GONZO and GONZO Rosso Announce the Cross-media Development of a Classic Arcade Game

Oct 12th 2007
The legendary RPG The Tower of Druaga to become a cross media franchise


Project website: www.druaga-project.com (Japanese only)


The legendary title that captivated millions of game fans is back!
Under the supervision of Masanobu Endō, the creator of the original arcade game, The Tower of Druaga is recreated as an MMORPG in parallel with an animation production. The Druaga legend will continue as a new cross-media entertainment project made possible by the collaborative efforts of GONZO Rosso (game publishing), Q Entertainment (game production) and GONZO (animation production).



September 2007 Press conference
November 2007 Online RPG - closed beta test
December 2007 Online RPG - open beta test
January 2008 Online RPG - launch of full service
Spring 2008 TV animation series premier in Japan
* Release dates may change without notice.



The Tower of Druaga _the Aegis of URUK_

Large-scale cross-media projects to be launched!
One of the best known and most important Japanese games is to be made into an animation for the first time. The cross-media developments include comics, novels, the modern fantasy animation and the online game.

An all-star staff has gathered to retell the new Druaga legend!
Directed by Koichi Chigira (Brave Story), the new TV series will combine innovative works by new generation creators, such as scripts by Shoji Gatoh (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), character design by Ugetsu Hakua, production design by Makoto Kobayashi, and music by Hitoshi Sakimoto.

New drama and grand mysteries are about to be revealed!
The animated series is set several decades after the time of the original game. The world is in chaos and has long been abandoned by gods and heroes. Unimaginable combats and fantastic adventures are about to unfold in the immense labyrinths of the dark tower of Druaga!



The Tower of Druaga _the Recovery of BABYLIM_

Experience the legendary Babylonian Castle Saga now on MMO!
The Tower of Druaga returns in the form of an action-packed online RPG! Introducing a variety of multi-player features such as player interactions, group play, and massive scale battles, this MMORPG continues the Babylonian Saga in an all new incarnation.


The innovative "Enigma System" challenges you with traps that never stay the same!
Get ready to conquer the notorious Tower of Druaga to enter the realm of ultimate mysteries! The intricate mazes and traps will not let down the fans of the original Tower of Druaga. In the online version, players can form a party with other players to improve their strategic strength.

User-friendliness that only a Japan-made game can offer!
Fresh content will be added continually and players will enjoy the benefits of an advanced user support system. The interface design of The Tower of Druaga allows even novice online RPG players to acquaint themselves easily with the game. The Tower of Druaga is the ultimate solution for both novice and hardcore online RPG players!



***************
On Thursday, September 20th, a press conference was held to announce the Tower of Druaga project at the main stage in Tokyo Game Show 2007, the largest video game expo in the world.

During this press conference, Shinichiro Ishikawa (CEO, GDH K.K.), Masanobu Endō (Supervisor), Koichi Chigira (director of the animated TV series), Shoji Gatoh (writer of the animated TV series), Hideki Moriya (Managing Director, GONZO Rosso K.K.), Shuji Utsumi (Managing Director & CEO, Q Entertainment Inc.), Hirokazu Kojima (Producer, Q Entertainment Inc.), Manabu Sugiyama (General Manager of Contents License Department, Namco Bandai Games Inc.) appeared on stage and expressed their confidence and anticipation for the project to the press.

The conference also featured a presentation by the production staff, highlighting never-before-seen footage of the two main parts of their franchise focus: the TV animation series The Tower of Druaga –The Aegis of URUK– and the online RPG The Tower of Druaga –The Recovery of BABYLIM–.

Shinichiro Ishikawa, who is CEO of GDH and leads the franchise development, revealed that he was a big fan of the original arcade game and saw new business potential in utilizing the property's strong concept and timeless prominence in the Japanese game industry. He brings the talents and expertise of GDH's animation subsidiary GONZO and online game subsidiary GONZO Rosso to the project, ensuring the collaborative development of the franchise. Endo, who is the creator of the original Tower of Druaga and supervisor of the current project, expressed his anticipation and hopes in developing new products that inherit the style of the original and meet today's market trends and consumer expectations.


[About The Tower of Druaga]
In 1984, Namco (current name: Namco Bandai Games Inc.) released The Tower of Druaga as an arcade game. The legendary action RPG captivated millions of game fans for its revolutionary, overthrowing then-established arcade game theories. The player assumed the role of the golden knight Gil, who traversed 60 floors of a great tower to rescue the heroine from the demon Druaga. The story was set in a fantastic world inspired by Babylonian mythology. The game provided a unique game system, a variety of characters and dignified music. The player had to navigate through the maze on each floor, collect items, and find clues that would lead to the next level. The unforgiving difficulty of the quests attracted many core fans of classic arcade games. The sequels such as The Return of Ishtar, The Quest of Ki, and The Blue Crystal Rod were also successful. The game has been remade for various consoles and remains one of the most played game titles of all-time.


[About Masanobu Endō (1959-present)]
While employed at Namco (current name: Namco Bandai Games Inc.), Endo participated in the game design, programming, and graphics for the shooter arcade game Xevious (1982), and created the sensational arcade game The Tower of Druaga (1984). With these accomplishments under his belt, he became an independent game creator and established GAMESTUDIO Inc. in 1985.
Endo worked on game design and graphics for the Babylonian Castle Saga series including The Return of Ishtar, The Quest of Ki, and The Blue Crystal Rod. He also worked on Namco's Family Circuit and
Kerunaguru, Bandai's Z Gundam Hot Scramble and Airs Adventure, Ascii Corp's Wizardry series for Family Computer (NES) and directed Itadaki Street. Endo currently produces software for PS2 and Nintendo DS and also provides designs for mobile phone applications and card games.


[About GONZO]
GONZO is a production brand of the GDH group and aims at producing high quality animation for teens and young adults. GONZO has released popular anime titles like Blue Submarine No. 6, Samurai 7, Gankutsuou, Brave Story and Afro Samurai and is highly respected among trendsetting anime fans around the world.
GONZO K.K. website (Japanese only): http://www.gonzo.co.jp/studio/


[About GONZO Rosso K.K.]
GONZO Rosso develops and operates online games such as Knight Online and Master of Epic -The ResonanceAge Universe-. By offering special in-game items for purchase and user-friendly systems, GONZO Rosso ensures unique game experiences that both advanced users and online game novices can enjoy.
GONZO Rosso's other areas of business include development/operation of the online merchandise store "GONZO STYLE" (http://www.gonzo-style.com - Japanese only), the character open-contest site "Charapre" (http://charapre.jp/ - Japanese only), and mobile sites "Mobile Newtype" and "GONZO MOBILE" as well as production of video content, characters, advertisement designs, websites and other Internet content that leverages GDH/GONZO's network of creators/artists.
GONZO Rosso website: http://www.gonzorosso.jp/english.html



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