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Acclaim CEO Optimistic About Future
Rod Cousens focuses on global market, reincarnation of NBA Jam
 
Acclaim's new Global President and COO Rod Cousens believes the secret to success is simple. "My vision for Acclaim," he explained, "is to become a global organization that consistently delivers quality products that innovate and capture market share, captivate consumers, and, most important, financially perform against a business plan that is both strategic and open to taking measured risks."
 
The longtime industry veteran feels the changing dynamics in Asia and the United States make it crucial for Acclaim to focus on the global picture. "It's now time for Western development to show it can design and develop games that appeal to the Japanese market. We've experienced this with All-Star Baseball 2004, and are optimistic we can expand our presence in the emerging Asian markets." Cousens went on to add, "The common future trend is connectivity, and it is on the fast track in Asia."
 
Leading Acclaim's product charge are three games currently in development: NBA Jam, Alias, and Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance.
 
Scheduled for an October release on PS2 and Xbox, NBA Jam features the players and arenas of every NBA team, along with 50-plus NBA greats such as Magic Johnson and Dr. J. A special Legends Tournament lets hoopsters take a digital journey through the history of the NBA from the '50s to the '90s, complete with authentic music, uniforms, hairstyles, commentary, and special moves. In traditional NBA Jam style, over-the-top dunks, shot-blocking, and special features like Big Head mode will be emphasized in this fast-paced revival.
 
Cousens is equally excited about Alias, a third-person action-adventure for PS2 and Xbox that puts gamers in the role of sexy, cunning CIA agent Sydney Bristow. Featuring an original story and script from the writers of the popular ABC television series, Alias (scheduled for release this fall) will strive to mimic the show's drama, action, and mystery through a series of combat, stealth, and time-based missions that span the globe. The goal: to locate and capture Arvin Sloane, mastermind of the criminal organization SD-6.
 
Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance is an original title set in the year 106 A.D., as the Roman Empire is fading. Craving violence and entertainment, Emperor Arruntius stages the largest gladiator event imaginable. Xbox, PS2 (in Europe only), and PC gamers will step into the role of one such warrior and fight for their lives. Combat will be multifaceted, entailing multiple objectives and tactics and involving a large variety of historical and mythic weapons. Acclaim promises a rich mix of combat, adventure, and even classic history and mythology in Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance, scheduled for release this fall.
 
-by George Jones
 
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