Santa Monica, CA - October 30, 2002 - Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that it has been named master videogame licensee for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events", the best-selling children's book series that is in development for a feature film by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The license grants Activision the exclusive right to develop and publish products for all video game consoles, handheld platforms and the PC based on the franchise, A Series of Unfortunate Events.
"Activision is extremely excited to create a series of interactive games based on the incredibly rich world of Lemony Snicket," said Ron Doornink, President of Activision, Inc. "The book series has captured the imagination of readers worldwide and we look forward to working closely with Nickelodeon to bring the magic of the film to life through the video games."
"We are very excited about partnering with Activision on this unique and special property," added Steve Youngwood, Vice President of Media Products at Nickelodeon. "They are a leading video company who has a proven ability to market and develop high quality and successful titles against major movie releases."
The Lemony Snicket series has been published in 29 languages with more than 6.3 million books in circulation in the United States alone. The books have rocketed up and stayed atop national best-seller lists in several countries creating a global literary phenomenon. The ninth book in the series, "The Carnivorous Carnival", was released yesterday and early reviews indicate that the book is on track for a best-selling holiday season.
In the neo-gothic tradition of Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl, A Series of Unfortunate Events chronicles the misadventures of the Baudelaires, three savvy and resilient orphans in search of a home. From Chapter 1 of "The Bad Beginning" -- the first of 13 books in the Harper Collins Publisher series -- the kids find themselves abruptly orphaned, and taken in by the villainous Count Olaf who has designs on their inheritance. While disaster lurks at every corner, the children are clever and enterprising enough to stay one step ahead of their comic nemesis. In the new book, "The Carnivorous Carnival", the siblings must confront a terrible lie, an ambidextrous person, a caravan and Chabo, the wolf baby.
Each one of the eight books in A Series of Unfortunate Events has reached the New York Times list of children's best sellers including "The Bad Beginning", "The Reptile Room", "The Wide Window", "The Miserable Mill", "The Austere Academy", "The Ersatz Elevator", "The Vile Village" and "The Hostile Hospital". HarperCollins also published the #1 New York Times best-selling title "Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography", which chronicles the unfortunate life of the author. More than five million Snicket books have sold since the release of the first book.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted revenues of $786 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at www.activision.com.
Nickelodeon, now in its 23rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines, music and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 86 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for seven consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements". The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Activision's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. These important factors, and other factors that could affect Activision, are described in Activision's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings.
Sara Stern Levin