THE PALACE TO EXPAND ON VIRTUAL WORLD CHAT
FOR THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Intel, Time Warner and Softbank Invest in the New Company
BURBANK, Calif. (July 1, 1996) -- The Palace, Inc. (http://www.thepalace.com), announced today its formation as a new private corporation. Investors in the company are Intel, Softbank and Warner Music Group, a division of Time Warner, Inc.
Originally a project of Time Warner Interactive, The Palace virtual world chat software was released on the World Wide Web in November, 1995. Since then, more than 100,000 client versions have been downloaded and over 1,000 commercial and home-hosted Palace communities have been established online.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however no company will have a controlling interest in The Palace. Leveraging the distributed architecture and multi-platform capabilities of The Palace, the new venture plans to strengthen its position in the burgeoning virtual world market area by adding Intel's network multimedia technology and other enhancements to the software.
Mike Maerz, formerly vice president of Intel's Internet and Communications Group, has been named president and chief executive officer. Mr. Maerz had previously founded and managed Intel's Network Products Division. Several other Intel employees have also left to join The Palace management team.
"The next 'Killer App.' is use of the Internet for online socialization," said Maerz. "The Palace enhances the Internet experience, taking it beyond browsing and into the creation of true online multimedia communities."
Jim Bumgardner and Mark Jeffrey, who created and designed The Palace at Time Warner Interactive, have joined the new company as chief technology officer and director of commercial marketing, respectively.
"Intel and Softbank bring very strong relationships, technology and marketing expertise to The Palace," said Jeffrey. "Mike Maerz and the experienced team he has assembled will further heighten our ability to realize the full potential of The Palace."
In addition to Maerz, Intel managers joining the company include Ash Gupte, formerly business development manager at Intel and now vice president of business development for The Palace. Ted Forgeron, former engineering manager in Intel's Internet and Communications Group, is director of PC product line engineering. Gary Whitney, former marketing manager at Intel, is director of PC product line marketing.
The Palace is a complimentary technology to Web browsers and provides real-time interactivity between people. Users can create their own appearances, or avatars, by importing photos and graphics or selecting from a suitcase of "props" included in the software.
Once inside a Palace environment, or server, it is possible to see and talk with other people in the same space. Users can move between "rooms," talk privately, make sounds and change avatars as they move throughout any Palace environment. Unlocking the server software allows anyone to create their own Palace for the PC, Mac and UNIX platforms.
Several high profile entertainment companies have already created Palace servers to address the needs of their online audiences, including Capitol Records, Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Television, Sony Pictures and MTV. Other popular Palace servers include The Net magazine, Stim, The Tunnel Nightclub, SonicNet and Ralph Lauren.
"The Palace is natural extension of our Web site and has become a valuable part of our overall online strategy," said Liz Heller, senior vice president, new media at Capitol Records. Capitol was the first recording label, and The Jesus Lizard the first band, to ever create a Palace server for promotional and communication purposes.
A free demo version of The Palace is available from its Web site, located at www.thepalace.com. Enhanced features such as customizable avatars and user scripting can be unlocked by registering The Palace software at a cost of $25.
For more information about The Palace, contact InterActive Agency at (310) xxx-xxxx.
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InterActive Agency, Inc. - http://www.presscontact.com/iagency was an online marketing, public relations, and advertising firm. We specialized in driving traffic to Web sites and increasing product downloads. Our companies list server provided up-to-the-minute news on our cutting-edge clientele and projects.