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   Technology StocksGTIS - Will it be a Phoenix or not ?


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To: Bill Gizzo who wrote (137)3/15/1997 4:20:00 PM
From: Judge17
   of 2319
 
Bill:
First, I did not mean to imply that gamers will quit gaming, SW, DF2 seem to have promise (By the way do you know who has the publishing rights to quake2?).

Second, while I apprecate monolith's commitment to blood, it seem to me and from what I've read that blood is just a slight improvement on a good, but old, game(Duke). Like you said the next few months are going to be very competitive and I have a feeling that blood will end up in the discount bin; it just does not have the revolutionary game play that makes a best seller. If you look at past best sellers in any game category,(C&C, Civ, Mech 2) they took gaming to the next level. I really don't think that a engine or graphics sells a game. On the plus side, blood does have the distribution arm of gt to get it into stores.

As to your suggestion that I look at the postings on GT's site, I tend to discount anything posted to a site that has a vested interst in seeing a game succeed. If you find some independent reviews,(PC gamer Cnet etc.) I would be happy to read them.

As for the 150,000 people downloading it, most people will try it once especially since their was so much buzz about it. People downloading it does not guarantee success!

Judge

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To: Judge17 who wrote (145)3/16/1997 2:53:00 AM
From: Bill Gizzo
   of 2319
 
Judge:
Regarding Quake2, prior to ATVI securing the rights to the Quake level paks and Hexen2 I would have thought GT would have naturally been the logical pick. However, in light of the aforementioned events I'm not so sure. Which ever way it goes, it would probably only be after Id has had an initial 90 - 120 days to market it direct themselves, as they did with Quake.

With regard to your reponse regarding Blood "just being a slight improvement on a good ,but old game(DN3D)". Your statement raises an important question regarding Quake2. Id hasn't announced nor have any the "gamer mags", any NEW "bar-raising" graphics or gameplay changes for Quake2. Personally I think it will be like the Doom & Doom2 situation. Nothing but minor enhancements, if we see any appear at all. If there was going to be anything new, trust me we'd have heard about it by now !!
With this fact in mind and the overkill overabundance of Quake add-on level paks and the Id sanctioned level paks on the market, one has to wonder if Quake2 won't get the same ho-hum reception as Blood received from the super-critical graphic bar-raising requiring gaming public.
IMHO, I don't think Quake2 will sell squat considering Unreal will be out by Sept. or possibly Aug., essentially the same timeframe.

I must disagree with your opinion about whether or not "a engine or graphics alone" can sell a game. The proof that it can and does is the title Quake. What is Quake really, but Doom with a faster engine that provides better graphics. There was absolutely NO changes or real enhancements in any other aspect of the game, except the graphics.
It was just a rehash of the basic FPS format, go from point A to point B, and kill everything in between. Your typical dungeon crawl nothing more and nothing new, yet gamers loved it. Why ? The Graphics.
The titles you mentioned did indeed take their respective genres to the next level, but in the case of Mech2 again graphics was the sole reason(I thought the gameplay model in Mech1 was actually better in many respects).

Come on Judge, do you REALLY believe GT censors the posts at their site ??

I agree 150,000 downloads does not guarantee success, but it sure helps put you futher down the road than lets say 25,000 would !! Couple that with your statement "On the plus side, Blood does have the distribution arm of GT to get it into stores" and I think it'll do OK.
Cheers
Bill

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To: Bill Gizzo who wrote (146)3/16/1997 1:59:00 PM
From: Judge17
   of 2319
 
Bill:

I think we can agree that Unreal is the new king to the throne. Most reviews of Mech 2 that I saw(PC format) claimed that it was more than just an action game, which I tend to agree with. As to why people love quake, I feel that graphics played a big part but, I think the ability to create clans and fight it out with players from around the world also played a large role in the success of quake(game play). True this was a feature in Doom2 but I feel it played a larger role in quake. I remember playing Deathmatchs for Doom2 on a BBS, now everything is on the Net. The clans feature has even been written up in such media as the WSJ.

As to if I feel that GT censors its posts, I think I would if I were in GT's position. (Minimize the negatives, Maximize the positives)I do not think that they have a legal obligation to post all comments.

Getting the game into the stores is only half the battle, Getting sales and preventing it from being put in the discount bin is the other.(We will see in the near future)

Let's move this discussion to another level, other games released or going to be released this quarter by GT. I was just reading a review of S.P.Q.R on Cnet's site and they slammed it giving it 2 out of 5. On the other hand, Star Command did get 4 out of 5. Any Comments?

just my two cents,

Judge

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To: Bill Gizzo who wrote (146)3/16/1997 7:26:00 PM
From: Nutty Buddy
   of 2319
 
After downloading and implementing the Blood patch, I still have problems. I got kicked out a couple of times on the first and second levels, and now I crash each time the train level (3rd) starts. I have to reboot when that occurs. I'm still listening to the tone that occured during the crash. Back to the drawing board!

