EA Signs Michelle Kwan

Electronic Arts signs deal with Olympic gold medalist for new game focused on young girls.

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Electronic Arts announced Tuesday morning that it had signed for the exclusive three-year interactive entertainment rights with figure-skating champion, Michelle Kwan. Kwan will be featured in Michelle Kwan Championship Figure Skating (the game's current working title) due to hit stores for the 1999 holiday season.

"I'm incredibly excited to join the other great athletes who are part of the Electronic Arts family," said Michelle Kwan, the 18-year-old two-time world champion, three-time US champion and Olympic silver medalist. "It's also a great honor to have EA build its first game specifically designed for girls around my skating. It's going to be a fun game that will encourage girls to use and enjoy computers while learning more about figure skating."

Players will be able to choreograph skating routines, design their own costumes, choose their own music, and select from several worldwide arenas to skate in. And rather than just controlling Michelle as she does her magic on the ice, users will be able to scan a photo or use a digital photo of themselves or of someone else and paste it onto a skater. Users will also be able to capture screenshots of themselves in action to send out to friends and family or to create a virtual scrapbook, of sorts.

"We couldn't think of a better role model to have as we launch our first game for girls," said EA's supervising producer, Mitzi McGilvray. "We are honored to work with Michelle Kwan, who is a worldwide icon, respected and admired by millions of fans throughout the world. With Michelle's assistance, we are creating a game for every girl who's ever dreamed of taking home the championship after nailing the perfect routine. It's got the music, the moves, the costumes, and the artistic creativity of figure skating."

Michelle Kwan Championship Figure Skating will be EA's first attempt at targeting girls from ages eight to thirteen.

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