''Riana Rouge'' -- Playmate-turned-computer geek Gillian Bonner talks about the trials and tribulations of getting her game on the market

By Gary Eng Walk
Updated April 03, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

The Playboy mansion seems right for the launch of an erotic CD-ROM game, but when you consider the costly delays in bringing Riana Rouge to market, the Taj Mahal — a symbol of wasteful extravagance — might have been more appropriate. Riana‘s birth was a real pain-athon, according to Playmate-turned-computer geek Gillian Bonner, 32: ”We went through every possible problem that could come up in a production.” Rouge, a risque adventure starring Bonner as a gunslinging babe, took 2 1/2 years to make. An alliance with one distributor went sour. Then there was the losing battle with the software rating board to downgrade the game’s ”A” adult designation, which bars it from being sold in mainstream stores like Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, about 25,000 copies have sold (list price: $49.99) since the disc’s release in December — tiny by mainstream CD-ROM standards; hefty considering that Bonner has sold 2,000 of the discs at her own site (www.blackdragon.com). ”The fact we got through [it] is a miracle in itself,” she says. ”In my mind, it’s already a hit.”