Press Release: 1997-03-04: SegaSoft Announces HEAT at Consumer Online Services IV Conference
From Sega Retro
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Original source: SegaSoft (archived)
NEW YORK (March 4, 1997)-SegaSoft President and COO Gary Griffiths announced HEAT.NET (http://www.heat.net), SegaSoft's widely anticipated online gaming network, today at CONSUMER ONLINE SERVICES IV, an annual conference sponsored by Jupiter Communications. Speaking before an audience of industry analysts and executives, Griffiths outlined SegaSoft's overall online strategy and demonstrated several key features of HEAT.NET, the company's innovative new Web-based multiplayer gaming environment. At the conference, Griffiths revealed HEAT's distinction as the only online game network to allow participants to play virtually any multiplayer game, utilizing either RipX, SegaSoft's proprietary IPX technology that enables broad compatibility, or Mpath Interactive's technology for high performance, low latency game play. Both technologies will be available to HEAT.NET members on the network. Griffiths also identified SegaSoft's business model for bringing online gaming to the mass market. HEAT games will be fully integrated with advertising, online sales and community-building features to deliver an immersive, competitive online experience. Customer loyalty will be reinforced and rewarded with Degrees-HEAT bonus points redeemable for goods and services throughout the site. HEAT Membership SegaSoft plans to offer two separate membership levels. A no-cost entry-level membership will allow access to most games, e-mail, chat rooms, advertising and other common areas. Premium membership will afford access to more features and exclusive games, special events including tournament play with prizes, and live customer service. Advertisers will benefit from HEAT's verified and targeted market of 18- to 34-year-old males. HEAT will offer a variety of delivery options to advertisers. They include one-on-one marketing, direct response marketing, sponsorships and integration of ad messages into game content. Virgin Records On Board Griffiths also announced that SegaSoft has reached an agreement with Virgin Records to co-market and cross-promote goods and services to HEAT members. Further details of the agreement will be announced in coming days, said Griffiths. HEAT Network Technology HEAT will be delivered nationwide across a low latency (high speed) network enabled by network technologies developed by Mpath Interactive, a company which SegaSoft parent company CSK acquired a stake in last year. SegaSoft's participation in the Mpath Foundation also secures dedicated Mpath servers to host the network. RipX IPX technology complements fast game play on HEAT.NET by extending its compatibility to create a virtual LAN environment to allow use of almost any multiplayer PC game. Initial gaming content will feature four new SegaSoft titles developed exclusively for release on HEAT. These include NetFighter, the first hand-to-hand fighting game created specifically for Internet play. Net Fighter's crisp action results from game design that embraces latency issues previously thought to prohibit one-on-one combat online. Now in closed beta testing, HEAT will begin open consumer beta testing in early April. (Beta testers are invited to sign up at http://www.heat.net). SegaSoft will launch the service nationally later this spring. About SegaSoft SegaSoft was founded in 1995 and develops interactive software and content for PC's and the Internet. A joint venture of CSK Corporation and Sega of America, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the $4 billion Sega Enterprises Ltd., a global leader in interactive digital entertainment media, SegaSoft is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., where it employs 130 people. For more information on SegaSoft, please visit http://www.segasoft.com.