FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GLOBAL VR Bringing Challenge to Coin-op Video Golf
SAN JOSE, Calif., March 30, 2005 — Are you ready for a Challenge? EA SPORTS PGA TOUR® Golf Challenge Edition , that is. According to GLOBAL VR® coin-op Game Producer, Danny Pisano, players and operators are ready and waiting. "Many of the features and options of Challenge Edition have been implemented in response to player requests and operator preference," says Pisano.
What players want, according to GLOBAL VR CEO, Milind Bharvirkar, is more control in customizing their game and designing their own tournaments*; and more chances to win, while operators don't want to pay for features they don't want; and they don't want the game to be difficult to maintain or update. "We took a stable earning game and made it more challenging and enjoyable for players by adding new courses and new modes of play, and more affordable for the operator by insuring a business model that will keep cabinets profitable," says Bharvirkar.
The homework that GLOBAL VR has done in researching and responding to its players and operators is most obvious in the resulting new play modes of Challenge Edition. Challenge Match , after which the game was titled, empowers video gamers to create player tournaments wherein they can specify all parameters, including the start and end dates, tournament size (up to 32 players), course, difficulty and conditions. "This puts pressure on players to continue to polish their game and to be responsive to compete, regardless of however many invitations they may receive from other players," says GLOBAL Plus Producer, James Kucera. According to Kucera, the tournament organizer can invite any registered player through his player ID. The invitees then receive an email notification from the tournament organizer that they can accept or reject.
It wouldn't be a GLOBAL VR golf game if it didn't boast eight new, recognizable, real courses including the Black Course at Bethpage, Edgewood Golf Club, Pinehurst No.2, and Sherwood Country Club. This edition also includes six fantasy courses and brings back eight popular courses from EA SPORTS PGA TOUR Championship Edition III for a total of 22 courses . Players and operators will be pleased to see nine PGA TOUR golfers and six fantasy golfers in Challenge Edition . GLOBAL VR has included favorites like Colin Montgomerie and Vijay Singh, while adding new players like Rich Beem. "The number one requested feature from operators and players is always courses," says Product Marketing Director, Wes Harris, "The new edition includes four times the courses compared to the competition."
Moderate and less seasoned players have often bemoaned the fact that, with EA SPORTS
PGA TOUR Golf Championship Editions , they have been unable to win prizes and be rewarded at beginner or intermediate levels. All this changes with the Challenge Edition Plus Points program. Now players will be able to earn redeemable affinity points in multiple play modes for merchandise that is available through the GLOBAL VR website. For example, a player might earn a point for a double eagle or a hole-in-one while playing Shootout Plus, Monday Night Golf, a 2-week tournament, or World Tour (a popular play mode carried over from Champ III wherein players complete all 22 courses to establish a handicap ranking).
A much anticipated customization mode in this edition is Game Face . This pay-for-time, registered play mode allows players to customize every aspect of their golfer from hairstyle, eye color (or shape!) and clothing, all the way down to shoe size. With the SmartCard Players' Card, the player can then store his custom golfer for later use. "This intriguing feature is so versatile that a player can, potentially, create a replica of himself, and really get into the game!" says Game Producer, Danny Pisano.
World Tour -the feature that doubled Champ III online earnings-will also be returning in this edition, albeit with even more options. Players will be able to earn course memberships as well as unlock courses for amusement play on offline games. They will still be able to establish an official handicap and skill ranking by completing the tour, and they will be able to earn Game Face golfer customization items.
Last, but not least, GLOBAL VR has beefed up competition on this edition by increasing the stakes. 2-week Tournaments will now offer a $25,000 cash prize pool, Monday Night Golf will present an opportunity for another $1,500 in Plus Points, and operators can set their own local tournaments awarding separate prizes (or Plus Points) as well. Players will compete via World Tour in order to qualify for the GLOBAL VR, end-of-year, mega cash prize golf championship.
The attractive, new cabinet design will feature updated graphics on a flat-screen, high-resolution monitor. Other new cabinet installations that add value and new opportunity for the operator are the on-cabinet card dispenser and the customizable marquee. The customizable marquee allows operators to insert and conveniently update promotional materials that feature their own events.EA SPORTS PGA TOUR Golf Challenge Edition is on test now and set to ship in April with tournament availability in May. Dedicated cabinets will be available as well as upgrade kits for existing cabinets, and conversion kits for other video golf games. Contact your local distributors for details.
For further information please contact:
Phone: (408) 597-3400 ext: 2409
Fax: (408) 597-3431
*Tournaments are not sponsored or administered by Electronic Arts or its Licensors.
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in San Jose, California, GLOBAL VRŽ is the world's leading manufacturer of coin-operated video games based on home gaming technology. With an exploding home gaming market, GLOBAL VRŽ is leveraging massive investment in development of home games and triggering a renaissance in the out-of-home video game industry. GLOBAL VRŽ has development agreements with the world's leading game publishers Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Atari (NASDAQ:ATAR) that provide exclusive rights to create coin-op versions of popular home games such as EA SPORTS PGA TOURŽ Golf, EA GAMES Need for Speed, Beach Head and Operation Blockade.
Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA GAMES and Need For Speed are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. PGA TOUR is a trademark of PGA TOUR, INC. and used by permission. Bethpage Black and Bethpage State Park Black Course are trademarks of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Pinehurst Golf Course No. 2 is a trademark of Pinehurst. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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