Official Press Release
Los Angeles - Jan. 14, 2002 - Marvel's Daredevil, one of the most popular comic book superheroes of all time, will soon come to life on next-generation console systems. Encore, Inc. announced today that the company has signed an exclusive, five-year, worldwide agreement with Marvel Enterprises, Inc., one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, to publish exciting action-adventure games starring Daredevil.
Daredevil ranks among the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe, alongside other superhero icons Spider-Man, The X-Men and The Incredible Hulk. With an avid fan base that numbers in the millions, he consistently outsells his superhero competition. Daredevil currently holds four of the top 25 comic book spots (source: Diamond Distributors, the leading comic book distributor in the world), and over the past 12 months, the comic book series has sold over 2 million copies.
The game's release will coincide with the world premiere of the highly anticipated Daredevil movie, starring Ben Affleck, which is scheduled for debut during the 2002 holiday season. This live-action film will hopefully be the first in a series of Daredevil movies expected to release over the next five years. It is being produced by Marvel Studios, and distributed by New Regency Productions and 20th Century Fox.
"Marvel's Daredevil is an enormously popular character with a huge fan base who are eagerly awaiting this videogame," said Michael Bell, chairman and CEO of Encore. "The debut of the console game and the live-action film, will not only dramatically expand that fan base, but also propel Daredevil into mainstream popular culture.
"For Encore, this agreement underscores our leadership as an interactive entertainment publisher focusing on highly recognizable, mass-market brands. Daredevil will be one of many blockbuster console games our company will publish in 2002."
Russ Brown, senior vice president of consumer products at Marvel Enterprises, Inc., added, "Videogames are a natural extension of our comic books, and a great way to introduce this core Marvel character to current and prospective fans. To make the game even more exciting, Daredevil will feature supporting roles by some of our other hot characters, including Elektra, a femme fatale from the movie who has a proficiency in martial arts; Bullseye, the ruthless assassin determined to murder Daredevil; and Kingpin, ruler of the East Coast underworld."
Daredevil's Story Comes to Life
Daredevil -- also known as the Man Without Fear -- is lawyer Matt Michael Murdock by day, superhuman adventurer by night. Blinded in a childhood accident, Daredevil upholds his passion for justice and rises to superhuman levels through hyper-developed senses of hearing, smell and touch, and extraordinary acrobatic abilities. He uses these skills, as well as his fighting baton and grappling hook - disguised as his blind-man's cane during the day - to battle Kingpin and other malicious criminals from his Hell's Kitchen, New York City, base of operations.
Elektra - Femme Fatale
The software publishing rights granted by Marvel include the character Elektra. In the Daredevil videogame, she will have a supporting role where she partners with Daredevil in his battle against evil. In the comic book series, Elektra is key as one of Daredevil's girlfriends and dynamic ally. Her current popularity is evidenced by the sales success of Marvel's recently launched Elektra comic series, and by the major role she will have in the Daredevil movie.
About Encore, Inc.
Encore, Inc. is a leading interactive publisher in the videogame and PCCD-ROM markets. In 2002, the company will release such highly anticipated next-gen console games as Jackie Chan Adventures, Dragon's Lair 3D and Circus Maximus: Chariot Wars. As the nation's largest privately held PC entertainment and education publisher, Encore also offers a broad range of titles under internationally recognized properties, such as Sesame Street, Dragon Tales, National GeographicÒ and Kaplan. Encore products are sold in over 35,000 stores nationwide, and in major international markets. The company has been recognized in the past two years by Inc magazine as one of America's 500 fastest growing private companies. For more information, visit www.encoresoftware.com
About Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
With a library of over 4,700 proprietary characters, Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused in five divisions: entertainment (Marvel Studios), licensing, toys (Toy Biz), comic book publishing and Internet/New Media. Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, television, home video and the Internet, based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including video and computer games, apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel's characters and plot lines are created by its comic book division which continues to maintain a leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property. For additional information visit the Marvel Web site at www.marvel.com.