E3 '07: Orcs and Elves invading DS

[UPDATE] John Carmack teaming with Fountainhead to bring acclaimed fantasy-based first-person RPG to Nintendo's handheld, available later this year; Orcs & Elves II announced.

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--When John Carmack revealed development was under way on Doom RPG for mobile phones in 2005, his project raised more than a few eyebrows from gaming enthusiasts. After all, the programming wunderkind is widely credited as the founding father of modern-day first-person shooters, having been the lead programmer on id Software's seminal early-'90s classics Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake, and the mobile platform isn't exactly reputable among core gamers.

Of course, Carmack built his reputation on technical innovation, and Doom RPG ended up wowing audiences, winning accolades such as GameSpot's 2006 Mobies, among others. Carmack's follow-up project, Orcs & Elves, met with equal success, and in February it was anointed Mobile Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

Earlier this week, Carmack revealed to UK-based publication Guardian Unlimited that his award-winning Orcs & Elves would be making its way to the Nintendo DS. Responding to whether a PlayStation Portable or DS version was in the works, Carmack said, "We are working on a DS version of Orcs & Elves right now. I laid the groundwork for the 3D engine last month, and the Fountainhead team is hard at work." Carmack did not address the possibility of a PlayStation Portable version for the game.

Again teaming with Fountainhead Entertainment, Carmack's latest project will be published by EA. Orcs & Elves combines first-person action and turn-based role-playing in an original fantasy setting. Aided by a talking magical wand, players must navigate an ancient dwarven stronghold in search of adventure and treasure. No release date for the game was mentioned.

[UPDATE] Early today, EA sent official word confirming the Nintendo DS project, as well as announcing the next installment in the series for mobile. Orcs & Elves II will continue the story begun in the original game, and players will be able to explore seven unique environments through the fantasy world. The announcement also revealed Orcs & Elves II for mobile phones and Orcs & Elves for the DS will be available this holiday season.

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