EA & Endemol's "Virtual Me"


Virtual Me Baz


CANNES, FRANCE, – April 16, 2007 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, and the Endemol group, a global leader in television and other audiovisual entertainment, today announced a creative partnership for the development of Virtual Me, a new digital entertainment concept that bridges the divide between traditional TV and videogames. The all-new online offering is being prepared to debut in Endemol’s top-rated Big Brother.

Virtual Me combines cutting edge avatar creation technology from EA with popular TV formats from Endemol to give consumers a breakthrough way to meet, compete and socialize in online digital worlds. Avatar creation takes a leap forward with a high performing, easy-to-use tool that creates astonishingly life-like cyber-clones, with uniquely customized appearances and identities.

Want to be a pop star? A movie star? An action star? Virtual Me offers players the chance to participate in virtual versions of TV talent shows like Fame Academy and Operacion Triunfo, game shows like Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs 100 and to form real relationships with other virtual avatars on the web. VirtualMe.com, the home of the Virtual Me avatar creation system, will launch in the coming months.

Peter Bazalgette, Chief Creative Officer, Endemol comments: “We’re told that people are starting to spend more time online than they are watching TV. Both markets are now important and this has huge implications for content creators. Our opportunity with Electronic Arts is to develop ideas that fully embrace the way people are consuming entertainment today.”

Gerhard Florin, Executive Vice President and General Manager, EA International said, “With Virtual Me we are at the forefront of a new, hybrid form of entertainment that takes gaming beyond the console. Endemol is a great partner to help us bring together the best of TV and video games for an offering that can appeal to mass market audiences and change the face of entertainment.”

The two companies will create an integrated team to share expertise in their respective fields and develop entertainment formats and experiences for a wide range of platforms, including TV and online.
Electronic Arts is the creator of some of the world’s most successful video game franchises including FIFA Football, Need for Speed™, Harry Potter™ and The Sims™. Endemol’s catalogue of TV formats includes international blockbusters such as Big Brother, Fear Factor and Deal or No Deal.

Press release and Virtual Me illustrations can be found at http://info.ea.com.

What looks interesting to me, based on what I can make of the images released, is that it looks like you will be able to create an avatar and hop into any of a selection of worlds (Endemol’s TV shows). This will actually be a big step towards a kind of multi-world model. Although technically it is the same technology, it multiple worlds, multi-verse. It is because of this I think this approach is one the ball.


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