The Matrix Online to skip January release date

WBIE holds back Monolith title; aims "to polish this game to the max" and targets spring as new launch window.

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"The fact of the matter is the game is not ready and we want to take a little more time." With those words, a sober Jason Hall, senior vice president of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment informed GameSpot that the massively multiplayer online role-playing game built around the Matrix universe has been delayed.

Most recently slated to release on January 18, 2005, the title will now launch sometime in the spring of 2005, according to Hall. How will WBIE use the extra time? Not only will the Monolith development team continue to work on the game (the beta remains ongoing, Hall confirmed), but also, according to Hall, "we're going to invest further in The Matrix Online community and provide more events."

Specifically, Hall said that Warner Bros. Interactive had entered into an agreement with DC Comics to produce a "fanzine" that will base its content on the activities of the Matrix Online gamer. The fanzine will "completely focus on The Matrix Online, and more importantly, the users," Hall said. More specific information on the exact form the fanzine will take will be disseminated through the game's Web site and to players in the beta. The addition of DC Comics as a partner in bringing the Matrix world to life is a first for the two parties, serving to take some of the sting away from the delay news, Hall suggested.

Regarding the delay, Hall said the team at Monolith was fully prepared to meet the January 17 launch date, but "ultimately it was WBIE that made the assessment" and kept the game in the shop for further work. "We're going to do the right things," Hall said today, "to be a studio that makes the right decisions for the product and for the consumer."

Saying that, more than anything, the delay "was more about giving Monolith a little more time to cross the t's and dot the i's," Hall did say the decision to delay the release was "difficult."

The Monolith team remains at work on F.E.A.R. as well as other unannounced titles.

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