henson's Academy Award-Winning Creature Shop* illuminate the series and plot lines.
The Farscape game will feature an action/adventure format in which gamers can choose to be Earth astronaut John Crichton, or, one of the aliens: the outcast Peacekeeper Aeryn, the street-smart Chiana, brutish warrior D'Argo, royal sovereign Rygel, or high priestess Zhaan. The Farscape game is being developed for the PC (Windows® 2000/ME/95/98) and a "next generation" console platform, by veteran game studio Red Lemon.
Recently named one of the year's ten best programs by New York Newsday, Farscape is now entering its third season on the Sci-Fi Channel, airing Fridays at 9 p.m. The program stars Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey and Gigi Edgley. It follows the exotic adventures of American astronaut John Crichton (Browder), who is accidentally thrust into a motley band of escaped renegades who traverse the universe in Moya, a living ship, on a quest for a place to call home.
Filmed in Sydney, Australia, Farscape is a natural extension of The Jim Henson Company's dedication to bringing fantasy reality to life. The series is executive produced by David Kemper, Brian Henson, Juliet Blake, Richard Manning and Robert Halmi, and is produced by Sue Milliken and Tony Winley. Rockne S. O'Bannon serves as executive consultant.
More information on Farscape can be found at www.farscape.com. The site includes exclusive imagery, screensavers, and complete information on the show and its characters. The site will soon feature Web-only interactive expanded show content.
ABOUT THE GAME
Our heroes are stranded on a desolate planet in a far off corner of the universe, caught between warring native factions and the deadly Peacekeepers. A chilling mystery shrouds a hideous threat to galactic stability and the Moya crew has to uncover the clues to stop it_before time runs out.
The game combines extensive character interaction and fast paced combat in a third-person environment. Gamers control major Farscape characters with varying complimentary skills to solve a variety of inter-connected challenges. This all takes place in a visual rich setting, reflective of the hit TV show. The first public demonstration of the game will be made at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, May 2001.
The Farscape game will be rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). All advertising and promotional materials currently carry a "RP" or "Rating Pending" logo. More information on the ESRB and its rating system can be found at www.esrb.org.
S&SI USES GAMEProducer
To choose a developer for the game, Simon & Schuster Interactive made use of the new GAMEproducer system, which uses the internet to effeciently connect publishers and developers throughout the world. With GAMEproducer, Simon & Schuster quickly received dozens of proposals from leading development companies and chose Red Lemon to develop the game.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
Simon & Schuster Interactive (www.ssinteractive.com) is the consumer software-publishing unit of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Based in New York, S&SI publishes entertainment, education and reference titles across numerous platforms. The Company is the Codie Award winning publisher of the best-selling "Douglas Adams Starship Titanic" adventure, the best-selling parody "Deer Avenger" series, and numerous critically acclaimed children's software titles.
Simon & Schuster, the publishing operation of Viacom Inc., is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed and multimedia formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Trade Publishing, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster New Media, Simon & Schuster Online, Simon & Schuster U.K., and Simon & Schuster Australia. For more information about Simon & Schuster, visit our website at www.simonsays.com.
Viacom is the No. 1 platform in the world for advertisers, with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online. With programming that appeals to audiences in every demographic category across virtually all media, the company is a leader in the creation, promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, and music. Viacom's well-known brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Paramount Pictures, Infinity Broadcasting, UPN, TNN, CMT, Showtime, Blockbuster, and Simon & Schuster. More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at www.viacom.com.
Formed in 1998, Jim Henson Interactive (JHI), a division of The Jim Henson Company, is responsible for the worldwide digital expression of all intellectual properties owned by the organization including such globally embraced and commercially successful brands as THE MUPPETS, FARSCAPE, BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE, MOPATOP'S SHOP, CONSTRUCTION SITE! and THE DARK CRYSTAL.
The Jim Henson Company, an established leader in family entertainment for more than 40 years, is an independent multimedia production company; one of the top character licensors in the industry; a leading publisher of children's books; and home to Jim Henson Television, Jim Henson Pictures, Jim Henson Interactive and Jim Henson's Creature Shop*. With headquarters in Los Angeles and offices and production facilities in New York and London, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of EM.TV & Merchandising AG based in Munich, Germany. The Jim Henson Company website is located at: www.henson.com.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT FARSCAPE
"They make us marvel that TV has finally come up with a satisfying sci-fi hour." The Year's Best in TV # 10.
TV GuideóMatt Rouch, The Rouch Review
"The Sci Fi Channel's irreverent, rip-roaring Farscape has been entertaining us with a series of fantastic, explosively exciting new episodes. The January 26th cliffhanger is a stunner of psychological peril that pits astronaut Crichton (Ben Browder) against the creepily cadaverous Scorpius (Wayne Pygram). Farscape is more far out than ever. And isn't that what you really want in a sci-fi series, after all?"
USA Today*Robert Bianco
"Farscape boldly goes beyond expectations. By rights, Farscape should be far more popular than it is. Farscape is more than just TV's best space show since Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's a fully realized drama capable of puling in even those of us who are usually reluctant to sign up for these galaxy quests. 3.5stars"
The Newark Star Ledger*Alan Sepinwall
"With Star Trek: Voyager going off the air at the end of this season, you're going to read and hear a lot about the death of science fiction on television. That's nonsense. SCI FI's Farscape... has been telling more creative, more entertaining stories for a few years now. Even though the series operates on a budget much smaller than any Trek show, it often looks significantly better."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette*Rob Owen
Farscape* Returning for the last four episodes of its second season, television's best science-fiction series remains in top form. The show's typically lush production design/special effects and high caliber character development/plotting are on display as the restless crew tries to save the enslaved son of D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe).
Newday* Diane Werts
"Farscape now sits at the center of SCI FI's Fri, and it's light years ahead of its nightmates. The varied characters all have their own logic, the danger feels palpable and the relationships are so real, they hurt. Are Browder's marooned Crichton and Claudia Black's warrior Aeryn Sun not the tube's hottest unrequited twosome?"
Boston Herald*Mark Perigard
Farscape* "It's time to acknowledge Browder might be SCI FI's greatest asset. If he were on a mainstream network show such as The West Wing he'd be a shoo-in for an Emmy. It's a shame his talent gets no respect because he works in science fiction."
Scripps Howard News Service*Dave Mason
"Farscape, which takes no shortcuts in quality, easily ties with the X-Files as the best sci-fi show on Television. Farscape is good at creating loose threads and takes its time to weave its plots. In some ways, it's more like a great long novel than a TV show. The series is much more adventurous in its locales and its creatures than Star Trek: Voyager and other Hollywood based sci-fi series."
Boston Herald*Mark Perigard
"The season finale of SCI FI's Farscape promises to be a nail-biter."
Orlando Sun-Sentinel.*Robin Berkowitz
"This goofy guilty pleasure, a melange of muppetry and Trekkian cliches, spices its adventures with tongue in cheek humor as it charts the plight of earth astronaut John Crichton."
"David Bianculli of the New York Daily News casts his vote for [his favorite show] Farscape. 'It has impressed me a lot with its increasingly original stories and high caliber acting. I like it for the same reasons I'm such a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: sly comedy mixed with genuine drama and suspense, wonderful special effects and costumes and an original vision that rewards loyal viewers.'"