The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Breeders' Cup Ltd. and Magmic., announced the launch Wednesday of the first officially-licensed horseracing wireless video game in North America."Breeders' Cup 2004," is available through NTRA marketing partner Nextel, directly from Magmic at its website, www.magmic.com, or through www.ntra.com. It can be played on most color cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The game will sell for $6.99 on most carriers."Breeders' Cup 2004" combines several elements of Thoroughbred horseracing to create an engaging, entertaining gaming experience," the NTRA release stated.Players may purchase, train, and race their own Thoroughbred racehorses and may also place simulated wagers (for entertainment purposes only) on races using a wagering application designed to resemble a typical on-track self-serve wagering machine."This game has the potential to have far-reaching impact for Thoroughbred racing and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Ltd. "We're delighted that the Breeders' Cup has joined the burgeoning wireless environment in such a promising way."McKay Smith, NTRA director of product development, added: "Our goal was to incorporate as many real elements of Thoroughbred racing as possible while keeping the game highly entertaining for the uninitiated," said "This represents a terrific brand extension opportunity for the Breeders' Cup and a valuable fan education and player development vehicle for the industry.""Breeders' Cup 2004" is timed to the current Thoroughbred racing year, beginning in January and concluding on Oct. 30, when the 21st Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be held at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, a suburb of Dallas. In the game's initial application, players may enter their horses in, or place simulated wagers on, races from as many as 17 NTRA member racetracks, with the ultimate goal being to own a horse that is capable of running in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Players can accomplish this by developing their horse's championship level ability through performance in races throughout the year, or by simply purchasing a talented horse from assets gained through wagering.A second generation version of "Breeders' Cup 2004" incorporating such elements as multi-player functionality that will enable players from all over the world to race against each other, will be available in early fall, and an Internet version of the game is also planned for rollout sometime thereafter.
In addition to the launch on Nextel, "Breeders' Cup 2004" will soon be available through more than 25 domestic and international wireless carriers. Those scheduled to receive the game this year include: Cingular and T-Mobile in the U.S. and Europe; Telus and Rogers in Canada; HKCSL in Hong Kong; 02 in Europe; China Mobile; Star Hub in Singapore and Telstra in Australia. Other domestic and international carriers will receive the game beginning in 2005."Breeders' Cup 2004," in development since last February, is a joint production of the NTRA and Magmic, a leading studio and publisher of wireless games based in Ottawa, Canada. "Magmic is thrilled to be working with the NTRA, bringing to wide audiences around the world all the fun and excitement of horseracing at consumers' fingertips," said Phil Giroux, executive producer at Magmic. "This is one of the coolest wireless game out there, and future versions of the game currently in development will provide even more action, fun and excitement, with live multiplayer races and other online features."Magmic and the NTRA intend to introduce new versions of the game every 8-10 months. Among the features being developed for future versions are the ability to own a multi-horse stable, inclusion of additional NTRA member racetracks and additional handicapping variables to enhance the wagering experience.