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Atari Announces DBZ: Budokai 2
August 20, 2003

A thrilling new addition to the Dragon Ball Z® series is coming to the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system, Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) announced today.  Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai(tm) 2 will feature never seen before character fusions, a new single player mode, opponents new to the video game world and "Toriyama shading," a new and unique style of shading coined after the original author of the Dragon Ball series, Akira Toriyama.  A sequel to the best-selling Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai(tm) game, Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai(tm) 2 is currently in production by developer Dimps, and is scheduled to ship in December 2003.


"The Dragon Ball Z® video game franchise has achieved significant success and fan status because they invite fans to 'play the show'," said Nancy MacIntyre, vice president of marketing for Atari's Beverly studio.  "Budokai(tm) 2 will once again demonstrate Atari's ongoing commitment to delivering fresh and compelling interactive entertainment."


"Atari continues to captivate fans by letting them participate in an authentically recreated, Dragon Ball Z® universe, including all of the most compelling story lines and memorable characters, said Gen Fukunaga, president of FUNimation Productions.  "With surprising gameplay features and graphics enhancements, Budokai(tm) 2 looks to set a new standard of DBZ® video game excellence."


With highly detailed Toriyama shaded graphics, Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai(tm) 2 features 34 of the toughest, most seasoned heroes and villains from throughout the Dragon Ball Z® sagas.  The World Games through the Kid Buu sagas of the Dragon Ball Z® animated series are "all new" in the Budokai(tm) 2 experience.  Players can battle in eight highly destructive arenas covering four gameplay modes, including Versus, Tournament, Training and the all-new, single-player experience, Dragon Mode, where players join forces with a team of AI-controlled DBZ® fighters on a quest to capture all seven Dragon Balls.  Fans can perform fusions - the combination of two fighters into one, taken directly from the animated series - and play as the mighty villain Buu(tm), who appears in three forms, Maijin Buu, Super Buu and Kid Buu.


Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai(tm) 2 follows on the heels of its successful predecessor, which has sold more than 1.1 million units in North America alone.  As of June 2003, the partnership between Atari and FUNimation has resulted in Dragon Ball Z® video game sales totaling over 3 million units and $110 million in the U.S. (Data according to the NPD Group, Inc.).


The Dragon Ball brand has generated over $3 billion in worldwide licensed merchandise - a number that few animated series can compete with.  It is among the top-rated series on Cartoon Network and was the number-one rated show among all U.S. cable TV programs for 'tweens 9-14, boys 9-14 and men 12-24 during 2002 season's launch line-up.  For the second consecutive year, "Dragon Ball" was the most searched-for term on the Internet according to Lycos.

Reported By: Jared Black
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