Sony Online Ent. & Virgin Comics to create 'Ramayan' video games

MUMBAI: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), global online gaming player, has teamed up with Sir Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra‘s Virgin Comics to bring the India-based Ramayan 3392 A.D. comic book universe to life as an MMO video game initially for the PC.

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 filmmaker and Virgin Comics co-founder Shekhar Kapur, informs an official announcement made by the company.


The deal was announced by SOE president John Smedley and Virgin Comics co-founder and CEO Sharad Devarajan.

"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 re-affirms 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."

"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 R?m?yana is particularly gripping, graphically brilliant and lends itself extremely well to an MMO," said Smedley. "This 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."

Virgin Comics‘ Ramayan 3392 A.D., initially released as a comic in late 2006, re-imagines one of India‘s greatest epics into a futuristic realm. Virgin Comics chief creative officer Gotham Chopra 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, honour, sacrifice, and fraternity while also mining uniquely Indian ideas like karma."

Devarajan 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 likeminded visionaries at SOE, our young Indian creators will make gaming history worldwide."

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