UltraCorps Gives Gamers the Chance to Conquer the Galaxy

REDMOND, Wash., July 3, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that UltraCorps, nominated for Best Online Game at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May, is now available on the Microsoft® Internet Gaming Zone ( http://www.zone.com/). UltraCorps, developed by VR-1 Inc. of Boulder, Colo., is Microsoft’s first turn-based strategy game for grand-scale multiplayer competition, and the Zone’s second pay-to-play online title.

Available now for a free two-week trial period* on the Zone (connect-time charges may apply), UltraCorps pits thousands of players against one another in a strategic race to dominate the universe. After the free trial, players can pay a low monthly rate of $9.95 or sign up to get three months of play for the cost of two.

Players can select from two game formats: a daily or twice-daily cycle. At the end of each cycle, the effects of each player’s actions are calculated, and outcomes are displayed on screen.

Players Shape Dynamic Universe and Form Alliances

In UltraCorps, players command one of 14 alien races, develop new technologies and weapons, and dispatch fleets to conquer and colonize other planets. To succeed, players must also maintain, expand and defend growing empires. High-resolution graphics, scalable maps and detailed data on military units are among the features that enable players to immerse themselves in the UltraCorps universe. Complex economic systems and the ability to build custom fleets by choosing vehicles from more than 30 core military units ensure that the game is always challenging. Every day, thousands of UltraCorps players influence and shape a constantly evolving universe. And, during each turn, players may take action in a number of different arenas.

“UltraCorps’ size and scope make it a perfect addition to the Internet Gaming Zone,”
said Ed Fries, general manager for the games group at Microsoft.
“UltraCorps is the ultimate game for turn-based strategy fans because it mixes strategy, combat, diplomacy, resource management and player interaction.”

Social interaction is a key aspect of the game as players form alliances, draft treaties and taunt their enemies. Since UltraCorps is played on the Internet, social tools such as in-game
e-mail, player directories and rankings, and newsgroups are built into the game.

The Zone – Home to More Than 1.6 Million Gamers

The Internet Gaming Zone is the Internet’s largest and fastest-growing gaming site – gaining new registered members at the rate of one every 20 seconds – with more than
1.6 million gamers. At peak times, the Zone has more than 9,500 simultaneous users.

The Internet Gaming Zone offers free membership and features three components: free classic card and board games, free matchmaking for retail CD-ROM games, and access to premium games such as UltraCorps and Fighter Ace
online multiplayer game, designed exclusively for the Zone (connect-time charges may apply). 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.

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.

* The free trial gives users access to one two-week trial of UltraCorps starting from the time they sign up for the trial. When the free trial expires, users must purchase a subscription to continue playing the game. Connect-time charges may apply. This offer is available to members of the Internet Gaming Zone only.

**Users get three months of UltraCorps play for the cost of two starting from the time they sign up for the promotional offer. After the three months are over, users must purchase a regular subscription to continue playing the game. This offer is available worldwide to members of the Internet Gaming Zone only.

Microsoft and Fighter Ace are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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

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