Microsoft Announces Launch Date for UltraCorps, Its Second Premium Title for the Internet Gaming Zone

Microsoft Announces Launch Date for UltraCorps, Its Second Premium Title for the Internet Gaming Zone

REDMOND, Wash., May 27, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to launch UltraCorps, its second premium online-only game for the Microsoft® Internet Gaming Zone ( ), on June 25. The game is currently in open beta testing. Players can join the free beta by going to the Zone and proceeding to the UltraCorps link in the Strategy Games section. More than 3,500 players have participated in the beta so far. Microsoft also plans to spotlight two additional premium online-only titles for the Zone, plus the latest Fighter Ace
online multiplayer game upgrade, at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E 3 ) trade show, May 28-30 in Atlanta (Booth 4420 in West Hall, Georgia Congress Center).

UltraCorps, developed by VR-1 Inc., is a turn-based strategy game that pits thousands of players against each other for domination of the universe. Players command one of 14 alien races, develop new technologies and weapons, dispatch fleets to colonize other planets, and manage resources to maintain their growing empires. Social interaction is a key component of the game as players form alliances, draw up treaties or taunt their enemies. As a turn-based game, it is well-suited to Internet play because it can challenge thousands of players without latency issues.

“UltraCorps is a galactic game of chess that forces gamers to outthink their opponents each day when they go online,”
said Adam Waalkes, product unit manager for the Zone team at Microsoft.
“The Zone is the perfect platform to deliver UltraCorps to gamers because the size and scope of the game is a great match for our large community of players.”

The arrival of Microsoft’s second premium game on the Zone will cap its latest string of 1998 milestones, including the recent addition of support for Netscape Communicator 4.0, surpassing 1.5 million registered members, and its recent mark of more than 8,600 simultaneous users.


Will Let Gamers Blow Opponents to Smithereens on the Zone

current code name for a space-action premium game that is scheduled to arrive on the Zone late in 1998, combines detailed 3-D accelerated graphics, fluid motion and rich sound with the intellectual challenge of a strategy game. Players can engage hundreds of others online in territorial team wars, amid endless permutations of roles, missions and challenges.
is being developed by Microsoft Research.

More than 30 unique user-controlled spacecraft and space stations are modeled with lifelike textured exteriors and articulated parts. A panorama of cosmic phenomena includes planets, stars, black holes and wormholes rendered in graphic detail, accompanied by unearthly stereo sounds ranging from the din of asteroid impacts to the scream of failing force fields.

Asheron’s Call: An Epic Online Adventure

Asheron’s Call
online multiplayer game, which is scheduled to arrive on the Zone in early 1999, draws together thousands of players within a dynamic, 3-D online world. Players can create truly unique characters, with varied combinations of visual appearance, attributes and skill sets. The setting for the game is a 24-by-24-mile island with all types of terrain, including mountain glaciers, desert wastelands, swamps and subterranean dungeons. The game immerses players in an intense fantasy role-playing environment where they must choose to compete against or cooperate with thousands of other real players. An extensive system of allegiance and influence greatly enhances social interaction. The story line in Asheron’s Call evolves dynamically over time based on the decisions and actions of the Asheron’s Call community. The game is being developed by Turbine Entertainment Software.

Fighter Ace Upgrade Set to Take Flight

Fighter Ace, a premium World War II aerial combat game that allows hundreds of players to dogfight simultaneously in a single arena, is scheduled to get new features later this summer. These include new terrain with greater geographic diversity; a new layout featuring airfields grouped farther apart so gamers can group and coordinate attacks; heavy bombers for flying missions against enemy installations; military, industrial and civilian ground targets; support for force-feedback joysticks; and improved anti-aircraft weapons.

Free Classic Games, Retail Matchmaking Continue

The Zone also offers free software and matchmaking for a variety of popular classic card and board games such as Spades, Bridge and Backgammon. In fact, Spades has grown to become the most popular game on the Zone, with concurrent usage at peak times of more than 2,100 players. In the past year, the Zone’s lineup of CD-ROM games with free matchmaking has expanded rapidly with the addition of new Microsoft games such as Outwars
™and Monster Truck Madness® 2 racing simulation, and other new titles such as Star Wars® Rebellion from LucasArts Entertainment Co., Quake II from id Software and SORRY! from Hasbro Interactive,

a unit of Hasbro Inc. The lineup will continue to expand as Microsoft has recently announced relationships with Red Storm Entertainment and MicroProse Inc. to bring some of their new titles to the Zone.

Evolution of the Zone Continues

The Internet Gaming Zone has served Internet gamers since October 1995. In May 1996, Microsoft acquired Electric Gravity Inc., the original designer of the Internet Gaming Zone. The Internet Gaming Zone offers free membership with three components: free classic card and board games, free matchmaking for retail games, and access to premium games designed exclusively for the Zone (connect-time charges may apply).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Fighter Ace, Asheron’s Call and Monster Truck Madness are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Star Wars is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Outwars is a trademark of Singletrac Studio, a GT Interactive Company.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For online product information:

Microsoft Games Web site:

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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