CUC INTERNATIONAL INC. ANNOUNCES ALL-ENCOMPASING INTERNET GAMING SITE
Free online gaming site now in joint development by industry's top consumer software companies
Stamford, CT, December 8, 1997 -- CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU) announced today the public beta launch of its new Internet gaming site: the World Opponent Network (WON), located at https://www.won.net on the World Wide Web. The site, which is a free online gaming environment with offerings for the new online gamer as well as the seasoned online veteran, promises to be a mega-gaming and entertainment site featuring the combined talents of CUC's industry-leading software companies: Sierra, Impressions, Dynamix, Papyrus, Synergistics and Berkeley Systems, as well as games and editorial content from third-party providers.
CUC International's software division is the number one publisher of entertainment software with 18.3% of the market in dollars and 16.7% of the market in units for January through September 1997, according to PC Data. With the combined sales of other CUC owned software companies, including Davidson & Associates, Blizzard Entertainment, Gryphon Software, and Knowledge Adventure, CUC is the leading publisher of consumer software in North America.
"Our goal with WON is to be the most inclusive and inviting entertainment site on the World Wide Web, with free delivery of multi-player gaming just the initial part of the plan," says Bill Moore, President of the World Opponent Network. "In addition to offering top selling games such as Lords of the Realm II and Outpost 2: Divided Destiny, our long-term strategy is to go beyond gaming to include entertainment for the entire family."
Moore continued. "We are actively pursuing relationships with both third-party content providers, game developers, and marketing partners. Our beta release represents an early vision of the concept, but we expect some refinements in the months ahead based on feedback from our users and strategic partners."
Walter Forbes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CUC International added, "CUC has always focused on interactive delivery of consumer services. We will aggressively aggregate content as necessary to become the site that people think of first whenever they think of Internet entertainment."
At announcement of beta release, WON will feature over 20 games playable through the World Opponent Network, with enabling software available in millions of retail packaged products in coming months. (See complete list below) WON plans to have more than 40 games from major developers live and playable before launch in the spring of 1998.
The World Opponent Network is one of a growing list of CUC online business ventures. CUC already operates industry leading membership services like netMarket, Shoppers Advantage, Travelers Advantage and Rent Net. WON is the most recent launch in a series of online gaming channels that currently includes the critically acclaimed Battle.net and Bezerk interactive gaming networks.
WON can be accessed at https://www.won.net.
Following is a list of games that can be activated as of the December 1 beta
launch date (NOTE: although the service is free, players must have purchased
the actual CD-ROM versions of the following games to connect and play),
Shivers 2, Birthright, Outpost 2: Divided Destiny,
Also, gamers may participate in one of three free online only games (which do not require the pre-purchase of a CD-ROM): YOU DON'T KNOW JACK the netshow, YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Sports the netshow and Acrophobia by accessing Berkeley Systems' successful https://www.bezerk.com, which will be linked to https://www.won.net.
CUC International is the leading membership-based, consumer services company that currently provides approximately 73 million consumers access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, financial and other services worldwide through its more than 20 membership programs including netMarket, Travelers Advantage, Entertainment, AutoVantage and other brands. In May, the Company announced that it would merge with HFS Inc. (NYSE: HFS), a leading franchiser of brand-name hotels, residential real estate and car rental operations with such well-known brands as Days Inn, Resort Condominiums International, Ramada, Coldwell Banker and Century 21. The merger is expected to close in December.
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