Majestic Unveiling

We have exclusive information on the core games for EA's upcoming online gaming venture,

At the Ziff Davis Electronic Gaming Summit held yesterday in Napa, Calif., GameSpot was on hand for the first public sighting of Electronic Arts' secret online project, Majestic. While to this point we'd only heard whispers of the name, we heard at the summit that Majestic is a massively-multiplayer mystery suspense thriller set in the modern day.

John Riccitello, president and COO of Electronic Arts, said, "Majestic will be the first PC game I've seen that will fax you or phone you. It will actively interact with the player at unprecedented levels. You'll hear a little more about the game in spring 2001."

Majestic is expected to launch sometime next year, following this fall's initial launch of the new gaming portal. Developed in partnership with AOL, will host a range of online games from card games for casual gamers to online RPGs for the core gaming audience. is currently in closed beta testing, and an open beta should be announced in about a week.

As for the overall positioning of, Riccitello said the site would be "as easy to play as television is to watch."

EA is making a serious push to extend online gaming into established genres. A persistent world game based on the Harry Potter license, which the company recently acquired amid a great deal of fanfare, is currently in the works for, as is a Sims Online game. Future versions of Ultima Online will also be associated with the portal.

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