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More Than 100,000 People per Day Playing Single-Player Games On the MSN Gaming Zone

Five New Click-and-Play Games Getting High Traffic From a Work Audience

REDMOND, Wash. -- April 6, 2000 -- To the chagrin of bosses around the globe, Microsoft Corp. today announced that the MSN™ Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com/) has an average of more than 100,000 unique users per day accessing its recently launched single-player games. Much of the access to these games is occurring during daytime hours, which suggests that people are playing the five new free* games from work PCs.

The new single-player games offer office workers, who may not be able to access multiplayer games behind corporate firewalls, the chance for some gaming stress-relief on the Net. The Zone, which recently received PC Magazine's prestigious Editor's Choice award as the best online gaming site, has traditionally been accessed from home PCs.

"The MSN Gaming Zone gives office workers a fun, quick way to escape workday pressures and relax on the job," said Dean Hachamovitch, product unit manager for the MSN Gaming Zone at Microsoft. "Because the new single-player games are easy to get into - even if you're at work behind a firewall - and simple to play, they will provide an entertaining diversion for people who just want to hop online and play a quick game between more serious projects."

The five new games represent two of the most popular categories in online gaming: card games and puzzle games. Visitors to the Zone can now take a mental coffee break and try their hands at the following:

  • Blackjack. The casino classic lets closet card sharks raise the stakes and bet against the house without losing their shirts. They can practice for Vegas, or just pretend it's real money.
  • Blender. Players must unscramble the photographs to recreate the image before their time runs out.
  • Symbolic Link. Players highlight matching blocks to clear the game board; the more they clear, the higher their score. But those last few blocks are tough.
  • Speed Waster. Players race against the clock to build colored stacks and watch them disappear before their eyes. The faster the players stack, the more points they earn.
  • Double Trouble. Players must connect matching tiles to clear the board. It looks easy, but the clock is the enemy; the fastest solution here is not always a straight line.
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