Empire Interactive Announces E3 Lineup

Empire Interactive touts licensed properties, sports titles, in hopes of mass appeal


Game publisher Empire Interactive, best known for golf and pinball titles, recently announced its Electronic Entertainment Expo lineup it will reveal next month in Los Angeles. Empire's strategy is one of moving into publishing original games with more mainstream appeal - including those that rely on licensed names and products - while maintaining its position within the puzzle and flight sim genres.

One of the licensed products Empire will show at E3 is Ford Racing. This PlayStation racing game holds the Ford Motors license and will feature the Ford Mustang, Taurus, F-series, Explorer, GT90, and other unnamed concept cars. Up to six cars will race simultaneously, with five modes of play available in all. Empire Interactive plans to ship Ford Racing in the third quarter of 2000.

Also in the racing genre, Empire will display World Sports Car 2000 for an as-of-yet-unannounced next-generation console. This GT-based racer will let you drive freely within the environments, and according to Empire, it will sport plenty of realistic detail, from the cars themselves to the courses you will race on. Empire Interactive is calling the game the most realistic driving game yet. We'll give our impressions during our live coverage of the E3 show. Empire will release Ford Racing in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Another unnamed next-generation console title Empire plans to show is Ghost Master. Sort of like The Exorcist in reverse, you play as a spirit or ghost, ridding various environments of humans. You will do this by psychically scaring the people away from spots you are designated to haunt. Earn enough plasma (or ghostly skills, really), and you'll be able to summon other spirit-world helpers. Empire does not plan to release Ghost Master until sometime in 2001.

In other Empire Interactive PlayStation news, the company will show Speedball 2100, an NHL-meets-rollerball-arena game in which teams battle it out for points from behind full body armor; Spin Jam, a puzzle game that sounds a bit like Bust-A-Move, complete with cute characters and popping bubbles; Sheep, a strategy/sim-type game in which the player guides sheep through the environments; and Pipemania II, a sequel based on the old PC and MAC puzzle game Pipemania, in which you lay pipe to flee from your evil opponent.

Speedball 2100 and Spin Jam will ship in the third quarter of 2000, and Sheep and Pipemania II will be released in the fourth quarter of 2000. We'll have impressions, shots, and more information during the E3 show in May.

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