SOULCALIBUR II Action Figures Coming; Spawn Game in Development
Friday, April 25, 2003

Namco Ltd. and Todd McFarlane Productions Inc. have announced a mutual agreement in which both parties are allowing the use of each other's characters for different business opportunities. Namco will be granted the use of Spawn for the creation of a brand new video game and TMP will be granted the use of various SOULCALIBUR II characters for the creation of new action figures.

In breaking news, Namco will use McFarlane's Spawn character in the development of a brand new video game created for PS2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox, which is scheduled to be released in the U.S. market in 2003. Tentatively titled Spawn, the game is a mission-based action/adventure set against the backdrop of a darker, near-future New York City environment. Its intuitive controls allow the player to utilize a range of acrobatic jumps, double jumps, glides and climbs throughout the vast city. A combo-based hand-to-hand combat engine will allow the player to deliver many different attacks and devastating moves to punish his enemies. The player will also have access to all of Spawn's distinctive abilities - his superhuman strength, his arsenal of weaponry, his Hell powers and, of course, his living symbiotic costume. Spawn will premiere at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo to be held in Los Angeles in May.

The other aspect of the partnership is the upcoming series of SOULCALIBUR II action figures from McFarlane Toys, set for release in August. Through a previous arrangement, McFarlane had already designed an original character, Necrid, for each console version of SOULCALIBUR II and also allowed Spawn to appear as the exclusive character in the Xbox version of the game.

"When developing SOULCALIBUR II, I was working not just on making the game interesting, I was concerned about the storyline and character design," said Producer Hiroaki Yotoriyama. "How could I bring alive 16th century warriors who bet their life and all their possessions for a moment of glory? Doing that was difficult and the most exciting part of the job. In that process, the opportunity to collaborate with Todd McFarlane on Necrid was key in enhancing the level of the product. As a fellow creator, I feel great pride in the creation of a new character that was developed by the world's greatest creator. I am really pleased with the 3D modeling for the SOULCALIBUR II action figures, which have brought this art to its highest form. Being a part of the extremely organic collaboration with Todd McFarlane, which has shown through in SOULCALIBUR II, has been a true honor. I don't know if I can wait for the Spawn video game that's currently under development in the U.S. It should be something really special."

"I've long been interested in the development of video games," said McFarlane. "Games breathe life into a creator's flat 2D images and bring them alive. As someone who develops ideas, my goal is to create strong characters that are both interesting to look at and can deliver new and exciting game play. When Namco, who obviously is tops in its field, approached us on developing new characters and integrating my character, Spawn, into its SOULCALIBUR II game, I knew it would be a great opportunity to work with a company on the cutting edge of gaming technology. I am pretty excited about the action figures my company has produced to accompany the game. We are experimenting with scale and other things, but I think game fans will be astonished at the detail and realism. I'm also looking forward to working with Namco on future projects and ideas, including the upcoming Spawn title."

SOULCALIBUR II is the latest creation in the Soul series, which established the new genre of weapons-based fighting and has been critically acclaimed worldwide. The Soul series started in 1996 with the release of Soul Edge followed by SOULCALIBUR in 1999, registering more than 3 million units sold around the globe. This latest in the series breaks a four-year silence, and Namco has captured attention with its three-platform simultaneous release. The visual beauty created by bringing together the finesse of Namco's technology and the additional development of character movement succeeded in creating more than just a port. It also includes new guest characters unique for each platform, original characters and a variety of new modes all created specifically for the home consoles.