BTW, my system has the Intel Triton Pentium motherboard and a genuine Soundblaster 16 sound card. It should not be a compatability problem.

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To: Judge17 who wrote (147)3/17/1997 2:23:00 AM
From: Bill Gizzo
   of 2319
 
Judge:
I can't really offer much comment on SPQR, except to say that the fact that this RPG was immediately offered at a discount upon release led me to believe it was a weak second tier title and probably not worth my trouble.

Star Command also received a very favorable review in the Feb. PC Gamer. I DLed the demo and thought is was ok, however the demo was extremely hard to beat. I beleive that was due to the preset race selections in the demo. Its a solid effort and should do OK with sales (maybe 150K SKU's), but I don't expect anything spectacular.

I've been seeing a lot of positve reviews on the BB's for the Carmaggedeon demo,from SalesCurve Interactive. GT could have a upside surprise with this one.

According to GT, no demo of Imperium Galactica will be offered prior to release. This games a real mystery to me !! The description and screenshots on GT's site look extremely interesting, but I haven't seen a preview or any prerelease advertising in any mags. This game is tentatively due in around 3 weeks !! It is featured prominently in GT's 1997 list of releases. I don't even know who's developing it for GT. Sure would be nice if this game turns out to be a "Killer/Sleeper" hit for GT ?? You know or heard anything about IG ??

Cheers
Bill

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To: Bill Gizzo who wrote (149)3/17/1997 11:20:00 AM
From: Biff Malibu
   of 2319
 
GT Interactive and Simon & Schuster Interactive strike multi-title, multi-platform global
co-publishing agreement

BusinessWire, Monday, March 17, 1997 at 09:36

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 17, 1997--

Initial Titles to be Based on Star Trek:(TM) Deep Space Nine
Agreement Opens Discussions on all S&SI Consumer Properties
for Interactive Media

In a powerful publishing union, GT Interactive Software Corp.
(NASDAQ: GTIS) and Simon & Schuster Interactive have entered into a
broad-based, global co-publishing agreement. Under the agreement, the
first PC titles GT Interactive and Simon & Schuster will jointly
develop will be based on the highly successful Paramount property,
Star Trek(TM): Deep Space Nine(TM), licensed through Viacom Consumer
Products. The agreement opens the door to negotiations for the joint
worldwide exploitation of a broad range of interactive and electronic
properties within the Simon & Schuster Consumer Group catalogue.
Simon & Schuster and Paramount Television are both units of Viacom
Inc.
"Simon & Schuster has an extremely rich, high profile portfolio
of properties on which to base interactive products, and we are
excited to be partnering with them," said Joe Cayre, chairman of GT
Interactive.
"Simon & Schuster Interactive's goal is to continue to develop
our electronic assets and those electronic assets jointly held by S&S
and its authors into the most exciting and successful products in the
market. With the collaboration of GT Interactive, many of our prize
properties will more rapidly achieve that goal," said Jack Romanos,
President of Simon & Schuster's Consumer Group.
"By joining our development, sales, marketing and distribution
strength with the expertise and strong properties that exist at Simon
& Schuster, we will bring the interactive world some of its most
exciting products yet," said Ron Chaimowitz, president and chief
executive officer of GT Interactive. "We look forward to a mutually
beneficial and successful relationship."
Simon & Schuster has published 68 Pulitzer Prize winners. In
1996 the company published 56 New York Times best-sellers, including
10 no. 1 best-sellers. The Consumer Group publishes more than 2,000
new books and spoken word audio titles ever year.
The Star Trek line of books is among the company's most lucrative
mass market franchises. Since 1979, Simon & Schuster has published
130 Star Trek books of which approximately 100 have been
best-sellers. Every minute, 13 Star Trek books are sold worldwide;
more than 65 million Simon & Schuster Star Trek books are in print.
To date, Paramount has produced more than 350 hours of original Star
Trek programming, including the classic Star Trek Paramount
television series and Star Trek(TM): Deep Space Nine(TM) the no. 1
syndicated drama on television and eight feature films. Star Trek is
seen in more than 100 countries, in dozens of languages. Across all
media, Star Trek licenses have generated more than 2.1 billion
dollars in revenues to its many copyright holders.
"In its three year history, Simon & Schuster Interactive has enjoyed
phenomenal growth. Star Trek(TM) software products such as Star
Trek: The Next Generation(TM) Interactive Technical Manual, Star Trek
Omnipedia(TM), and most recently our two interactive episodes Star
Trek(TM) Klingon(TM) and Star Trek(TM) Borg(TM) have been both
critical and financial successes for us. The Star Trek: Deep Space
Nine(TM) game license and this co- publishing agreement with GT
Interactive, greatly strengthens our current market position. We are
delighted and excited with this venture and the prospects it holds,"
says Gilles Dana, General Manager, Simon & Schuster Interactive.
Headquartered in NY, GT Interactive Software Corp. is a leading
global publisher of entertainment and edutainment software under the
GT Interactive, Humongous Entertainment and Cavedog Entertainment
brands for personal computers as well as video game systems from
Sony, Nintendo and Sega. The company publishes Macintosh software
under the MacSoft brand and its WizardWorks subsidiary is a leader in
value- priced software. Among GT Interactive's best-sellers are Duke
Nukem 3D and Quake. Located at gtinteractive.com on the
World Wide Web, GT Interactive is publicly traded on the NASDAQ
National Market System under the symbol GTIS.
Simon & Schuster Interactive, based in New York, is the consumer
software publishing unit of Simon & Schuster Consumer Group. The
three-year old division currently has 45 CD-ROM titles on the market
and has 10 new products scheduled to be released in 1997 including
Richard Scarry Best Math Program Ever, Douglas Adams' Starship
Titanic and Star Trek(TM) The Captain's Chair.
Simon & Schuster Inc., the publishing operation of Viacom Inc.,
is the world's largest educational, computer book and
English-language book publisher. With operations in 43 countries and
book multimedia product distributed in 150 countries, its imprints
and divisions include Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Interactive,
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio,
Pocket Books, Scribner, The Free Press, Prentice Hall, Silver Burdett
Ginn, Allyn & Bacon, Computer Curriculum Corporation, Educational
Management Group and Macmillan Publishing USA.
Viacom is one of the world's largest entertainment and publishing
companies and a leading force in nearly every segment of the
international media marketplace. The operations of Viacom include
Blockbuster Video, Blockbuster Music, MTV Networks, Paramount Parks,
Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Showtime Networks, Simon &
Schuster, television stations nationwide and movie screens in 11
countries. Viacom also has a majority interest in Spelling
Entertainment Group. National Amusements, Inc., a closely held
corporation which owns and operates 1,000 screens in the U.S. and
U.K., is the parent company of Viacom. STAR TREK and related
properties are trademarks of Paramount Pictures.
Viacom Consumer Products merchandises properties on behalf of
Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television and Simon & Schuster as
well as third-party properties. Viacom Consumer Products, a unit of
Viacom Entertainment Group, is a division of Viacom Inc.

