3DO Co has reconfirmed its focus in the online games market after the sell-off of the full rights to use its M2 interactive graphics processing technology to Matsushita Electric Industrial Co at the end of last month and the sale of its hardware systems business to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for $20m back in May. The Redwood City, California-based company has announced three new product releases and fleshed out details of its new pricing model. It plans two new releases of its flagship online game Meridian 59 and development of Might and Magic On-line. Meridian 59 Revelation is due out in October, offering new areas for advanced players to explore and Meridian 59 Renaissance is due in six months, featuring a major upgrade in the graphics quality of the whole Meridian world, the company said. Might and Magic On- line will be out in 18 months. 3DO will continue to operate its own Meridian 59 internet servers via a new pricing system based on a sessions model to be brought in next month. Customers will be able to play for a 24-hour period for $2.49. One week of sessions will be capped at $7.47. 3DO is scrapping the current $14.95 activation fee and will reduce the monthly minimum cost by 50%. To expand distribution for its online products, 3DO has entered into an agreement with its first server licensee, Computec, and is currently negotiating with the Kesmai Corp to distribute Meridian 59 through Kesmai’s subsidiaries Aries Online Games and Game Storm. Computec is Germany’s largest publisher of gaming magazines and will launch a fully localized version of Meridian 59 this October. Aries On-line Games and Game Storm have a customer reach of 13 million on-line users and are carried by America Online, CSI, Prodigy, AT&T WorldNet, EarthLink, Concentric, and Delphi.
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