Sony Online Ent. (SOE) is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra's Virgin Comics to bring the India-based RAMAYAN 3392 A.D. comicbook universe to PCs via an MMO videogame.
"RAMAYAN has inspired the lives of millions of people through the ages. The re-imagining of this great ancient epic through the creativity of a game platform reaffirms the fact that RAMAYAN is one of the greatest stories ever told," said Chopra. "The fact that the same creative team of young Indians that created the story will be involved in working with SOE's game development team, is a testament to the innovative and mythic minds of these gifted Indian creators who will take a new generation to new frontiers across the seas of consciousness into new realms of mystery, magic, adventure and transformation."
Through this exclusive multi-year, worldwide license agreement, SOE will develop and publish an MMO based on Ramayan's story of mythological lore. Virgin Comics will serve as a creative consultant on the project. Virgin's creative involvement with SOE's game development team will be spearheaded by its president and head, Suresh Seetharaman, who has also overseen the development of the comic series. Also involved is acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, a co-founder of Virgin Comics.
"Virgin Comics approached us with a portfolio of amazing comic properties based on Indian lore. We particularly love RAMAYAN 3392 A.D., as we feel Virgin Comics' telling of the RAMAYANA is particularly gripping, graphically brilliant and lends itself extremely well to an MMO," said John Smedley, president of SOE. "This is a fantastic time for us to expand our games to include this culturally rich storyline and we are honored to do this with a diversified, creative and experienced company like Virgin Comics."
Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics' chief creative officer, commented, "While many of the characters and settings remain familiar to the original lore, we never intended to re-tell the story, but essentially use it as the key inspiration for something fresh. What remains intact to our story are some of the core universal themes like duty, honor, sacrifice and fraternity, while also mining uniquely Indian ideas like karma and the malleability of time itself. To bring all of these ideas into a game with SOE is just awesome."
Sharad Devarajan, co-founder/CEO of Virgin Comics, concluded, "In a world increasingly dominated with games influenced by a western Tolkien mythos, RAMAYAN will offer gamers a chance to experience a whole new universe of characters and archetypes derived from one of the oldest cultures on Earth. Our mission at Virgin Comics has always been to allow this generation of Indian youth to have a creative platform through which to speak to the world. Through this collaboration with the like-minded visionaries at SOE, our young Indian creators will make gaming history worldwide."
For more information on Virgin Comics, visit www.VirginComics.com.