Time Warner Electronic Publishing is flexing its muscle in the online gaming arena.

The company has just released “Modus Operandi,” a text-based mystery developed with Simutronics Corp. in conjunction with Mysterious Press, a Warner Books entity. The game is available on Genie and is set to be released on Prodigy and America Online this month.

Players using different online services will have the ability to compete against one another. Time Warner said it is the first online game with cross-service playability.

“We don’t want to be exclusive to any one service,” TW Electronic Publishing director Andrew Lerner said. “It’s very important for the game world to be populated.”

In a more visual direction, TWEP last week launched “S.P. Q.R.,” a vidgame created with 3-D rendering technology. Set in the Roman Empire, “S.P. Q.R.” can be accessed on TWEP’s web site, Pathfinder (http://pathfinder. com/twep/rome). Lerner said new story elements frequently will be added to the site.

TWEP also has struck up an alliance with Learn Technologies Interactive, headed by Luyen Chou. Learn Technologies is developing “Qin,” a puzzle game set at an ancient Chinese burial mound, with Hollywood and Gotham production company R/GA. The game, to be distributed by TWEP, is due out in November.

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