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Microsoft Flies Into E3 With New Versions Of Popular PC Game Titles

Company Press Release
May 9, 2000, 2:18 pm GMT

REDMOND, Wash. - May 9, 2000 - Coming off of a successful 1999 season as one of the fastest-growing PC game companies, Microsoft Corp. arrives at next week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles with new versions of its popular PC games and innovative titles that have already received industry praise as sure-fire hits. From fall and holiday 2000 releases such as "Combat Flight Simulator 2", "MechWarrior(tm)" and "Links(tm) LS 2001" to next year's lineup, which includes "Dungeon Siege" and "FreeLancer," the company moves further toward its goal of becoming the worldwide games leader.

"The slate of PC games we're bringing to E3 2000 is our strongest ever," stated Ed Fries, vice president of Microsoft's Games Division. "Our commitment to gamers worldwide is reflected in our work with some of the best developers in the industry -- including Chris Roberts, Alex Garden, Chris Taylor and Bruce Shelley -- in addition to our strong pool of in-house talent led by Jordan Weisman."

At this year's show, Microsoft will demo some of its most anticipated products for 2000:

· "Combat Flight Simulator 2: WWII Pacific Theater." The second in the hit CFS series soars beyond flight simulation by allowing players to feel what it was like to be a young pilot fighting in the fiercest air battles of the World War II Pacific theater. Extensive realism guides this tour, from the advice of former U.S. and Japanese pilots right down to the chipped paint and bullet holes in classic planes such as the American Corsair and Wildcat as well as the Japanese Zero and George. Scheduled availability: 2000 holiday season.

· "MechWarrior." For the first time in the 16-year-old BattleTech universe, the player isn't a grunt private, but rather the commanding hero in the center of a complex story of betrayal, revenge and honor. Tearing through tundra forests and icy arctic worlds are more than 20 giant 80-ton war machines, all of which can be customized with new weapons, armor and sensors. More than 30 unique missions keep the tactical thinking and adrenaline flowing. Scheduled availability: 2000 holiday season.

· "Crimson Skies(tm)." "Crimson Skies" is a fictional adventure title set in 1937 that centers on a dashing air pirate who always gets the girl. The most popular game this year at Microsoft's Gamestock event, it tempts players to steal the Spruce Goose and buzz the movie lots of the Nation of Hollywood or rescue damsels in distress while seeking the lost treasure of Sir Francis Drake. Twelve other exotic fighting planes can be commandeered for more than 24 fast-paced missions. Scheduled availability: September 2000.

· "Age of Empires® II: The Conquerors." With five new civilizations, four new historically based campaigns and 25 new technologies, the latest in the "Age of Empires" series offers a worthy descendent to the best-selling PC game of the 1999 holiday season. The richest, deepest Age of Empires expansion pack ever created, "The Conquerors" lets players turn a tiny village into a mighty empire in a real-time strategy game set in the Middle Ages. Players relive the epic reigns of Attila the Hun, Montezuma, El Cid and other well-known rulers. Scheduled availability: September 2000.

· "Links LS 2001." The most extensive upgrade ever in the 10-year history of "Links," this tee-to-pin challenge offers the highest level of realism ever. From the golfers themselves to over 2,000 unique pieces of vegetation, gamers can see the time and care spent re-creating every detail. The Arnold Palmer Course Designer Architect lets PC golfers re-create their own home courses with the same vivid detail. Scheduled availability: fall 2000.

· "Motocross Madness(tm) 2." The sequel to PC Gamer's 1998 "Racing Game of the Year," "Motocross Madness 2" brings extreme action to 40 indoor and outdoor tracks, from the Bank One Arena in Phoenix to the jungle of Costa Rica, co-designed by pro-rider Stephane Roncada. Gamers can choose from 16 licensed bikes in environments where the photorealism also pushes the extreme. Top 100 rankings are updated daily on Microsoft's Zone.com. Scheduled availability: June 2000.

Other 2000 titles to be shown at E3 include the following:

· "Allegiance(tm)." An Internet-only space combat game with incomparable online graphics and a variety of team roles. Currently available.

· "Baseball 2001." The first PC-based baseball game that combines the features of the award-winning Baseball Mogul simulation technology. Currently available.

· "Casino." Ten popular casino games that challenge players to improve their skills and earn the chance to win virtual tickets to see real Las Vegas shows. Scheduled availability: fall 2000.

· "Conquest: Frontier Wars." A visually stunning 3-D real-time game of galactic domination and deep strategy. Scheduled availability: 2000 holiday season.

· "Loose Cannon." An action game combining intense, mercenary-style action on foot and in vehicles, with mission choices from hostage rescues to assassinations. Scheduled availability: 2000 holiday season.

· "MechCommander(tm) 2." A 3-D real-time strategy game of power, tactics and treachery set in the popular BattleTech Universe, in which players command a company of mercenary MechWarriors. Scheduled availability: early 2001.

· "Metal Gear Solid." The heralded console "Game of the Year" that captures the flavor of a true espionage adventure and debuts on the PC platform. Scheduled availability: September 2000.

· "Midtown Madness(tm) 2." The race sequel that hits the roads of San Francisco and London. Scheduled available: September 2000.

· "StarLancer(tm)." The prequel to "FreeLancer," which combines the action of first-person space warfare with the drama and intrigue of a WWII air combat movie. Currently available.

Two Microsoft® products destined for store shelves in spring 2001 will also have a high profile at this year's trade show:

· "Dungeon Siege." Players journey from secret underground lairs to towering mountains in fantasy role playing games (RPGs) set in a continuous 3-D world - with no loading screens. Unlike other RPGs, it allows gamers to gather a party of up to 10 characters or face challenges alone. The Siege Editor feature can be used to create awesome fantasy worlds.

· "FreeLancer." The 1999 winner of four E3 "Best of" awards, including Best of Show, "FreeLancer" is developed by Chris Roberts, creator of the "Wing Commander" series, one of the most successful game franchises in history (more than 9 million licensed units sold).

Microsoft remains at the forefront of online gaming through Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the leading multiplayer gaming site on the Internet, with more than 13 million registered users, approximately 700,000 unique users per day, and more than 125 games available to play.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

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Microsoft, "MechWarrior," "Links," "Crimson Skies," "Age of Empires," "Motocross Madness," "Allegiance," "MechCommander" and "Midtown Madness" are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

StarLancer is a trademark of Digital Anvil.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

 

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