CONTACT: GT INTERACTIVE:
(media)
Allyne Mills
212/726-4202
amills@gtinteractive.com
(investors)
Dawn Berrie
212/726-4235
dberrie@gtinteractive.com
or
Simon & Schuster
Walter Walker
212/698-1136
f. 212/698-7555
walter_walker@prenhall.com

KEYWORD: NEW YORK
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PUBLISHING ENTERTAINMENT
COMPUTERS/ELECTRONICS INTERACTIVE/MULTIMEDIA/INTERNET COMED

Companies or Securities discussed in this article:
Symbol
Name
NASDAQ:GTIS
GT Interactive Software Corp

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To: Biff Malibu who wrote (150)3/17/1997 11:43:00 AM
From: Andreas Puppka
   of 2319
 
To ALL: Does anybody know the benefits from this agreement?

Andreas

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To: Biff Malibu who wrote (150)3/17/1997 11:47:00 AM
From: Bill Gizzo
   of 2319
 
Biff:
Great news !!!
The possible further implications from this deal could cause some wild speculation with regard to Viacom's and Spelling Entertainment's interest in Virgin Interactive. Could we possibly see a deal in the near future ??
Cheers
Bill

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To: Bill Gizzo who wrote (152)3/17/1997 12:01:00 PM
From: Biff Malibu
   of 2319
 
Whatever the outcome, for GTIS this appears to be a very positive business alliance. Even the chairman of the board, Joe Cayre, made a comment on this one. Looks good to me.

Biff

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To: Bill Gizzo who wrote (146)3/17/1997 1:37:00 PM
From: RJC2006
   of 2319
 
Bill,
I am with you on this one. The fact is an engine can and does sell a game. After all, how long ago was it that Wolfenstein came out? Isn't Doom etc. just glorified versions of Wolfenstein? Didn't Doom come out years before Quake? If they were looked upoin as just old games then why do they sell in the hundreds of thousands. Actually, I really do believe that not all people out there no that you can d/l software like Blood so IMHO 150,000 d/l's is pretty damn good. You are correct, it's the graphics along with a sense of adventure that sells the game. I can't completely disagree with Judge. I do believe that the FPS format will eventually run out of steam for a little while but not quite yet. As for Mech+, personally I hated it. It was just too damn much trouble. Would rather be one of those who goes from point A to point B and kill everything in between!

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