NEWS March 2001
March 2001 – Sega’s intentions as a third-party developer are revealed, Konami delivers a great PS2 game and Jeff Minter backs another hardware winner. Join Nick Thorpe for a trip back in time to the age of Napster…
Just after midnight on 4 March, a car bomb exploded outside the BBC Television Centre in London, seriously injuring one person. Staff had been evacuated following a coded warning message, and police were trying to perform a controlled explosion. The attack was linked to a series of bombings by a dissident Irish republican paramilitary group, the Real IRA.
The Russian space station Mir was disposed of on 23 March, re-entering the atmosphere and burning up over the South Pacific. The station had been a pioneering work when launched by the Soviet Union in 1986 – it was the world’s first modular space station, and eventually became the first to be continuously inhabited for a long period of time.
Also on 23 March, the World Wrestling Federation purchased its long-time rival World Championship Wrestling from AOL Time Warner. WCW had been the dominant force in the business from 1996 to 1998, drawing higher TV ratings. However, the company had failed to create new stars and storyline quality sharply fell during 1999. The WWF picked up contracts for 20 WCW wrestlers including Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page for an undisclosed sum, and acquired the trademarks and tape library for just $4.2 million – less than the annual salary
WCW was paying its top stars like Hulk Hogan and Goldberg.