The Digital Village

Christina Erskine, Bastion, London, England, tel: +44 (0)171 490 1323
Walter Walker, VP Director, Sales and Marketing, Simon & Schuster Interactive

The Digital Village and Simon & Schuster Interactive Announce New CD-ROM Game:

NEW YORK, May 16, 1997 -- The Digital Village and Simon & Schuster Interactive, the consumer multimedia publishing unit of Simon & Schuster, will co-publish Starship Titanic, an original CD-ROM adventure game from best-selling science fiction author Douglas Adams. Adams, whose book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an international #1 best-selling cult classic, is Chief Fantasist at The Digital Village.

Starship Titanic will be released in the first quarter of 1998.

This is Simon & Schuster Interactive's second major deal with a #1 best-selling author to publish original fiction for the CD-ROM format. In November, 1996, the software publisher released Tom Clancy SSN, a CD-ROM combat/strategy game, co-produced with Clancy Interactive Entertainment and Virtus Corp.

"This agreement with Douglas Adams is another example of innovative collaborations between top authors and Simon & Schuster on multimedia projects," said Jack Romanos, President of Simon & Schuster's Consumer Group.

"I really wanted to originate an adventure game for CD-ROM," commented Douglas Adams. "So many works adapted from books or television shows are very linear. With Starship Titanic, I am very conscious of recalling into this medium some of the complex interaction between author and user that was characteristic of the early adventure games, but which got lost when the medium progressed technologically and more creative attention was focused on the graphics. Our graphics are fabulous, but our character interactions are fabulous as well."

"Our joint venture is a multiple media endeavor, in which both partners share in the development of all ancillary products derived from the game, including potential books, film and television projects. Douglas Adams is the name both behind and on the Starship Titanic products. We are excited for the future of this ever-evolving franchise," says Gilles Dana, VP, General Manager of Simon & Schuster Interactive.

In the US, Crown Publishers plan to release a tie-in novel simultaneously with the game, and Ballantine Books will release a strategy guide. Both Crown and Ballantine are divisions of Random House. Macmillan Publishers Ltd and Pan Paperbacks will publish both books in the UK.

Starship Titanic promises to deliver the same wild humour in a galactic setting that has earned Adams millions of fans. There is no CD-ROM game remotely like it...

Simon & Schuster Interactive, based in New York, is the consumer software publishing unit of Simon & Schuster Consumer Group. The three-year old division currently has 40 CD-ROM titles on the market and has 15 new products scheduled to release in 1997.

Simon & Schuster Inc., the publishing operation of Viacom Inc., is the world's largest educational, computer book and English language book publisher. With operations in 43 countries and book and multimedia product distributed in 150 countries, its imprints include Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Interactive, Simon & Schuster Audio, Pocket Books, Scribner, The Free Press, Prentice Hall, Silver Burdett Ginn, Allyn & Bacon, Computer Curriculum Corporation, Educational Management Group and Macmillan Publishing USA.

The Digital Village is a London-based content company focused on the creation of a global online transaction business, selling interactive entertainment and information experiences to a world wide audience. TDV is currently developing its first Internet-based project -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a next-generation Internet Guide. TDV has also signed an agreement to develop Avatar Forest, a low-cost, long-running one hour drama series for Disney/ABC which will in turn generate a 3D Virtual World based on the series.

Viacom is one of the world's largest entertainment and publishing companies and a leading force in nearly every segment of the international media marketplace. The operations of Viacom include Blockbuster video and music, MTV Networks, Paramount Parks, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Showtime Networks, Simon & Schuster, radio and television stations, and movie screens in 11 countries. Viacom also has a majority interest in Spelling Entertainment Group, as well as a half-interest in Comedy Central, and USA Networks, including the Sci-Fi Channel. National Amusements, Inc., a closely held corporation which operates approximately 1,100 screens in the US, UK and South America, is the parent company of Viacom. More information about Viacom is available at the company's web site located at


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